Metro & Trains, Paris
Is a Paris Pass worth the money is a frequently asked question on forums and I've never seen a regular Paris visitor recommend getting one. Not to be confused with the less expensive Paris Museum Pass, the Paris Pass is a bundle of passes, it includes the Paris Museum Pass and also the Paris Visite Pass which is used on public transport in central Paris, a Paris attractions pass which I don't think you can buy and a 2 day pass on the Les Cars Rouge HOHO bus.
So here's the math as of September 2013 for 2 days/4 days/6 days
Paris Museum Pass 39€/54€/69€
Paris Visite 17.15€/33.70€ (5 days)/44.25€
Les Cars Rouge 27.90€/27.90€/27.90€ if purchased online
Paris Pass 110€/160€/195€
The extras would be what is on the Paris Attractions part, you'd have to spend 26€-53€ more on them to save money, the attractions are:
Bateaux River Cruise, Wine Tasting Experience, Paris Opera House, Paris Story, the Grevin Wax Museum, Montparnasse Tower, Dali Museum
I just can't see the value of the Paris Pass, you can get all of it's components separately at a lower cost and you can customize if for example you don't want to do the HOHO bus or if you aren't really a museum person or if you want to buy carnets of tickets (13.30€ for 10) for the metro/RER if you think you will want to walk a lot.
Also, I'll mention that the price per day for the Paris Pass goes down the more days you have it so you are more likely to get value out of it if you get a 6 day pass. But the component parts, the Paris Museum Pass and Paris Visite Pass also cost less per day for a 6 day pass so I'd still argue that getting the separate pieces is a better value.
Fun Alternatives: What I do is get a Paris Museum Pass, good for 2, 4 or 6 consecutive days and then I buy carnets of 10 metro tickets that me and my traveling companion can use. The carnets are discounted from single tickets and Paris is a great walking city so I tend not to use the metro or buses a lot.
Do not buy metro tickets from people in stations, its an obvious point but just a reminder. Paris metro tickets are very cheap as it is and a single will cost around one euro!
Unique Suggestions: Dont show them your wallet and be aware that they may follo you. These are sometimes organised gangs. Buying from these sellers only encourages what is otherwise an illegal activity. Paris is very convenient and actually even small enough to walk most of the central areas.
We booked the Paris Shuttle to take us from CDG to our hotel near the Opéra. The cost was €51 each, or about US$130 for two. The Paris Shuttle was altogether a bad experience:
1. We were kept waiting for nearly half-an-hour as the driver tried to locate six (6) other people who had also booked the Shuttle.
2. We were driven all over Paris as the driver chose to let people off at three different hotels before he got to ours.
We could have had a taxi for less than what we paid for the Shuttle -- and we'd have been at our hotel upwards of an hour earlier.
Unique Suggestions: Don't. Don't book the Paris Shuttle.
Fun Alternatives: Take the Metro if you don't have too much luggage. Otherwise go to the licensed taxi stand.
Check for yourself: www.parisshuttle.com .
If it happens to you that you need to go from Paris-Charles de Gaulle to the center of Paris and public transport (RER) is closed due to strikes or maintenance workings you may opt to take the Les cars Air France bus system.
But be warned the bus drivers are not entitled to sell you return tickets, only single tickets.
The one way ticket is about 12 EUR. Return was about 18 (but is not sold when you board the bus, and the ticket office may be closed (strike).
Unique Suggestions: Contact Les cars Air France explain and complain about the situation and you may get courtesy tickets for your next trip to Paris.
There is no point in complaining to the bus driver.
If you cannot avoid taking this bus, then get off at Gare de Lyon.
Going by bus from Gare de Lyon to Montparnasse may take ages.
Fun Alternatives: Find some other stranded tourists and share a cab or rent a car.
Avoid going to Paris Charles de Gaulle if RER is offline.
Always carry a map of the local rail network .If you don t know french thenyou are in a difficulty if you dont understand the map.Locals generally dont help you out if you get confused n changing trains. So beware
After a few numbers lol and some searching, we realised that this pass was not as good as it showed.
Buying the 10 tickets for 10 Euros (saving the 0.30 cents in each one) was a better solution for us.
But when using the RER system be careful as you can pass the zones lol and you should pay more, for example to go to La Defense you have to pay 2 Euros, and to go to Versailles 2,50 Euros
You have to specific exactly your distination site before buying the one day districts ticket, i paid a fine because i over ride more than the ticket allow.. Paris have 6 districts.. the seller of ticket has no time to explain this matter to every body ,and automatically give you one destrict
Do not buy any tourist pass for the metro. It was very expensive (175FF for two days)! I got it only because I couldn't speak French and was probably mistakened when I asked what was available for unlimited travel for a few days. If you want a day pass it is called Mobilis. I find that I did a lot of walking so just getting a book of 10 tickets should be good enough for 3 days of sight-seeing.
Wouldn't you know it, on my first day travelling through Europe I get ripped off.
Some Parisian after showing me the metro route to my hotel, bought my ticket for me by credit card and charged me way too much.
Fun Alternatives: Solution: Don't be so trusting to complete strangers, queue up to buy a ticket from an official station worker.
RER tickets from the airports to Central Paris are very expensive: 50 FFR from CDG.
There is only one ATM at CDG Terminal 1 accepting Visa/Maestro and sometimes it doesn't work- when I arrived in Paris it didn't work and I had no FFR with me. Luckilly I was there with my friends who loaned me the money.
Save your RER ticket for the entire trip- if you lose it in the train you won't be let out from the station!
One tip: If you are traveling on the RER to Orly Airport you can be fined twenty dollars if you got
on the subway with a regular subway ticket. There are no signs posted unlike the London tube so it's a nasty surprise when you're stopped and fined.