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Paris pass 2 vs 3 day

We are trying to figure out if we should get a 2 or 3 day Paris pass? Does anyone know if we buy the two day- can we do two consecutive days of attractions and then two consecutive days of museum or does it not work that way? Is it one card that is just activated for both?
Thanks in advance!

Posted by
20319 posts

0-day Paris Pass is my opinion. I'd say about half the price of the "Pass" is profit for the promoters and marketing costs. They just bundle a Paris Museum Pass (good deal if you like museums) and a Paris Visite transit pass (not the best transit pass) and a bunch of discount coupons (you probably won't use but 1 or 2). You can buy the Museum Pass and a Visite separately for a lot less money than the cost of a Paris Pass. For transport, you can buy a book of 10 Metro/bus tickets at a discount, a lot less than the Visite.

Posted by
15993 posts

I'm with Sam: the Paris Pass is waaaaay overpriced. If you have 4 days in Paris, I'd go with a 62€, 4-day Paris Museum Pass and buy a couple carnets (14.50€ apiece) of 10 T-tickets. We shared a single carnet and barely got through it during a whole week in Paris but we're big walkers. You could also purchase a 2-day Museum Pass (48€), make the best use of it that you can manage, and then buy individual tickets to any attractions/activities you still want to see/do over the next two days.

It all comes down to the math but when I did the figures for what we wanted to see and do, the Museum Pass was a clear winner. You'd need to do the math on your own list to see what's the best choice for you.

Does anyone know if we buy the two day- can we do two consecutive days
of attractions and then two consecutive days of museum or does it not
work that way?

'Fraid not. Once you use the Paris Pass the first time, the clock starts ticking on the life of all components of the pass. Also if you buy a 3-day Paris Pass, it only comes with a 2-day Museum Pass. The Visite card that comes with the pass does not fully cover transport to/from the airports or to attractions outside of Zones 1-3, such as Versailles:

https://www.parispass.com/paris-transport/travelcard-validity.html

So read all the fine print regarding this pass?

Individual T-tickets don't cover transport to/from the airports either but you can purchase separate tickets for rail or bus and still come out ahead of the Paris Pass.

http://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/access/paris-charles-de-gaulle/public-transport

Posted by
72 posts

Third person agreeing. If you were staying in Paris for longer, and most of the days were in the same calendar week, I would recommend looking into a version of the Navigo card (usually only available to Paris area commuters) called the Navigo Découverte (or, in English, Navigo Discovery) instead of the Paris Visite.

It's the ticket never designed for tourists, so it's not pushed through official tourism channels, but it's frequently the cheapest option for people coming into Paris, or leaving Paris (or both) from one of the two airports. And unlike the original Navigo, anyone can get one.

In fact: if you ARE coming and going from Charles De Gaulle airport, the tickets there are €10.30 for each person, one way, to Zone 1 in the centre of Paris. So for €20.60 you'd pay for the airport transportation but still have the travel in Paris to consider ...or bring a smaller than passport sized photo, pay €27.80 for the Navigo Découverte (€5 processing fee and the €22.80 for the weekly ticket encoded on the RFID chip in the card) at Charles De Gaulle's SNCF ticket window, and that's everything covered. So long as you're not coming in for a weekend.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PIdQGPqer8 - for more information. It's Paris' biggest travel secret, a ticket not for tourists that's perfect for tourists.

Posted by
14163 posts

I'll just add a link to the Paris Museum Pass which the others mentioned you can buy separately. There are 2, 4 and 6 day passes (no 3-day Museum pass). It also gives you a list of which museums and attractions are covered by the Museum Pass.

http://en.parismuseumpass.com/

Posted by
4010 posts

Regarding the Navigo Découverte, if I'm arriving in Paris on Wednesday midday into Gare du Nord and leaving Paris from the same train station on Sunday morning, is the Navigo Découverte still the least expensive transport card to buy? I will not be arriving at CDG or ORY. I'll be arriving and leaving by train.

Also, it specifies a 25cm x 30 cm photo. Is that the equivalent of a passport picture I can have taken at a local CVS or other drug store? Would one of those photos be acceptable?

Thanks.

Posted by
20319 posts

Unless you are going to Versailles or Disneyland, 27.60 EUR seems like a lot to spend for a transit pass for 4 1/2 days (in effect). But the photo size is 1" by 1 1/4", smaller than a passport photo. BUT, you can just take a selfie and use your printer's reduction capability to reduce it to the proper size. That is what I did. There is no requirement as to paper type. Others scan their passport photo and the use the printers size reduction to get the right size.

