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-   -   Museum/Metro passes in Paris: Cheaper here or there? (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/museum-metro-passes-in-paris-cheaper-here-or-there-184964/)

Rod Sep 4th, 2001 09:54 AM

Museum/Metro passes in Paris: Cheaper here or there?
 
Going to Paris at the end of the month. Planning to buy museum and transportation passes and are wondering if it's better (or cheaper) to do it here in the U.S. or once we're in Paris. Advantages? Disadvantages? <BR>Thanks.

Liz Sep 4th, 2001 10:00 AM

There is no advantage to buying ahead. Cheaper and very simple to buy there.

pasquale Sep 4th, 2001 10:07 AM

So how do you buy them, how much are they, and where do you buy them?

Liz Sep 4th, 2001 10:11 AM

At metro stations. <BR> <BR>for info: <BR>http://www.intermusees.com/wwwie/index.html <BR>www.ratp.fr

elaine Sep 4th, 2001 10:11 AM

There is no advantage to buying the museum pass any place other than in Paris as it is quite easy to do there. <BR>You can buy it in participating museums (pick a small one), <BR>most metro and train stations, tourist information offices, some hotel front desks,etc. <BR>By a transportation pass, which one do you mean? <BR>The Carte Orange hebdomadaire allows you an unlimited number of voyages for a whole week from Monday to Sunday. It's the most frequent choice by Parisians and probably <BR>the best value for money if you'll be there a week or close to it and if you'll be using the metro or buses a lot. You will need a passport-sized photo. For the Carte Orange, you'll be given a small ticket, a card, and a plastic holder. There are photo machines at some metro stations, or just bring one with you, as long as your face in the photo is about 1". When you purchase your card, fill out the back, attach the photo, seal it in the plastic holder, also store the ticket in the holder. Use the ticket in the automated metro turnstiles; on buses you'll just show the card. As someone on this forum once pointed out,the English version of the Paris transport website www.ratp.fr doesn't show the Carte Orange because they want to encourage visitors to buy the much more expensive <BR>Carte Visite. Stay in the French version, click on Voyager at the top, and then on tous les traifs in the 2nd column to see the costs. Carte Orange hebdomadaire: This ticket allows you an unlimited number of voyages for a whole week from Monday to Sunday. The most frequent choice by Parisians and probably <BR>the best value for money if you'll be there a week or close to it. You will need a passport-sized photo. For the Carte Orange, you'll be given a small ticket, a card, and a plastic holder. There are photo machines at some metro stations, or just bring one with you. A Polaroid will do, as long as your face is about 1". When you purchase your card, fill out the back, attach the photo, seal it in the plastic holder, also store the ticket in the holder. Use the ticket in the automated metro turnstiles; on buses you'll just show the card. The English version of www.ratp.fr doesn't show the Carte Orange because they want to encourage visitors to buy the much more expensive <BR>Carte Visite. Stay in the French version, click on Voyager at the top, and then on tous les traifs in the 2nd column to see the costs. <BR> <BR>In December 2000, one Fodor's poster suggested that if you are arriving in Paris on a Mon, Tues, or Wed and also if you are using the RER to and from CDG airport, it would be worth it to buy a Carte Orange Hebdomadaire (weekly). It will cover the fare to and from the airport, fare to Versailles if you will be going, and still be worth it for metro travel within Paris for 5 days. If you will not be using the RER from CDG airport, but still arriving on Mon, Tues, or Wed, then buy a Carte Orange for zones 1 and 2, which is worth it if you will be using the metro or bus for at least 3 journeys each day. If you are arriving on other days, buy only a carnet (bunch of 10 tickets) and separate airport tickets. <BR> <BR>I've been to Paris, since the first few trips I've used taxis to and from the airports, and I have not used a metro pass. I don't find that I use transportation enough times each day to make it worth it. I take a ride to one destination and seem to spend most of my days walking, perhaps one more ride later in the day, or if it starts to rain. <BR>We all have different styles of <BR>sightseeing and strolling however. <BR> <BR>

