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Which metro or museum pass should we get.

Which metro or museum pass should we get.

Old Dec 10th, 2002, 06:33 PM
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Which metro or museum pass should we get.

will be in Paris for 5 Days Arriving Late on January 1 (Wednesday) and Leaving on January 7 (Tuesday). We want to see and do as much as we can.
What would be the best type of pass for the many sights (Museum Pass???) Is it worth it, Advantages and Disadvantages? How much and how do I get it?
Which Metro Pass or plan would suit us best. We are staying in the 7e.
Old Dec 10th, 2002, 09:56 PM
erin b
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hi john,

I actually have this answer since I have been to paris 3 times now.

For paris, the metro pass and the museum pass are definitely:

paris viste-metro
carte musee-museum

Do not buy thru your travel agent or online tour groups, it is definitely less expensive to buy both in paris.

You can purchase the paris viste at any major metro stop. You can buy a 1 day, 2day,3day or 5 day. each one of these are sold by zone coverage 1-3 zone, 1-5 zone, and 1-8 zone. most tourists only need the 1-3 zone, but if you are traveling outside the city, the 1-8 zone can help lower the cost of those trips. an adult pass for 5 days 1-3 zone costs about 26 euro's in paris.

check out the metro site in english at:


now for the museum pass, the carte musee. This pass gets you into so many places. You can purchase this at the main tourist office on the champs elysees. buying it in paris is also cheaper. it will get you into about 70 different sites including the louvre without having to wait in line. you can buy a 1 day, 3day or 5 day. I recommend the 3 day pass.

you can buy that on the net also, but i would wait. 2 years running we arrived in paris only to hear that the museums were on a strike. both years the strike was on the whole time until the last day. since we waited to buy the pass, we did not waste our money.

have fun!
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 07:43 AM
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John, You can also purchase the museum pass at most metro stations and at any of the musuems covered by it (so you could buy it at the first one you go to, make sure it's a smaller one without a long line). Whether you want a 3-day or 5-day depends on how many places you want to see that are covered. The 5-day pass costs 45 euros, so if you plan to go to at least 6 places, it will be worth it. And of course, you would want at least the 3-day one just to pass the long lines at the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, Ste. Chappelle and Versailles, although I'm not sure how long they will be in January.

I think the Paris Visite card is very expensive unless you plan to use a lot of the discounts for other things that come with it. Check out that website that erin mentioned to see what is included. Many of the discounts included are for things most people wouldn't be doing, especially on a first trip to Paris. Since you're arriving too late in the week to take full advantage of the Carte Orange for metro/bus, I recommend buying carnets (10 metro tickets for a discount) as you need them, 9.60 euros per 10 tickets. These tickets are also good for the bus. You just buy them at any metro station.
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 10:04 AM
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Paris Visite is expensive unless you can use the bus system. You cannot transfer between bus routes but need a new ticket (from the carnet pack of 10) for each time you board a bus). On the metro you just transfer lines until you leave the system and surface.
also, you wil be in Paris on the 1st Sunday when museums are mostly free. You will find them packed by tour operators and Parisiens on that day although otherwise I found no lines in early December. You will be there for the last week of the Picasso/Matisse exhibit at the Grand Palais which is not covered by any pass but all the reserved time tickets for mornings have been sold. However, the line I joined at 12:20 for the 1 pm open sale only took 30 minutes to clear.
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 10:12 AM
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A 5-day Paris Visite costs about $25.
In the end, $5 a day for unlimited travel is hardly expensive. Yes, you can do the carnet, but for 5 days I like the convienience of the Paris Visite.
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 11:40 AM
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We prefer the Paris Visite too because of the total convenience. You put it thru the Metro turnstile or just flash it at the bus driver. And, the discount at the museum shops is definitely something a first time visitor could use, plus the discount for the second party for the Montparnasse Tower.
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 11:44 AM
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Hi John.
I'll be in Paris the exact dates as you have planned. I plan to get the passes on arrival. Enjoy and hope the rain holds off
Old Dec 11th, 2002, 09:31 PM
erin b
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I have to disagree with the poster about the expense of paris viste.

