Paris Visite vs Carte Orange

Feb 7th, 2002, 10:54 AM
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Paris Visite vs Carte Orange

Can someone tell me the difference between these two passes? We will be in Paris from Sunday to Sunday so the Orange seems to be the best deal. What does the Visite offer that the Orange does not? We plan to go to Versaille and Disney via metro. Would either of these include this? Thanks.
Feb 7th, 2002, 11:12 AM
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There has just been a thread on these two cards (I started it!), which should still be in the top 100 if not top 50 threads.

Paris Visite includes transport AND some discounts at various attractions and shops.

Carte Orange covers only travel, and can be bought weekly or monthly. It runs from Monday to Sunday though, so if you arrive on, say Saturday, it's not so good.

If you are planning to do more than 15 trips on the metro/ bus or RER during your stay, it is financially worthwhile, if your days fit in with its Monday to Sunday limitations.

Also consider the 1 day Mobilis passes.

I will top the other thread for you.
Feb 7th, 2002, 11:19 AM
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If you are there Sun-Sun, the Orange should be your best bet as that is its time frame (the weekly one, obviously). The only thing I know of the Visite offers is some discounts at a few attractions or museums (odd ones, check the list, not the biggies), and I did find out it offers a nice discount at musuem shops (which could make it worthwhile if you planned a lot of that). Those are the main attractions I see, other than the flexibility of start dates and no photo. Also, they force you to buy at least 3 zones for the Paris Visite and most people only need two for central Paris. You can go to Versailles and Disney on either pass IF you buy it for the right zones. Versailles is zone 4 and Disney zone 5, so you'd need to buy a 1-5 zone pass in either case. You can also get price reductions for children on the Paris Visite but not Carte Orange, and the Paris Visite does not require an ID photo and can start any day of the week, not just Sunday. YOu can find out the discounts on the Paris Visite by going to

Be aware that some ticket vendors may not want to sell you the Carte Orange if you are not a resident, depends on their mood and the tourists' behavior, I think.
Feb 7th, 2002, 11:23 AM
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oh, yeah, I erred on the time frame for the Carte Orange, it does start Monday so you will miss a day. Depending on your plans, you may not really need one (if you mainly stay in central Paris and you could buy indiv. tickets for zones 4-5 that may be cheaper than buying that weekly pass).
Feb 7th, 2002, 11:29 AM
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Christina: Why in the world would you say some vendors don't what to sell you the pass because your not a resident, I think. Comments like that just shows your unintellence to travel. You shouldn't even comment if you don't know.
Feb 7th, 2002, 01:06 PM
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Tim, Christina is absolutely correct. I know several people who were refused and didn't argue(probably weren't fluent enough to do so). I have heard that it really is supposed to be for residents not tourists, but we all use them.
Feb 7th, 2002, 01:11 PM
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I agree with Christina, too. The last time I checked the RATP web site, if you clicked 'English' there was no mention of Carte Orange, but if you left it in 'French' then there was information presented about it. Nonetheless, I have bought one the last 4 times to Paris, best to go to a major station to get it perhaps. Not sure, but you may be able to buy them out of the machines now, just affix the photo to it yourself.
Feb 7th, 2002, 01:12 PM
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You know, that may be true. When we were in Paris several years ago we purchased museum passes at a nearby metro station. Managed to do so with some limited French and a bit of English. The guy in the booth spoke English back to us. As we stepped aside after our purchase, another American spoke English and tried to purchase the Carte Orange. Booth guy held up his hands and shrugged as if he didn't understand. Whether he was peeved at the lack of attempted French, or he didn't want to sell the Carte Orange to the guy, still not sure.
Feb 7th, 2002, 01:27 PM
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to hmmmm,
I presume another american did not start the conversation with

Parlez-vous anglais?

Before talking in English?
Feb 7th, 2002, 03:32 PM
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Sorry, it's no longer a choice according to Rick Steve's new 2002 book. Apparently they will no longer sell the Carte Orange to non-French citizens.
Feb 8th, 2002, 05:29 AM
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>>>Apparently they will no longer sell the Carte Orange to non-French citizens.

What?! I always buy the Carte Orange, because for me, it's definitely the best deal! How do they check for citizenship? I do speak French, however, and if I just simply ask for one in French, maybe they'll sell it to me when I'm there in a few weeks....

