Paris Tourist Trap Tips by Dabs
Paris Tourist Traps: 439 reviews and 344 photos
Is a Paris Pass worth the money is a frequently asked question on forums and I've never seen a regular Paris visitor recommend getting one. Not to be confused with the less expensive Paris Museum Pass, the Paris Pass is a bundle of passes, it includes the Paris Museum Pass and also the Paris Visite Pass which is used on public transport in central Paris, a Paris attractions pass which I don't think you can buy and a 2 day pass on the Les Cars Rouge HOHO bus.
So here's the math as of September 2013 for 2 days/4 days/6 days
Paris Museum Pass 39€/54€/69€
Paris Visite 17.15€/33.70€ (5 days)/44.25€
Les Cars Rouge 27.90€/27.90€/27.90€ if purchased online
Paris Pass 110€/160€/195€
The extras would be what is on the Paris Attractions part, you'd have to spend 26€-53€ more on them to save money, the attractions are:
Bateaux River Cruise, Wine Tasting Experience, Paris Opera House, Paris Story, the Grevin Wax Museum, Montparnasse Tower, Dali Museum
I just can't see the value of the Paris Pass, you can get all of it's components separately at a lower cost and you can customize if for example you don't want to do the HOHO bus or if you aren't really a museum person or if you want to buy carnets of tickets (13.30€ for 10) for the metro/RER if you think you will want to walk a lot.
Also, I'll mention that the price per day for the Paris Pass goes down the more days you have it so you are more likely to get value out of it if you get a 6 day pass. But the component parts, the Paris Museum Pass and Paris Visite Pass also cost less per day for a 6 day pass so I'd still argue that getting the separate pieces is a better value.
Fun Alternatives: What I do is get a Paris Museum Pass, good for 2, 4 or 6 consecutive days and then I buy carnets of 10 metro tickets that me and my traveling companion can use. The carnets are discounted from single tickets and Paris is a great walking city so I tend not to use the metro or buses a lot.
I just read of someone's four hour wait in the cold December air to ascend the Eiffel Tower and recalled the coldest I had ever been, the day that we waited atop the platform on the Eiffel Tower, waiting to go to the next level, on an equally cold December day many years ago.
Just my opinion, of course, but I think of all of the things you could be doing in Paris with four hours. And then there's the real problem with being on top of the Eiffel Tower-you can't see the Eiffel Tower!
Don't get me wrong, the Eiffel Tower is a wonderful monument, especially when it is lit up at night so go see my must see tip before you think badly of me :-)
Unique Suggestions: If it's December, wear lots and lots of clothes! And try to figure out when it will be the least busy, it seems that early am might be the best.
I understand you can now purchase tickets in advance but that's always a risk that the weather won't be good, who wants to go up the Eiffel Tower when it's raining or foggy? It's the same problem I have with the London Eye.
Fun Alternatives: Go for the great views on top of Notre Dame or the Arc de Triomphe. I also understand that there is a fine free view from the Galeries Lafayette, there used to be a fabulous view from the Samaratine Department store which has been closed for a number of years but I saw an article saying that a development was in the works at this site so maybe someday they will reopen the upper deck.
New Year's Eve in the Latin Quarter
We didn't want to get dressed up and pay big money to eat out on New Year's Eve so we headed to Champs Elysses with about a million other people. Anticlimatic is not a strong enough word for this street celebration in Paris, had I not looked at my watch, I would not have even known that midnight had arrived.
No countdown, no fireworks and the increase in noise level at midnight was imperceptible!
Another note, certainly not unique to Paris, virtually all of the restaurants increase their prices for NYE starting around dinner, some under the pretense of a price fixed menu, some blatantly gouging by plastering prices that are double over the usual price on the menus. The only restaurants that didn't seem to be gouging were fast food and the take away places (crepes, Greek, pizza).
Unique Suggestions: Stay clear of the metro close to midnight unless you want to be one of the sardines in the metro car.
The metro going back was very unpleasant, people pushing and shoving to get on the next train, I even thought their might be a possibility of someone getting trampled on. If you can avoid getting on at the stops on the Champs Elysses (FDR or Concorde) do it!
Fun Alternatives: Have a really nice lunch and then go to the supermarket like many of the locals seem to be doing, buy yourself a picnic dinner and a bottle of champagne and have your own celebration in the comfort and warmth of your hotel room.
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