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city passes - worth it?

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May 4th, 2011, 09:06 PM
  #1
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city passes - worth it?

Are the city sightseeing or travel passes worth it? We're heading off to London, Paris and Amsterdam mid-June and would like to find out if we need to purchase the city museum/famous sites passes before we depart. How about travel cards? I'll be travelling with my 2 daughters, 17 & 15 and a friend and her 2 sons: 16 & 12. Just tryin' to make the most of our money.
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May 4th, 2011, 09:48 PM
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Whether the Paris Museum & Monuments Pass is worth it mainly depends on how many museums you plan on visiting.

The London Pass is a terrible idea for most visitors,

Can't really help re A'dam . . .
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May 4th, 2011, 11:07 PM
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Travelcards are usually best bought on the spot direct from the local transport organisation. Some will offer one with discounts on various things attached, and it all depends on whether whatever they're offering matches up to what you're likely to want to do.

For me, Paris's Carte Orange and the like look too inflexible and don't suit my usual patterns of travel, so I just buy a carnet of tickets when I need them. But your dates and plans might be ideally suited.

For London, the question of whether travelcards on Oyster, travelcards from a national rail company with 2for1 offers or Oyster-pay-as-you-go, or some combination, has been done to death (for regular visitors to these forums). But either way, you don't gain much by buying in advance. Prepaid passes for attractions aren't much use unless they're kind of thing you want to spend a lot of time doing, but bear in mind that most major museums in London are free anyway.
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May 5th, 2011, 12:24 AM
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Most of the main museums & galleries in London are free, most of the rest are covered by daysoutguide.com which typically gives 2 people entry for the price of 1. So in London a pass is generally a total waste of money.

In Paris with it's mass of paying museums, galleries & long queues a pass is worth it.
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May 5th, 2011, 03:49 AM
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I have only used these cards when they are part of a package (Oslo) as it often means far too many museum visits in almost no time. On the other hand I have often used tourist or other travel passes for a day or longer and saved a lot by so doing.
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May 5th, 2011, 05:29 AM
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I spent a week in Paris and not having to spend time in lines for tickets, plus having all the sights already paid for, made the pass well worth it.

We just returned from Amsterdam with our children (9 and 14) who, while "free" at nearly all the museums, still required a ticket to enter. In this case we just purchased museum tickets online beforehand rather than spend money on the pass for them. We did purchase travel passes, though, for the convenience.
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May 5th, 2011, 05:55 AM
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Both the Amsterdam Museum Pass (actually National Museum Pass valid all over Holland) and the Paris Museum Pass for the typical tourist IMO are great great deals and they also let you skip long lines at ticket windows and entrances in cases like the Louvre, Versailles, etc. Buy them at the museums themselves.
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May 5th, 2011, 05:56 AM
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Never bought a pass in London (other than something for the Tube when we were there for a week). In Paris, the Museum pass is useful if you want to avoid standing in lines to get into the biggies - Louvre, d'Orsay, Pompidou, l'Orangerie. Versailles and Fontainebleau are also covered outside the city. Plus there are many many more. If we are there for more than 3 days we generally get one, but we've been to Paris often enough that on a short trip we may only take in one or two and in that case, it isn't worth it to get the pass.

In Amsterdam, we got a pass for transportation and it was extremely worthwhile.
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May 5th, 2011, 10:34 AM
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For London, not a chance. Go to the days out guide Alan mentioned and print as many 2for1 vouchers as you want, then buy travelcards at a national rail station. London city passes, heritage passes, etc., are overpriced and don't cover many major sites (e.g., about 80% or more of the museums of note, which are free).
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May 5th, 2011, 10:52 AM
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For Paris, the only pass you will want to consider is the Paris Museum pass if you are interested in the museums:

http://www.parismuseumpass.com/

Some might consider the Paris Visite pass as a transportation option but generally a carnet or booklet of 10 individual tickets' t+ discounted at 12€ is all that anyone needs. The 10 t+ tickets may be shared among those in your group.

I have seen a lot of questions recently about the Paris Pass. This is a very overpriced product and while it is comprehensive, no one could possibly avail themselves of all that it covers with the alloted time allocation of the pass. PP is a definite avoid.
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