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Best Combination of Museum and Transit passes in Paris and Rome?

I have been researching a lot of different combination of passes to buy prior to leaving for our Europe. Frankly it is a little overwhelming with the number of options for both Rome and Paris. I am looking for any suggestions on how to go about purchasing Transit and Museum passes for our four days in Paris and our four days in Rome.

Here is a rough itinerary for our trip so you can see the museums we are interested in.

PARIS
DAY 1
Walking around our neighborhood
Latin Quarter
Pantheon
Eiffel Tower
DAY 2
Palace of Versaille
Nice Dinner
River Cruise?
Candelaria
52 rue de Saintonge 3rd.
DAY 3
Bastille Day
Place de La Concorde
Jardin des Tuileries
Musee D’Orsay
Cafe Compana?
Ile de la Cite
La Conciergerie
Sainte-Chapelle
Notre Dame
La Fourmi Ailee?
Saint-Germain
Vedettes du Pont Nuef’s
River Seine
DAY 4
MontMarte
Sacre-Coeur
Rue Des Martyrs
Louve
Champs-Elysees
Arc de Triomphe
Museum of French Monuments

ROME
DAY 1
?
Il Gabrielle
Scavi
Fumacino
DAY 2
Colosseum
Roman Forum
Lunch
Terre e domus
Ill Vittoriano
Campidoglio
Capitaline Museum
Pantheon
Spanish Steps
Piazza Navona
Trevi Fountain
DAY 3
Vatican
St. Peters
Castel Sant’Angelo
Galleria Borghese (reservation)
Piazza Del Popolo
Campo de’Fiori
Trastevere
DAY 4
Catacombs?
Villa di Massenzio
Nice Dinner

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Posted by
11575 posts

Hi ammas07,

I'll take a stab at this as no one has responded yet. I am guessing the reason for that is that you are attempting to cram way, WAY too much into many of your days. For instance, Day 3 of Rome? Trying to do the Vatican Museums, St. Peters, Castel Sant’Angelo AND Galleria Borghese in one day - aside from the others on your list - is not achievable. You will be exhausted before you get to the Borghese. Other days you have planned - as in Days 3 and 4 in Paris - are similarly overly ambitious.

I would suggest cutting your lists down to only the attractions you feel you MUST see. If you still have any energy after seeing those, then do them. If not, save them for a different trip.

My personal recommendation for Paris is to purchase a Paris Museum Pass; NOT the ridiculously overpriced Paris Pass which includes public transport. As we walked almost everywhere, we made do with a carnet of 10, t+ single-ride tickets which could be shared between my husband and myself: 5 rides apiece for the two of us. You would need additional tickets for the RER get to Versailles: see this page: https://www.ratp.fr/en/visite-paris/english/preparing-your-trip-tickets-and-travel-passes-designed-you.

But you might also consider buying the Paris Navigo Pass. It's good for a week, and is only valid from Monday - Sunday of the same week. so if you bought it on a Thursday - the last day of a current week it's sold - it would expire on Sunday at midnight so timing is a consideration. If you intend to take transit quite a lot in central Paris, it might be a worthwhile buy, and it also covers transport to CDG and Versailles.

http://parisbytrain.com/paris-train-metro-week-pass-navigo-decouverte/

Rome: We've never purchased a pass here but the 72-hour Roma Pass will cover 72 hours of public transport use - from time of first validation - plus free entry at the first two museums/attractions covered by the pass that you use it for. Entry at other museums/attractions covered are at discounted prices within the life of the pass. This pass does not cover transport to/from the airports, and can't be used for the Vatican. If using it for free entry to Galleria Borghese, you must make your mandatory reservation BY PHONE:

+39 06 32810 (open Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm – Saturdays, 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, ROME TIME).

http://www.romapass.it/p.aspx?l=en&tid=2

Posted by
2 posts

Kathy,
This was extremely helpful. In Paris I was leaning towards the 10 ride Carnet and the Paris Museum Pass. Thank you for confirming my research. My wife and I are also going to re-evaluate our Rome itinerary to cut out the stuff we aren't dying to see. Thanks again for you help and any other advice is welcomed.
-Andrew

In Paris make sure you go to the Musee de l'Orangerie that has Monets water lilies. i think they take the Museum Pass but i could be wrong

Posted by
11575 posts

A couple of additional comments?

Rome:
What time are you scheduled to arrive, and where is your hotel? That would be helpful as far as combining some of the walk-bys which can be seen en-route from one place to another.

What is the "scavi" you've listed for Day 1? I'm guessing that the "Fumacino" you've listed for that day is Fiumicino airport...which means it's your arrival day by air? I'm concerned that the "scavi" is a booked tour, which is never advised for an arrival day in case of delayed or cancelled flights.

Day 4: I would scrap your current plan and move some of the other sites to this day as days 2 and 3 are seriously overloaded. Doing Galleria Borghese and Piazza Del Popolo - assuming its a date the museum is open - here might be a good idea as the Borghese AND the Vatican/St Pete's on the same day would be brutal. You could do Santa Maria del Popolo and cruise by the Spanish Steps as well as take a stroll through Villa Borghese (the park). I've done Villa di Massenzio and San Sebastiano catacombs out on the Appia Antica and while both were interesting, I'd save the Appia for another trip.

Paris:
I'd consider skipping Versailles. With only 3 full days to work with and 2 of those currently over scheduled, I don't know as I'd take a day away from the the city. Think about it, anyway?

The Louvre and Tuileries should be done together as they're virtually in the same place.

Champs-Elysees: entirely skippable. If we were underwhelmed by anything in Paris, it was the Champs.

Posted by
1516 posts

Hi ammas, I agree that you're trying to do too much. Regarding Paris, I'd save Versailles for another trip. Slow down a bit and enjoy Paris! It's a wonderful city for strolling (as opposed to running).

Look at the Paris Museum Pass that allows you to skip some of the lines (everybody has to go through Security) and enables you to pop in to some museums that you may not have considered. In addition to the museums you've listed, I love the Rodin Museum and garden (it's a good place to purchase the Pass), Napoleon's Tomb, the Army Museum, and the Orangerie. Check out the admission times for the museums and plan accordingly. For example, the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, open late on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Consider a concert at Sainte Chappelle, it's a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the venue.

Hope you have a great trip!

Posted by
4125 posts

Andrew,

Don't buy anything before you arrive. I'm not even sure you can, at this point.

In Paris, you have the right idea, I think. The museum pass is a jewel, and carnets are a smart way to go.

If you were staying longer in Paris, one might make the case for the Navigo weekly transit pass, especially if you were going to Versailles. These can be really great if you will be around long enough to get full value out of them, and they would cover your trip to the airport on the RER when you leave.

But since you are only there for 4 days, it's borderline, especially since you probably won't be able to see all that stuff in the time you have. (But I'll bet you will still have a terrific time.)