I have been 3 times now and the convienence of the paris viste far outweights any of the cost. and what is $26 for 5 days? I have purchased the 5 day pass 1-3, and 1-8 zone and both have their values. i dont even buy it for its coupons. i have used only a few of those, but to me the pass is invaluable as just a metro pass.

if you do not plan on going outside the city, the 1-3 zone will be all you would need. not having to worry about getting more carnets was wonderful, not having to stand in line. on my last trip i used the metro a average of 10 times each day. that book of 10 would be used by the end of one day.

for 26 euros (about $26) you get one carnet that is good for 5 days. I put in its little holder and had it handy where ever I went.

as far as bus vs metro, I know we have had this discussion many times, but in paris...I think the metro beats any other travel even cabs hands down. traffic in paris can be ugly...the wait time on the buses because of this is a waste of time. there are two many things to do that are better than waiting in traffic on a bus ride.

in paris there are not many areas that there is not at least one metro station within a 2 block area. zip zip and with my pass I am on the metro going where i want and getting there within just a few minutes.

paris metro is a work of art to me! the layout, the schedule, the stations, I don't think there is a city that compares to it. even the underground walks are short compared to other city metros. (i hate londons metro stations because they have some of the longest walks underground and actually prefer the buses in london).

if you are planning several outside of paris trips the 1-8 zone can help with the cost. we went to versaille with only a small supplement. road the metro as far as we could in the direction of chartres and then purchased a small supplement to get the rest of the way.

as far a the museum pass goes, for a 5 or 6 day stay in paris, we always found the 3 day museum pass the best value. you have to use it three consecutive days, since we always arrived on a thursday, we started it on friday,saturday and sunday and got all out museum visits on those days. the rest of time we did day trips and shopping.

hope this helps.
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 05:37 AM
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This thread is a big help. We had planned on getting the book of 10 metro passes, but after reading the pros of the 5-day Paris-Viste we will definitely go that route. Thanks to all.
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 05:55 AM
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Just to be contrary, I would not necessarily recommend buying the Paris Visite card, unless you know you'll be making at least 4 or 5 trips on the metro every day (or as has been mentioned, using the bus a lot). A carnet of tickets costs 9.30 euros, so that breaks down to under 1 euro per journey. It's true that it is convenient to have a single pass, but you will need to use it a lot for it to be worth the money! Bear in mind that many of the main sites in Paris are within easy walking distance of each other (indeed, that's part of the charm of Paris!!), so you may not be taking the metro as much as you think.

Another one-day card that is cheaper but does not offer the tourist reductions is the "carte mobilis", which costs 5 euros for one day's unlimited travel in zones 1-2.
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 06:11 AM
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I like the 5 zone paris visite pass because then you can ride the rer to paris from the airport and back, go to versailles, etc without having to purchase any additional tickets. The rer and metro are very easy to use and it is nice not to have to worry about tickets after that one purchase.
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 06:34 AM
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And how much does that Paris Visite 5-zone pass, cost?
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 06:46 AM
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For a 5 day, 5 zone paris visit the cost is 45.70 euros per person. Which isn't too bad if you figure the transportation cost from the airport and back and a day trip to versailles included, as well as the convenience. It may not be the absolute cheapest way to go, but its good to know the options. Go to www.ratp.fr for info.
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 06:48 AM
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Has prices and info;

I don't think the 5-zone would be cost-effective, you'll mostly travel within the first 2 zones.
Old Dec 12th, 2002, 08:08 AM
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Well, obviously if erin is riding the metro 10 times a day, then the Paris Visite is a good price. I can't imagine riding the metro that much! So much nicer to do some walking or bus and see some of the city. (And I planned what I wanted to see by arrondissement so that we weren't crisscrossing the city back and forth, doing a lot of backtracking.) We took the bus and were never tied up long in traffic. At 9.60 euros for a carnet, you would need to ride the metro or a bus at least 6 times a day for it to cost more than the Paris Visite. So if you think you'll do that, then go for it! As far as the 5-zone Visite for 45.70, maybe that would be cost effective if you're going to use it for the airport AND Versailles (I'm not sure how much it is to the airport), but from the St. Michel station to Versailles is only 4.90 euros, so it wouldn't be worth it just for Versailles.
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