One of the first big cities we were visiting in Europe was Paris and while we have been there a couple of times before there is still so much to see and do in Paris. We had no idea what to do and where to go on our 3-day visit to Paris but luckily the Paris Pass gave us all the best ideas to see as much as we could.
We were lucky enough to be given a 2 day Paris Pass to try out for our family trip to Paris. For those of you that don’t know, The Paris Pass a city pass offering free entries, transport and discounts all around Paris, France
The Paris Pass offers the following
- Free Entry to 60+ museums, attractions and experiences
- Free public transport within the city centre
- Fast pass entry into many attractions
- Free guide book
- 1 day on the Big Bus hop on hop off tour
- Huge discounts on many other attractions and events citywide
Day 1 exploring with our Paris Pass
We started our day 1 at the Cite Metro Station on Line 4. Just meters from the exit of the Cite Metro station lies two of the free attractions available on the city card. We are talking about the Saint Chapelle Church and La Conciergerie.
Saint Chapelle was built in the mid 12th Century as a place to house the crown of thorns that the French king has acquired. This gothic chapel is located in the medieval Palais de la Cité, the residence of the Kings of France until the 14th century. The amazing chapel is defined by the amazing leadlight windows.
Located just next door to Saint Chapelle, the Conciergerie is best known as the prison where Marie Antionette spent her last days before being beheaded at Place de la Concorde. The building dates from the 12th century when it used to be part of the royal palace compound.
By the 14th century, it was being used as a prison. Even after the French Revolution it continued to be used and held prisoners including Napoleon. Today the three towers which are best viewed from the river remain from medieval times.
*We went back to the Cite metro stop on line 4 and headed to Chalet which is 1 stop away. We had to transfer to Line 1 and head to Charles De Gaulle Etoile stop. Here you will find the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysses
The Arc de Triomphe
The Paris Pass gives you access to the observation deck at the Arc. The downside is that you must climb nearly 300 steps to get one of the best views in Paris.
Looking down the Champs Elysees, looking at the Eiffel Tower and a 360-degree view of the city. There is a small museum just before you enter the observation deck. The Deck is free to enter with your Paris Pass.
Being so close one must wander down the worlds most famous avenue, it is a place to see and be seen. These days it is packed with tourists and the traditional french shops have been replaced by the big international retailers on both sides.
*We headed back down into the metro at Charles De Gaulle Etoile and caught the line 4 to Anvers Metro Station. Anvers is the closest station to Montmartre.
Montmartre has numerous attractions for you to have a look at including the Sacre Coeur Church. Your pass allows you to catch the funicular to the top of the steps at the iconic church in Montmartre. From here the views of Paris are breathtaking.
Just around the corner from Sacre Coeur is Place du Tertre. At Place du Tertre you will find artists and coffee shops. It is a good place to watch the world go by.
The little train of Montmartre is included in your Paris Pass. You can catch it a few blocks from Anvers metro near the world-famous Moulin Rouge.
The little train of Montmartre will take you through the windy streets of this iconic Paris neighbourhood.
We were nearly 8 hours into day 1 at this stage. We called it a day and headed back to our hotel for dinner.
Below are some more attractions that you can get into with the Paris Pass.
- Palace of Versailles
- Paris Aquarium
- Centre Pompidou
- Stade De France
- Montmarte Walking Tour
- Grevin Wax Museum
- Opera Garnier Guided Tour
- Museum of air and space
Day 2 with our Paris Pass
On day 2 we headed back to the Cite metro stop to catch the Big Bus Paris which is free with your Paris Pass. The Big Bus is one of the popular hop on hop off buses that run around Paris.
Big Bus Paris
We choose the classic route which shows the city centre. You pass the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Louvre and so many more. We did a full lap and got back off at the Notre Dame stop. The classic route takes around 2 hours to complete depending on the Paris traffic.
The Pantheon Paris
We walked up to the Pantheon, which is included in the free entry of the Paris Card. This Paris attraction was originally a church dedicated to St Genevieve.
Today it functions as a mausoleum for famous french people like Victor Hugo, Émile Zola, Jean Moulin and Marie Currie. For me, the highlight was the big wall murals depicting the life of Joan of Arc and crowning of Constantine.
We walked back to the banks of the Seine river hoping to catch the Bateaux Parisiens boat cruise which is free with your Paris card. Even though they have an office and boarding section near Notre Dame you can’t board the boat there.
The Eiffel Tower
We had to make our way to the Eiffel Tower stop. We got back on the big bus and made our way to the Eiffel Tower. This wasted an hour to get back to the boat. In hindsight we should have got off at the tower the during the first lap on the bus did the cruise and then got back on the bus
We spent some time taking pictures of the tower, you can walk around the tower and take pictures over the river or from the Champ de Mars.
Bateaux Parisians Boat trip
We walked down the river to on the Bateaux Parisians boat for a trip down the Seine. We loved the boat cruise as you get to sit outside and take in all the left and right banks of Paris has to offer. The oldest parts of Paris lie on the banks of the Seine River. The view of Notre Dam and Cite De Medieval were amazing
We caught the RER line C from the Eiffel Tower and got off at Montparnasse Station where we headed for Montparnasse Tower. Montparnasse Tower was the tallest building in Paris until 2011.
Montparnasse Tower provides an alternative to the Eiffel Tower as a viewing point of the city. The viewing platform is over 200 meters high and provides a great 360 view of the city. It looks straight at the Champ de Mars and the Eiffel Tower.
Another near 8 hours down we called it day. The Paris Pass was great for us, but like all things in a city like Paris, everything takes time. The Paris Pass allows you to skip the line at certain attractions and walk straight in which was brilliant for making some extra attractions fit in.
You need to have a plan of what you want to see, you need to start early and get going. People and families who want to put in full days in Paris of 8-10 hours will get the best value out of the Paris Pass.
The free public transport side of the pass is really handy and adds up to a saving really quickly. If you can save some money on Paris accommodation by staying out of the city a little the metro passes that come with the Paris pass are brilliant for helping with your Paris budget. The Paris Metro costs 1.90 euro per trip. We had a great few days exploring with Paris Pass.
For your Paris France accommodation, you have a huge choice of hotels, apartments, hostels and more. Below we have an interactive map to help you choose your Paris accommodation.
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About the Author
Mark Wyld is a father, Husband and traveller. Having been to over 30 countries worldwide I think I know a thing or 2 about travelling with kids. I have been writing about travel on our website for the last 4 years and have featured on numerous other websites. When I am not talking, dreaming and planning travel I can be found working in disability support