Christina Sep 4th, 2001 10:13 AM

You buy a museum pass at a museum or monument (assuming it's one included on the pass, most are, Arc de Triomphe and Pantheon are major monuments on it). You buy a metro pass at a metro station. YOu can also buy the museum pass at a major metro station or the Tourist Office (127 av Champs-Elysees). There is tons of info on the museum pass on its own web site (www.intermusees.com) and on www.parisvisite.tm.fr The latter is also about the tourist transportation pass which you can also read about on the metro agency web site www.ratp.fr

elaine Sep 4th, 2001 10:13 AM

sorry for the redundancy, I got distracted while I was typing <BR>

Book Chick Sep 4th, 2001 10:17 AM

Rod, <BR>It definitely is cheaper to purchase there. You can buy a one day, three day or five day pass & they are about $11, $23, & $34 respectively. Most major museums & Metro stations sell them. <BR>Bon Voyage! <BR>BC

mary kay Sep 4th, 2001 06:15 PM

We bought our Cartes Musee passes at the Metro station nearest our hotel. This was in Oct. '99. I had tried unsuccessfully to order the passes online, but no response. Glad I waited, since it was very simple to just walk up to the Metro ticket window and buy the pass. Don't buy the pass at the museum -- that is the very line you are striving to bypass!!

elvira Sep 4th, 2001 06:45 PM

I've bought my museum passes in the museum shop next to the d'Orsay, but someone posted that's no longer available. Another time, at Balzac's house (believe me, there ain't no line). I've also bought them at metro stops (St Michel). For the metro passes, pretty much any metro stop will have them. The only time I bought ahead was when I was in charge of 10 women going to Paris and the convenience outweighed the cost (ever seen 10 women milling about while someone buys tickets? It's ugly). <BR> <BR>Don't waste your bo-do-di-oh-dough; buy when you get there. <BR> <BR>The Carte Orange is great if you're using it Mon/Tues thru Sunday, but if you're in Paris Wed-Wed, buy the Paris Visite (it starts the day you first use it). Don't buy a zone 1-8 of any pass, buy a zone 1-5 if you're taking the RER to/from the airport and/or going to Versailles; zone 1-3 if you're using it just inside Paris city limits. <BR> <BR>The Paris Visite does offer some discounts (like 10% off purchases at Galeries Lafayette, twofers on the Canauxrama).

sandyc Sep 4th, 2001 11:19 PM

rod, <BR> <BR>everyone is right. it is cheaper to purchase there. since most of my group has been before we are only buying the 3 day carte musee this time and trying to do most of the sites again in those 2 or 3 days. <BR> <BR>we are arriving mid week and will purchase the paris viste. i have only one dissenting vote here. we are going to buy the 5 day zone 1-8. I know you only need 1-5 to get to versailles, but zone 8 will almost take you to chartres with maybe a $5 supplement. we priced he difference. zone 1-5 is 300 frances or about $42. zone 1-8 is 350 frances for about $50 dollars. it will cost us around $25 dollars for round trip tickets to chartres, even with zone 1-5. by buying that zone 1-8 we still come out cheaper, and if we decided to take more trips into the suburbs we are covered. <BR> <BR>if we didn't take any other day trip but versailles i would agree zone 1-5 would be the ticket. <BR> <BR>sandy c

Christina Sep 5th, 2001 01:39 PM

Sandy, I was wondering how you intended to get to Chartres from the RER using a zone 8 pass? You mentioned a $5 supplement which I don't understand. Last I knew the RER didn't go to Chartres (although I know they are extending some lines) and zones 6-8 were not anywhere near Chartres, either, being only in the S/SE of Paris some places tourists would never go. I can't think of anything in zones 6-8 that would be a place a tourist would want to go. Where did you get the information on this trip, I've never seen anything on taking the RER to Chartres. In any case, Versailles is really in zone 4 except they don't sell the Paris Visite for that zone, so you have to buy 1-5, but a RT train ticket from Versailles to Chartres (which is what some people do) is only 130F or about $18 right now. I would just go for convenience and take the train the entire route from Montparnasse station to Chartres for just a little more, that ticket is about $20 RT (76F each way), but that's all the way from Paris. Anyway I was wondering where you're going in zone 8 to get to Chartres and what the supplement you are referring to is? I know it's hard to find these things out sometime as I believe they've extended the northern D line to Chantilly (very convenient) but that's not on any maps I have, either.


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