Feb 8th, 2002, 09:48 AM
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Just got back from Paris 2 weeks ago. There was six of us with photo in hand. Had no problem buying the pass and I speak no french except the hi, bye and thank-you.
Feb 8th, 2002, 11:22 AM
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I haven't read what Rick Steves said, but I wouldn't necessarily trust him. The official Paris Tourist Office may have given him comments, knowing he writes a guidebook for many Americans. I don't think it has anything to do with citizenship, it is residency. If you are a permanent resident of Paris, there would be no problem, and that is easy to check with ID.

I have had personal correspondence in French with RATP, and read some other memo which was translated to English to someone else from RATP and also one from the Tourist Office to a travel publication (Frommers), and they were different responses. They absolutely do not want to promote this to tourists, and I don't blame them, the metro system is not a profit-maker, it is subsidized by the govt. because they believe in promoting public transportation for their residents; thus they pay for it in taxes. However, I do not think there really is any law about it, they just don't want to promote it at all so it is not translated into English on their web site and I imagine any official correspondence to Mr. Steves would say that, as the memo to Frommers also said it was not for tourists (but it did not say there was any law or regulation, the language was nuanced). The language in something I read from someone else who queried RATP on this was in English, and because I know French fairly well, I know some of the words were ambiguous as to how they would translate from French to English and vice versa (regarding whether is is really not allowed or just not "intended" for tourists).

I myself have observed certain tourists behaving rather rudely and imperiously with the metro clerks (sorry, they were Americans, but could be any country), shouting, demanding, etc in English, not even trying to figure things out, and I would get tired of that myself, if I were a clerk in one of the prime tourist metro spots.
Feb 8th, 2002, 11:56 AM
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Way back in 1996 on our first trip to Europe, we tried to purchase the Carte Orange for a Sunday-Sunday stay in Paris. Even though I requested it in polite French, I was refused because I was not a resident. I didn't argue with the metro attendent or try to purchase one at another station- we just used carnets all week and it worked out fine.

How did he know I wasn't a resident? Even with my pretty good French, my Texas accent probably showed through.
Feb 8th, 2002, 12:43 PM
Doug Weller
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We were in Paris February 2001. Went to a French Tourist Office, asked in English where to buy the Carte Orange, were told the local Metro station, went there and with very fractured French were sold 2. No problems at all.

Mar 11th, 2002, 07:34 AM
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To the top for Barbara
Mar 11th, 2002, 08:14 AM
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Here is my understanding of the situation based on reading and listening to other threads.

The Carte Orange is indeed a pass sold for Monday to Sunday and is evidently the best buy if your trips fits in that time frame.

I cannot decipher whether there is a prohibition on selling the pass to non resident of the Paris area. The pass is meant for residents of the area but when I queried the RATP, they would not come out and say there is a prohibition on selling the pass to anybody.

Most people report they have no difficulty in buying the pass when they try. Every so often somebody says a clerk refused to sell it. Now whether the clerks who sell it are simply not bothering to follow the official policy or whether they should don't want to hassle with anybody as all anybody cares about is if the money comes out correct at the end is simply not clear.

Apparently, the system does not work the same in Paris as in London i.e in London if you buy a weekly pass and are making one trip outside the validity area of the pass you get an extension ticket. So if you buy the local Carte Orange and choose to go to Disneyland, you apparently have to buy a return to Disneyland (actually the mobilis pass I think it is called) for that day.

Guess that doesn't really clear it up, does it....
Mar 11th, 2002, 08:25 AM
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Christina is correct, it can be difficult for non-residents to get the Carte Orange since it is for residents (those who commute on the Metro) not for tourists. The fact that it is sold only in a one week format indicates that it is for residents who use the Metro to go to work (primarily weekdays) and not tourits. We have family in Paris and they told us the Carte Orange was not devised for visitors.
Mar 11th, 2002, 03:59 PM
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Mar 11th, 2002, 05:34 PM
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I got one last May. The nice thing is that once you get it, you keep the C.O. and just replace the weekly coupon, which is available from a machine (no risk of someone turning you down. Nowhere on the RATP site does it indicate that the C.O. is only for residents.

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