Home France Itinerary with Paris, Versailles & Colmar Tour for First-Timers By Marcos Detourista. Updated on January 1, 2019. Here’s a detailed France Itinerary for 5 days + trip budget to Paris, Colmar, Versailles & more. When we were planning our first trip to Europe, France was not included in the itinerary I initially had in mind. Yes, I was in love with the thought of visiting France for the first time, but I wasn’t sure if it was a good choice considering: (1) We were starting/ending our trip in Greece; (2) We only had three weeks for our Euro trip; and (3) There were a lot of other equally compelling places we wanted to see that were closer to our starting/end destinations. In the end, we somehow managed to fit a quick trip to France after realizing it won’t be a proper 1st Eurotrip without stopping by Paris. Visiting a lot of places in Europe in a short time is easy to do thanks to the region’s well-connected flight and high-speed train network. I’m am relieved that we did not skip Paris! I got emotional many times during the trip, especially with the experience of seeing the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night, getting close to Mona Lisa, watching Moulin Rouge live etc. Clichéd and touristic as it may seem, these are still very worthy travel goals to achieve. Wanting to see a bit of France outside of Paris, we found ourselves in Colmar, a charming fairytale-esque city near the Swiss-French border. How to spend 5 days in France? Check out my recommended France itinerary below. The sample itinerary is easy to follow or customize in case you plan to go for 4 days, 6 days or more. Scroll down to see the detailed do-it-yourself (DIY) itinerary blog, followed by a budget/expenses breakdown and lots of extra travel tips. Follow me on Instagram Trip Checklist Before we go on with the actual itinerary, here are things you might need to prepare and bring for a hassle-free trip. I’ve posted a lot of discounts on this guide. Make sure to check them out and pre-book online to save money, time & avoid the hassles of bringing/exchanging cash during your trip. Accommodations — You should have your confirmed hotel reservations at hand to show at the immigration checkpoint. Book your room as soon as you know you are going because prices often go up the closer you are to your trip. See discountsSee more Paris hotel reservations — Stay in Central Paris, near top tourist attractions or Paris Metro stations. See discountsSee more Colmar hotel reservations — Stay in Colmar Old Town or close to Colmar train station (Gare de Colmar). Essentials Shengen Visa / France Tourist Visa + Valid Passport — Filipinos/Pinoy tourists will need a valid Schengen Visa to enter France and the Schengen Area in Europe. Tours & attraction tickets — Pre-book online to enjoy often cheaper prices compared to buying on site & avoid queueing at ticket counters. You can show these as well to immigration officers as proof that you’re visiting as a tourist. See discounts Paris hop-on hop-off bus + Seine River cruise — 2 days unlimited bus pass + 1-hr Seine River cruise ticket. See discounts Paris Museum Pass — 2 days unlimited access to over 50 museums in Paris and the surrounding region. See discounts Eiffel Tower Summit View — Skip-the-line entry ticket to the 2nd and top floor. See discounts Versailles palace & gardens tour — Hassle-free half-day tour from Paris. Includes roundtrip coach transfers, professional guide, & skip-the-line access. See discounts Montparnasse Tower — Entry ticket to the observation deck. See discounts Moulin Rouge entry ticket with champagne — Evening show admission ticket with 1/2 bottle of champagne + free city bus tour. Transport See discounts Paris to Colmar train ticket Cheap flights Paris flight tickets Others Check price Travel insurance — Especially important in case a travel insurance is required for the Schengen tourist visa application. See discounts WIFI hotspot/SIM card — Enjoy easy access to online maps, French translation, currency exchange rate & other helpful travel apps. France Itinerary Blog Contents France Trip Checklist France Itinerary France Budget Where to Stay in Paris Where to Stay in Colmar France Travel Tips See More Travel Guides & Blogs France Itinerary This sample 5 days and 4 nights (5D4N) France itinerary will take you to many of the top attractions in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Montmartre, Arc de Triomphe & more. It also includes a day tour to the Palace of Versailles from Paris and a 1-night side trip to Colmar Old Town. Three days in Paris should be enough to cover the main tourist spots. Add more days if you want to enjoy the trip