Is a Paris Pass worth the cost? You pay a fairly hefty amount up front; but, will it save you time and money in the long run? My experience on a recent trip to France is Yes, definitely, if you plan to see the sights (of course you’re going to sight see, you’re in Paris) and if you plan your time carefully. The Paris Pass provides entry to more than 60 attractions in and around Paris, unlimited travel on the metro and buses in the central city, and a ticket for “Les Cars Rouges,” the hop-on and off sightseeing buses. I was provided with a 2-day Pass to give it a test on a recent trip and was impressed. I rode buses when I was tired of walking, toured Opera Garnier, and visited the Pompidou, among other attractions. A huge plus was bypassing lines at popular places where there are often long waits to enter.
Here’s one cost comparison: Regular fees to 7 sites (Arc de Triomphe, O Chateau Wine Tasting, Louvre Museum, Paris Bus Tour, Grevin Wax Museum, Bateaux River Cruise, and Versailles Palace) add up to more than 123 euros, plus transportation cost. A 2-day Paris Pass for an adult is 99 euros. So it can be a savings. For teens 12-17 years, a 2-day Pass is 57 euros, and children 4-11, 31 euros. Passes for 4 and 6 days cost more. Here’s what you get:
– Paris Attractions Pass (1-hour Seine River cruise, Opera Garnier, Montparnasse tower, etc.)
– Paris Visite Pass (voucher for ticket to ride bus or metro)
– Paris Bus Tour (voucher for Les Cars Rouges sightseeing buses)
– Guidebook (excellent guide with instructions, descriptions and hours open for attractions, city and metro maps, and suggested routes)
All these pieces made it confusing at first, but the instructions were clear and I had no problems. The best way to get a Paris Pass is to buy online and pick it up at the office at 33 rue le Peletier, in the 9th arrondisement, for a fee of 2 euros. That’s a lot less than the shipping fee for mailing in advance to the U.S. That fee ranges from 7.95 euros (takes 12 working days) to 45 euros (FedEx, 3 days).
NOTE: Paris Pass, offered by Viator, which has similar passes for other cities, is not the same as Paris Museum Pass. That one is sponsored by the local museum association, costs less and is worthwhile but covers museums only. Also, if you live in an EU country and are under age 26, state museums in Paris are free to enter, though you do have to wait in line and show ID.
Enjoy more Paris Travel Tips.
Written by Marilyn McFarlane for EuropeUpClose.com