My husband and I are traveling to Paris soon. We are staying at the Marriott Village about three miles from Disneyland for one week. We plan to take the RER to Paris each day. What is the best pass to buy to cover travel for the week? I have read about buying a Paris Visite card, a 10-journey "carnet" for the Métro, or a Passe Navigo Découverte, but cannot find out if any of these include travel to the Disneyland stop for a full week. I have checked Paris Web sites, bought books, checked out books from the library, and nothing seems to explain this travel circumstance. Please help.
–Carol O’Malley, Largo, Fla.
A: The closest RER (suburban train) station to your hotel is Marne la Vallée, which is also the stop for Euro Disney. It is right on the border of zones five and six. All the travel passes you mentioned offer unlimited travel on all public transit systems and will take you from the center of Paris to Marne la Vallée station (and vice versa), provided you buy a pass inclusive of zones one through five. Each has its pros and cons.
The Paris Visite card is aimed at tourists and is available in one, two, three, or five-day increments. A five-day pass for zones one through six (you can only buy zones one to three or zones one to six) will cost you about $60. It covers the RER, SNCF, the bus, and le Métro. The clock starts ticking on the pass when you first use it (not when you first buy it). It can be bought in advance online, or at various locations around the city. The pass also gets you discounts on certain museums and attractions.
The Passe Navigo Découverte card is a commuter-oriented pass available in one-week increments starting Monday morning and ending Sunday night. A zone one-to-six pass costs about $42 and is valid on all public transit. It is sold at almost every ticket window that sells public-transit tickets. You’ll need a 1-inch-by-1-inch photo to affix to the pass.
A carnet of 10 “t+” tickets costs about $15. Each ticket is valid within zones one and two in central Paris and is good for a single journey (with connections). If you plan to do lots of sightseeing, you’d most likely have to buy several carnets to cover all your back-and-forth trips between museums and sights in the city center and your hotel.
Ultimately, which pass you choose is up to you. Your choice depends on how often you'll be traveling on public transit and what types of sightseeing you'd be doing. I can't pick one for you, but here are a couple of factors to consider when making your decision: The "carnet" would require you to buy a supplemental ticket to get from the edge of zone five to the edge of zone two every time you wanted to head into the city center. The drawback of the Passe Navigo Découverte is that it's on a Monday-through-Sunday cycle, but your trip may not be. And the Paris Visite pass includes discounted admission to many attractions which you may not intend to visit.
For more information on transit options in Paris, call the France Tourism call center in New York. The live agents there are very knowledgeable about how to get around.