COVID-19 Travel Advisory: Stay up to date with the latest on the coronavirus pandemic.   Learn More >

Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

France Tourisme - Is it a reliable tour company?

France Tourisme - Is it a reliable tour company?

Old Mar 30th, 2015, 10:14 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 94
France Tourisme - Is it a reliable tour company?

Hi everyone.

We are going to Paris on 21st April, 2015 for 3 days.

I recently stumbled upon this website http://www.francetourisme.fr and they seem to have quite competitive tours for Paris.

I had been trying to know if it is a genuine company before making any online payment. Has any of you ever used its services? Is it a reliable company?

In the alternative can you suggest any portals for cheapest tickets for Paris sightseeings.

As regards Eiffel Tower, as expected the tickets are sold out on the official website. Does it make sense to go there and buy the tickets on the spot? Is April end expected to be crowded with big queues?

Thanks

Shveta
Shveta is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2015, 12:40 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 2,552
I've never taken one of their tours but they are a well known company that has been around for a while so in that sense I would say they are reliable. As for how good they are I have no idea so I'd look for reviews.

In regards to the cheapest tickets always look first at the official website for any site or attraction you want to visit. If you are looking at "skip the line" type of tickets then that is a different category. Really, the only sites you might want to "skip the line" for would be The Eiffel Tower and Versailles. Perhaps you could also include The Louvre and the Musée d'Orsay as well but even at these two attractions waiting in line for tickets won't be excessive (i.e. one hour ticket lines). I suppose Sainte-Chapelle might also be added to this category. If you can buy on-line tickets for these sites that is also a way to skip ticket lines. You might want to look into the Paris Museum Pass:

http://en.parismuseumpass.com/

Versailles has guided tours (offered on their website) where you will skip lines as you'll be with an official guide and use a separate entrance. Never been up the Eiffel Tower so others can advise about that. While you can get "skip the line" tickets for Louvre and Orsay you'll still have to wait in security lines but they aren't terribly long but make sure you don't use the pyramid entrance at the Louvre if there is a very long visible line. Alternate Louvre entrances usually have shorter security lines than the pyramid entrance because people standing in that line generally don't know about other entrances.

What specific tour(s) are you considering? You should post links. Personally I don't think you need anything more than maybe the Paris Museum Pass or on-line advance tickets and maybe if visiting Versailles then consider the private tour otherwise there is still the security line even with the Museum Pass or advance tickets.

There is no way to predict on what days there may be long lines at popular sites and attractions such as these so there is no one period during any month that you can predict long lines other than to say that in general you'll encounter more tourists in Paris from April through October than from November through March.
FrenchMystiqueTours is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2015, 03:46 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
Is not this the official site of the Paris Tourist Office, a government entity - how trusty is the Paris government if so is the question. Good as gold if so.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2015, 06:29 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 6,821
The official sites are
http://int.rendezvousenfrance.com/en
http://www.france.fr/
neckervd is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2015, 07:05 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 495
http://www.francetourisme.fr/france-tourisme-en.html

Above link that OP listed gives info on who the company is, lists places in Paris that you can purchase tickets.

"OUR BOOKING AGENCIES IN THE HEART OF PARIS :
Located near the Louvre, Opera and Saint-Michel/Notre-Dame, our agencies are open daily .
Our team is composed of multilingual professionals who perfectly master France destination."

Seem to be very reliable, I would book with them.

Eiffel Tower is always busy and you have to purchase your tickets in advance if you want to go to the top. We visited in Dec. and I bought our tickets on line before we left home. I was glad I did as there was almost no available time slots left when I booked. They only let so many up at a time. We were with a private tour guide we booked to show us around Paris as we were only there for a day. He brought us to the entrance line for the ascent and our assigned time and told us to wait there til they let us go in. Worked out great! Such a sight at the top, would recommend it. Very crowded and pickpocket warnings for the top.

