Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Travel Diaries: Is The Paris City Pass Worth It?

A lot of major cities offer some sort of discount sightseeing pass, but it's hard to know whether or not it's worth buying the pass, or just paying for the attractions on their own. While we were in Paris, I had the 2 Day Paris City Pass, which included Paris Visite, the Paris Museum Pass, a one day Hop-On-Hop-Off Paris Bus Tour ticket, and a Seine River Cruise.

Paris City Pass

Paris Visite (Worth €18.60)

Paris Visite gives you unlimited access to transport: bus, metro, tram and RER, so that you can travel around as you wish during your stay from zone 1 to 3.
It is valid from the first day it is used to the end of the last day of the pass chosen ( 2, 3 or 5 consecutive days). The validity period starts at midnight on the first day and ends at midnight on the last day.

I found the 2 day unlimited transportation ticket very useful, as it allowed us to explore Paris without worrying about having to stop and purchase metro tickets. This was a huge convenience in my opinion!

Paris Museum Pass:

Louvre Museum (Normally €12)

With the Museum Pass, you get free entry into one of the most famous museums in the world, the Louvre. Here you can see the Mona Lisa, which is a must-do while you're in Paris. The Louvre was pretty overwhelming, and an art lover can easily spend the entire day wandering around, taking in the incredible and never ending works of art.

Mona Lisa, Louvre

Arc de Triomphe (Normally €9.50)

Sure, you can take in the stunning views of the Arc de Triomphe from afar, but did you know that you can also climb to the top of the arc to take in beautiful views of Paris? I decided to go at night, around 9:30 pm. I definitely recommend going at night, since you'll be able to have an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower all lit up, which is truly a spectacular sight! On your way out be sure to stop by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier below the arch.

Arc de Triomphe Paris France

Museum of the Cinema (Normally €7)

Located at The Cinémathèque Française, this museum works to preserve and enrich film heritage documents and to ensure the broadcast and appreciation of French film by all.

Museum of the Cinema, Paris France

Museum of the Cinema, Paris France

Palace of Versailles (Normally €15)

I would highly recommend taking a day trip to see both the Palace of Versailles, and to explore the rest of the city of Versailles. The trip from Paris took about 30 minutes on the RER C train. You will have to buy a separate RER train ticket to Versailles for €3.25 each way, as the normal Paris metro tickets aren't valid for a trip to Versailles. The Paris Pass does include entry into The Garden, but on the day that we went there was a water show going on, so it would be an additional €9 for entry, which we decided not to do. This was a bit frustrating, as we arrived at 11:00 am, and were told that the water show wasn't starting until 3:30 pm. We wouldn't have spend over 4 hours in the garden, so it was a bit annoying that our passes weren't valid for entry into the garden at that time.

Palace of Versailles

The Royal Chapel Palace of Versailles

Seine River Cruise (Normally €13)

We took a wonderful cruise down the Seine River, which I would highly recommend if you're in Paris! The cruise was about an hour in length, and we got great views of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, and Grand Palais.
Seine River Cruise

Seine River Cruise

What we missed out on: 

We really wanted to see The Archaeological Crypt of Notre Dame (Normally €6), but it was closed for renovations when we arrived. We also wanted to wanted to visit the Towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral (Normally €8.50), but we missed the cutoff time by just a few minutes both days. Entrance into the Notre Dame Cathedral however is free for everyone, the fee is just to access the towers. The pass also included a one day Hop-On-Hop-Off Paris Bus Tour (Normally €30), which we decided to pass on so that we could explore on our own. 

So, let's do a round up of prices! The 2 Day Paris City Pass has a cost of 99€. With all of the attractions that we were able to fit into 2 days, we totaled 75.10€. As you can see, we would have been better off paying individually for all of the museums, transportation, etc. I would definitely recommend planning out what museums you would want to visit, and seeing if the Paris City Pass would be worth it for your travel plans. Do keep in mind that you can only see so much in two days - especially if you want to take a trip out to Versailles, which will take up at least 5 hours. You can learn more about the Paris City Pass here. Do you ever buy city passes when you travel?

Disclaimer: I was provided with a complimentary Paris City Pass for review purposes. 

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