Should we get Paris Pass for 3 days?? Also best and easiest way to see Eiffel Tower in December?
For any pass, you have to price out what you want to see against individual prices. In most cases the only one making out is the one selling the pass - - anywhere. Head of line privileges won't be much of an advantage that time of year.
The best way I've figured out to get up the tower is to go a couple of hours before closing when the lines are short. I also think it's more impressive to look at the city when the lights are on instead of during the day. If you try to reserve ahead of time, the weather might stink at your slot time.
If the weather is really crappy, you can see the full Eiffel Tower from inside The Architecture Museum, and you won't even need to pay the entrance fee -- because the huge glass windows in their cafeteria has an amazing full on view! My former French Exchange Student sent me there - he lives there in the Eiffel Tower district, and said it was the best kept secret in Paris. AMAZING view! This cafe' is in the Lobby area, and you don't have to buy your ticket to use it. (If you're not interested in what the museum has to offer). There's also an outdoor seating area, and if you're lucky with the weather, you can get a cappuccino and enjoy it outside.
Ed, as usual, gave excellent advice about when to go, and hopefully the weather will be wonderful and
you won't need to view it from inside!
Cite' de l'architecture 1 Place du Trocadero. You can look it up on Trip Advisor.
You can get the same deal as Donna mentioned next door from the Museum of Mankind. The café is outside, but it has heaters. Somebody told me you could worm your way in from the Maritime Museum in the same building, but I've never seen a way to do it.
Do not buy the Paris Pass. The Paris Visite transportation pass that comes with it is overpriced. Instead, buy ten-ticket carnets as needed and share the tickets. Each t+ ticket is good anywhere the Metro goes (some lines end in zone 3), on the RER in zone 1 (all of central Paris), on buses, and on the Montmartre funiculaire that goes up the hill to the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. Each ticket provides unlimited transfers on the Metro and/or RER until you exit the system. Each ticket provides bus transfers up until 90 minutes after boarding the first bus. However, you cannot transfer between Metro/RER and bus on a single ticket. If you're a museum person, a two-day Paris Museum Pass might be cost effective. It's good for two consecutive days, not any two days.
To be clear, we are talking about the two museums on the Trocadero plaza, where you can stand outside without worrying about admission and gaze down over the stepped gardens and across the Seine to the Eiffel. The museums are worth a look anyhow. Plenty of skate-boarders "sharing" the plaza too.
We've seen the Eiffel Tower both day and night from both the Trocadero and the Champs de Mars. We've seen it both sparkling and still. But our favorite view of it is from underneath at night when hardly anyone is there. The structure is lit and you can really see the amazing engineering and how beautiful the iron work is.
When we were watching from the Champs de Mars, people were picnicking on the grass. At the Trocadero we saw no skate boarders that day, but people were set up with a boombox dancing the tango. Paris is always a joy.
Hello Beth! It sounds like you are doing a similar trip to what we just did (assuming you're the same Beth that is also going to Geneva.) Paris is wonderful and you will fall in the love with the city.
We did the "hop off hop on" bus to see a lot of the city. It was fairly reasonable (24 Euros for the day?) but be forewarned that the drivers are fairly nasty if you don't pay all-together. They are in a huge rush and wait for NO ONE. The audio guides were interesting, and kids would love sitting up on the top. They run all day long, and are easy to find.
We didn't have to wait long at all to go up in the Eiffel Tower, but we went at night. We also went in the morning to see it and take pictures, but just went up at night. Simply breathtaking.
My favorite place that I visited in Paris was the Musee d' Orsay, because I am a big fan of Impressionist painters. It is much less intimidating and large than the Louvre, and I spent about two hours there and saw everything I wanted to see (but could've stayed longer.) If I had more time, there is a fabulous cafe there with a huge clock window that overlooks the city. Alas, I had no time to sit down and reflect there.
Hope you have a great time!