Is the Paris Pass 2015 worth it? We review prices and value here

As glorious as it is, Paris can be expensive. There are two main Paris attractions passes available and each offers a great many benefits that could make it a good value to some people, but for many others these passes are poor value, or worse yet, might encourage visitors into such a sightseeing frenzy in order to get their money’s worth that they are unable to really enjoy the wonders of the city.

You can get a good look at most important Paris travel costs, translated into US dollars or any currency you like, on the main page. But here we are going to be concentrating on attractions, museums, and transportation prices to examine the value of the Paris Pass, the Paris Museum Pass, and the Paris Travel Pass that is included with the main Paris Pass.

Note: This article was first written in 2011, and has been updated regularly with price changes and pass updates ever since.

The main Paris attraction passes

  1. Paris Pass – This includes a Paris Museum Pass, extra included attractions, and a public transportation pass for the length of the main pass.
  2. Paris Museum Pass – This includes only admission to nearly every major museum in Paris.
  3. Paris Visite travel card – This is the unlimited public transportation card for Paris that you can buy easily once you arrive.

Prices for the Paris attraction and transportation passes

(all prices quoted are for adults. There are student and youth passes that are cheaper, but all proportional to each other so the value is the same.)

Paris Pass 2015

(Prices will probably go up in January or February, 2015, and Paris Passes bought now are valid for 12 months)

2-day passes

  • 2-day Child Paris Pass: €40
  • 2-day Teen Paris Pass: €70
  • 2-day Adult Paris Pass: €117

4-day passes

  • 4-day Child Paris Pass: €50
  • 4-day Teen Paris Pass: €96
  • 4-day Adult Paris Pass: €173

6-day passes

  • 6-day Child Paris Pass: €66
  • 6-day Teen Paris Pass: €110
  • 6-day Adult Paris Pass: €210

NOTE: The Pass is good for one year so you can buy now and validate it anytime in the next 12 months.

Exclusive discount for Price of Travel readers

Click to use this discount for 10% off all orders of Paris Pass Tickets

Use coupon code: POT10 (expires December 31, 2014 – Look for “promo code?” in Step 4 of checkout)

For 2-day Paris Passes, use promo code “PPDEC6″ for 6% off.

Paris Museum Pass 2015

  • 2-day: €42
  • 4-day: €56
  • 6-day: €69

Most of the popular museums, including the Louvre, cost between €9 and €12 each, so it’s easy to see that averaging two of these per day means you are getting good value, and any more than that and it’s a great deal. Plus, the Paris Museum Pass, which is included in the main Paris Pass, allows you to skip the ticket-buying queue at all attractions, and especially during the busy season this can save 30 to 60 minutes at each place.

Paris Visite Travel card (zones 1-3, which covers almost all the main sights)

  • 1-day: €12.00
  • 2-day: €19.40
  • 3-day: €26.50
  • 5-day: €38.20

Prices of the most popular museums covered by the Paris Pass and Museum Pass

  • Louvre Museum: €12.00
  • Arc de Triomphe: €9.50
  • Centre Pompidou: €11 or €13 (depending on time of year)
  • Orsay Museum: €9
  • Dali Museum: €11.50

What ISN’T included in the Paris passes

  • Eiffel Tower – 2nd floor elevator: €9.00, 3rd floor elevator: €15.00
  • Catacombs of Paris: €8.00

Extras included in ONLY the Paris Pass and not the Museum Pass

  1. Château Wine Tasting: €30.00
  2. Paris Bus Tour: €29.00
  3. Grevin Wax Museum: €23.50
  4. Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise: €13.00

The Paris Big Bus Tour and Seine River Cruise are great ways to get oriented for first-time visitors

On your first visit to Paris you definitely want to visit the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, and hopefully the Palace of Versailles (a bit outside the city center), but you also want to have a good look at the city of Paris itself. Whether you buy the Paris Pass or not, you’ll want to strongly consider taking the Paris Big Bus Tour (included in the Paris Pass) as well as the Seine River Cruise. Both of these offer an excellent and efficient look at all of the famous places you might want to visit later, and you can do both of them in half a day.

Is the Paris Pass good value?

If all of the above seems confusing, you are in good company. These ‘city cards’ can be a great tool for many first-time visitors to destinations, but in some cases they cost too much or disrupt your trip in other ways. Before a trip it’s easy to plan 4 or 5 museums and attractions for each day, but once you arrive that always feels too ambitious. A big part of what makes Paris so incredible is the gorgeous city itself, not just the museums and main sights.

Another thing to consider is that if you lock in your sightseeing expenses before you arrive there will be the temptation to just rush from one thing to the next to get the most from your money. If you happen to have a day when you only get to one or two attractions, you might have a sense of guilt over missing your pre-trip goals.

>>>Strategies for using the Paris Pass

On the other hand, if you prefer to pay in advance and then challenge yourself to make sure you see all the amazing sights that Paris has to offer, then the Paris Pass can be a great deal. If you are mostly interested in the museums then the Paris Museum Pass is probably the better deal, but if you also want to take a bus tour or a river cruise or do the wine tasting then the Paris Pass is the way to go.

For great value hotels check out our recommended Paris hotels section, which gives you 5 excellent choices without the hassle of going through nearly two thousand hotels in the area.

The Paris Pass is ideal for:

  • First-time visitors to Paris who want to cover most of the main sights in a few days
  • Travelers who want to see and do as much as possible on a short trip
  • Visitors who want to orient themselves with the bus tour and Seine river cruise

The Paris Museum Pass is ideal for:

  • Culture vultures who plan on visiting at least 2 museums each day but don’t care about tours or anything else
  • Budget travelers coming during busy season who want to skip the ticket queues

Visiting with no pass is ideal for:

  • Visitors spending more than 7 days in the city who might prefer to see only one sight per day
  • Backpackers and other extreme-budget travelers

Paris Pass highlights video

Below you’ll see a short video that takes you through some of the highlights of the Paris Pass.

Exclusive Paris Pass discount for Price of Travel readers

Click to use this discount for 10% off all orders of Paris Pass Tickets

Use coupon code: POT10 (expires December 31, 2014 – Look for “promo code?” in Step 4 of checkout)

For 2-day Paris Passes, use promo code “PPDEC6″ for 6% off.

One last thing to consider about budgeting your time in Paris

There are plenty of free things to do in Paris, many of which should be high priorities for first-time visitors, including strolling the Champs-Élysées, exploring the Montmartre neighborhood, and admiring the Eiffel Tower and the Arch de Triumphe from the street, so spending a lot of money on museums and attractions isn’t necessarily the key to enjoying the city.

Also, remember that there are only so many hours in the day, and you can only do one thing at a time. The Louvre itself takes at least 3 hours even for a “quick” visit, and while you are inside it doesn’t matter if you get 50 or 100 other “free” things included, you’ll only have time to do a few per day at the most.

Those on longer trips might wonder is the London Pass is worth it or be interested in a review of the New York Pass. Each situation is quite different so there is never a single answer for any of these cities.

However…

The Paris Pass is a popular and efficient way for first-time visitors to see all the best sights in a short time, with little stress and almost no time wasted in ticket queues. Whichever way you decide to visit Paris, you will have a good time. If you can get a discount on the Paris Pass, it’s obviously a better deal and worth considering.



248 Responses to “Is the Paris Pass 2015 worth it? We review prices and value here”

Jill Levin says:

What a great article and good reminder that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to getting a good value and a wonderful experience. My husband and I will be first-time visitors to Paris, but everywhere we go we always love checking out neighborhoods, and strolling or biking around at least as much as seeing all the ‘required’ sites. This was a helpful reminder that Paris is a great city to relax and enjoy even without being at the main attractions.

 
K g says:

We have had a seven day trip to Paris. We bought the one week metro and rer pass and separately the 4 day museum pass the second full day. This was the perfect way to do it because we settled in, got over the jet lag and wandered around at first. Then we started hitting multiple museums a day with the pass. No lines. We bought the pass in the office on the lower level of the louvre the first visit. The louvre is open at night on wed and Friday so we went twice one day. Orsay and lorangerie are closeby so you can have a bite in a cafe closeby and switch museums when you need a break.

 
Sue from Wigan says:

Great article, made me realise that getting a Paris Pass would not be the best option for a family visit with our 3 boys as I’m sure we would fall into the ‘got to pack it all in’ frenzy and miss out on soaking up the atmosphere of such a wonderful city. Whilst we plan to dip our toe into a couple of the museums and art galleries, we plan to mix that with a cycle tour, a visit to the catacombs, a wander round Montmatre and other delights. Can’t wait!

 

    Thanks Sue. These passes really are ideal for some visitors who plan on hitting many of the top attractions anyway, but I firmly believe that a city such as Paris is kind of an attraction on its own, and when you are inside a museum you are missing out on today’s Paris. I think most people have a gut feeling whether these passes will work for them, and most of those people are right. -Roger

     
Farhana says:

This article is really useful as we are contemplating whether to buy paris pass not for our 3 days stint in paris early june this year. This will be my second trip but first trip with our 3 boys aged 19, 15 and 10. I guess my gut feeling is right after reading your article. Thanks.

 
Pamela Scire says:

My 78 year old mother and I were recently in Paris and thought the Paris Pass would be a great idea to avoid having her stand in long lines. What a disappointment.

1. The only place this helped was at the Louvre and that could have been accomplished with just a museum pass. This skip-the-line feature should also be true for other attractions such as the Eiffel Tower but isn’t. We felt very misled.

2. The river cruise. Why on earth did we have to stand in line to get a ticket? Travelers should be able to use the Paris Pass as the ticket.

3. It would be really helpful if the H.O.H.O. Red Bus tour did not have to be consecutive days for those who would like to rest in between and not have to be on a firm schedule. It was a bit hectic.

4. They do not include a Metro and bus map… both of these were useless to us without one and just try to find one… impossible. This part was completely wasted money because of this since we only took the Metro once… and got lost without a map.

5. Way overpriced for what it is. We would have been much better off financially to purchase tickets only for the attractions we saw. It is impossible to see everything on a vacation trip and there was no added convenience to make up for the extra cost because we had to stand in lines anyway.

In short, I would not do this again unless you intend to run your fanny off.

 

    Pamela, Thanks for the review, and I agree that the Paris Pass is not for everyone. Still, I’ve found that the vast majority of people who buy them are very happy with it and would recommend it. It’s good to hear the other side as well. -Roger

     
D and G Stone says:

The Paris Museum Pass is not worth the money. You would need to do nothing but rush from one museum to another to get the price of the pass back. Some main Museums will be closed for e.g. refurbishment (e.g. Picasso, Conciergerie when we were there). Many good museums in Paris are free-or part free anyway. The no-queuing claim is false (e.g. Notre Dame Towers – you have to queue for security bag checks anyway. Pay as you go is better.

 
Michelle A. says:

Hello Roger:

I am a little confused, above you’ve said “Extras included in ONLY the Paris Pass and not the Museum Pass …Palace at Versailles: €18.00″. However, when I looked on the official Museum Pass website, it appears that Versailles and all the gardens and Trianon is included on the Museum Pass.

????

Thank you for your help,
Michelle

 

    Michelle A., I just checked and you are correct. I think they must have added this to the Museum Pass since I put this together, so I will change the article now. Thank you for pointing it out. -Roger

     
Fernanda says:

I’m planning a 6-day trip to Paris for New Year’s Eve. I’m going solo, I like museums but also the different attractions. 2 years ago I went to NYC and got the pass, and loved it, specially because of the shorter lines. Even though I don’t like to rush through places, I still think it might be worth it.

 
Des Trigg says:

My wife and I are visiting Paris [ first time ] from NZ Mar 26-29 . Visiting inet has me really confused – to allow free time to wander am looking at ” hop on / hop off ” bus tour + a river cruise . Any comments / suggestions as to tour operator / cost [ ie buy online pre leaving NZ ] greatky appreciated

 

    Des Trigg, well, the Paris Pass includes both a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour AND a river cruise, and both are recommended for a first trip to Paris, especially one of only 3 days or so. Really, the Paris Pass is perfect for your situation since it comes with those and admission to most of the top attractions as well. However, if the Pass seems a bit expensive and you might prefer to just walk around the city and visit only a couple of the famous attractions, you’ll still have a great time and it obviously won’t cost as much.

    If you don’t want the Paris Pass but you want to do the bus tour and/or river cruise, you can just pay before you board. Late March is still the low season so you won’t have any trouble getting spots. -Roger

     
      Lisa says:

      Still a little confused…..will be in Paris middle of June….spending 8 days in London and thought we would spend an evening in Paris….any suggestion?

       
Linda says:

Hello Roger. We will be spending 8 days in London (May 20 – 28) and have purchased the London pass on line. Will also be spending May 28 – June 5th in Paris.Of course we want to see the main sites and museums as well as spending time just wandering around the different neighbourhoods. In your opinion would the 6 day Paris pass prove beneficial for us? Thank you!!

 

    Linda, One thing about using these city passes is that you tend to stay very busy, which isn’t a perfect vacation for everybody. On the other hand, if you are interested in seeing much of what the Paris Pass covers, then being able to skip some queues will give you more time, and by the end of May the lines will be long. Since you’ll have 8 or 9 days in Paris, the 6-day Paris Pass might still be good because it gives you at least a few days to just relax and walk around. Or you might consider the 4-day pass instead, so you could compress your main sightseeing into those days (hopefully weekdays) and have even more time to relax and enjoy the gorgeous city itself. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
      Linda says:

      Thank you for that bit of advice Roger. I think you may be right about the 4 day pass so I think that’s what we’ll do and have the best of both!! I expect the pass is 4 consecutive days which kind of sucks but c’est la vie. Thanks!! Linda

       
yaffa says:

What would be better, economically, for a visit of five days :
Passe Navigo Découverte
Or
Paris Visite travel card

 
Marissa Simhachalam says:

I will be arriving in Paris on June 27 at 8:45am. The first day there we would like to do the Eiffel Tower and then pick up the seine river/dinner cruise on the Bateaux-Parisiens that leaves at 8:00pm. Friday the 28th we were thinking of doing Musee d’Orsay, Saint Chapell, Notredame and tower. Saturday 29th my child has to move in dorm so taking that day off to explore and get oriented with surroundings, Sunday the 30th do the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and champs- Élysées. We would also like to squeeze in the free Haute Coutre 100 dresses at Hotel de Ville and maybe dinner one night at Chez Michou- dinner/ show. Can you please advise me if the this is the best order to see these places and what would be the best value. Would we be able to skip the lines and have unlimited metro if we purchase a pass? This is for two adults. I appreciate your help and getting the best value for the things we would like go do .

 

    Marissa, yes, each Paris Pass comes with a Paris Visite Pass, which is good for unlimited rides on all Paris Metros, RER, Buses, Trams, SNCF Overland Suburban Trains, and the Montmartre Funicular within zones 1 – 3, which covers the entire of central Paris (no access to airports). This is especially nice since buying individual tickets can be a pain.

    As far as which order to see the sights in, it depends a bit on where your hotel is, but I believe that all of those you mention are in the center so they are only a couple Metro stops apart, if not walking distance. If you order the Paris Pass online in advance they will send you a really nice booklet that shows all the included attractions on a map along with their opening hours and a brief description. Once you have that it should be pretty obvious which order to see them in, and you’ll probably discover a few interesting things nearby or on the way as well. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Arlene Smit says:

After reading your blog I am really glad that we have started planning our trip so early as there is so much to consider. We are ski-ing in Chamonix for a week in Jan 2014. I really want to ‘save’ France for the spring, but since we are already paying the airfare (from SA) we decided to spend a week or so in Paris from the 27th Dec. We’re travelling with our two sons (11 & 15) and plan to make day trips from Paris to Normandy (for 15yrs) and Disney (for 11yrs) and to Chantres.
So we were going to get a rail pass (also to take us through to Chamonix). Do I understand that the metro is not included in the rail pass?