at a relaxed pace, experience more of Paris, or extend to see more places in France. Me and my travel buddy, Gael, actually went to all three places (Paris, Versailles & Colmar) in just 4 days. The trip was doable but the pace was a bit rushed. We chose Colmar because it was one of Gael’s top travel goals, and it was conveniently located near Zurich (Switzerland), our next destination. You can replace Colmar with any of the myriads of beautiful places to visit near Paris. Feel free to tweak the activities & timings based on your traveling style, schedule, & attractions that interest you the most. 5 Days France Itinerary – Paris, Versailles & Colmar Day/Time Activity Day 1 Eiffel Tower & Paris tourist spots Flight to Paris 1000 am Paris airport arrival 1030 am Airport to hotel / Paris city center transfer 1130 am Paris hotel check-inSee discountsCompare rates Claim tours + attraction tickets booked online 0100 pm Start Paris top attractions half-day tour Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) Arc de Triomphe Trocadero Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) 0630 pm Seine River Cruise Rest Day 2 Louvre, Montmartre & Moulin Rouge 0800 am Notre Dame Cathedral & Sainte-Chapelle 0930 am Louvre Museum Louvre district Orsay Museum (Musée d’Orsay) 0230 pm Montmartre & Sacré-Cœur Basilica Moulin Rouge Show Rest Day 3 Versailles and Paris museums Free time 0130 pm Arrive at Palace of Versailles tour meeting point 0200 pm Depart from Paris Palace of Versailles Gardens of Versailles 0600 pm Arrive back in Paris Montparnasse Tower Rest Day 4 Colmar trip from Paris 0720 am Paris to Colmar Train 0940 am Arrive at Colmar Train Station 1000 am Colmar hotel check-inSee discountsCompare rates 1030 am Start Colmar walking tour Little Venice (La Petite Venise) & Colmar Canal Colmar Old Town Rest Day 5 Train to Paris or onward destination Day 1: Eiffel Tower & Paris tourist spots Flight to Paris Find cheap flights Take the earliest flight to Paris to maximize your first day in France. 1000 am: Paris airport arrival There are three main airports serving Paris: Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) — The biggest airport serving most international flights. Paris-Orly Airport (ORY) — Closest to Paris city center. Paris-Beauvais Airport (BVA) — Served mostly by budget airlines. Beauvais Airport is located farthest from Paris city center. In our case, we arrived at Charles de Gaulle Airport. 1030 am: Airport to hotel / Paris city center transfer We used Uber during our trip but I also recommend pre-booking hassle-free private transfers online or going by train. Getting to Paris city center by train from the airport The RER B (blue) train line connects Charles de Gaulle Airport to the city center of Paris. This is a good option if you’re looking for a quick and cheap way of getting to your hotel in Paris. Travel time by train takes up to 50 minutes. Navigo Découverte Card Get a “Navigo Découverte Card” at the airport train station. This contactless smart card offers unlimited rides in Paris RER/Metro trains & buses. It can be used for train rides in Paris’ public transport zones 1 to 5. A weekly pass costs EUR 22.80 + EUR 5 one-time fee for the card. Here’s a summary of public transport zones in Paris: Zone 1 to 3 — Central Paris & La Défense. Zone 4 to 5 — Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly Airport, Versailles, Disneyland Paris, Fontainebleau. Paris Airport-hotel private car transfers — Enjoy easy transfers to your hotel from the airport (or vice-versa). Travel time by car should take around 40 minutes. See discounts Paris Visite Card Designed for tourists, this smart card offers unlimited travel on Paris’ public transport network, including the metro, buses, and trams. The Paris Visite Card is more expensive compared to the Navigo Card. However, the Navigo Card has timing considerations you need to know when buying. I’ll post more about this in detail later. The conventional way of taking the train is using single-use tickets. The one-way fare from Charles de Gaulle Airport to the stations in Paris city center costs EUR 10.30. 