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Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

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ny
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214 posts
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Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

Paris is wonderful! city of history, great people, wonderful food... My friend and I are home safe after a week long trip. here's what I learned. I picked up so many good tips from Tripadvisor, I hope some of my insights will be helpful to others.

- Museum pass is worth the price for the sake of skpping the lines. If we had to do it over again, we would have purchased the ticket before (at the airport info desk) You can use it any day for how ever many days you bought it for. Line at Orsay was crazy (about an hour long). I wish we had the museum pass before we got to Orsay and not purchase it there.

- Metro pass is pretty convenient. From the CDG airport you pay 8.40 euro for RER B to Paris. The machine takes only coins or credit card. if you arrive late the ticket office maybe closed. My lesson learned: have change ready when you are getting tickets to go back to airport. Metro and bus maps are easy to navigate... well, may be overwhelming if you are not from a big metro city. Def take advantage of buses since it's not underground and you get to sightsee while en route to your destination.

- at the airport, watch your stuff.. duh.. really, if you fall asleep and you have your shopping bag or even a bottle of water someone** will pick it up. we had to spend a night at the airport cos we missed our flight. There were many people camping out like us but there were some homeless people posing as travelers helping themselves to other people's properties. I was there for about 20 hours so I saw them night and day!

- I took a bread baking class with claude. I was a wonderful experience.. I would do it again

- Download Rick Steve's podcast on Louve, Orsay and historic Paris. It's about 50 min each. We rented one of those audio guides at Orsay but I found Rick Steve's podcast to be better. You can listen to it before you go.

I want to thank everyone who gave me many good tips on TA. Hopefully I will return to Paris very soon.

Calgary
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1. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

Completely agree about the metro pass and buses as opposed to the metro; more direct, less walking around and up and down stairs, more scenic and safer.

Perhaps harder to figure out at first but once you get it you're good. And every bus stop has all the info about your route, including a digital sign live-updating when the next couple of buses are coming.

We had the museum pass but only needed it to avoid lines at Versailles. I think we just got lucky. I can see how it could be very valuable. Plus I figured out we saved about 20 euros.

I had Rick Steeve's Louvre podcast but forgot to take my mp3 player with me that day. I did have a print-out of his map and used it to see the highlights. Someday I'm going to listen to it while I look at my pictures.

20 hours at the airport... my condolences.

Brooklyn
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2. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

Thanks for the report! I have Rick's book and will download the podcasts now.

Which Metro pass did purchase? I was just going to buy the 10-pass thing once I got there since we are pretty centrally located in Paris.

Thanks!

Kamloops, BC...
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3. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

I've never had a problem in the Metro - and I travel sans mari (without husband) most of the time - I like to use the Metro to get somewhere and then take the bus back - that way I have the best of both methods - the speed of the Metro to get my day started, which I love, and then the opportunity of sightseeing from the bus as I head home with no time pressure.

I have, however, taken the Metro at night almost to the last hour of operation. I've never found to to be unsafe, at any time, in any neighbourhood.

ny
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4. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

We purchsed 2 day museum pass and 3 day metro pass. You can purchase the museum pass at any of the participating museum or at the airport. You can purchase the metro pass at the metro stops. Good thing is you can purchase both passes ahead of time and activate them the first day you use them.

Burlington, Vermont
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5. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

They must have purchased the ParisVisite

www.ratp.info/touristes/index.php…

Humm...wonder if I should get this instead of carnets? Does offer some site discounts too

KTfromNC
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350 posts
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6. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

xenna,

Navigo Decouverte and Museum Pass are typically better depending on arrival day and length of stay..

Huntington Beach CA
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7. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

Always buy your museum pass at a small museum that isn't so crowded. Cluny or Rodin. You don't even have to go sightseeing in that museum to buy the pass there.

Burlington, Vermont
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8. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

The Navigo Decouverte AKA Carte Orange looks complicated, photo, password – Price 22.30 zones 1-3, valid Mon-Sunday – must take 14 rides to break even, or 2 per day for the 7 days

Paris Visite just sign & date back and go – price 28.30 any five consecutive days, zones 1-3 – must take 18 rides to break even, or 4 rides per day for the 5 days

Carnet of tickets – price 11.40 for ten or 1.60 each

I think I’ll stick to the carnet.

Toronto, Canada
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9. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

<<The Navigo Decouverte AKA Carte Orange looks complicated, photo, password – Price 22.30 zones 1-3, valid Mon-Sunday – must take 14 rides to break even, or 2 per day for the 7 days

Paris Visite just sign & date back and go – price 28.30 any five consecutive days, zones 1-3 – must take 18 rides to break even, or 4 rides per day for the 5 days

Carnet of tickets – price 11.40 for ten or 1.60 each>>

The Navigo Découverte is only marginally more complicated than a Paris Visite pass, especially if you take the time to prepare your photo at home before you travel. Don't know what you mean by "password".

A carnet of t+ tickets is €11,40, which comes out to €1.14 per trip, not €1.60.

Most people don't need zone 3 travel, which the Paris Visite pass forces you to get. A zone 1-2 Carte Orange is €21,80, which is the equivalent of 19 trips using tickets purchased in a carnet - around 2.7 trips per day over seven days.

The Paris Visite pass is €28,30 for 5 days - the equivalent of 25 trips using carnet tickets. That's 5 trips per day.

Burlington, Vermont
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10. Re: Just back from Paris! here's what I learned...

< carnet of t+ tickets is €11,40, which comes out to €1.14 per trip, not €1.60.>

Price per individual ticket is 1.60, I used this price when calculating the break evens.

Carte Orange – zones 1 -2 price 16.80 – must take 11 rides to break even, or 2 per day if used for 7 days Mon-Sun

Since I must use Google to translate the Carte Orange page (no English version on ratp) it appears the password might only be used to re-load the card