 

    Arlene, it’s true that a Metro Pass is not included with a France Rail Pass, however a Metro Pass is included with a Paris Pass. Buying a Metro Pass once in Paris should be simple enough though. -Roger

     
Maggie Romano says:

Hi Roger! My husband and I will be in Paris next weekend celebrating our 20 year anniversary… from the 26th to the 29th of April. We are staying at Hotel du Louvre. We have purchased the 4 day Paris Pass that we will pick up at the Hard Rock upon our arrival. As it is our first time in Paris…would you suggest an itinerary for each day that includes the must see attractions and the seine river cruise. Thanks in advance!

 

    Maggie, congratulations on the anniversary and trip. You are going to love Paris, but it would be difficult for me to suggest an itinerary without knowing your tastes and so forth. There are fine art museums and modern art museums and palaces and so on. I’d suggest taking the Seine River cruise as early as possible, and also consider the bus tour that comes with it early as well. Doing those will give you an idea of where everything is and what you want to see up close.

    Also, the Paris Pass comes with a really nice little book that has a map of all the included attractions along with opening hours and short descriptions. Once you have that it won’t take more than an hour or so to figure out which things you are sure you want to see and which other things are close by. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
      charlie says:

      Hi roger I would like to know the proper attire for daytime in paris
      some people have told me no shorts. we are going june 1st of this
      year I am sure it will be hot can you advise me. thanks you
      charlie

       

        Charlie, first off, on June 1 in Paris the average high would be about 70F/21C so long pants might be the better choice anyway. And partly because there are so few really hot days in central and northern Europe, not many Europeans wear shorts. But on warmer days there will be plenty of tourists from the US, Canada, Australia, and Brazil that wear shorts, including me. If you’ll feel self conscious being in the minority then go with long pants, though that is really the only issue. -Roger

         
David says:

Please confirm that the Museum Pass would skip the long lines at the Louvre and Versailles, which on previous visits can be hours long. Thank you…David

 
Sherry says:

Hi Roger,
I understand that to get to Giverny we take the train from Gare St. Lazare to Vernon for about 25 euros. When buying tickets online you have to specify a date & time. But I’ve also read that they can be used anytime, would you please comment. We are planning going on a Mon. & will be arriving in Paris on Sun. when the SNCF boutiques are closed.
Thanks

 

    Sherry, this isn’t really my area of expertise although I’ve done plenty of short journeys like this. It appears to be only a one-hour direct train ride, with departures every 30 minutes or so. If it were me I’d just go to the station and buy a ticket just before boarding. It should be a bit cheaper than buying online in advance and these local trains never really sell out, so even if you go at rush hour and get incredibly unlucky the worst case scenario is having to stand up. Buying in advance online isn’t really worth it for shorter trips and especially if you are not sure of exactly when. -Roger

     
Donna says:

hi Roger,my parents and I ,are going to Paris ,they’re not to young ,…I Was thinking at a paris pass,but now i read that you can’t reach the airports,and also ,you d’ont skip the lines as it says,….also the tour eiffel isn’t included, we’re going to remain 5nights , what card do you thik we schould buy ,also what do you think about the mini appartaments you rent ib the centre of paris ? thank you so much

 

    Donna, the transit pass that comes with the Paris Pass is good for all travel in and around Paris, but it’s true that it doesn’t cover the full trip to the airports. But during the main sightseeing days it will cover everything. And it does allow you to skip the ticket queue at virtually all included attractions, there are just a few that have security lines that you still have to go through. Still, it’ll be faster. I’d recommend the 2-day or 4-day Paris Pass in your case, and you can see the Eiffel Tower on a non-pass day. The 4-day passes are on sale for the next few days, although the 2-day pass could work if you wanted to just concentrate your sightseeing into those two days.

    And yes, those apartments are a wonderful idea for visiting Paris if you can afford them and they are within the first two district rings. -Roger

     
Bessi says:

Hi Roger, my husband and I and our 15 yr old are going to Paris this Sept for 5 days. It’s our first trip and I’m a little unsure about the best option for us. We want to see the sights and museums as well as Versailles and a day in Disneyland. I’m thinking to get the 5 day zone 1-6 Paris Visite Travelcard for each of us plus 2 Paris Museum passes for my husband and I as I read somewhere that Under 18’s get free entry into Museums. Do you know if that’s true and also whether you think these are a good option for us? Much appreciate your advice. Cheers.

 

    Bessi, yes, children under 18 and European citizens under 26 are allowed free access in most of the museums and monuments included in the Paris Museum Pass itinerary. And those travel passes sound wise as well, although you might not need that many zones unless you are sure you are going to the edges of the city. -Roger

     
Robert Beaver says:

I have tried to purchase a Paris Pass. I have entered all the data and paid for it on my credit card however I can not print out a receipt or information of my purchase Can you please help me?

(Robert, you’ll need to contact the company itself at parispass.com. Hopefully you got a confirmation email when you bought it and that should tell you what to do next and whom to contact. Good luck.-Roger)

 
Fj WOLFSON says:

Any special recommendations for seniors??? Special savings,etc??

(Fj, sorry, but the Paris Pass is the same price for all adults. -Roger)

 
Christine says:

My husband and I will be in Paris June 2 (Sunday) and 3. Are the museums, HOHO buses and river cruises open on Sundays?

(Christine, yes, all museums and main attractions are open on Sundays. Many museums in Paris are closed on Monday or Tuesday but not both. Transportation goes every day. -Roger)

 
Manizheh says:

Hi Roger,

My husband and I will be in Paris for 3 days as part of our delayed honeymoon trip to Europe. Would you recommend getting the Paris Pass as we would also like to see other attractions such as the vineyards, eiffel tower, bakery/cheese tour, etc.

 

    Manizheh, for only a 3-night stay in Paris it’s a tough call. You could still see those other things in your non-Paris Pass day, but if I were you I’d probably skip it and just pay individually for the things you want to see most. Otherwise you’d be racing around all 3 days and you’d miss a lot of the magic that Paris has to offer. -Roger

     

I have about an hour left to make or not make the arrangements for the Paris Pass and I am torn about what to do………..we will be there for 7 days next week and I really want to see a lot of things but I don’t want to over pay OR run around like crazy. Two days seems too short but four seems too long since we want to go on a day trip to Normandy………….We are there from Tues thru Tues, the 7 -14.

 

    Mary, it’s probably too late as I’m writing back, but in case it’s not, I would probably recommend a 2-day Paris Pass. Spend a couple days just walking around before you activate the pass and then use it on 2 (weekdays, hopefully) when you will concentrate on the included sights. You’ll still have plenty of time for other things and 2 busy days won’t be overwhelming. -Roger

     
sherenne says:

Hi Roger, we are rather confused about the Paris pass and museum pass combo. Do they have to be activated at the same time or can we use the Paris museum pass for the 6 days and then use the Paris pass to see all the attractions linked to that? Effectively using it for 2 weeks or thereabouts? We have 2 seperate cards in the pack sent out. :-)

 

    Sherenne, that is a little confusing for sure, but unfortunately all three cards (including the Transit Pass if you get that option) are connected in the computer system so once you first activate one of them, the clock is ticking on all of them. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
kerry says:

Will be in Paris, including Versailles, for 3 days. Sounds like walking around a lot will work for us. How does Versailles work? Catch a train for the day and return to Paris? We’ll be leaving for Loire Valley after that. Do we take the train to Amboise or do we need to rent a car?

 

    Kerry, Versailles is in a nearby suburb of Paris and the palace has 3 rail stations near it that range from 15 to 35 or so minutes from Paris on the RER (suburban rail) system, which is different from the Metro system in the city center. The fare is €4.10 each way in 2013. So it’s an easy day or part-day trip.

    To reach Amboise you could rent a car but you could also get there directly by train on the high-speed TGV system. From Paris it takes from 90 to 120 minutes to get there, with the faster trains costing a bit more. -Roger

     
Caryn says:

Rodger,
I found 2 different websites that offer the Paris Pass; The Paris Pass site and Parisinfo.com. The latter offers 3 and 5 day passes at less money than the 2 and 4 day passes listed everywhere else. Is this a legitimate site? I don’t see any differences in what the pass covers. Does the metro portion of the pass cover transportation to Versailles?

 

    Caryn, the parisinfo.com pass is legit, but it’s basically just the museum pass and a transit pass. The official Paris Pass also includes an Attractions Pass that covers the most popular non-museum attractions. And in either case, the included transit card only includes zones 1 to 3 and Versailles is in Zone 4 so you have to buy a separate ticket on the RER (suburban rail) system for about €4 each way. -Roger

     
John says:

Ok here’s what we did yesterday (15 may 2013) with only 3 days left….
Went to buy a 2 day Musee pass on a fine day ( possibly important depending what you want to see, and some of the queues are NOT under cover) . Called in to Louvre carousel, to find very very long lines everywhere including into the shop just to buy the passes. I scouted ahead, but cold not find any pass jumping spot, and I think the queues were for security before the separation of entry points take place… So not worth the wAit here….even to get the bloody pass!!!!
Went to FNAC ( Champs Elysees) where they only sell 4 and 6 day passes!!!!!! Told us to go to Arc de Triumph where there is still a small queue waiting to get in via one small door, with ticket office on left and others to right. We bought 2 day passes quickly once inside and went to riright and straight up… A great morning view then!!!!
Then went Pompidou about 12 pm – no lines anywhere so didn’t matter about passes and got in quickly. restaurant Goerge for lunch ( can get there without any tickets) , pricey but the BEST view for miles….. Then scooted inside to see the Picassos, Miro and a few (!!!) others. After a quick tea break back in apartment , headed off again to Conciergerie, finding queue at St Chapelle, and again no obvious outside entry for pass holders….No queue for Conciergerie just along the road so went there instead….again pass saving us money not time…..
day 2 wet and cold. Took a punt and headed to Orangerie which opens earlier then most at 9 am…( have queued out in sun for at least Half an hour in previous years mainly for security here as pass holders don’t get separated off till after this…)
Anyway, hardly anyone there, straight in thru security and it actually did not look as though there was any separate pass holders line….but there could be if lots of people were there?????. Straight into Les Nympheas, no photos allowed now unfortunately as only 3-4 people in each room……also has a great collection of Renoirs, Cezanne, Modigliani and others. Italian ” impressionists” expo was also included with no extra fee…
All done and dusted and back at Louvre 11 am. Cafe Marly for reviver highly recommended for brief feeling like a king!!!!
Somehow got shown thru security after flashing passes at group entry point just to left of Marly in one of the walk through arches…no people here but long queues for security in Carousel and in pyramid.. Once in there at the actual entry point to the artwork a few people only in front to flash passes or tickets ( again no obvious difference to me, but queues to buy tickets inside were VERY long). The woman hardly even looked at the pass or at others with tickets and just waved us through, and we were in!!!!!!
I know this is long and rambling, , and I think there is still a lot of luck involved in whether you get to where you are going fast or slow!!!!!!. My advice is always have a back up plan if queues too long , but look for Alternative entry sites especially when security checks seem to be e bigger issue than which ticket you have, as they often precede the ticket purchase or do not care what type you have ……

 
Rachel says:

Hello~ Thank you for this wonderful information. My fiancé and I will be going to Paris from July 22-29 for our honeymoon. We have rented an apartment in the Latin Quarter and would like to do a great deal of sightseeing. We really want to use the metro and avoid lines if we can. Also, we would love to get the most “bang” for our buck. Your blog is very informative, but I am still a little lost on the Paris Viste Pass front. Is it worth it to get one of these to travel between the arrondissements? If we are going in July, would the Museum Pass pay for itself just for time not wasted standing in line at the museums? Thank you for your help!
~Rachel

 

    Rachel, thank you for the kind words. Especially if you are staying in the Latin Quarter (nice choice, by the way) I’d recommend a transit pass such as the Visite Pass that comes with the Paris Pass, whether you get the Paris Pass or not. Most of the main attractions are a bit spread out and not in the Latin Quarter, so you’ll be riding the Metro a lot regardless. Also, the great thing about the Paris Metro is that there is a stop every 200 meters or so, so EVERYTHING is near a stop (at least in the center) and the Metro moves fast even when traffic isn’t moving above.

    I think your situation is ideal for a Paris Pass as well because it’s designed to provide good value for people seeing the main sites, and it allows you to skip most of the ticket queues (but not the security queues) as well. In July, Paris’s attractions will be packed and ticket lines will be long. However, you still might want to only get the 2- or 4-day pass (instead of the 6-day pass) and concentrate most of your sightseeing into those days. Especially if this is your first trip to Paris, I’d wait at least a day or two to activate the pass, which will give you time to acclimate and just wander around. People tend to feel a bit of stress once they activate the pass because the clock is theoretically ticking. Congratulations and bon voyage. -Roger

     
Chesta Vishwanath says:

Hi Roger,

Thanks a lot for this detailed article… I have gone through most of the FAQ.. However hope you could answer my concern…

We will be visiting paris from Norway on June 3 to June 6 … Will be arriving to paris at 11.30 pm on monday … Along with three year old hyper active toddler .. :) so here is my concern our initial taught was to buy paris pass… However after reading so many comments.. Not sure about it..
Could you please suggest an alternative plan for us.. So we could relax and explore few major attractions .. Carrying a kid would ward off all our energy.. Will buying individual ticket will help like paris visit travel card… So we could cover major attraction… Or hoho bus pass… Which includes river cruise…

Any inputs will be appreciated…thank you in advance

Chesta

 

    Chesta, for such a short visit to Paris I’d recommend just choosing the things you want to do most and paying for them individually. In early June the ticket queues won’t be too bad yet, and you really don’t want to be racing around to try to take advantage of a package anyway. So I’d recommend just picking two major attractions per day, and paying for them as you go, while allowing plenty of time to just wander around the city in between and after the attractions.

    The river cruise is a nice orientation on your first full day, and you can just pay for that before you board. There are many to choose from once you are there. A Paris Pass is perfect for part of a longer stay, but not for all of it, and in only 3 days you are best off just doing the things that appeal to you most, making sure to just absorb the city itself, and not put any undo pressure on because you’ll be back again to see the main attractions. -Roger

     
Kathy says:

Hi,
I’m going to be in Paris with my husband and 2 kids (ages 10 and 13) at the beginning of jUly. We only have 3 days so after reading your very informative article I don’t think we want passes. I am wondering if you can buy Eiffel tour tickets and bus passes ahead of time (online) so that we don’t have to wait in line ups? Thanks

 

    Kathy, yes, you can buy Eiffel Tower tickets in advance at the official site:
    http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/en/preparing-your-visit/buying-your-tickets.html

    Or you can pay more if you go through a tour company (so buy them through the official site).

    As for buses, if you are referring to a “city tour” or hop-on hop-off sort of bus, you should just buy those tickets before you climb aboard. If you buy them in advance you’ll be paying about 20% more and you’ll be locked in for no reason. Those things rarely, if ever, sell out, so even if you buy tickets the day before or on the morning you’ll be fine. -Roger

     
Kate says:

Hi Roger,
Thanks for the great information. I’m traveling to Paris in mid-June with my 17 and 20 year old children. I’m torn about the Paris Pass. It seems like a good idea, but I wonder how long lines are in June? We’ll be there June 12-18.
Kate

 

    Kate,

    The ticket queues will be very long in June, at least at the top attractions. The weather is perfect so people from all over the world arrive for the summer months. It’s true that July and August are the traditional holiday months for locals on the continent, but the Paris hotels start filling up in May, if not earlier.

    If you don’t want to buy a Paris Pass you can save a bit of time in queues by being at the top attractions before they open or an hour or two before they close. Most people still try to go in the middle of the day, so queues are shortest before opening. -Roger

     
Adrian says:

hi Roger
I plan to visit in late august i already got my hostel book. i will be seeing Paris last i doing London then Amsterdam then Paris. i will be in Paris for 5 day i want to see what you think should i buy the Paris pass or the museum pass and a subway pass. i love to see all the old stuff but i love see the Paris of now and the people. what would you suggest what should i buy?

