Two of my favorite things: the city of Paris, and saving money. This trip, I’m enjoying both. With a 2-day Paris Pass, I can stroll past the long waiting lines at museums, use my ticket on the Metro and buses, and jump on a sightseeing bus any time. My Paris Pass provides entry to 60-plus attractions in and around Paris, unlimited travel on the Metro, bus rides in the central city, rides on the hop-on, hop-off “Les Cars Rouges,” and other items such as a one-hour boat trip on the River Seine, entrance to Versailles, and discounts at a few restaurants.
The Pass, which you can order online, is actually a package of two plastic cards, two vouchers (to be traded for tickets), and a handy guidebook. It isn’t cheap: 99 euros for an adult for 2 days (less for teens 12-17 and children 4-11). Passes for 4 or 6 days cost more. Is it worth the cost? Well, mine was provided for review purposes, but I’d get one if only as a time-saver, because I can avoid standing in long lines. I also appreciate admiring the views from the bus instead of endless walking, easy entrance to museums and monuments, and the guided tour at Opera Garnier. (Tip on this one: Reserve your English-language tour in advance, as limited numbers are allowed.) Still, everybody’s sightseeing is different; best to decide what you’re most eager to visit, check the fees, and compare. If you buy a Paris Pass online and have it mailed to you, the shipping fee to the U.S. ranges from 7.95 euros (12 working days) to 45 euros (FedEx, 3 days). It’s much less expensive to wait and pick it up in the Paris office at 33 rue le Peletier, in the 9th arrondisement, for a fee of 2 euros. Then read the instructions carefully–it’s easy to confuse “museums” with “attractions”–sign the vouchers, and you’re good to go.