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Archive for February, 2012

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.

One more tip: the Paris Pass is activated the first time you use it, and that’s counted as your first day, even if it’s in the evening. To get your full day’s worth, start in the morning. Bon voyage!

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