Adrian s

 

    Adrian, I wish I could be more helpful, but I covered the pros and cons to the degree that I am able in the article above. In my experience, people who buy the Paris Pass usually have a great time and are happy they did, and people who don’t buy a Paris Pass have a great time and are fine that they didn’t, though they tend to see fewer of the main attractions. I really think whichever way you go you’ll be happy. -Roger

     
Jan says:

This site has been really helpful! I am going to Paris with my sister from June 15-18…I’m wondering if it makes sense to buy a 2-day Paris Museum Pass and a Paris Visite Travel card? We already have a Minibus tour and Seine cruise tour booked and we’d really like to see the Louvre and Versaille at a minimum. I noticed for your replies to people on shorter trips it sounded like the passes are not a good idea…but to skip lines it seems to be worth it! I appreciate your advice!

 

    Jan,

    I’m happy that people are finding this information useful. My specific advice about passes and shorter trips is that I don’t think they are a good idea for the entire duration of a 2-day or 4-day trip. Especially on their first visit to Paris, I recommend taking at least one day where you aren’t “on the clock” of a pass, trying to get as much value as possible.

    So for a 3- or 4-day trip, I think a 2-day pass is perfect, assuming you are interested in seeing the main things it covers. And for you, if you already have a Seine cruise and minibus tour booked, I think just getting a 2-day Museum Pass and a Visite Travel Card is ideal. -Roger

     
Darlie Khin says:

Hi roger,
I will be arriving Paris around 11:00 a.m. on 7 july by train (paris nord station). Hopefully staying at a hotel close to the station (I have not yet booked). Then I will proceed to Brussels on 8 july (my train will depart 17:25). During this one ang half day, I would like to see Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, River Cruise,Paris bus Tour and shopping center, Arc of Triumph and Concord square and Versaille. In order to finish all during this limited time, is it sufficient to buy paris visite travel card and museum pass? Your kind advice ih much appreciated.

 

    Darlie,

    The Museum Pass doesn’t cover the river cruise or the bus tour, and both of those are quite nice for a first visit because they let you see a lot of Paris in a few hours, as opposed to being inside a museum or palace where that’s all you see for a few hours. So you might consider a 2-day Paris Pass, or just pay as you go, although you’ll have to wait in the ticket queues that way. A Museum Pass and Visite Travel Card might be better than having no pass though.

    On the other hand, you might instead choose to cut down your sightseeing goals a bit. Versailles, for example, is an hour outside of Paris by suburban rail, so that whole visit takes half a day even if you rush through the grounds. If you cut out Versailles you can probably see and do all the rest in those two partial days. It’s really up to you just how much rushing around you want to do. -Roger

     
      Darlie Khin says:

      Hi Roger,
      Thank you for your suggestion. I might drop versaille trip. I will opt paris pass. Have a nice evening!!- Darlie

       
Éliane C. says:

Good day Roger,

My husband and I will be arriving on Saturday the 10th of August and leaving on Friday the 16th. 6 days of Paris at it’s fullest with the Paris Pass 4-6 days. The 15th of August is the Assumption of Mary, a Parisian Holiday. I might be suffering from a slight hang over since we will be celebrating my 40th B-Day the day before…. ;) hence the reason for our trip :D . Any recommendations as to a place to just hang out and listen to birds chirping without too many Parisians around? We’ll most likely need that AM to recover.

Thanks for the advice in advance, Éliane

 

    Éliane,

    Paris in August (and July to a lesser degree) is interesting because it’s packed with tourists, but literally half the locals leave the city on holidays of their own for the whole month. So the touristy areas like the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and the Champs-Élysées will be jammed, most other areas will be half or more empty. The Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens), for example, is a huge green space in the center of the city that will have many open benches and grass areas in August because few tourists do any more than walk through it once. In other words, it won’t be hard to find quiet and lovely places just by walking around a bit.

    Sounds like a great birthday and I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time. -Roger

     
      Éliane C. says:

      Thanks so very much for the lead. We’ll send some pics of us on the grass having bread and cheese.

      Éliane

       
Natasha G. says:

Hi Roger,

I am going on a solo trip to Paris from Toulouse in late June/early July and will be staying only for a day – is the Paris pass still a good choice? And will there be a tour guide or is this a strike-on-your-own thing?

 

    Natasha,

    The shortest duration of a Paris Pass is 2 days, and I don’t even recommend that for a 2-day trip unless people are sure they want to rush around seeing the top sights the whole time they are there. In one day I’d recommend just paying as you go for the things you want to see most. A bus tour or the Seine River tour might be good in the morning so you have seen much of the city, and then the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Arch de Triumph or whatever else interests you in the afternoon. -Roger

     
Craig says:

When using the Paris Pass on the Metro, how does it work? Do I just show the pass for entry or do I use it to get a ticket?
Thank you for this site.
Craig

 

    Craig,

    When you buy a “Paris Pass” you actually get 3 things. One is a Paris Museum Pass, and also a Paris Attractions Pass, plus a Paris Visite Pass, which is what you use on the Metro. So once you’ve validated any of those 3, the Visite Pass allows you to swipe in and out of all Metro stations for free as long as it’s valid. -Roger

     
George says:

Hi Roger,

I am arriving in Paris for a 4 nights trip with my family in July. 2 adults and 2 children below 11. We will be staying near Gare de Lyon station and plan to cover Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Varsailles flea market at minimum and paris bus tour.

Do you suggest a Paris pass for this? Also would it help us skip lines. Since this is our first visit to paris need to plan well. Looking fwd to your expert advice.

 

    George,

    As mentioned in the article above, the Eiffel Tower isn’t included in the Paris Pass, but to be honest, going up to one of the platforms is barely worth the trouble even when ticket lines are short. The Louvre and Versailles Palace are included, as is the bus tour. If it’s only those 3 things you are interested in then a Paris Pass probably isn’t worth it. But if you are interested in including 2 or 3 more things in two days, then a 2-day pass might be great. Being able to skip the ticket queues and also having a transit pass will allow you to see a lot more in a shorter amount of time, especially in July like you are going.

    Specifically what I’d recommend is to get a 2-day Pass, and activate it on your first full day in town (the day after you arrive). Do the bus tour in the morning and then your other high priorities. After two busy sightseeing days, you’ll have seen all the main things and you’ll still have a day or two to just relax and enjoy the scenery and just walking around. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Sue says:

Roger,
I will be taking my daughter to Paris on July. We will staying there for 5 days. What do you recommend for transportation, as we will not have a car.
From there, we will be going to Florence and then Rome. What would be the best way to get there? Train?
Thanks,
Sue

 

    Sue,

    By far the best way to get around Paris is on the Metro (subway). With the Paris Pass you get a Paris Visite Pass, which is good for unlimited rides on the Metro as well as the suburban rail network within the city. If you don’t get a Paris Pass, getting a transit pass is still recommended once you get there. Paris has Metro stations every few blocks so you never have to walk far to reach the nearest one.

    From Paris to Florence you’ll probably find flights to be cheaper than trains, and obviously much faster. Flights from Paris to Milan or Rome rather than Florence might be cheaper, and then you take the train once in Italy. -Roger

     
      Sue says:

      Roger,
      Thank you so much for the helpful tips about how to get around Paris!
      Have an amazing day!
      Sue

       
Tcordz says:

Hi Rodger,
My wife and I are arriving for our first visit to Paris on Sunday the 1st of September, at 11:00 in the morning after a long flight from San Francisco. We leave on Wednesday. We definitely want to see the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, the Arc, Notre Dame, Invalides, and take a night cruise. Recommendations on the Paris Pass?

 

    Tcordz,

    That’s a short visit and I don’t think a Paris Pass would be worthwhile. Just go through your priorities and pay as you go with only 2.5 days in Paris along with a couple things (Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame) that aren’t even part of the thing. -Roger

     
Beverly says:

Bonjour Roger,

this may be a stupid question. when purchasing Paris Pass on line, are the documents mailed to you or do you receive them through an email. Meric Bev

 

    Beverly,

    That’s not a stupid question at all, but the answer is you get them in the mail or you can pick them up when you arrive. You actually get 3 cards per pass, a Paris Attractions Pass, Paris Museum Pass, and Paris Transite Pass, plus a really nice compact book that describes everything that is included along with opening hours and maps and all that. For that reason I recommend people get them in the mail as early as possible so they can plan and study a bit before they arrive. Once you buy a Paris Pass you have 6 months to validate it. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
      Beverly says:

      one more question! I promise. where do you pick up the Paris Pass if you want to get it in Paris?

       

        Beverly,

        If you choose to collect your order in Paris you will need to print and bring with you the Paris Pass voucher which is emailed to you on completion of your online order. Your Paris Pass order can be collected from:

        Cultival Agency
        42 rue des Jeuneurs
        75002 Paris

         
Beverly says:

first time to Paris traveling alone, female over 70,after flying into CDG need to get to Chartres. there for 7 days next back to Paris to meet up with Adult daughter in the 18th district. Aware of pickpockets and do not except any one to harm me. What are my chances of dying in Paris, why do so many elders get sick there or pass on?
Merci Bev

 

    Beverly,

    Pickpockets can be a problem for those who aren’t aware how to stay safe, but obviously you do. I’m puzzled about your question about elders getting sick (or worse) in Paris because I’ve never heard anything about that. Paris is a very safe city with low pollution and great healthcare (even for English speakers). What specifically have you heard? -Roger

     
      Beverly says:

      Doing research on famous African American writers who came to Paris because treated them fairly, accepted and praised for their work. Both came to Paris in their sixties and the trails ends in Paris. I can not find out why, but it may be too much wine, good times and over doing it. When I tell people I am going to Paris, they say, “You may not come back.” I am hoping they mean I will love Paris so much I wlll not want to leave.

       

        Beverly,

        I’m quite sure it’s the latter. There is a lot of hype about Paris being so beautiful and all that, and then you get there for the first time and you find that everyone was right. I think almost every visitor daydreams about just staying on in Paris, and many do so. -Roger

         
Beverly says:

Thank you for answering. Very helpful and all your advise to others.
Peace and Love.
Beverly (Bev)

 
Niti says:

Hi Roger

Hope you’re doing well!

I will be arriving in Paris on June 23rd night and will stay till June 26th (leaving for Brussels June 27th early morning). I have read the trail of comments above, and they already give a good lead on the major places to visit and the planning to do, however, I had some specific questions-:
1. I want to cover the major attractions such as Lovre, Notre Dame, Montparnasse, Seine River Cruise, Palace of Versailles, Moulin Rouge, Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower to name a few. Not sure if I should buy a 2 day Paris Pass? Or probably just pick up individual tickets for some of them?
2. Would be helpful if you could recommend which places to club together, that are possibly in close proximity to each other?
3. In case you think it is a good idea to buy the Pass, do you suggest I use it on Day 1 and 2(i.e June 24th and 25th)or Day 2 and 3?
4. Should I buy the pass online now? or in Paris?
5. In case I buy the 2 day pass, then do I need to buy a Metro pass for the 3rd day? Where can I buy it from? Should I buy it online or once I reach there?
6. I am on a budget trip and would only want to want about 200-250 Euros in Paris at the maximum.

I will be staying at Le Regent Montmartre for the duration of my trip. and will be travelling alone.

Apologies for the incessant questions, but would be great if you could help – been quite confused as to what to do.

Thanks so much for your prompt response!

Regards
Niti

 

    Niti,

    In #1 you have a good list, and only a couple of those are covered by the Paris Pass. So for you I wouldn’t recommend buying one at all. Several of those are free to visit or look at, and you’d really be rushed if you added some extra museums and such just because they were part of the pass.

    The Moulin Rouge (maybe better to just see from the outside unless you are a Japanese businessman?) is near your hotel. The Versailles Palace is about a 45-minute ride on the RER (suburban rail) from the city center, and all the rest are walking distance or short Metro rides from each other in the center.

    If you think you’ll be riding the Metro several times a day, which you probably will, you can buy a Paris Visite Pass (the same one that comes with the Paris Pass itself) for 1, 2, or 3 days. You can buy them online or from a ticket booth in the Metro once you arrive.

    On a budget like yours I’d concentrate on just enjoying the beauty of the city and its different neighborhoods. Montmartre itself is stunning at night, take the funicular up to the cathedral above. The Eiffel Tower is gorgeous from below, but paying to go up the stairs to the 2nd level or the elevator to the 3rd level isn’t as interesting as you’d assume, especially with the crowds. There are plenty of cheap and free things to do to go along with your list of top sights. -Roger

     
Dee says:

We will be in Paris July 20-26. We are wondering what the temperature will be like? Will it be super hot? Is it humid in Paris in July? What is the hottest month in Paris? Can I wear capri pants (pants that come just past the knee in length)and not be too hot? Is it rainy in July? Mainly just wondering what July will be like. We are going to get a 4 day Paris Pass and then 2 days or so with the transit pass we think. Your responses have been so helpful to so many people, it is really kind of you! Thanks!

 

    Dee,

    The average high in Paris in July is 76F/24C and the average low is 61F/16C. In the coming two weeks it’ll actually be cooler than that so you’d want to have a jacket with you, but of course I can’t know what the temperatures will be like in a month. That said, on average Paris is wonderful in July and the heat rarely gets high enough for humidity to matter. Sometimes it can be cooler, but in the past few years there have been a few heat waves where it’s gone above 90F. So most likely you’ll have wonderful weather unless you get quite unlucky. August is usually a bit hotter than July, and it doesn’t rain much typically in either month. Your Capri pants should be a good option, but you’ll also want to pack something longer, particularly for the evenings. -Roger

     
Steven Forman says:

Roger:

We are going to be in Paris for 5 days in early July. We are considering buying the Paris Pass for me, my wife and two college age sons. What I do not understand about it is that are we still required to go onto the websites for Versaille, Pompidou Center, The Louvre, etc and set up exact days + times of entry, as is required by these places, or, does the Paris Pass allow you to go right to Versaille no matter what day/time, and without any further arrangements, just go into versaille? Of course we would need to go at the days/times that the attraction is open, but we are seeing that the days on the websites no longer offer tickets in early July. Will the Paris Pass still get us in without any further ticket arrangements ??

No Paris Pass website responds to this question.

Steven

 

    Steven,

    With the Paris Pass you can just go to any of the included attractions at any opening hour, which is one of its greatest benefits. You can go at any time without a pass, but then you have to first stand in the ticket queue, which can be very long in summer. Some of the museums do allow you to book online to skip the ticket queue, but that’s only needed for non-Paris Pass holders. Enjoy your trip. -Roger

     
Blythe says:

I so appreciate that you share your expertise here. My husband and I will be in Paris for 7 days at the end of September to celebrate my 40th, and I’m not sure if a Paris Pass is right for us. We certainly love museums and plan to hit the major attractions (including Versaille), but would also like to spend a few days just wandering aimlessly. :) Would you recommend combining a longer metro pass with a shorter museum pass? Where I’m really torn is that we will likely do a HOHO tour and a river cruise, so would we be better off with a Paris Pass that would cover at least the first several days? Also, is the end of September still considered “high season”?

Thanks so much for your input!

 

    Blythe,

    Thank you, and I love your idea of wandering aimlessly. There is no better city in the world than Paris for that. For a 7-day trip I think the 2-day or 4-day pass would be ideal. My hunch is that the 4-day pass would be best for you, and on your other 3 days you can probably just walk or take a few Metro rides here and there. As long as you are staying in one of the more central districts (Arrondissements 1 through 11) then you’ll have a lovely time without taking 3 or more Metro rides on those days.

    For hotel purposes, September is definitely still high season, though for museums the crowds will be a bit thinner than in June through August. -Roger

     
Laureen says:

Roger – Great information, thank you! My daughter and I will be arriving @ 4.30pm in Paris July 14-18th and will buy a 2 day Paris Pass. We plan to meet with friends for Bastille Day dinner and fireworks and see the main sights. Should we buy the pass online at this late date (given the mail time to Los Angeles) or buy it in Paris nearby if you have a suggestion. we are staying in the 7th arr. Rue de Verneuil near Rue du Bac.

If we buy it in Paris, how could we arrange a bus tour on our first day there, Monday?

THank you,

Laureen

 

    Laureen,

    You can only buy a Paris Pass online, but you can pick it up in person in Paris after you arrive, which is what I’d recommend for you. The office opens at 10am so you could pick it up then and go right to the bus tour to validate it for the day. The pick-up office (you’ll find a map and directions on the Paris Pass site) is fairly central so it would be a short Metro ride from your hotel. Once you have the pass you’ll also have the Metro pass so you can then go to any of the bus stops to hop on. -Roger

     
Habiba says:

Hi Roger,

Thank you very much for your valuable information and time.