1130 am: Paris hotel check-in Ideally, you’d want to stay in a central location near Paris’ top tourist spots. In case you find a nice place to stay that’s farther afield, make sure it’s located near a metro/train station. Paris hotels, hostels & guesthouses Cheapest ratesBest reviews Claim tours + attraction tickets booked online Carefully read the “activity info” & “how to use” info of attraction tickets & tours that you pre-booked online. The for activities booked on Klook, the designated claiming area of many activities is PARISCityVISION (2 Rue des Pyramides). Stop by here to confirm your tours and get all the physical tickets. You can find their office near the Louvre Museum, which is a convenient area to start a tour of the city. 0100 pm: Start Paris top attractions half-day tour Paris Hop-on Hop-off Bus — Book the “Deluxe Tour” with Seine River Cruise, which is inclusive of 2 days HOHO bus pass & Seine River cruise ticket by Bateaux Parisiens. Discount price online is EUR 41.25. See discounts The discount price of the HOHO bus without the Seine River cruise is EUR 29.70 for the 1-day pass and EUR 33.85 for the 2-day pass. I highly recommended this easy way of getting around Paris. Drop-off/Pick-up points are strategically located near top tourist spots, which means less walking compared to taking the metro trains. PLUS, you can enjoy views on the open-top bus & an audio guide of famous landmarks. Paris Museum Pass — This convenient multi-attraction pass offers unlimited access to over 50 museums in Paris and the surrounding region. The 2 days pass costs EUR 48. See discounts You will save money by getting the Paris Museum Pass compared to buying individual tickets to museums featured in this itinerary. Not to mention, it’s also a huge time saver. The total cost of individual entry tickets to the Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, Notre Dame Towers & Arch de Triomphe viewpoint already costs over EUR 50. Louvre Pyramid (Pyramide du Louvre) Marcos at the Louvre Pyramid, in Paris Marcos at the Louvre Pyramid, in Paris Enjoy a quick photo stop at this famous landmark. Remember not to spend too much time here (for now) because we will be visiting again in the next days, including going inside the museum. Arc de Triomphe Arc de Triomphe, in Paris Eiffel Tower view from Arc de Triomphe Paris Skyline and La Defense view from Arc de Triomphe Climb up the tower to see panoramic views of the Paris skyline & cityscape. From the top, don’t miss the view facing the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées shopping street & La Defense skyline. Access to the Arc de Triomphe rooftop is included in the Paris Museum Pass. Check below if you want to book separately Arc de Triomphe rooftop access skip-the-line-ticket See discounts Trocadero Marcos with the Eiffel Tower view from Trocadero, in Paris Redeveloped for the Exposition Internationale of 1937, this complex of buildings and gardens is very popular on Instagram because of its beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower. Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) Eiffel Tower view from Seine River Eiffel Tower I’m sure this one needs no introduction. While the sun is out, see the panoramic views from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Eiffel Tower skip-the-line entry ticket — Get this fast-track entry ticket with access to the glass elevator that connects the 2nd-floor view deck to the 276-meter summit. See discountsSee more Before sunset, you’d want to head out to a good spot where you can enjoy a romantic view of the Eiffel Tower under the golden and twilight hours. The best views can be seen from Trocadero, on a Seine River Cruise, at the top of Montparnasse Tower, or from Champs de Mars (picnic park/green space). After sunset, you’ll see the Eiffel Tower sparkle! This spectacular show is scheduled for 5 minutes every hour, on the hour until 1 or 2 am. 0630 pm: Seine River Cruise Seine River cruise, in Paris Cap your first day with a relaxing cruise along the Seine River. The best time to do this is right before sunset or at night when you can enjoy a (literally) lit view of Paris’ famous buildings. A Seine River cruise is included in the “Deluxe Tour” of this package. You can also check the links below for more options including drinks, snacks or a dinner cruise. Seine River sightseeing cruise with optional champagne or snacks See discounts Seine River dinner cruise See discountsSee more Day 2: Louvre, Montmartre & Moulin Rouge 0800 am: Notre Dame Cathedral & Sainte-Chapelle Notre Dame Cathedral, in Paris Start early at Notre Dame Cathedral to avoid the bigger crowds later in the day. Explore the interiors of the church and go up the tower of this world’s most famous Gothic cathedral. Nearby, you can find Sainte-Chapelle, especially known for its beautiful stained glass windows. Access to Sainte-Chapelle and the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral is included in the Paris Museum Pass. Check below if you want to book separately: Skip-the-Line Notre-Dame Towers & Sainte-Chapelle Tour See discounts 0930 am: Louvre Museum Louvre Museum ceiling paitings and sculptural details Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum Louvre Museum architecture If you’re an art lover, this is definitely going to be the highlight of your Paris trip! Don’t miss these Louvre highlights: Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa (painting), Winged Victory of Samothrace (sculpture), Venus de Milo (sculpture), Eugène Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People (painting), Michelangelo’s The Dying Slave and The Rebellious Slave (sculpture), Lamassus (Sculpture) & Hammurabi’s Code to name a few. The Louvre museum is the largest art museum in the World and it takes days to explore all the galleries & exhibits. For a casual visit, however, 2 to 3 hours is recommeneded. This way, you’d have time to fit more museums/attractions in your Paris trip. Entry to The Louvre Museum is included in the Paris Museum Pass. Check below if you want to book separately: The Louvre skip-the-Line admission ticket with audio guide See discounts Louvre district Louvre borough, in Paris Louvre borough, in Paris Confit Conard (duck) at Bistrot Victoires The area surrounding the Louvre is a good place to wander around on foot. It’s an old part of Paris, so you’re going to find lots of buildings built in different French/European architectural styles, historical sites, as well as shopping and dining spots. If you’re looking for an affordable French restaurant, we found this place called Bistrot Victoires (6 Rue de la Vrillière). It is one of the top-rated places to eat in the area. The Confit Conard (Duck Confit) is one of their best sellers. Orsay Museum (Musée d’Orsay) Cross the Seine River & visit the Orsay Museum. Housed in a stunning (former) railway station building, this museum is where you can find the World’s largest collection of impressionist and post-Impressionist masterpieces. Entry to Orsay museum is included in the Paris Museum Pass. Check below if you want to book separately: Orsay museum skip-the-line ticket See discounts 0230 pm: Montmartre & Sacré-Cœur Basilica Sacre Coeur Basilica in Montmartre, Paris Montmartre view overlooking Paris Montmartre is primarily known for its history as a haven for artists. The most famous landmark here is the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur. Montmartre’s hilly terrain offers nice views overlooking Paris. Moulin Rouge Show Moulin Rouge theatre, in Paris Moulin Rouge show reception, in Paris Before arriving in Paris, the Moulin Rouge show was honestly not in my list of top things to do. While I was watching the show though, I was taken aback with how much I truly appreciated the experience … considering the history and legacy of the Moulin Rouge. If you have the chance, go and watch it. It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to watch this show! You’ll need to dress up for the Moulin Rouge show. Formal attire is advised but there are also a lot of people in the audience wearing long-sleeved shirts, slacks & smart shoes. I recommend that you enjoy the show with champagne. Moulin Rouge show with dinner or champagne See discountsSee more Day 3: Versailles and Paris museums Free time The major activity today is a half-day trip to Versailles. You can either pick a morning or afternoon schedule for the tour. If you prefer not to start your day so early, pick the afternoon trip and spend the morning however you like. Here are a few suggestions on things to do in Paris during your free time: Continue your Paris city tour. Visit more museums + attractions. Go shopping. Seek out interesting Parisian cafés & restaurants. Explore the catacombs. Have a picnic at Champs de Mars with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Wander through the cool neighborhoods of Paris. Marvel at Paris’ architectural gems. 0130 pm: Arrive at Palace of Versailles tour meeting point The meeting point of this tour (see link below) is conveniently located near the Louvre. Arrive at least 30 minutes before the departure time at 2 pm. We thoroughly enjoyed this half-day tour to Versailles, which included roundtrip transfers, a professional guide, and most importantly, skip-the-line access to the Palace of Versailles & gardens. They hand out individual headsets, so you can hear audio commentary from the guide while you’re busy taking Insta snaps. Palace of Versailles & gardens guided tour + transport from Paris See discounts 0200 pm: Depart from Paris Palace of Versailles Marcos at the Palace of Versailles Bed chamber at the Palace of Versailles Ceiling paintings and decor at the Palace of Versailles Palace of Versailles near Paris, France This was definitely my #1 travel goal in France and it did not disappoint. The royal rooms and halls were