Posted by
4132 posts

@Continental: Unless you are taking RER trips outside of the city, a Navigo for 4 days is probably more expensive than buying as many carnets as you need to get around.

Posted by
72 posts

Regarding the Navigo Découverte, if I'm arriving in Paris on Wednesday midday into Gare du Nord and leaving Paris from the same train station on Sunday morning, is the Navigo Découverte still the least expensive transport card to buy? I will not be arriving at CDG or ORY. I'll be arriving and leaving by train.

I'm going to assume you're staying in Zone 1 and 2, like the majority of people going to Paris (I've only ever stayed out of Zone 1 twice... once I was at what was then called EuroDisney and didn't venture out of the Disney infrastructure, the other time I was in St. Denis in Zone 2). So you need full transport for the four days (Wednesday through Saturday) and something to get you from GDN on Sunday.

OPTION 1 - REGULAR TICKETS. If you buy a Carnet when you need it (that's just ten of the €1.90 tickets sold for the bargain price of €14.50), you could conceivably use just four or five tickets a day (and get something like the Citymapper app on your phone, relying on WiFi hotspots in parks and cafes when needed, to walk short distances to save using a ticket) and have a ticket for the journey from where you're staying to the GDN on the Sunday. That's still €29.00 for the two Carnets. You can use those tickets on buses and RER in the middle of things too. You can switch Metro and RER lines in a two hour window, so long as you don't resurface (leave the station and have to scan the ticket on exit), or do bus or bus/tram transfers in a 90 minute window, but you can't do a bus-to-rail transfer at all. This is the option that doesn't have flexibility to hop around.

OPTION 2 - DAILY MOBILIS TICKETS. These are one day tickets for use on all that public transport (so more flexibility than the Carnet option). For Zones 1 & 2 they're €7.50 a day, so you could buy four of those and get a €1.90 single for the Sunday single journey (€31.90 total).

OPTION 3 - PARIS VISITE PASS. You can get a 3 Day for the inner 3 Zones for €26.65 but you'll still have to get tickets for the 4th day and the trip to GDN on Sunday. So you could buy a Carnet for €14.50 for that, or get separate €1.90 tickets if you'll make less than 7 journeys on that 4th day... so you could get separate tickets for €1.90 on the Wednesday half day, a Paris Visite for 3 Days for the 3 Zones for Thursday through Saturday, and then a single ticket on Sunday. That's still around €30.

OPTION 4 - NAVIGO DECOUVERTE. Even with the initial processing fee, it's €27.20. It's more zones than you need, and it's more days than you need, but it's still the cheapest for you.

OPTION 5 - FRUGAL AS YOU CAN BE. The only way the Carnet and separate tickets option is cheaper is if you buy one Carnet for €14.50 and plan your trip very specifically to get a trip to Point A for the start of the day's itinerary, walk everywhere until you get to Point B at the end of your day, and then take the Metro back to where you're staying. That's eight tickets. One in reserve for an impromptu trip, one back to the GDN on Sunday. Now: you can also buy additional €1.90 tickets for other impromptu trips to give you flexibility ...but your limit is six additional single use tickets (€14.50 plus six at €1.90 equals €25.90) because once you go to a seventh additional ticket, that's €27.80. And the Navigo Decouverte is cheaper and has WAY more flexibility.

Posted by
72 posts

I crunched the numbers, and it works out that two carnets are €29, more than the Navigo Decouverte at €27.20 for the first time issue. If you bought 1 Carnet and 6 individual tickets, it's cheaper at €25.90 ... but with 1 Carnet and 7 tickets, the ND is cheaper than the €27.80.

So the cutoff for whether you should get individual tickets or the ND is after 16 journeys, so long as they're in the same calendar week.

Also, it specifies a 25cm x 30 cm photo.

That's around an 10" by 12" print! It's a 30 by 25 millimeter print (a millimeter is a tenth of a centimeter). If you take a face-on selfie against a white door and have some photo paper that came with your computer's printer, re-scale the pic so it prints your face about an inch long from top to bottom (as someone just posted, the photo they need is around 1" wide by 1⅕" tall).