Maybe this will be helpful for the people inquiring; below are the list of place of interests you would like to visit then they shall buy the Paris pass in between 2 days if 3 sites and 4 days pass for most of the list. Plus Paris pass will help in saving time during Jul-Sep.

SAVE
1. Paris Bus Tour €31
2. French Wine Tasting €30
3. Palace of Versailles €18
4. Seine River Cruise €13
5. Louvre Museum €11
6. Grevin Wax Museum €22.50
7. Notre Dame Cathedral €8.50
8. Dali Museum €11
9. Centre Pompidou €13
10. Montparnasse Tower €13
11. Paris Opera House €13.50
12. Paris Story by Victor Hugo €10.50

 
Claus (Denmark) says:

Hi Roger
So, the last day of Paris passport today.
Hibiba list above from July 14 is my guide her.
1 Paris Bus Tour € 31
Nice ride, but remember that there is much traffic in Paris, so you spend long time driving in queues.

2 French Wine Tasting € 30
A fun feature, but not for 30 euros

3. Palace of Versailles € 18
Beautiful, but you are not jumping the queue at the security check, and it is the same queue all use , since all going the same way. The ticket does not apply to the garden the day we were there, because there was music in the garden , so it’s 8.50 euros extra.

4 Cruise on the Seine € 13
A good trip, but the same experience as the bus tour.

5. Louvre Museum € 11
Gossip, we jumped the queue and it was long :-)

6 Grevin Wax Museum € 22.50
Many Frenchmen of wax (suprise), but nice.

7. Notre Dame Cathedral € 8.50
Remember it is only to get up the tower, cathedralen is free to enter in.And you dont jump security check.

9 Centre Pompidou € 13
The 2 upper floors had special exhibition, so we could not get into.

10. Montparnasse Tower € 13
Super views, no queue.

11 Paris Opera House € 13.50
It was the highlight at the Paris Pass, we got 1 1/2 hour guided tour :-)

12. Paris Story of Victor Hugo € 10.50
Well there we got our afternoon nap.

13 Arc de Triomphe / Pantheon / Chapelle Expiatoire / Conciergerie/Chocolate Museum.
we also went straight into.

You get a book from the Paris pass, but remember to read it all.
Many things are not something you will get used.
Otherwise, they require you to purchase something else.

We spent 4 busy days, but was able to use the card for about 250 euros, we pay 160 Euro for 2 pass.
Thank you for the discount Roger
Looking forward to enjoy Paris the last few days :-)

 
Peter Johnson says:

Hi Roger

Can you please take the Dali museum off your list of example prices. This is not covered by the museum pass as it is not a state-owned museum. We couldn’t use our passes there today, but had assumed we could because it was in the list here.

Cheers
Peter

 
Ana-Maria says:

Hi Roger,

Thanks for this detailed article. Very interesting and helpful. However I am really scared about Paris and need your help:)!
My husband and I will be arriving on Friday the 6th of September and leaving on Monday the 16th. So we will be in Paris for 10 days.

It’s our first trip and I’m a little unsure about the best option for us. We want to see the sights, bridges, gardens, as well as museums and churches and Versailles. I’m thinking to get for us the 6 days Paris Pass + 2 days Paris Pass. Could you tell me, please whether this is a good option for us? I would highly appreciate your advice.

Best regards,
Ana-Maria

 

    Ana-Maria,

    I would definitely get the 6-day Paris Pass (which is €15 off through Monday, August 12), but not an additional 2-day pass. Ten days is a long time in Paris for a first visit, but there are so many wonderful little free things to do that you’ll want to have those 4 days where you aren’t worrying about trying to get value out of a pass. Just wandering around some of the historic neighborhoods and through the gardens and doing some window shopping is something that will be very entertaining with no admission fees.

    If you do the bus tour and river cruise early in your trip, you’ll discover many little areas that you’d like to return to later to just wander around, and if you have non-pass days at the end you’ll have plenty of time to do it. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
maggie says:

Dear Roger
I read almost all the reviews, and still don’t know what to do.
I will be in Paris for 5 days from august 17th to 22th. I’m going with my husband and my 14 and 9 year old girls. My husband and I have been to Paris several times, but it is my daughters first time. It is our first time in Paris during the summer, and I’m worried it will be very hot for long walks, my kids never walk!!!!! I was thinking on going to these museums: Louvre, D’orsay,Pompideau, wax, and the science museum over at a park called La vilette (never being there). Also we would like to do the bus tour, boat tour and heard the bycicle tour was fun too. Do you recommend paris pass?? 2 or 4 days??
Is it true that kids under 18 do not pay at the museums?? Then I should not buy the paris pass for the girls?
I don’t have much time, need your expert advise.
I forgot to tell you, that we will return to Paris for 4 more days on september 4.
Thanks so much,
Best regards
Maggie

 

    Maggie,

    First off, the current forecast for Paris on those days is the high 70s F or mid 20s C, so you’d be incredibly unlucky if a heatwave formed during that time. Paris does have a few scorching days here and there, but those are rare and it’s usually pleasantly warm.

    It’s true that under 18s get free admission to many Paris museums, but not to the bus or boat tours and those sorts of non-museum attractions. The Child Paris Pass is fairly cheap, but if you are concentrating mostly on museums I wouldn’t bother with one for the kids.

    For a 5-day trip where you are on the fence I’d recommend a 2-day Paris Pass. Needless to say, you can concentrate the included attractions into those two days and you’ll still have 3 days to just enjoy the city itself. Since you are coming back in September it might be wise to get the 4-day Pass instead though, but only if you really want to do more than 6 or so of the included things. Two days is probably the sweet spot, and there is plenty to have fun with on the days you don’t have a valid pass. -Roger

     
apurva says:

Hi Roger,

A very well written article indeed!

My friend and I are in Paris for 2 days in Mid-September. We plan to do few key museums (we want to be quick and just see key things) + Eiffel + Notredame + Bus tour around the city+ Chateau de versailles.
Dont want to do the Boat cruise as we have done that already in our previous visit.

We plan to buy the Paris Museum pass at the airport and buy the bus tour on the spot. We will buy the RER and metro tickets as required.

Is it a good plan considering the tourist season in September or you have any suggestions? Which Bus tour you will recommend? Which neighborhoods would you recommend? We are staying near the Richelieu Drouot metro.

Thank you!

 

    Apurva,

    I’m glad the article has helped. By the time September rolls in, crowds are thinning out a bit in Paris, although all the locals are back from their own holidays so public transport and such will be packed, even if the museums aren’t.

    Your plan seems fine if you don’t want to get an actual Paris Pass. I haven’t done all the bus tours, and I think most of the main ones run a similar route as the one included in the Paris Pass, so unless you want a specialty tour I don’t think it matters too much. Just find one with live English commentary instead of the recorded one, and you’ll enjoy it for sure.

    Recommending neighborhoods in Paris is quite a personal thing. I personally adore Montmartre, especially in the evenings, but it’s quite touristy and most things are expensive. I’m not much of a shopper so the many shopping districts don’t appeal to me. In other words, you’ll have to figure out which things seem to interest you, although in Paris you can’t really go wrong as long as you are anywhere near the center. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
heba says:

hello Roger
thank you for the useful article, in fact i am hesitating between paris pass or city pass passport
Also, not being a french speaker makes me afraid of getting lost or not knowing how to use my card, for ex. for the bus tour, is it enough to just stay at the bus stop and show my pass at getting onboard?

 

    Heba,

    You don’t need to worry about not being a French speaker in Paris as long as you are anywhere near any of the major sights. The city is always filled with visitors who know little or no French, so all the ticket takers and tour bus drivers speak enough English. When using the Paris Pass you’ll unlikely be alone so it’s literally just a matter of holding it out in front of you and they’ll usually wave you inside or on board.

    On the other hand, one key anywhere in France is to say hello or introduce yourself before you ask anything else. So whenever you walk into a hotel or shop or oe cafe or approach a bus driver, just say “bon jour” (or bon soir if it’s in the evening) first. They will instantly detect your non-native accent and they will be expecting you to proceed in English from then on. If you do that, you’ll be very welcome. If you skip this step, some people might get annoyed. -Roger

     
Amanda says:

Hi Roger,
My hubby and I are going to Paris between 4-13 December this year. It’s our very first time in Paris and am excited. Indeed, am wondering if the Paris Pass would be worth the while. Would definitely love to cover as much as we can when we are there. But we would also love to enjoy and soak in Paris. Do recommend/suggest.

 

    Amanda,

    Since you’ll be in Paris for 9 or 10 days, you’ll have more than enough time to just enjoy the ambiance of the different neighborhoods by strolling around and sitting at cafes for awhile. If you are interested in doing the included things with the Paris Pass, then it will definitely save you money and be convenient because it comes with the transit pass and the ability to skip most queues.

    I’d recommend getting perhaps the 4-Day Paris Pass, which is on sale for the next few days as well, and activating it on your 2nd or 3rd day in Paris. You should take the bus tour and the river cruise early on, which will help you get a feel for the whole city center and where you want to return to later on when you are on your own. Then do the rest of your major sightseeing over those 4 total days, and you’ll have plenty of time to relax and hang out after the pass expires. -Roger

     
      Amanda says:

      Thanks Roger. Which arrondissement would you recommend to stay in and do you have any reasonably priced and good hotels to recommend too. Thanks

       

        Amanda,

        One great thing about Paris is that the Metro (subway) has stations literally every few blocks in almost every direction so you can get from anywhere to almost anywhere else in maybe 15 or 20 minutes in most cases. So for that reason, many budget travelers stay in the arrondissements one out from the central ring to save money and still be close enough. But it’s a personal choice and I usually like to stay near the neighborhood I like to spend the evening in because traveling around at night can be dodgy or at least intimidating. I prefer the Montmartre area because it’s gorgeous, artsy, and has plenty of cheap options, but if you prefer shopping or history or to be near gardens there might be better choices.

        I actually do have a page of my best Paris hotel recommendations, each with a link to the cheapest place I could find to book them online:

        http://www.priceoftravel.com/1551/recommended-paris-hotels-and-hostels-that-offer-good-value/

        Bon voyage. -Roger

         
RalphVilla says:

Hello Roger!
What a nice article! And I badly need your help regarding our fast approaching trip to Paris. We are currently in Barcelona after a 2 day trip in Amsterdam. We will be leaving BCN tomorrow (Sept10)in the evening and we will be arriving in Paris by late evening. We got a hotel VERY near CDG (Ibis Roissy Nord2) and upon reading previous comments, it seems like that the transportation to our hotel to the City is not covered in the Paris Pass, right? We will be stayin 3 full days and 2 nights in Paris. It will be our first time in Paris. Do you recommend us to get A Paris Pass? Our goal is to see all major sites and attractions and maybe just enter the Louvre. A Seine River Cruise would also be lovely. Will it be wise to get a Paris pass in our case? And just to ask, where is the pickup point of the Paris Pass? THank you so much!

 

    RalphVilla,

    It’s correct when you heard that a Paris Pass doesn’t cover transport all the way from CDG to the city center, but it does cover all transport anywhere in the tourist area of Paris once you get there. So in your case, you’d take the RER (suburban rail system) from the airport area into the city center, and once you get within the central zones you can switch to the Metro (subway) and ride for free.

    A Paris Pass is great for what you have in mind on a short visit like that. Honestly, the included sightseeing bus tour is a great thing to do first, as it allows you to get oriented and see where most attractions are in relation to each other. However, even though it’s theoretically “hop on, hop off” it’s not a good idea to use as transport because you end up spending too much time waiting for buses and the routes are rarely as direct as you’d like. Instead, do the whole tour, and then jump off and use the Metro to get around. There are stations every few blocks in Paris so you are never far from one. The Seine Cruise is also good for early orientation.

    If you are mainly interested in just the museums then the Paris Museum Pass is probably a better deal. However, it sounds like you might be similar to me in that you like checking out the main museums, but you don’t want to spend all day in there. A Paris Pass is really nice for this sort of thing because you can do the bus tour and river cruise and a few other “fun” things, but also pop into 3 or 4 of the most famous museums for an hour or so each. Personally, I don’t like to spend an hour in line to spend €11 on a museum ticket to only spend 45 minutes inside. With the Paris Pass, you go right into the entry queue and if you want to move on in a hurry you don’t feel so bad because it was included.

    If you choose to buy a Paris Pass you do it online and then you can pick it up at their office for €2 each. -Roger

    Paris Pass Desk
    Entree 4, Grand Rex Cinema
    35 rue Poissonniere
    75002 Paris

     
Steve says:

Hi Roger,
Thanks for your info. I was wondering, if I was to buy a Paris Pass online, how long would it take to arrive in Sydney, Australia?

 

    Steve,

    To be honest, I’m not sure how long it would take to get to Sydney, and you are probably better off looking for answers on the official Paris Pass site. I do know that they ship from France as quickly as they are able, but whether that takes 5 days or 10 days to Oz is beyond me. You can also buy online and pick up your passes in Paris at their office if you don’t have enough time. -Roger

     
Neil says:

Roger,

Great article and info. My wife and I will be visiting Paris for the first time March 21-28. During that timeframe, I was told it will be cold and overcast and that it is not that busy. Is it true that the queues shouldn’t be too bad. Is the pass worth it to beat the queue’s during this time?

 

    Nell,

    It will be chilly in Paris in late March, but it’s not always cloudy so you might get lucky and get some sun. It’s true that queues for the popular museums and sights are shorter in March than in June or July, so if that was the main feature of getting a Paris Pass then you can probably get by without it. There are other benefits of a Paris Pass however, including entry to several popular tours in addition to the museums, plus an unlimited transit pass as well. Either way, I’m sure it’ll be a great trip. -Roger

     
Ray VanSteenkiste says:

We will be in Paris from Nov 15-19, and I was curious how the lines are that time of year? Anything to be worried about?
Awesome article, and AWESOME responses by the way!

 

    Ray,

    By the end of November, crowds at the museums and other attractions in Paris will be smaller. Several of them, like the Louvre, tend to have queues pretty much all year because they open fewer ticket windows in the off season. But generally you won’t have to wait too long, even if you buy tickets on the day. -Roger

     
      peter says:

      Hi
      We are planing to visit on dec 22 and dec 23. my wife is 5 months pregnant and i have 3.5 years of old kid.
      in 2 days what all can i cover?
      is it paris pass worth fo r me.
      thanks in advance

       

        Peter,

        One nice thing about the Paris Pass is that it’s designed for visitors to see a lot in a short time. You can do the sightseeing bus tour and the Seine River Cruise on your first day, and they give you a great sense of where all the main sights are. They also make it so you feel like you’ve seen much of Paris already because you tour all the famous neighborhoods and see all the famous buildings. You also have time to visit the Louvre and several other museums and attractions over those two days, and having taken those tours you’ll have a better idea of which ones you want to see with the rest of your time. It also comes with a helpful book describing all the included sights and where they are on a map, and you also get the unlimited transit pass, which helps you see things efficiently.

        However, if your pregnant wife and young child aren’t in the mood to move quickly, the Paris Pass doesn’t help that much, aside from those tours where you get to sit down and see Paris go by. -Roger

         
Neil D says:

A few years ago, my wife and I bought the London Pass when we went there as part of our honeymoon. We knew it was pricey but we liked it because it allowed us to go anywhere and anytime while allowing us to skip some of the lines. We went at the end of July/Beginning of August so London was packed during that time and it saved us a lot of time.

We are going to Paris for the first time in March 2014 and I just bought the 6 day Paris pass. I know it’s steep but we like the fact that we can skip some lines and not have to worry about buying tickets. I like to pay in advance so I don’t worry about getting tickets, etc…The London and Paris pass is not for everyone and we did feel a guilty of not seeing as much as we could’ve in London but we still wouldn’t change anything.

 
Neil D says:

Roger,

Just one more thing. Any advice on the cell phone options in Paris? Is it cheap to just buy a disposable phone in Paris? Or should I just bring my cell phone from the US and get the international rates? Just checking my options.

