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Paris: travel/museum passes...buy before?

Paris: travel/museum passes...buy before?

Old Oct 10th, 2001, 11:47 AM
  #1  
Heidi
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Paris: travel/museum passes...buy before?

I saw David's post about Paris, and I noted his mention of the various travel and museum passes. I will purchase these passes, but have heard mixed reviews about buying them before the trip. Is this recommended or is it a rip off? Should we just wait until we get there and buy the passes at the airport?
 
Old Oct 10th, 2001, 12:04 PM
  #2  
Christina
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NO, do not buy before, there is not good reason for doing this and lots of negatives ones. You will pay more, usu 15-30 pct. It is not a "rip off" exactly, you are just paying a travel agent a fee for their service; you need to decide if their service is worth that fee to you. I wouldn't want to buy them at the airport myself unless I were going to take the RER in, but you can, I'd buy them at a major metro station in town after I got settled. I don't know why people buy them ahead, I think some people don't check into it and assume they can't get them in Paris or something; obviously an agent is going to mark them up to get paid something as travel agents want profits. Someone on another board told me that one vendor, Raileurope, does not even give you the pass, they give you a voucher which you then have to go to a metro station to exchange for the pass (and only a limited sets of stations, not all), this makes them even less inconvenient and more time-consuming than buying in Paris, as well as costing more--that was the Paris Visite, I think they did get the museum pass directly.
 
Old Oct 10th, 2001, 01:27 PM
  #3  
Heidi
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Thanks for the quick reply. I considered pre-purchasing mainly because I anticipate being exhausted (and not terribly articulate in French) after my flight in. I'll take your advice and buy the passes in town.
 
Old Oct 10th, 2001, 02:49 PM
  #4  
David
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I second what Christina said and would add that in addition to being able to get both passes at major Metro stations, you can also pick up the museum pass at most museums. Like the Metro pass, museums passes are for a certain number of days. Unlike the Metro pass YOU write in the date on the Museum pass so that it doesn't actually start until you use it for the first time (I left this part out in my reply to you on my posting). Because of this feature, you can purchase your museum pass at the same time you buy your Metro pass even if you're not planning to use it (the museum pass) that same day. I also gave you a little more info (not more than Christina, just different )on my posting if you wish to check back there.

David
 
Old Oct 10th, 2001, 05:44 PM
  #5  
k smith
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Definitely wait. We did expect to be tired when we arrived and waited until the next day where we first visited Musee d'Orsay (we never metroed after our arrival). It was so easy even with limited French. There were signs outside the main entrance telling you to go to the Gift Shop next door. No lines or waits for the pass or at entrances after that. I was happily surprised at the ease of the museum pass. It is definitely the way to go!!!
 
Old Oct 10th, 2001, 07:13 PM
  #6  
Harvey
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Last week the gift shop at the Orsay had a sign which said "no museum passes". You can buy them at most big metro stations. It is really a good idea to keep asking and answering this type of questions here as the answers keep changing as the policies in Paris (and elsewhere) change.
 
Old Oct 11th, 2001, 11:46 AM
  #7  
Christina
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Just to add, you can buy all transportation passes and the museum pass at rail stations and major metro stations--that means metro stations with several lines going through them, a lot are like that. I would suggest you just get them at a metro station. I was there in July and the d'Orsay also had no passes in their gift shop at that time and the nearest metro station also did not as they were sold out. It's a good idea to buy them at a metro station which is not the station nearest to the Louvre or Orsay museums. YOu can also buy them at tourist offices if you happen to be at one, although many people aren't (the main one is at 127 av Champs-Elysees). And, as David said, you can get the museum pass at any museum on their list, of course, but that won't work if the first one you want to go to has long lines (the Museum of Legion of Honor or something very near the Orsay also was out of them as people would try to get them in there to go to the Orsay).
 

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