Posted by
4010 posts

We no longer have a printer and I work out of my home. Even if I did have one, I don't know how to fine-tune a photo to the specific size anyway. I wish I were that technologically agile. Still the savings is there as was pointed out above.

What other options are there for a photo? For example, if I bring a passport photo, could the people who create the ND card cut it to their specified sizing?

When I arrive at Gare du Nord, where do I buy the ND card and do they make it while I wait?

Thank you!

Posted by
20319 posts

Put passport page on a photo copier and adjust the reducing function to get the copy of the photo to the 1" by 1 1/4". Copiers at any Kinkos, Office Depot etc. Might take a couple of quarters to get it right. No need for photo type paper. Regular old copy paper is fine.
Passport photo is 1 3/8' by 1 3/4", so setting reduction to 0.72 should work. Its a start

I got mine assembled while purchasing at the CDG train station ticket window.

Posted by
2577 posts

Almost any métro station has a photo booth at which you can take the required photos for 5€. All of the information centers have both scissors to trim the photos and tape to attach them to the card. You´ll probably pay more than necessary to have photos taken before you reach Paris.

Posted by
72 posts

If you happen to be a Plus or Premier AAA member in the US, you can get at least two passport photos free as part of your membership (and you can specify the size you'd like your head to be in the pictures). If you're not a member of AAA or just a AAA Basic member, it would cheaper to use one of the many photo-booths at stations for €5 in Paris.

@Sam - did you get yours at the regular SNCF ticket window in the main concourse or go down a level and do it at the SNCF Transilien (local commuter trains) windows?

Posted by
14163 posts

If you are not planning on purchasing the ND before you go to your hotel, I’ve had the reception desk photocopy my passport photo for me. They helped me cut it down to the correct size as well.

Posted by
4010 posts

If you happen to be a Plus or Premier AAA member in the US, you can
get at least two passport photos free as part of your membership (and
you can specify the size you'd like your head to be in the pictures).

I am a AAA Plus member. I can SPECIFY the measurements of the photo with them???? I had no idea. If not, I'm following Sam's suggestion of going to a Fed Ex store and giving the person who photocopies (yup, it's not self serve here) the exact measurements I will need. It's worth the pocket change especially if it can be a black and white photocopy on plain copier paper.

Thank you.

Pam I might be taking the métro to my hotel from Gare du Nord so I'd like to have the ND card made when I arrive at GdN from Amsterdam. Thanks for the suggestion.

Posted by
72 posts

From what I remember (the last time I got photos done at AAA), they have an on-screen template ...or you can ask them to back up the camera a little bit so your face is smaller in the photo.

As long as the photo is pretty much you and pretty much the right size, it'll be accepted.

How am I so confident? I worked for British Rail / Network SouthEast / WAGN Railway for fifteen years, thirteen of them in ticket offices from Kings Cross to Royston (near Cambridge) and all points in between, and I must have issued thousands of photocards. Commuter season tickets for a week or any period from a month up to a year, Young Person's Railcards, (now called the 16-25 Railcard) ...and at no point did I refuse a photo because it wasn't from a photobooth, or the face was slightly larger or smaller in frame than most, or it was cropped from a Christmas picture, or their Flock Of Seagulls haircut obscured an eye! If it was them, I would trim it down so it would fit in the photocard without obscuring their name and peel back the adhesive for the plastic cover. The man or woman you'll approach isn't working to make a passport to international standards, they're just making sure ticket inspectors will be able to check that you are the rightful owner of the Navigo when they're doing their barrier or on-train inspections for fare dodgers!

Edit - I took a look at other people's Navigo photocards, and that looks to be the case. People have all manner of head shots and the ticket office clerk's reaction seems to have been "it's good enough" (or "c'est assez bon"). One person's picture even looks to be square with diagonal corners cut into it.

Posted by
14163 posts

"Pam I might be taking the métro to my hotel from Gare du Nord so I'd like to have the ND card made when I arrive at GdN from Amsterdam."

Oh! I see! Yes, I would want it then as well.

As far as size, I just had the hotel person photocopy my passport picture the same size then trimmed it down to the correct size for the ND. ShawnGbr's had way more experience but he's right...they just want to make sure you're the same person and it's not as big a deal as a passport photo.

Going to the copy center sounds good.

Posted by
5697 posts

For the length of time you will be in Paris, and since you will NOT be needing to take expensive RER trains to/from an airport, you might be better off with buying a carnet or two (no photos required) -- the tickets can be shared.