 

    Neil D,

    The subject of mobile phones while traveling internationally is a complicated one. If you think you’ll make a lot of calls and you want people to be able to call you while in Paris, then a disposable phone might be your best option. However, those don’t have many other features so if you won’t be doing many calls then they don’t offer good value.

    If you have a smart phone (iPhone or Android) you can use many helpful features like GPS navigation just using wi-fi, and you can make calls for free using Skype (on the wi-fi at your hotel). If the SIM card is replaceable and the phone is unlocked, it’s much better to just buy a SIM card in Paris, which will give you a local phone number and a data package for your own phone. I hope this helps a bit, but as I said, it’s a complicated question depending on what you are actually hoping to do with a phone. Feel free to ask a follow up if you like. -Roger

     
Matt says:

Very useful article. Will be using this website again; it’s a refreshing change to stumble upon a website that actually gives the visitor clear, concise and thoughtful information. Nice work.

 
Michelle Craven says:

Hi. What a great site. Our family will be in Paris for 6 days in mid December. We are a family of 6 with older kids 15 – 21. I would love to know anyone’s recommendation of restaurants that are good value for what you receive. Thanks Michelle

 

    Michelle,

    Thank you for the compliment about the site. I don’t live in Paris so I can’t recommend specific restaurants, but I can give you some basic tips that should help.

    First off, by global standards almost every meal served in Paris is of very high quality, even the cheaper places. For the best value you should look for places that are at least a few blocks from the main tourist areas, and also look for places where the menu (which will be displayed out front) is only in French rather than also in English. And at traditional French places, you can usually get the “plat du jour” (daily special) at a very appealing price.

    There are so many restaurants in Paris that you’ll pass a few on every block, and it’s really not worth going across the city for something you can usually get within a short walk of your hotel that is similar. Bon voyage, and I’m sure you’ll eat very well on your trip. -Roger

     
Heidi says:

Hi! We’re planning our trip to Paris as family (2 adults and 2 children aged 4 and 7) and plan to stay for a minimum of three weeks in an apartment. What advice would you offer regarding passes considering we will have a much longer stay than the norm? We will be arriving in April/May or September/October (yet to be decided). Thanks, Heidi

 

    Heidi,

    It’s a personal preference, and I really love these city passes for visits of maybe a week or less. But when I stay for several weeks in one place I don’t think a city pass is a good idea. They are really designed to help people see all the main sights in only a few days, and with so much time I think it’s better to see only one or maybe two things per day. Also, when you have so much time in Paris, you can time your visits to the museums to the morning or evening hours when they are less crowded and there are small queues. It just doesn’t make much sense to cram all your main sightseeing into 2 or 4 or 6 days when you have 3 weeks to enjoy it all at a more leisurely pace. -Roger

     
Ashley says:

I am taking my daughters to Paris during Easter week (April 12 – 18). Is that a busy time of year? Would the pass be worth it for the sake of skipping lines at some of the attractions? Also, if you buy a Metro pass for zones 1 – 3, is Versailles in those zones or do I need a zones 1 – 5? Thanks!

 

    Ashley,

    Easter Week is likely to be busy in Paris and all over Europe. They don’t really observe “spring break” there, but enough Americans will be there that week to notice a difference. Still, it won’t be as crowded as July or August (at the museums), so the ticket queues shouldn’t be too bad. There are plenty of other reasons to consider a Paris Pass, but skipping the queues probably isn’t a huge one that time of year.

    And unfortunately, the train stations nearest Versailles are in Zone 4, so you have to pay a small supplement if you only buy the standard Zones 1 to 3 pass. That’s really the only major attraction outside of Zone 3, so it’s likely cheaper to just pay extra for that one ride instead of getting a pass for the full system. -Roger

     
Emily says:

Hi, thank you for setting up this useful website & all the good tips. I am planning to visit Paris on New Year Day (Dec 31 – Jan 4)for 4 days with my husband and my 16-year old son. Are the shops & tourists attractions operating on New Year’s eve and New Year Day? We will be staying at the Millennium Opera Hotel. Is that near to the place where we pick up the Paris Pass? Thank you! – Emily

 

    Emily,

    The opening times around New Years are a mixed bag. The bus and boat tours will be operating, and the Eiffel Tower, for example, will be open. But the Louvre and many other museums will be closed on December 31 and January 1. So you could buy a 2-day pass and validate it on January 2, or a 4-day pass and validate it on January 1, and you’d still have plenty of time to visit all the things you want. Even if you validate it early, there should be plenty of things to do that are open so you can do those, and then hit the others on January 2 or later.

    The office to pick up the Paris Pass is about 800 meters from your hotel, which is about a 10-minute walk or a shorter bus ride. -Roger

     
Belinda says:

Can I bye paris musseum pass in Paris, not by internet?

 

    Belinda,

    If you are looking for just the Paris Museum Pass rather than the full Paris Pass, then yes, you can buy it in Paris. You can buy it at most of the museums that accept it, so it should be easy for you. -Roger

     
Michele says:

Hi Roger!

My husband and I will be traveling to Paris this July. We will be arriving around 12:30 pm on a Saturday. We were only planning on staying for a night then flying over to Rome around 530 pm the next day. Do you thibk we will have enough time to get the Paris pass and would it be worth the money? Or do you think we need to stay another night in Paris. If we only stay the one night. Where would be the best places to visit? Thanks so much! This is out first time going over to Europe and we would like to see all we can in the short time we have. :)

 

    Michele,

    With only around 24 hours in Paris, I don’t think even the 2-day Paris Pass is good value. You’d be rushing around so much to try to see at least 4 or 5 attractions, that you would be stressed and not really enjoy yourselves. If you can stay an extra day then the 2-day version could make sense because it’s not difficult to see at least 3 things each day, especially when you get to skip the queues.

    If you only stay for one night then I think starting with the same sightseeing bus tour that comes with the pass is the best place to start on arrival day. You’ll still have enough time to visit the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, and the Louvre, plus a stroll down the Champs-Élysées (shopping street). Those are the highlights and will take you that whole day to appreciate, along with the walking between them and just enjoying the city itself. -Roger

     
Daniel says:

Hi Roger,

Excellent and very detailed advice, however. I was hoping you could orient us a little bit more. My wife and I are going to Paris for the first time this upcoming February, arriving the evening of the 12th and leaving on the 18th. Also, we will be staying at Le Méridien E’toile. Any advice you might have that is specific for those dates? Actually any advice at all will be greatly appreciated. We were debating getting the Paris pass, but from I read on your site it seems we should be ok using the metro (visit pass) as this is low season. Also the days seem to be cold and quite short, do you recommend any particular planning for this? (Sunrise around 8am and sunset at 5pm?). Thank you in advance for any advice you might give us.

Daniel.

 

    Daniel,

    I’m happy that you’ve found some useful advice on the site, and I’m afraid I don’t have much more for you. I’ve only been to Paris a handful of times, and as fond as I am of it, I’m not really an expert on the city. I try to help people decide if a Paris Pass is a good choice for them, and anything else I can help with that comes up.

    That said, I do agree that in February you won’t have long queues to deal with, so a Paris Pass would mainly be a money-saving and convenience product if you thought you were going to use enough of the included attractions. I highly recommend the bus tour as well as the river tour early in your visit, whether you get a Paris Pass or not.

    Otherwise, I’m sure you’ll find it easy to have an enjoyable stay, regardless of the season. Most of Paris is quite dense and built for the indoors, and it should still be warm enough to walk through a couple of the main parks and gardens in the city center. In addition to the main museums and such, you’ll want to stroll around some of the historic neighborhoods, and every meal is a treat in Paris (except perhaps for Breakfast, which is usually just coffee and a roll). Sorry I don’t have anything more specific for you. -Roger

     
Barbara Rosenthal says:

A question. If I purchase a 6 day museum pass at the airport and do not activate it for a week as I intend to be in Paris for a month; must it be used 6 consecutive days from first use?

 
Pamela says:

Hi Roger, I was wondering if you could help me here. My husband and I will be in Paris in Feb 8th until valentines day and we only really want to see Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe and Pantheon and the Tower. I was wondering if buying a pass would be beneficial to us. Also we are staying in the 12th arr and wondering if the pass would help save money on metro. Please any assistance you could provide is great.

 

    Pamela,

    Based on that list, I don’t think a Paris Pass would be good value for you. The Eiffel Tower isn’t included, although the other things you list are included. Still, the best features of the Paris Pass are the bus and boat tours to help get your oriented on a quick trip. I really do recommend those, but if you aren’t interested in them then you’ll be better off with just a Paris Museum Pass, or paying as you go. In February you really shouldn’t have to spend much time in ticket queues, so just paying as you go is probably best.

    The transit pass that is included is fantastic, but you can buy a Visite Pass (as they are known) once you get there if you want one. They sure do make seeing a lot in a short time much easier, and they also save you from buying individual ride tickets from ticket booths with attendants that prefer not to speak in English. In other words, they just make everything easier, so even if they don’t save you much money, they will save you headaches. -Roger

     
Kris says:

Hi Roger,
Thank you so much for this enlightening information. I am traveling to Paris June 20-28 with my daughter, son and two year old granddaughter. We have rented an apartment off louvre st from an agency recommended by Parisinfo. I picked that location for the apt because it is centrally located. We would like to take the Eurostar to London for one day, and shopping/Disney Paris for another. In addition, we are planning a visit to the catacombs. Based on the extra activities we have planned I am thinking about the 4 day paris pass. Does that sound appropriate? Thanks so much for your advice!
Kris

 

    Kris,

    I’m always happy to hear that this information helps people, so thank for mentioning it.

    Yes, I think a 4-day Paris Pass is a great choice on any trip of 6 or more days (and it’s also on sale through Tuesday, February 25). In Paris especially, it’s nice to have at least a couple of extra days to just walk around and enjoy the architecture and food. So even with a London day and a Disney Paris day, you’ll have a couple extra days when you are not “on the clock” trying to see as much as possible. I’d recommend doing the bus tour and perhaps the Seine cruise on one of your first days in Paris, and that will help orient you so you can find places you want to return to later on your non-pass days. Bon voyage! -Roger

     
Zohaib says:

Hi Roger,
First of all, thanks for the great piece of info. I am going to Paris in the first week of May on my honeymoon its a 5 day visit n then we are heading south to nice. Just wanted to know, are there long queues on major attrations like Eiffel Tower and Louvre in May as well since May is not a high season. If not, what would you suggest?

Cheers

 

    Zohaib,

    While the month of May isn’t the peak season in Paris, it’s still packed with tourists. So yes, the ticket queues in May can be expected to be pretty long, especially on weekends. Part of the problem is that the big attractions don’t open all of their ticket and admission windows until June, so queues can stay long even with fewer people there each day. It’s really only November through March when crowds are thinner. -Roger

     
jane says:

Hi,

We are arriving in Paris on April 8- the day of our silver wedding anniversary. On that day – we want to visit the Eiffel tower and maybe Notre Dame or a church. We are thinking of buying th 6 day museum pass as we wouldlike to visit all the main ones – louvre, arc de triumph, pompidou,notredame towers, orsay and versaille. not sure if the Paris pass is worth it. we would also want the Seine river tour. i think the Paris pass is a bit expensive. we plan to get either a day pass or weekly metro pass. what do you think is good? also we might want to go to Lourdes. Any thoughts/recommendation/tips.
btw – thanks for helping all of us with your insights. maybe Paris tourism shoudl pay you :)
jane

 

    Jane,

    I agree that the main Paris Pass does seem expensive at first, but if you are going to be visiting so many of the included attractions, it can be good value. The Seine River Tour is interesting and worthwhile, but I’m actually quite a fan of the hop-on hop-off bus tour of Paris that is included, especially if you do it early in your trip. Once you get started your sightseeing, you’ll end up walking within many touristy neighborhoods, but otherwise you’ll be taking the Metro from place to place. The bus tour gives you a really nice orientation of the whole city center from the open top.

    However, if you don’t think you’ll do the bus tour, then the plain Museum Pass might be better for you. It’s tough for me to give any more specific advice without knowing precisely which things you’ll end up doing. Whichever method you choose, I’m sure you’ll have an excellent anniversary trip. In other words, try not to stress about choices like these because Paris is wonderful whether you hit everything on your list or if you don’t.

    If I were you I’d get the weekly Visite (transit) Pass, whichever way you go. It’s really nice to be able to use the Metro as often as you please (which will be often), without having to stand in ticket queues and try to get what you want in broken French. If you happen to speak French then it’s not as important, but for those of us who don’t speak the language, it can be quite stressful to be in a long ticket queue and trying to order the exact right thing from a clerk who may or may not understand you. Bon voyage! -Roger

     
Anil says:

Hi Roger,
I plan to be in Paris from 3rd to 6th June when we will leave for Mumbai from CDG,with my wife,who will be here for the 1st time,though I have been here earlier-ages back in 1987! We shall arrive from Amsterdam by 11am on the 3rd and will have half the day to do the river cruise and the hoho tour to get a general feel of the city. We plan to be staying very close to Du Nord. We would buy tickets for those as we board.
The next 2 days we plan to do the Eiffel Tower,Arc de Triumph,Champs Élysées, and the louvre and anything else we can squeeze in on our 3 rd day there ie 5 th. I possibly will buy only a Metro tkt book and pay as we go.
Do you think this is the correct way to go about our 3 days in Paris?
Anil

 

    Anil,

    This looks like a fine plan for a quick Paris visit. I especially like the idea of doing the two tours on the day you arrive to help get oriented. And those 4 things you mention for the other days are all quite close together, so you could do them all in one day if you preferred. But of course there are so many interesting things to do in Paris that you’ll have no trouble filling up your time. And I do think for a trip of this nature that getting a 10-ride carnet of Metro tickets to share between you should work well. -Roger

     
Daina says:

we are a family of 4, with two teens. Is it worthwhile getting the teen pass if teens under 18 are free? what are the benefits that we would otherwise not realize if we did not buy them the passes?

 

    Daina,

    That’s an interesting question. The benefits of getting Paris Passes for the teens would be that they are valid on all the non-museum attractions that aren’t free for young people, such as the hop on hop off bus tour, the Seine River cruise, and several others. You’d also get to skip the ticket queues as a family because the teens would still have to stand in the ticket line to be checked and get in for free at the museums.

    It’s hard to say whether that would be worth getting them each a Paris Pass. Those tours are recommended, but if you think you’ll mostly be going into museums, I’d probably skip the pass for them. Have a great trip either way. -Roger

     
Sonja says:

I will be staying in Paris for two weeks in September with my 78-year-old father. We will be in the 13th arrondissement and plan to travel to most major sights and areas. My father is not so keen on museums and art galleries. Would the Paris Pass be worthwhile (the river cruise and HOHO bus looks attractive) or would we be better off just getting two weekly Visite passes? We want to spend a bit of time exploring the left bank, going to markets and just pretending to be locals! Thanks for your very informative website and replies to comments.

 

    Sonja,

    Thank you for the kind words. It’s tough to say, but it sounds like the Paris Pass might not be a great choice for you and your father. The bus tour and river cruise are indeed really great ways to get oriented in the city. But aside from those, most of the other attractions are similar to museums, if not museums themselves.

    Also, since you have two full weeks, it makes more sense to pace yourself on sightseeing. The Paris Pass is usually great value for those who have a week or less to see everything, and especially for people who plan on hitting many of the fabulous museums that Paris offers. You’ll have a great time either way. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Abdelhamid Attia says:

Hello Roger,
Thank you for a very informative blog. I will be visiting Paris for a week with my family (4)and will stay first night at Holiday Inn CDG. Will take the RER & Metro to central Paris and will be back again by night. 2nd day I will take the RER to Disney for 2 days then back to Paris (central Paris) and from there to Versaille and back. My question is does the Paris Visite Travel card (zones 1-5) cover these destinations and does it worth buying?
Thank you in advance

 

    Abdelhamid,

    The CDG Airport area is in Zone 5 on the RER, and Disneyland Paris is also in Zone 5, so the Visite Travel Card would cover the journey. However, if you are staying near the airport it’s probably better to take the express train from Terminal 2 that goes straight to Disney Paris in 10 minutes. Going into the city center and back out to Disney would probably take 90 minutes or so.