If tickets are all sold out I would doubt you would be able to purchase any when you arrive but you never know. Worth a try at least. The only other option might be to book with an agency that sells tickets and tours. You will pay more money this way but if you really want to go to the top and tickets on Eiffel Tower website are all gone it would be worth paying the extra money.

Here is an agency I found:
http://www.citywonders.com/en/france/paris/paris-tours

http://paris.easypasstours.com

http://www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Sk...EIFFELTOWERSTL

Good luck. Hope you enjoy Paris!
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2015, 09:26 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,952
They are a perfectly legit company.. friends have taken their tours.. and I tried to ,, but the day I went into their offices their tours were full!!
They have been around for years.. have a proper office etc.. brochures etc.. and yes.. their prices are very good compared to the other big bus company Pariscityvisions, ($$$)
justineparis is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2015, 01:46 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
French Tourist Office for France tourism, travel & tours; Paris ...
www.francetourism.com/

this is why I thought this firm was a French government entity - "French Tourist Office" and it turns out not to be - rather misleading I guess as the company is private and uses www.frenchtourisme.fr - if this subterfuge is any indication I would not trust what they say?
PalenQ is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2015, 03:43 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 3,393
I'm in Paris now and just booked a night tour by bus of the city. Tried for one tonight but they were booked solid. Place was packed, at least the one across from the Louvre, steps from the Louvre-Rivoli Metro stop.

I'll tell you how the bus tour was tomorrow.
apersuader65 is offline  
Old Mar 31st, 2015, 10:02 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,952
Palen.. they are completely legit.. have been running tours for many many years.. nothing sneaky about them.. their name never confused me.. and the tour to Normandy and the D Day beaches my friends took was apparently exactly what they wanted .. ( its a long day.. most people recommend you do it as an overnight.. but for those with limited time , the big bus tour does the trick.. a long expensive day .. but easy enough)
justineparis is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2015, 05:11 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,322
justineparis' word is good enough for me - must be a very reputable company - he/she knows what they are talking about IME.
PalenQ is offline  
Old Apr 1st, 2015, 06:40 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,952
they are reputable.. but they also run big bus tours.. and those are rarely anyones highlights... you and 49 other people on a bus.. long rides for daytrips etc.. but they are not "fly by night" having operated out of very expensive real estate in Paris for at least the last decade ( that I can attest to.. maybe much longer).

There prices are however slightly more reasonable then the other big bus company.. and basically they offer exact same product( compare itineraries between their tours and those of Pariscityvisions).. Pariscityvisions is somehow connected to Grayline.. and I think that reassures many North American tourists however.
justineparis is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 07:11 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,310
In Paris lines are long at most sightseeing places. Try getting tickets ahead of time.
But if not possible then go very early in the morning and the wait time is not too bad.
We were in Paris last year in May and had no problems obtaining tickets anywhere.
Have a memorable trip.
ileen is online now  
Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 07:25 AM
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 94
Hi!

Thanks everyone.

Eiffel tickets are sold out big time. Even the agency in question is sold out for the dates. The other agencies are charging a lot extra for a Eur 9/15.5 ticket. Is it worth paying the extra money?

Would you guys know of any other agency that sells reasonable Eiffel tickets? France tourisme is offering Eiffel ticket with Siene Cruise for Eur 25!

I only wanted to book the Moulin Rouge ticket with a hotel drop off with this agency and it was working out quite reasonable. The official site does not provide the option of a hotel drop off and not sure if it is safe enough to walk out of the show to the taxi stand and take a taxi from there so was thinking of pre booking it.

A related question was is booking the show tickets in advance recommended or are they easily available in which case we would prefer to buy the ticket when in Paris?

For the Louvre ticket, does it make sense to take a guided tour or is it fairly simple to manage on your own once inside. The main attraction is obviously Mona lisa and Venus de Milo.

