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Compare Paris Passes before you buy
This isn't so much a warning as a comparison of the various passes available in Paris. If you haven't been in Paris often, the passes can be confusing. Some save money; some are for convenience . . . and unfortunately some are a complete ripoff. Here is a comparison of some of the different costs involved. Read it and you can make an informed decision as to which pass is right for you and your trip.
First be aware that the Paris Pass and the Paris Museum Pass are two completely different things. The names are similar so it's easy to mix them up. The Paris Pass is the least cost effective in my opinion. If you enjoy museums, the Paris Museum Pass is well worth the price.
Also, keep in mind most of the Paris city museums are free. That’s why they are not included in the Paris Museum Pass or the Paris Pass Package. You don’t need a pass because there is no charge. The magic word in French is gratuit which means free. Click here for a list of free Paris City Museums
Very useful is Paris Pratique par Arrondissement map book (at news stands, tabacs and souvenir shops) for about 8 euros.
The section below this discusses only the 2-day passes. There are other options. These will be consecutive days if you buy the longer passes so if you break up your sightseeing, you could lose a day. Check the web sites for prices. This is current as of Summer 2013.
Unique Suggestions: Paris Museum Pass (one for each person; children under age 18 are usually free in museums)
2 days for 39 euros; 4 days for 54 euros; 6 days for 69 euros
Paris Museum Pass Official Web Site
Paris Pass (not the Paris Museum Pass)
Read more: Paris Pass Official Web SIte
2 days for 105 euros (teens 64 euros; child 36 euros) Keep in mind children under age 18 are usually free in museums so you may be paying for a child who gets in free.
Paris Pass Official Web Site
Paris Viste Travel Pass (one for each person; child usually half price under age 10)
2 days for 17.15 euros (must be used on consecutive days) zones 1-3 only
3 days for 23.40 euros (must be used on consecutive days) zones 1-3 only
Paris Viste Pass Official Web Site
Carnet of 10 Metro tickets is 13.70 euros and may be shared among your group
Use them any time, share them and save leftover tickets for a future trip.
Paris bus tours
Les Cars Rouges for 31 euros for 2 days (children for 15 euros)
Cars Rouges (Red Bus) Official Web Site
L'Open Tour (yellow buses) for 36 euros for 2 days (child 4-11 is 16 euros)
Open Tour (Yellow Bus) Official Web Site
Decide what is important to you. We have not had to wait in any appreciable lines anyplace except the Musée d’Orsay and they move quickly. Enter the Louvre at the Lion’s gate and you will have no line at all. There may be minimal lines at the Carrousel du Louvre or Metro entrances. The Open Bus Tour is great transportation and makes the Paris Viste Pass redundant. You can’t do both at the same time. We also used the Batobus on the river as a combination boat tour - transportation option. Batobus is 18 euros for 2 days. Batobus Official Web Site
Fun Alternatives: Not an alternative but some thoughts about the passes. You can add various combinations to see what you need. For instance if you are using the hop-on hop-off bus tours (Les Cars Rouges), you don't need the transportation pass (Paris Viste). You may need the carnet of Metro tickets to get back to your hotel. They will take you anywhere.
You can use the Batobus as a combination Seine river tour and transportation for sights along the river.
Be sure to check children's ages and costs. Most aged under 4 are free. Ages 4-11 are usually hall price but many museums allow free entrance to anyone under eighteen (18) . . . yes, that expensive teen of yours gets in free.
You have to buy passes for each person, but you only need one guide book so you automatically save the cost of the guide book when you are not alone.
Just things to think about as you compare.
- Museum Visits
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Do not buy the 'Paris Visite'...
Do not buy the 'Paris Visite' tourist metro pass. My friends and I all invested in this. It really isn't worth the price. It's cheaper to buy packets of single-use tickets, which the locals use. Besides which, it offered discounts at Versailles, which we were refused when we tried to use them.
We foolishly were led to...
We foolishly were led to believe our Paris Metro pass covered the trip from our hotel via metro to Disney and were fined 100 Francs. At the end of 3 of the 5 metro zones and before boarding the 'A' train, buy tickets.
All Paris Tourism Info
Always make some research on the net before you go. Closed days for monuments and travel cards info.
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