    Versailles is in Zone 4, so that one is simple with the Zones 1 to 5 Visite Card. Depending on whether you want to use it for the Disney visit or not, it might be good value, but if you are able to take the express train (to Disney) then you are better off just paying separately for Versailles, and probably buying the Zones 1 to 3 version for general sightseeing.

    The Metro (and the RER in some cases) is essential to getting around Paris quickly, so I recommend getting a travel card if you can. The alternative is standing in the queue to pay for each ride, or fumbling with the (cheaper) 10-ride ticket books. Really, it depends on how many rides you think you’d take, but for most visitors they are great value. -Roger

     
Bela S says:

Hello Roger. Very informative blog. Taking a leisurely trip 6/13-6/21 Paris/London. I almost bought London and Parispass. Arrive in Paris, travel thru Eurostar to London, back to US. What are your thoughts on Carnet(Paris)? Also, any alternative for Londonpass? Thanks much.

 

    Bela,

    As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, the carnet of 10 Metro tickets in Paris is better than paying for each ride, but it’s not as convenient as the Visite Pass that comes with the Paris Pass itself. It depends on where your hotel is in relation to most of the things you’ll be seeing. Paris is a city where tourists end up taking many Metro rides each day, but it will be fewer if you are staying very close to the Eiffel Tower or Louvre areas.

    The Paris Pass and London Pass are really good for most people who buy them, and they cover almost all the major sights that people actually want to see. In London there are no other attraction cards, but that’s mostly because all the major museums there are free. So if you want to spend most of your time in the British Museum and Tate Modern and such, no card is needed. But if you want to see the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey and the other major sights, the London Pass is the one you want. -Roger

     
Rahul says:

Hi Roger,
I’ll be in Paris for 3 days.
One day for Disneyland, but this is planned on the second day of our trip.

We want to get to the top of Eiffel tower, visit Versailles, do the river cruise. Do the museums may be 2-3 on one day. I also understand, first Sunday of the month, Museums are free.
What would you suggest?
My dates are 2, 3 and 4th may 2014.
I understand, its very late to plan things like this, but there is no choice…

 

    Rahul,

    I’m not sure I understand the question here, but I’ll take a shot at it. It doesn’t look like a Paris Pass would be good value for you. The Eiffel Tower isn’t included in the Pass, and as you say, your final day there will be the day the museums are free anyway. Those free-museum days always come with really huge crowds because so many locals wait for them each month. So I think you’ll be best off just paying for the Seine Cruise and other attractions on those first two days, and seeing your top museum choices on Sunday.

    If the question about about something else, please let me know and I’ll try again. -Roger

     

Hi Roger
Have read through the queries and your replies – very informative. One question though – in one you say that travel at night in Paris can be ‘dodgy’. Does this cover from dusk to dawn or after certain hours, and are here any particular areas that should be avoided. Thanks

 

    Noel,

    Central Paris is very safe in general, although there are some rougher neighborhoods in the suburbs (that you’ll never visit). In that comment you are referring to I said that I prefer to find a hotel in an area where I’d like to go out for the evening because it can be “dodgy or at least intimidating.” What I meant by that is that when you are riding the Metro at 10pm or so, it can feel a bit less safe than riding during the day. As with nearly all other cities, there are beggars and other people that might give you caution out at night. Since I speak basically zero French, I feel a bit more helpless when crossing the city late in the evening. If I can go to a restaurant or bar within a decent walk of my hotel, I find it easier and less stressful.

    So that comment was really more about the strategy I prefer, especially as a non-French speaker. In general, the bigger train stations tend to attract more questionable people hanging around, so those neighborhoods may not be my first choice. But otherwise Paris is very safe, and the main touristy areas will all have a wide variety of restaurants and bars nearby. -Roger

     
Claudia Crompton says:

Thank you for a most informative sight-however as a first time visitor to Paris with very little experience of travel in Europe,I am still anxious to make some informed decisions.
We fly into Charles De Gaulle at midday on June 15th. We the need to get to accommodation at Rue Pierre Brossolette Invy Sur Seine. What is the best way to do this? We are in Paris for 4 nights and would like to do the Hop On Hop Off, River Seine, Versailles, Giverny and enjoy the city. We leave by train from Mont Parnesse Station. How to we get there from our accommodation? We are considering the Paris Pass for maybe 2 days, or should we just get the rail pass for the duration? I would like to have the Metro, bus, train maps and details before we arrive . What is the best way to get these. Thanks for your help

 

    Claudia,

    From CDG to your hotel area there are several ways to go, but the best is probably to take the RER commuter train (line B) from the airport into the city center, and from there you can transfer to the Metro (or perhaps another RER line), which will take you within a short walk of your hotel.

    Gare Montparnasse is a busy train station that also has a Metro station attached, so it will be fast and easy to get there from your hotel on the Metro. It might feel intimidating or confusing right now, but it will be pretty straightforward and easy once you are there.

    If you order a Paris Pass, it comes with the Visite Card, which allows you unlimited use of the Metro and the more central RER stations. You can have all of it mailed to you for a small fee, and you’ll also get a 120-page electronic guidebook, which should help you plan your sightseeing and how to get from one place to another. Since you are staying a bit away from the center, I do think getting a transit pass for the whole stay would be good. You can buy or extend those passes once you are there, and that will be easier than buying individual tickets or the 10-ride carnet book of tickets.

    For a 4-day total visit, it might be worth it to get a Paris Pass (with the transit pass) for all 4 days, as it’s really not too much more expensive compared to a 2-day pass plus an extra 2 days of a transit pass. On the other hand, the 2-day one would allow you enough time to see the main sites, plus obviously 2 extra days to just wander around. I’m sure you’ll have an excellent visit whichever way you do it. -Roger

     
Claudia says:

I will be traveling to Paris at the end of june with my kids (3 teenagers). We will be there for 4 full days. Do you recommend the Paris pass? Should I buy the skip the line Eiffel Tower tickets? Is it worth the value? I know museums are free for them but I do want to avoid the lines. Thank you.

 

    Claudia,

    It’s difficult to say whether the skip the line Eiffel Tower tickets would be worth it for you. Late June will indeed be crowded so you might save a couple hours with that. On the other hand, the views from the Eiffel Tower aren’t as amazing as you might expect. I think it’s an amazing piece of architecture and it looks great from the ground, but the irony is that the view from the tower is the only one in Paris where the tower itself isn’t visible. Most of the city center is very flat. I’d recommend it to everybody if they could just go up and come back down without the hassle, but it’s always packed, which takes away a bit of the charm.

    The case for or against the Paris Pass itself is in the article above. It’s really nice to be able to skip some of the longer ticket queues, as well as have the transit card already in your possession when you arrive. It also comes with a guide book (electronic and an actual book) that is great for planning your sightseeing.

    It sounds like this is your first visit to Paris, or at least for your teenagers. Whether you get the Paris Pass or not, I really recommend starting with the hop-on, hop-off bus tour as well as the Seine River Cruise as great ways of getting oriented in a hurry. The pass includes both of those, but of course you can buy tickets for them on your own when you get there if you decide against the Paris Pass. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Katie says:

Hi, I’ve been living in Paris for 6 years and am familiar with the long queues at busy times of year! Just wanted to add that newspaper kiosks around town are now selling attraction tickets too now for some hop-on/off tours, river trips and museums.

 
Tracy says:

Hi Roger,
A friend and I will be in Paris for 2 nights the end of May. What would you recommend for passes and sight seeing? Thank you.

 

    Tracy,

    The whole article above is meant to help people decide if a Paris Pass is right for them or not. I definitely recommend it for people who are intending to see Paris and several of its main tourist sights in only a couple days like you are. If you have specific questions or concerns, please ask again. -Roger

     
Will Irwin says:

If you buy the Paris Pass, do you have to collect a separate ticket to get on the H/O/H/O bus Tour? The website says “Collect your ticket from 11 Avenue de l’Opera…” which seems like a bit of extra and unnecessary time wasted.

 

    Will,

    I know what you mean, that it’s a little inconvenient, but it shouldn’t take much time at all. That address is the main office of the Big Bus Tour company, just a block away from the Louvre. It’s also stop #4 on the tour, so you show your Paris Pass, get a ticket, and hop on board for the whole loop leaving every 10 minutes or so. I think you just have to go to a window, where there are rarely queues.

    I believe they do this because every passenger has to have a ticket of one kind or another, and it’s complicated to give every bus a computer system that shows which Paris Passes are valid and which might be expired. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Aparna says:

We would be visiting Paris from 10th – 14th June. We are two adults and two teenager daughters (18 and 15 years)interested in visiting the Louvre, Notre Dame, Arc De Triompe, a vineyard, Eiffel Tower, Palaces of Versailles and Seine river cruise. Kindly assist me with the following:
1. From the above posts it is clear to me that if we take 2 adult and 2 teenager Paris Passes for two days we should hopefully be able to cover most of them except the Eiffel Tower.
2. From CDG, we would have to buy separate tickets to reach the city centre.
3. For wine tasting experience, would they take us to a vineyard?
4. These passes would cover the major transportation options for us too. Would travelling to Versailles be possible with this pass? I mean the train and the entrance is covered in it?
5. There is an offer currently on buying Paris Pass as we save up to Euro 15. If we book today, how early can we receive it at Maldives?
6. Once we buy Paris Pass for two days and wish to extend only the travel card for another day, is it possible and economical?
Looking forward to your revert. Thank you

 

    Aparna,

    1. Yes, in two days you’ll have enough time to cover at least 6 or 7 included attractions, if not more.
    2. Yes, from CDG it’s fastest to take the RER (suburban train) into the city center, and the RER is only covered in the city center by the included Visite Card (Metro pass).
    3. Unfortunately not. The wine tasting experience is located in the city center so you won’t see a vineyard as part of it.
    4. The transit pass only covers Zones 1 through 3, and Versailles is in Zone 4. But a ticket from Zone 1 to Versailles is only €3.25 each way for adults. It’s really worth it though, and a good chance to see some of the nicer suburbs as well.
    5. They say Worldwide Standard Delivery takes 12 working days, so it’s too late for that. Express delivery takes only 3 working days (at a cost of €35) so that would work, but you could also buy online and pick up the passes at their office in central Paris. That way you can get the electronic guidebook and so forth right away so you can start planning, and then pick up the cards when you arrive.
    6. It would be easy to buy a new Visite Card (transit pass) for an additional day at any Metro station. For adults they are €10.85 for one day in Zones 1 to 3.

    Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Pegpang says:

Hi Roger,
Great tips here! Will be reading your London pass info as well later.
Just tried using coupon code POT10 on checkout under step 4 “enter promo code” but it doesn’t work saying it’s not valid or code expired. Please advise. Thx for help!

 

    Pegpang,

    Hmmm…they told me that the promo code was extended through June, but on the London Pass it only works on the 3-day and 6-day versions. On the 1-day version you’d have to use the 6% code on the same page.

    Is anyone else having trouble using the POT10 coupon code? -Roger

     
      Water92 says:

      Hi Roger,

      I have the same problem with the coupon code. It tells me that it’s not a valid promotion code or code has expired.
      Do you know how to make it work or if there is another one?

       

        Water92,

        Hmmm…this is unfortunate. I’ve just emailed my contact at Paris Pass to see what might be happening. Originally this was an exclusive offer for May, but they told me late last week that it was extended at least through June and I’m sure that is what is supposed to happen.

        In other words, I’m quite sure that it WILL work very soon if it’s not working today. I will add to this comment when they get back to me and assure that it’s working, which should be in the next day. Thanks for pointing it out, and sorry for the hassle. -Roger

         
          Water92 says:

          Thanks for your quick answer. It would be great if the 10% discount would work since we’re quite a big family (6 persons) and therefore it could save us a considereable amount of money.

           

          Water92,

          My contact at Paris Pass says it’s now fixed, so please try again. It should work, but please let me know if it doesn’t. -Roger

           
eshwar says:

Hi Rodger. Thanks for the helpful info.I will be visiting Paris from 10 June to 15 June 2014. If you don’t mind me asking, I will be turning 18 yrs old this December, so if I were to buy a paris pass, should I buy the teens pass or adult pass? And if I am considered under 18 yrs old, I am entitled to free admission to most of the museums and monuments but must I be accompanied by an adult for this advantage? Do I still have to queue up to get a free ticket if I go unaccompanied? Thank you very much for your response.

 

    eshwar,

    For the popular museums like the Louvre and Centre Pompidou, it’s free for anyone under 18, and you can go in alone for free. But for the Musee de Orsay, it’s under 17 who are free, and for the Eiffel Tower elevator it’s only under 12 who are free. However, even though they don’t require a paying adult to accompany you, they do request proof of your concession qualification. In other words, you’ll at least have to show an ID, but that’s it. And most attractions have a ticket queue and an entrance queue, so you’d usually be able to skip the ticket queue, which is usually the longer of the two.

    If you are only 17 at the time of your visit, you could get by with a Teen Paris Pass. Enjoy your trip. -Roger

     
      eshwar says:

      Thanks for the reply. Just wanna make sure, I checked the website of Orsay and it said no reservations for under 18 yrs but you said under 17 yrs, so who should I follow? And just wanna know if the following places are also free for under 18:
      1. Grand palais and Petit palais
      2. Napoeleon’s Tomb(Army Museum)
      3. Conciergerie
      4. Notre Dame Towers
      5. Orangerie Museum
      6. Pantheon
      7. Rodin Museum
      8. Saint Chappelle
      9. Versailles Palace
      10. Paris Opera House
      One last question, if I have to show my passport as ID, don’t I still have to stand in the ticket queue or can I skip it? Thank you very much.

       

        eshwar,

        Sorry for the confusion. The Orsay is free to 17 and under like the others. I don’t have the rest of them memorized so you’ll have to see what the official website of each one says.

        As for getting in, most attractions (including all the big ones) have two different queues. One is where you buy tickets, and that is the one that usually gets very long. The other is the entry queue, and all they do is collect a valid ticket, or check your Paris Pass to make sure it’s valid. In my own experience, they rarely or never check ID if you have a pass, but they will scan the pass to make sure that it’s valid because they all look the same. I’m not sure how it works for under 18s, but I believe you’d only need to show ID at the admission queue rather than the ticket queue. Bon voyage. -Roger

         

Hi Roger, my sister in law and myself( in our 60s and 70s and with some mobility slowness) are visiting Paris from the 4 th to 11 th October this year. We are staying in the centre on one of the islands. We would like to visit Versailles, Givency and Monet gardens, Eiffel Tower, Luxenberg Gardens , markets and some other museums. We would like to also just enjoy the atmosphere.. sitting in the cafes and taking the day as it comes. What would be the best option for us to get around and avoid the queues if they are a problem this time of the year? What is the weather like this time as well..looking forward to some info as I’m confused as to our best way to get the most out of our visit.

 

    Susan,

    This is mostly good news because mid-October tends to have smaller crowds and shorter ticket queues. And staying on one of the islands means you could not be more central, so you’ll be pretty close to everything. Since you’ll be there for 7 days, I think you’ll be best off just seeing one or two major sights per day, and spending the rest of the time “cafe sitting” (as they call it) and wandering around the various beautiful neighborhoods in central Paris. The average high temp in October is 61F/15C and average low temp is 51F/11C, so it should be mild. Paris isn’t a particularly rainy city, including at that time of year.

    Whether you get a Paris Pass or not, I think the hop-on, hop-off bus tour and the Seine River cruise could be very good for getting oriented early in the trip, and you’ll have plenty of time to go back and see some of the sights in depth in the following days.

    Another helpful thing about Paris for you that there is a Metro (underground) station every couple of blocks all over the city. In other words, you are never more than a 4 or 5 minute walk from a Metro entrance, and most of them (but not all) have escalators, plus some have elevators, though not all of those are working. So a Metro Pass (Visite Card) will allow you to take unlimited Metro rides on the days it’s valid, and that will cut down a lot of walking. There’s also a Metro station in front of nearly every major attraction, so you can still see a lot without walking all day long.

