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Best transportation pass to see Paris and surrounding areas?

Best transportation pass to see Paris and surrounding areas?

Old Aug 21st, 2001, 12:38 PM
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Best transportation pass to see Paris and surrounding areas?

Tried to do a search on this site but am getting conflicting info. What is the best weekly pass to use to get around on the busses, Metro and RER? Not only do we want to travel freely around Paris but also to outlying areas such as Versailles, Giverny and even to and from the airport (CDG). Thanks!
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 12:44 PM
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it all depends on the duration and frequency of travel - i would get the weekly paris pass which works on the city metro and buses and pay the extra for the trips to versailles, giverny and airport .... and there is so much to do in paris, i'd skip versailles or giverny
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 12:58 PM
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Basically, Paris public transport system is divided into five travel zones (it goes out to eight zones but one shouldn't need to venture this far while being a tourist). Zones one and two cover the center sections of the city. As you move farther from the center traveling on the regional rail lines, metros, or bus lines the more your ticket will cost.
A "Carte Orange" is avalable for the week beginning on Monday through Sunday.
Zones 1-2 cost 87francs
Zones 1-3 cost 116francs
Zones 1-4 cost 145francs
Carte Orange monthly travel passes are also avalable. Both weekly and monthly passes require you to have a photo taken(photo booths are avalable at most major station stops) and attached to the pass.
One can also purchase a "carnet of 10" tickets. The price for metro tickets went up in June. I believe that a carnet or set of ten tickets costs 61francs now, but still a better deal than buying single tickets.
Single ticket cost: 8.50ff
10 tickets fill fare: 61ff
10 tickets child age 4-11: 30.50ff
A ticket (unless it is monthly pass or the Paris Visite card) is only good for one trip. As you enter the turnstile you slip the ticket into the required slot, and take it out when it pops up on top as you proceed through the turnstile. Once you exit a station that ticket you use cannot be used again. Actually if you put it though at another station the turnstile will spit it out the other end with a buzz. You can still change to corresponding lines that connect you to a line for a direction you need to travel. Even if you go in the wrong direction you can always switch at the next stop to the correct way as long as you don't go through an exit or "sortie."
[Note: You must be in possession of a valid ticket at all times whilst on the RATP network. Your ticket is liable to a check control by staff at any moment during your trip (metro, RER bus, etc.). They do this to catch the gate jumpers that don't pay the fare. This just means you should try and hang on to your ticket till you exit at your destination. Fare dodging is liable to an on-the-spot penalty fine.]

There is another option to buying a metro pass this is the Paris Visit card:
One day: zone 1-3 child 30ff, reg 55ff zone 1-5 child 55ff, reg 110ff zone 1-8 child 75ff, reg 155ff
Two days: zone 1-3 child 45ff, reg 90ff zone 1-5 child 85ff, reg 175ff zone 1-8 child 110ff, reg 225ff
Three days: zone 1-3 child 60ff, reg 120ff zone 1-5 child 120ff reg 275ff zone 1-8 child 140ff, reg 280ff
Five days: zone 1-3 child 90ff, reg 175ff zone 1-5 child 150ff reg 300ff zone 1-8 child 175ff reg 350ff
In this case child's price is between ages 4 and 11
Children under four ride free
(Versailles is in zone 4)
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 12:59 PM
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there is no definite answer, it depends on how much you will really use the local transit system; a lot of tourists who only stay in central area walk a lot and don't really need one of the major passes; you wouldn't need it if you only take a couple trips a day, just buy a set of 10 tickets (called a "carnet") for which you get a discount when buying in 10. Anyway, none of the passes go to Giverny, that's a regular train. It would probably not pay you to buy the pass for greater geographic area just for two trips, Versailles and CDG, but it might -- if you wish to do that, you must then buy a pass for zones 1-5. If you did not want it for those areas, you could get by with a pass only for zones 1-2. Anyway, weekly passes vary and some are only good beginning on Mon whereas the tourist pass can be initiatied on any day you choose. I think people worry about this Paris metro pass stuff too much, the difference in costs are not much in your overall budget.
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 01:02 PM
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PS I cross-posted with Michael; not sure why he didn't include it, but a Carte Orange coupon can be bought for zones 1-5 also, which you will need for CDG. There is lots of info on this at www.parisvisite.tm.fr and www.ratp.fr
Old Aug 21st, 2001, 01:14 PM
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By myself, I never get a pass. I walk so much that I might use 2 tickets a day at most, so I just buy a carnet. Leftovers are for the next trip. To Versailles, or Chartres, or wherever, I buy the ticket on the spot. Sometimes, I just don't feel like making a trek, so no blood, no foul. If I'd bought a 5 or 8 zone pass, I wasted money. From CDG, I take the RER and buy a separate ticket. Or there's the airport bus that NO pass covers...or maybe I'm just tired and cranky and get a cab.

Now, if I've got a half dozen girls in tow, I get Paris Visites for everybody because it's just easier than trying to get them all separate tickets and making sure they don't try to put used tickets in the turnstile (believe me, that's happened).

I agree with Christina; don't fret over which pass. The difference in cost is minimal and not worth getting into a tizzy.
Old Aug 22nd, 2001, 04:41 PM
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I am sold on The Open Tour double decker busses which make continuous circle to all of the main attraction and Museums in Paris. It's Hop on/Hop Off. Stay as long as like at an attraction,go back to the Bus stop and continue on. It was great. They also give you headphone with a running commentary. It was a great way to see the city above ground (didnt like the Metro) You can purchase the tickets right on the bus. They are Lemon Yellow Green in color and we had a great time in Paris last May.

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