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Researching a family trip to Paris (parents & 8- and 5-year-old), I've discovered multiple travel/visit 'cards', but am having difficulty working out how to effectively differentiate between them: especially as sometimes things that look like a good deal on paper often turn out to be not so great (e.g. unlimited museum visits with two young children and just a long weekend).

Do you have any experience or advice on these (or other) options, for a Friday-midday-to-Monday-afternoon visit?

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3 Answers

Both Paris Pass AND City Passport include the Paris Visite card. It's not an option.

So the actual comparison is only between Paris Pass and City Passport.

The biggest difference is that Paris Pass includes everything they advertise, you only chose the age of the person and the days.

City Passport has different benefits depending on the days. For example, for several days, you can go to any museum, but for one day only to the Louvre. It's a bit cheaper in return.

So the recommendation would be that if you want to be very free in what you do and spend a couple of EUR more, get the Paris Pass. If you know exactly what to do and can stick to the restrictions of the City Passport, get that one.

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Well, the last one is a public transportation pass only. On that topic, I suggest you refer to the “official” tourist information from RATP (Paris’ public transportation authority). The number of “zones” you want included in your pass depends on where you are staying, and if you want to visit stuff outside downtown Paris (Versailles is an example that comes to mind).

The second link you quote offers a combination of transportation card (equivalent to the “Paris Visite” zones 1-3) and some museums: Louvre only for the 1-day ticket, “Paris Museum Pass” (includes 60 museums) for other tickets.

Finally, your first list is a from a commercial vendor (not a city of Paris affiliated agency, like the other two), and it includes the same as the above with a bit more: a hop-on-hop-off bus pass, a guide book, etc.

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Check carefully if a pass makes sense for you. Don't let yourself fool by the discounts. Some are more sexy, some other are less sexy. Check precisely what the discounts are good for, check the prices. And check if you are interested in these at all! Plan your sightseeing first, i.e. make a list of what your are interested in and see if that's covered by the pass. Don't do it the other way round. You might miss a lot.

For publuc transport there are better options. You can save money if you buy tickets by batch of 10 (carnet). There are also passes for one day.

Conclusion: make first a plan and then have a look at what the passes can offer you.

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You're right, it's more work, but this is the only way to make sure I'm not wasting money. –  Benjol Apr 16 '13 at 9:49
    
Right, but nowadays the major sights and attractions have internet sites. That helps a lot. And a minimal amount of planning will allow you to get the most out of your time. It pays off. –  PERSONA NON GRATA Apr 16 '13 at 10:14
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