    Lastly, I think it should be helpful to consider that Paris is a gorgeous city and it isn’t necessary to hit all the famous museums and sights to enjoy yourselves. Just strolling around and stopping once in a while for a coffee and/or pastry will be entertaining for hours at a time, and many neighborhoods are quite unique so you can enjoy each of them in a different way. Hopefully this helps, and let me know if you have other questions. -Roger

     
      Susan says:

      Thank you Roger for that appreciated advice. We thought the hop on/ hop off and river cruise would be great for first couple days. Can we buy the HOHO tickets on the bus or do we need to buy beforehand? We thought it should not be a problem to wait until we are in Paris to book any tours we are interested in as it should be quieter? ( namely Versailles and Monet gardens) thanks again !

       

        Susan,

        Yes, you’ll easily be able to buy tickets to the bus and river cruise when you arrive. And especially since you’ll be visiting during a slower time of the year, the ticket queues should not be long at all. And that goes for the tours and day trips as well. Once you arrive you’ll be able to take a tour out to Versailles leaving the following morning, so it will be simple to just wing it. -Roger

         
alvin says:

Hi Roger just a question. I am 17 so I believe I will get free entry to most of the museums such as the Louvre, Orsay etc. I will be going to Paris in mid June where the ticket queues would be longer. Do I still have to wait in the lines to show my ID and get a ‘free ticket’ or can I skip the ticket lines and show my ID at the entrance? Thanks a lot.

 

    alvin,

    I’m not 100% sure about this, but my understanding is that you’d only need to show ID at the admission queue, which tends to be short, as opposed to the ticket queue, which tends to be long (in summer). Many locals qualify for free admission, and I don’t believe they are given tickets, they are just let in. -Roger

     
Brenda says:

Hi Roger,
Thanks for all the time you put in to answering all our queries! There are 6 of us in our party travelling to Paris in July. We will be travelling with 2 kids under 17 (ages 12 & 15) and visiting mostly those venues that they would get in free to. If we bought Paris passes just for the adults, would the kids be able to enter with us through the admissions line or do they still have to stand in the ticket line to be “validated” as free? Thanks!

 

    Brenda,

    From what I’ve read and heard from others, all of the museums included in the Paris Pass that offer free entry for children (and many other groups), don’t require a ticket for the free entry. Evidently a few of the less popular museums and attractions DO issue a ticket for the free admissions, but none of these have long ticket queues like the famous ones. In other words, in all places where it would matter, you can totally skip the ticket queue if you have a Paris Pass are have children with you. For one thing, I think they’d have a huge problem with eligible people getting their “free” tickets and then selling them to other people in the queue, so checking at the admission door seems to be the only way it would work. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Urmi Ray says:

Will the Swiss Half Price Card deduct 50% off when I buy train tickets from Zurich to Paris and Paris to Zurich? Or it is only for rides within Switzerland?

I have posted the following in Switzerland forum. But didn’t get much reply. Could you PLEASE help me ?

I am going to Switzerland for the first time in the end of July. I would like to take rest in a remote countryside village in a valley and enjoy nature. It would be good if it is not too cold. And I would like to take a day trip from there to see green mountains and snow cap mountains of Switzerland. Could you please tell me which village should I choose and which day trip? I will get down in Zurich. I was thinking I will take rest in Murren and take a day trip to Jungfrau. But it seems that Murren is in high altitude and will be very cold. I will have elderly parents with me. In a day trip I would not mind if it’s cold but I would like to rest in a comfortable (not too cold) and quiet place and enjoy countryside in a small cottage or even a small bed and breakfast or be a paying guest in an outer house provided by a family.
Would it be a better choice near Zurich or near Interlaken?

 

    Urmi Ray,

    This is an unusual place to ask a question like this, but I’ll try to answer it anyway. I’m sure the Swiss Half Price Card is ONLY for rides within Switzerland so it wouldn’t half your fare all the way to Paris. But, it’s possible that you could get a 50% discount on the portion of the ride that is within Swiss borders (Zurich to Basel). You might have to buy the discounted ticket from Zurich to Basel and then another ticket from Basel to Paris, but that should still save you money and it won’t add much, if any, time to your trip.

    The classic town to visit the Alpine villages is Interlaken, but there are some great possibilities from Lucerne as well. Either should be just what you are looking for, and you’ll have many options once you get there so you should be able to find something that fits the amount of exertion and temperature you prefer. One of the best small Alpine villages is Gimmelwald, near Interlaken. It’s small, car-free, and there are several friendly guesthouses and restaurants that should be just the sort of thing you are looking for. -Roger

     
Desiree Yen says:

Hi Roger,

My boyfriend and I will be visiting Paris this coming August for full 4 days. We are staying at Rue Vicq d’Azir. Should we get the 2 days or 4 days pass? Would a 2 days pass be enough to cover the famous museums so that the other 2 days we can spend the other 2 days visiting other places that do not need the Paris Pass.

We are looking at going to Montmartre,Palace Versailles, Les Champs Elysées, The Louvre – Museum,The Arc de Triomphe, The Eiffel tower, Seine river boats, Notre Dame cathedral, The Musée d’Orsay and maybe The Moulin Rouge. Is there anything else that we should cover?

Sorry if my English is bad. Thank you!

 

    Desiree,

    Your English is quite good and I assumed you were a native speaker until that last sentence. :)

    Yes, I do think that your plan of buying a 2-day Paris Pass is probably best. You’ll have enough time in those two days to fit in all the sights that it covers on your list. And I also think it’s desirable to have other time set aside in Paris where you won’t feel the pressure to go from one sight to the next. It’s a gorgeous city with many charming neighborhoods, so you’ll enjoy having at least one day (or two half days) to just roam around and window-shop and such.

    All of the things on your list should be great highlights, with the possible exception of the Moulin Rouge. It’s interesting to see it from the outside, but people who go inside seem to agree that it’s overpriced and VERY touristy (because the audience is only tourists, no locals at all).

    If you start on your Paris Pass days with the bus tour and the Seine River Cruise, you’ll get more ideas of things you want to go back and see more closely. And again, I don’t think it’s wise to create a very long list of attractions to see. The major ones on your list will take most of your time, and then you’ll want to stroll around and sit at cafes and that sort of thing with much of your remaining time. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
deeps says:

Hi roger,

by tomorrow we are in paris,after reading your article we are not taking paris pass,we are coming for 3 days in paris, and one day already booked for disneyland, just checking for 2 days plan,

would you please suggest main attraction in paris in 2 days without any pass, just thinking for one days hop on hop bus,

please suggest..

 

    deeps,

    I agree that a hop-on, hop-off bus tour is a good choice for a short visit. Not only does it help you get oriented, but it will show you nearly all of the main sightseeing options so you can choose the ones you’ll want to visit later. There are so many sightseeing options in Paris that I can’t really recommend anything without knowing your preferences. But I’m sure you won’t be bored, and that you’ll find more than enough things to do once you are there. Also, even if you don’t buy a Paris Pass, the website is actually a great guide to most of the top attractions. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Daniel Fowler says:

Hello Roger,

Firstly, fantastic piece! Pretty much got all the information I was looking at in one place with all the different passes and seeing who would benefit from each type of pass.

I just have a few questions and looking for advice from yourself if possible;

1) I noticed when looking at the museum pass and in the comments above that EU citizen/nationals under 26 get in for free at the main muesums, do I therefore have to be in the queue with everyone else or is there a way to get tickets in advance with this offer?

2) My Girlfriend and I are staying in Sofitel La Defense, would you recommend a Metro pass or like a carnet of 10 tickets? As I know we are a little bit away from the centre.

Any other tips or places to go for a romantic getaway would be great :).

Thank you

 

    Daniel,

    Thanks for the kind words.

    1) Visitors who qualify for free admission at museums and such do not get a ticket. They just get in the entry queue and show ID/proof to get in to the person collecting tickets from those (suckers) who have to pay.

    2) Your hotel is a bit outside the center of Paris, so you’ll be riding the Metro many times a day. It’s a great system because there are stops every few blocks, so it can save time even on trips where walking might only take 20 minutes. Personally, I’d go for the Visite Pass with unlimited Metro rides because it’s fairly cheap and it means you don’t have to worry if you make a mistake or want to add another quick trip somewhere. My guess is that you’d want to take at least 4 Metro rides per day, so with two of you you’d go through those 10-ticket carnets pretty fast. With a Visite Pass, you should be able to buy one for your whole trip before your first ride, and then you wouldn’t have to deal with ticket sellers anymore (many of whom don’t speak much English).

    I don’t have any specific tips on romance in Paris, but you’ll have nothing to worry about. The city center is just one gorgeous sight after another, only broken up by parks and the Seine. Actually, one thing not to miss would be to plan a stroll through the Montmartre area in the evening, and take the funicular up to the view area in front of the cathedral there. That part of town is stunning at night, and the views from the top are hard to beat. Watch or rewatch the movie Amélie, which was mostly shot in that neighborhood. Bon voyage. -Roger

     

Will be in Paris week of August. 22 for three days. We already have a few excursions planned and we are staying at kyriad bercy village. I was wondering what would be the best transportation from the Kyriad into the main city of Paris and is there a pass available?

 

    Margo,

    It looks like your hotel is fairly close to the city center, and only 2 blocks from the Cour St Emilion Metro station. Once on the Metro, you can get anywhere in central Paris in only 10 or 15 minutes.

    The Paris Pass comes with a Visite Pass, which is good for unlimited rides on the Metro, so it would work out well for you. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Greg says:

My wife and I will be in Paris in late September. Will there still be long lines at the usual attractions? Just thinking that maybe we wont need to get a Paris Pass to avoid ticket lineups.

Thanks,

Greg

 

    Greg,

    The ticket queues in late September are usually a bit shorter than they are in July and August, but they can still be quite long for the most popular attractions. It’s really only the coldest months where queues are reliably short because Paris is so incredibly popular with people from around the world. So a Paris Pass will likely save you some time, but if you go to the most popular things just before they open for the day, you can still see a lot without it. Best of luck. -Roger

     
JOYCE says:

Thanks for the great info and finding time to answer all of the questions here. Reading through the thread, I have decided to get a 2day pass since I will be in Paris late September for 4days, and in those 4 days my friends who are with me will be travelling to Lourdes and I will try to explore Paris on my own for 2 days they are not with me. I plan to do the Seine River tour and go from there where my feet will bring me…I have planned the routes ahead and I plan to get lost in Paris too.
The pass is activated on the first time it is used and a day is based on date and not on 24hour time, am I correct? So is it beneficial to get the pass from the redemption center a day before I use it? Are there more pick-up points for the Paris Pass or that’s the only one?
Thanks so much!

 

    Joyce,

    I’m always happy to hear that people find this information helpful. Yes, the Paris Pass works on calendar days, so it expires at midnight even if you don’t start using it until midday. I’m only aware of that one pick-up center for the Paris Pass, but fortunately it’s very central and actually near quite a few attractions. Most people prefer to have the Paris Pass shipped to them at home, although for one short pass the shipping charge might seem like a lot. Once you buy the pass, you have up to one year to activate it, by the way. So it could be wise to pick up your pass in Paris the day before you want to use it, and then start early the next morning with the sightseeing.

    And you probably won’t get too lost in Paris, but I love the idea of just wandering around a bit rather than racing from one attraction to the next. It’s a stunningly gorgeous city and there is a visual treat around every corner. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Trisha says:

Hi Roger

My parents, brother, and I will be staying in Paris for 2.5 days, starting from August 11 at 2pm to end of August 13. We are leaving on August 14 in the morning. We will stay at the 13th district near Chinatown. It’s our first time here so we want to see all the top attractions as well as the cruise. Do you recommend to get this Paris Pass? I was 100% positive that I would get it until I have read some posts that mention about how they do not help much with the queue. We are not very into museums, we just want to see the main/popular attractions that the city has.

In case we’re not getting this pass, what attractions do you recommend? Is there any way to pass through the lines quicker (with no Paris Pass), like buying tickets online ahead of time etc? Also, where do we buy the cruise ticket, at the boat or online? Do you recommend buying the HOHO bus? Would it be better if we take the metro to the attractions, instead of the HOBO bus?

Thank you so much for your time. Your reply would help us greatly.

Trisha

 

    Trisha,

    August is a peak month for tourists in Paris, even though many locals take the whole month off and go elsewhere. Seeing as how you are going in the busiest month, and you have such a short time, I really do recommend the Paris Pass as the best way to see a lot in a hurry. The 2-day version should be perfect, and you can validate it for August 12 and 13, which will allow you the first afternoon and evening to walk around and soak in some general atmosphere. The pass really should save you time in those ticket queues if you want to see the top attractions, which it sounds like you do.

    I highly recommend the hop on hop off bus tour for the first morning of your pass, and probably the Seine cruise later that day. Between those two things, you’ll be able to see most of the main sights from the outside, including all the key neighborhoods and gorgeous park areas. If you opted to go without the Paris Pass, you’d spend quite a bit of time sorting out all the little details that are included in the pass.

    You aren’t staying too close to the center, so you’ll be riding the Metro quite a few times, but it’s very easy to use once you’ve been down there once and had a look at the map. There are Metro stops literally every few blocks in the main areas, so every hotel and attraction is close to a Metro station. Oh, and while I highly recommend the HOHO bus as a tour and orientation, I don’t think it’s useful as transportation. As a result, I recommend taking the whole route once and then going between attractions by Metro. Not only does the bus move slowly in street traffic (good for a tour, bad for transport) but they can often be packed, so people trying to get on at a random stop might not even fit or they’d have to share seats with others. It’s best to start at the first stop, or the stop in front of the Paris Pass ticket office, because plenty of people will be getting off at those.

    Best of luck, and I’m sure you’ll have a great time. -Roger

     
      Trisha says:

      Thank you for your recommendation.
      I do have 1 more question. Do you think I should save 1 day for the Palace of Versailles, and 1 day for HOHO bus, Eiffel Tower, Arc of Triumph, Seine cruise, Louvre, and Notre Dame? In this case, I wouldn’t need to buy the Paris Pass, right? Do you recommend doing that? Do you think we can go through them in 1 day?
      Again, thank you so much for your help.

      Trisha

       

        Trisha,

        Yes, that plan you have in mind would work, but on such a short trip I’m not sure I would dedicate a whole day to the Palace. It’s true that you have to get there by RER (surburban rail), though it’s under an hour each way, so you could do a 3 or 4-hour Versailles visit and still have half a day to see a couple of the sights within Paris. Trying to do all of those other ones in a single day would be very busy, especially if you had to wait in the ticket queues.

        So I really do think a Paris Pass would work well for your goals, but it’s an amazing city and I’m sure you’ll have a great time no matter what you decide. It sounds like you are well organized, and that’s really the key on a short visit. You’ll do fine either way. -Roger

         
          Trisha says:

          Hi,

          The reason why I plan on not to use the pass is because I am not sure if I have enough time to get in those attractions, so I might just look at it from the outside especially the Eiffel Tower, Arch of Triumph etc. So it could be a waste if I don’t utilize the pass.

          Sorry, 2 more question.
          1. Should I buy the Paris Visite Travelcard, can I get to most attractions from my hotel without paying extra?
          2. Where can I buy the cruise ticket? Do you recommend buying in person or online?

          Thank you so much! I really appreciate it.

           

          Trisha,

          1. You’ll be riding the Metro many times in those days you are in Paris, so a Visite Travelcard will come in handy and I’d recommend it even without a Paris Pass. And yes, all of the main attractions are within the city center that is covered by the Travelcard, except for the Versailles Palace, which is a bit farther out.

          2. You can buy a cruise ticket in person, or online at the official site. Other travel websites sell those same tickets, often for higher prices, so stick with the official one or just buy when you get there. -Roger

           
Anna Kenward says:

Hi Roger.
May I say what a brilliant feature this is. Thank you so much for starting it. I have read it all the way through and some of my q’s are already answered so thank you.