Thanks Justineparis for your reassuring words. I guess I can safely go ahead and book the show tickets with them.
Shveta is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 07:36 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,952
For Louvre I would not bother with a tour ( although they do offer a free one once or twice a day) I personally just like to rent the audio guide and do it myself ( and have been over a dozen times now).. allow yourself enough time to enjoy it.. there will be major crowds in some sections.. but some areas are quieter.. take time to leave museum.. go for a coffee or lunch .. and return.. better then forcing yourself to do a 5 hour slog through it is to break it up.

Eiffel Tower.
If you are remotely fit.. ie( can you comfortably walk a mile or two ) .. then take the stairs.. I did and it didn't kill me ,, it did save me hours in a line however. Wait for stair line was about 20 minutes one day in July.. the wait for the elevator was in the HOURS.. so.. ( ps I do not go to a gym, I do not jog, I am well into my middle age)

IF the Eiffel Tower and cruise tickets are a skip the long line entry.. then 25 euros is a great deal.. but I would clarify that its not just two separate tickets and you still have to wait in long line..

I am sorry.. cannot advise positively about Moulin Rouge.. did it once many years ago and did not like it.. way too crowded and frankly.. a bit cheesy.. only tourists go.. my relatives an friends who live in Paris.. not one of them has ever been. Its a tourist thing. I do understand some tourists really look forward to it and enjoy it however.
justineparis is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 07:39 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 94
All the sites that I tried, including the ones mentioned above by Luv2travel, are selling tickets for Eur 55-60. Not sure if it is worth it.
Shveta is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 07:44 AM
  #16  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 94
Thanks Justineparis, walking a mile or two is not an issue at all. So makes sense to go for the stairs line rather than spending so much extra on the skip the line tickets.
Shveta is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 08:11 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,952
Line for stairs is on the "Sud Pilar" ( south foot) of tower. Ticket is a bit cheaper too.
You can walk to the first and second levels.

Once you get to the second level you can choose to line up there to get tickets to the top level. Personally I would not bother ( I have had to however as son wanted to go right to top) its small up there and the views from the second level are excellent.. stuff just looks smaller and farther away from top.. and if its a hazy day views from top not impressive.
Line up for top tickets from second level is not as bad as line for elevators from base.. as most folks who make it to the second level already got their tickets to the summit from the ground. ( it is separate elevators.. two go to second level , then you would have to transfer to the separate elevator that does summit only)
justineparis is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 03:13 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 495
Only you can decide if you want to spend the extra money. As suggested you can walk and there aren't that many steps to the top. It's a zoo no matter where, so many people and so crowded, you just keep moving around so you don't get squished! LOL We thought it was worth going to the top but as justineparis says maybe the 2nd level would be sufficient. You really can't hang around at the top but have to keep walking around the perimenter of the tower. Views were outstanding the day we were there so photo ops were fantastic.

I think the combo ticket to Eiffel and Seine River cruise is a good price so why not book that? You can cruise on the Seine and see the Eiffel Tower - the best of both worlds.
Luv2travel15 is offline  
Old Apr 2nd, 2015, 11:33 PM
  #19  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 94
The Eiffel and cruise combo is not available for my travel dates else would have grabbed it : (

Queuing up for the stairs sounds a better option to me than spending so much extra!

The other help I needed was regarding the Metro. We will be in Paris for 2.5 days and are putting up in 9th arr (Hotel Eugene En Ville). Should we buy the metro tickets as we hop or is it more economical to buy the pass, if any?

The main places we would cover would be:

1. Eiffel
2. Louvre
3. Arc de Triomphe
4. Notre Dame

Thanks again
Shveta is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
harvmatic
Europe
7
Jan 15th, 2018 08:33 AM
texasdebb
Europe
13
Apr 5th, 2014 06:36 AM
lucy_pugh_5
Europe
8
Mar 18th, 2014 04:25 AM
Rubi_Niner
Europe
19
Jun 15th, 2013 10:48 AM
ABCDEFG
Europe
13
Oct 14th, 2011 01:25 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

FODOR'S VIDEO