I will be in Paris from 25 Sept to 28 Sept meeting up witha friend from Texas who flies in to CDG around 8.45 Am. I fly in to Orly from Southampton at 8.30 Thurs evening. I would like to know how I can get to my hotel from Orly. We are staying at the Montpellier Hotel in Montmartre area, 18th Arr. Also, I would like to meet my friend at CDG on Fri am if poss. She asked about going to the Moulin Rouge Sat. night, but after your comment, I’m not sure it’s worth the £90 pounds to get in! We are there for the Mozart De L’Opera concert on the Friday evening. The Stadie des Sportes on the Porte des Versailles I think. What zone is that in please? I plan the HoHo bus and Seine river tour on Friday. I’m really only interested in the Eiffel Tower, Arc, the Louvre, and maybe Notre Dame and Sacre Coer (which is within walking distance of our hotel anyway.) Are any passes or travel tickets necessary for this or shall we be better off walking and pay as you go? We both leave Paris on Sunday evening. I have a return flight from Orly at 8.55 pm.

Many thanks if you can answer these q’s.

Anna

 

    Anna,

    I’m especially happy to hear that you found answers to some other questions in the article and other comments above. My goal is to try to answer questions that relate to the article above, or some general advice if I feel confident in the answer. Many of your questions I’d need to Google myself, though you can actually find answers to several of them on the Paris wikitravel page, which is always updated. For example, there are at least 3 or 4 different ways of getting from Orly into the city center, and I don’t know your preferences well enough to recommend just one of them.

    It’s also unclear if you are considering a Paris Pass or not. It sounds like it might not be a great fit for you, although many of the things you are planning are obviously included so it could still save you time and money. As for getting around, you’ll want to take the Metro between most things because there are stations every few blocks, and traffic can make walking longer distances a bit of a headache. In the Montmartre area there is little traffic, so you’ll enjoy just strolling around, especially in the evenings when the lighting is amazing. And yes, I’ve actually not been inside the Moilin Rouge myself, mostly because it’s long had a reputation as a tourist trap that no real French person has visited in decades.

    Best of luck, and I’m happy to help more if you have a question that is more up my alley. -Roger

     
      Anna Kenward says:

      I just wanted to know if there was a train or bus from the airports to the centre or where our hotel is. Or what the best way was, bearing in mind it will be late in the evening by the time I get outside the terminal! I am also on a very tight budget. I am happy doing anything. Also on the Expedia UK website, there is shared or private transport to the hotels from the airports, but none of their links work when you click on them, so I was unable to get more information, or book anything. Thanks anyway for your answer. I was considering a pass and or the travel pass, but it seemed cheaper to just pay for what I wanted to see rather than a lot of extras I didn’t actually want. I am trying to get an idea of how much money I need to spend and or budget for. I also have to eat, so some ideas of fairly cheap eateries would be good. Thanks again.

      Anna

       
Jennifer says:

Roger, First, I have to say that this is a great resource thank you so much for all of your valuable information. I am traveling to Paris and will be there from Aug 25th – Aug 30th. I am trying to decide whether to purchase a Paris Pass for 4 days or separate Museum Pass for 4 days and a Paris Visite card for zones 1-5 for 5 days. I am traveling to Paris for the first time and alone. I plan on taking the transit from CDG to my hotel near the Eiffel tower and to visit Versailles. I also want to hit most of the major museums and attractions during my trip. I am confused because I have done a bit of research and it appears to be cheaper to buy a Museum pass for 4 days at 56 Euros and a Paris Visite travelcard for zones 1-5 for 5 days at 65.50 Euros than to buy a Paris Pass for 4 days (173 Euros) which does not cover travel to Versailles or the Airport anyway. Would you be able to confirm this for me? I want to get the best “bang for my buck”. Thank you Jennifer

 

    Jennifer,

    Thank you. Yes, it’s true that a Museum Pass and a Visite Card are cheaper than a Paris Pass, mainly because the Museum Pass doesn’t include such popular attractions as the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, the Seine river cruise, the chateau wine attraction, and a few more. Most of those extra things are kind of expensive on their own, but if they don’t interest you much then the Museum Pass is the way to go. The Paris Pass also comes with a helpful guidebook and a few other small extras, though I’m sure you’ll have a great trip without them if you are mainly focusing on museums. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Haleh says:

Roger- Great info!! I don’t think I’ve seen this question: Should I do a combo tour of Giverny and Versailles by tour bus or is it better to do Versailles with the Paris Pass and then a Giverny bus tour. I want to maximize my time since I will only be in Paris for 3 1/2 days. Thank you so much!!

 

    Haleh,

    Thank you. I’d recommend doing Versailles with the Paris Pass by taking the RER train out there, and doing a Giverny tour separately. For one thing, it looks like adding Versailles to a Giverny adds about €100 to the price, and it will probably actually be faster on your own taking the RER. Also, I’ve been on dozens of those kinds of day tours, and the longer they are, the less fond I am of them. They always require waiting for the slowest person to get back on the coach, and of course you are always traveling in a pack as well. Using the Paris Pass, you can get there in like 35 minutes for about €3.50 each way. And once you are at Versailles you can spend as much or little time there as you please. It’s quite straightforward once you see the instructions once, and your hotel can probably help you as well.

    You could actually do the same thing to see Giverny as well, but it won’t be as much of a savings since it’s not part of the Paris Pass. Best of luck with it all. -Roger

     
Vishal says:

Hi Roger,
First of all let me compliment you for the great job you are doing. I think your advices are very specific and helpful.
I am Planning my first visit to Paris from 16th to 20th September 2104 accompanied by my wife & 4 year old daughter. I want to cover the main sights along with Disneyland. Can you please help with ideal places considering that the child may not like to walk much and if there are some facilities(like Pram or play area) for children at some of the attractions. I am planning to buy a travel pass for 4 days, paris pass seems to expensive so would rather buy a museum pass or individual attractions passes. Please suggest. Thank you in advance.
Vishal

 

    Vishal,

    I wish I could help you more, but I’m not really an expert on child-friendly alternatives to the popular attractions in Paris. In general, Paris (and all of France) is very child friendly so I think you’d be okay going almost anywhere. The article above is meant to help people decide on a Paris Pass or not, and I try to answer questions if people are still unsure. In your case it sounds like you’ve got it figured out, and I’m sure you’ll have a great time. -Roger

     
A. Combes-DaMatta says:

Great article, Roger!! I assume you live in Paris too…? I moved over last year and I just read our article out of interest as a friend who will be visiting soon asked me about that. I agree with all you said, I just wanted to pin point one thing with regards to the Visit Travel card… (not sure if someone else already did..). I’d suggest the NAVIGO card for those visiting for more than 3 days… it costs an average 36.00 Eur (rechargeable card included) weekly pass (Monday to Sunday) zone 1-4 and 38.00 Eur weekly pass (Monday-Sunday) zone 1-5 (Val de Europe where the Designers Outllet & Disneyland are located in zone 5 for those interested…). In fact, as a Parisian, I don’t see much advantage in the “Visit Travel card”…
Best wishes, Aldria

 

    A. Combes-DaMatta,

    No, I don’t live in Paris, but I’ve been there many times and have studied most of the tourism options for years. Thanks for the kind words. The Visit card that comes with the Paris Pass is extremely easy, especially for those who don’t speak much French, but this sounds like a good tip for those choosing to skip the pass and yet want to move around a lot. Much appreciated. -Roger

     
Mariel P says:

Hi Roger,

Good day!

I’m so glad I found this article. There are a lot of very good tips in here.

Anyway, my husband and I will just be in Paris from Oct 23 (8am) to 26, so technically, we’ll just have 2.5 days in Paris.

We are thinking of getting the 4 day Paris Pass to see the major attractions (including Versailles), but based on the feedback here, it seems there won’t be much queues already around this time. Is my understanding correct that we can only use the HO/HO bus access only once the entire 4-day pass? Also, if we do decide to visit Louvre twice in our stay, would this be allowed in the Paris Pass?

Is the Paris Pass only good for one entrance per attraction for the entire duration? I am getting confused. LOL!

Hope you can help us decide if it’s worth getting the pass in the first place.

Thanks again!

Regards,
May

 

    May,

    Always happy to hear that this information is helpful. In October there will still be fairly long queues for the most popular attractions, partly because they usually have fewer ticket windows open after summer is over. Still, if you go to the popular ones early in the day, you should be okay either way.

    Unfortunately, you only get one entry to each included attraction with the Paris Pass, including only one day on the hop-on hop-off bus. However, one day on the bus is really perfect because it’s much better as a city tour than it is as transportation between the attractions. The Pass also includes a transit card for unlimited Metro rides, and that is a MUCH more efficient way of getting around.

    Also, on such a short visit, you probably wouldn’t want to visit the Louvre twice anyway. It’s huge and amazing inside, but I think you’d get more out of visiting another museum or attraction instead.

    It’s hard to decide on a Pass for you, but as I’ve said many times before, you’ll almost certainly have a great time in Paris whether you get a pass or not. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Chris Balding says:

Hi Roger, what a great piece. Just a little of questions. Me and my girlfriend, who is under 26, maybe coming over for our 1st trip to Paris in late November for 3 nights, so 2 whole days and a half day. We both love our museums and art and also want to visit the Notre Dam and of course the Eiffel tower. I was thinking of getting a 2 day card for us but is it really worth it?

 

    Chris,

    Mainly to sum up what’s in the article above, a Paris Pass is great for those who want to see a lot on a short visit, especially if it’s their first visit to Paris. The hop-on, hop-off bus tour and the Seine River Cruise are both really nice ways to get oriented in a hurry. And as long as you intend on going into at least a few of the more expensive museums and other included attractions, it’s probably a wise purchase. The included transit card is also really nice because it allows for unlimited Metro rides, and more visitors take the Metro many times per day on a visit like this.

    But as I also say in the article, Paris is a really lovely place and if you are more in the mood to just wander around and see only a few of the main attractions, I’m sure you’ll enjoy it even without a Paris Pass. Best of luck either way. -Roger

     
      Chris Balding says:

      Cheers for that Roger, Having done some workings out and, with the discount code, It does seem to be worth it. More so for me but even if my partner only used her card for the Bus tour, wine tasting, opera house tour and the river cruise it still comes to 90 euro.

      A couple more questions the metro travel card does that work for both days or only one if we got a 2 day Paris pass Also as we may arrive on the Tues afternoon so we will pick it up then, does the pass , not the metro card, start from then or is it from the 1st time you use it, I.E Wednesday morning?

       
Christine Hines says:

I am arriving in Paris on November 11, 2014. We leave the 18th at 1 in the afternoon. I am travelling with my 18 year old son. We are staying in Arr 11. The first day is a holiday so I thought we should start out at the Eiffel Tower. Any ideas on what else we should do since it is a holiday.

I’m thinking about buying the 6 day Paris pass. We will activate it on the 12 so the 11th we will need to pay for the Metro. The only time we will leave the city is for Versailles. I was thinking about the Louvre on the 12 and Versailles on the 13. I want to hit all the major points and travel with only enough money to eat throughout the day. I have a backpack for my camera, maps and wallet.

We only plan on being out one night for an Opera or show. Can you recommend a show? Other than hitting the major spots we don’t shop or spend a lot of money. We like to jamb it all in and do everything trendy. I would love to see a show at the Palais Garnier. Anything for a budget concious mother you reccomend will be helpful. Also I am nervous about being out at night so as early in the evening as possible.

Do you think the 6 day pass is too ambitious? I like that I am also getting the Metro card. We will probably need it at least twice each day.

Also we are flying into the Charles De Gaulle airport. Staying on Rue Petion in ARR 11. Is it beneficial to arrange for a transfer or a shuttle. Or is this something we could use the Metro to navigate on our own.

Thanks for your help.

 

    Christine,

    It’s difficult for me to make specific recommendations for entertainment options in Paris, partly because I don’t live there. But I have spent quite a bit of time in Paris and I think you’ll feel safer than you realize once you get there. Particularly in the city center, Paris is probably safer than most US cities. There’s a bit of a pickpocketing problem, but that actually happens more during the day, and in specific areas where tourists are easily distracted by street performers and such. If you’ve seen “civil unrest” in Paris on the news, that actually happens way out in the suburbs, far from where you’ll be.

    One reason Paris is quite safe is that there tends to be many people walking around well into the evening. The usual warnings apply in that you shouldn’t go down dark alleys by yourself late at night, but even then, it’s extremely unlikely that anything would happen.

    During the day, just be careful with your camera and how you are carrying your backpack. If you find yourself in a big crowd on the street, there could be someone trying to grab something and run, but again, that advice is the same in any large city, and Paris is far safer than most.

    The nice thing about the 6-day pass is that it doesn’t cost much more than the 4-day pass, so it allows you to see the sights at a more relaxed pace and still get good value. As I mention in the article above, Paris is a gorgeous city and you’ll want to spend some hours just strolling around the central neighborhoods rather than rushing from sight to sight. So since you’ll be there for a week, I think the 6-day pass is a good call, especially if you use a discount code.

    Since you are trying to keep costs down, I’d suggest taking the RER (suburban train) from CDG Airport and then taking the Metro to your hotel. It’s quite straightforward and you’ll be one of hundreds of tourists doing the same thing at the same time. The important signs are also in English.

    Lastly, my best budget tip for Paris is to shift your main meal of the day to lunch, as you can get something fantastic for around €12 that would cost at least €20 in the evening. Look for small neighborhood restaurants that offer a “plat du jour” (meal of the day), which will always be good and usually be great value. There aren’t many chain restaurants in Paris, so these little places are easy to find.

    I hope this helps, and I’m sure you’ll have a great trip. -Roger

     

Does “unlimited use” of the hop-on hop-off bus mean that I can do the trip twice round in one day?

 

    Mary-Lynne,

    Yes, actually you could ride the hop-on hop-off bus many times on the day you choose. The only restriction is that you only get one calendar day of riding the bus around, even if you buy a multi-day Paris Pass. But on the one day you choose, you can ride it all you want. Have a great trip. -Roger

     
Mike C says:

The parispass website says that their pass can only be used once per museum/activity. Is this accurate or can you use it to revisit the same museum on 2 different days?

 

    Mike C,

    Unfortunately it’s true. The whole Paris Pass system is computerized so when they scan your Pass upon entry they know if you’ve visited already. Sorry. -Roger

     
Karen F. says:

I will be in Paris during the week of November 8-13th. This is my first time in Paris, Should I purchase a two day pass, or a 4 day pass? Also, do you know how I should pack for the weather during the month of November?

 

    Karen,

    It’s hard to recommend one pass over another without knowing how many attractions genuinely interest you. It sounds like you’ll have at least 2 non-pass days, which I think is wise. Paris is a beautiful place and you want some time to just stroll around rather than rushing from attraction to attraction. So either pass could work for you since you’ll be there for 6 days.

    As for what to pack, Paris will be cool over those days, but not to the point that you’d need a heavy jacket. In general, people tend to dress up a bit in Paris, unlike many other European cities. And it’s a cliche but it’s true that you should pack layers so you can add or subtract a garment as it gets cooler or warmer. Bon voyage. -Roger

     
Ting Ni says:

Hi! Roger
Thanks for offering so many good advice. We will get to Paris on Xmas evening and be there until Dec. 31 (6 whole days). The questions I have are:
1. Is this period a peak tourist season in Paris? Should we buy a 2-day or a 4-day Paris Pass?
2. Regarding seniors’ discount, What is the age requirement in Paris. We are 60 and 62.
3. What kind of weather will be like in Paris in Dec.? What kind of clothes should we take
Many thanks,
Ting

 

    Ting,

    The last week in the year isn’t really a busy week for the main attractions in Paris. The hotels will be pretty full, but many guests will be families visiting relatives and such.

    Either a 2-day or 4-day Paris Pass could work well for a 6-day visit like that. As long as you have at least a couple of non-pass days to just stroll around and enjoy the neighborhoods, having a pass for the rest should save you time and money. It really depends on how many of the included sights you hope to visit. If it’s only 4 or 5 sights, you can fit them into 2 busy days.

    Unfortunately, Paris doesn’t have many senior discounts at all. The Catacombs has a discount, but the museums consider all adults the same.

    In late December you can obviously expect Paris to be cold, but it rarely gets below freezing and stays there. The average high is 8C/40F, and snowfall is rare, though it could happen if you are unlucky. Have a great trip. -Roger

     

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