impressive! We would have missed a lot of interesting facts & details had we not gone on the guided tour. Gardens of Versailles Gardens of Versailles, near Paris Gardens of Versailles, near Paris Gardens of Versailles, near Paris After the guided tour, enjoy some free time to roam around the palace and the gardens on your own. 0600 pm: Arrive back in Paris Montparnasse Tower Eiffel Tower and Paris Skyline view from Montparnasse Tower Paris Skyline view from Montparnasse Tower The highlight here is the amazing view of The Eiffel Tower. The best time to go is before, during, and just after sunset. The entrance fee costs EUR 18 per adult. Montparnasse Tower observation deck admission ticket See discounts Day 4: Colmar trip from Paris 0720 am: Paris to Colmar Train Arrive at the train station at least 30 minutes before departure. If it is your first time to travel by train in France, allot a longer allowance, especially if you plan to book your ticket at the station. Trains to Colmar usually depart from Paris at Gare de l’Est station. Travel time is around 2 hours and 30 minutes on direct high-speed trains. Pre-book your train ticket online (well ahead of your travel date) to grab cheaper fares. The train fare is usually around EUR 50 for tickets booked in advance and could go up to EUR 100+ on the day of departure. Paris to Colmar train tickets & schedule See discounts 0940 am: Arrive at Colmar Train Station Colmar train station, France The main train station in Colmar (Gare de Colmar) is conveniently located just outside the Old Town. Walking distance is around 15 minutes. 1000 am: Colmar hotel check-in Book a room in Colmar City Center or near the train station. There many places to stay within easy walking distance to the main tourist spots in Colmar Old Town. Colmar hotels & hostels Cheapest ratesBest reviews 1030 am: Start Colmar walking tour Little Venice (La Petite Venise) & Colmar Canal Marcos at Little Venice, in Colmar Little Venice, in Colmar Colmar Canal and Little Venice, in Colmar Our favorite spot in Colmar! Little Venice (La Petite Venise) is where you can find pretty houses lined on both sides of the canal. We went here early morning on our second day and enjoyed the whole place all to ourselves. Colmar Old Town St. Martin’s Church in Colmar, France Colmar Old Town, in France Colmar Old Town, in France Colmar Old Town, in France Pastries at Colmar Old Town Colmar Old Town was compact and filled with lots of beautiful centuries-old buildings. The place looked like it could pop right off a storybook. It’s not hard to imagine being transported in the charming village location of Beauty and the Beast. Colmar is a lovely place to get lost in. It’s a small and very walkable. You could see the main highlights in half a day. Make sure to get your fill at the many streetside pastry shops and cafes. Day 5: Train to Paris or onward destination You have lots of options on what to do next: (1) Continue your walking tour of Colmar, (2) take the train back to Paris or (3) move on to a huge list of other places to visit in the surrounding region. France Budget Transport expenses breakdown EUR 5 Navigo card — One-time Navigo card cost. EUR 22.8 Navigo 1 week pass — Unlimited rides on Paris Metro trains & buses. Covers Zones 1 to 5, which includes Central Paris, CDG Airport, Orly Airport, Versailles & Disneyland. EUR 100 Paris to Colmar train ticket — Roundtrip Per person low fare for tickets pre-booked well ahead of the travel date. EUR 50 one-way ticket fare + return trip.Pre-book here Activities/attraction costs breakdown EUR 41.25 Paris hop-on hop-off bus + Seine River cruise — Per person discount price online. Includes 2 days unlimited bus pass and a 1-hr Seine River cruise ticket by Bateaux Parisiens.Book discount here EUR 48 Paris Museum Pass — Per person price online. Includes 2 days unlimited access to over 50 museums in Paris and the surrounding region.Pre-book here EUR 36.9 Eiffel Tower skip-the-line entry ticket — Per person discount price online. Includes priority entry to the 2nd and summit level of the Eiffel Tower.Book discount here EUR 77.65 Versailles & gardens tour — Per person discount price online. Includes roundtrip transfers from Paris, a professional guide, & skip-the-line access to the Palace of Versailles & gardens.Book discount here EUR 18 Montparnasse Tower observation deck admission ticket — Per person entrance fee price online.Pre-book here EUR 125 Moulin Rouge entry ticket with champagne — Per person admission ticket discount price online for the 9:00 pm show with 1/2 bottle of champagne. Includes free city bus tour.Book discount here Budget Trip – Two people sharing expenses EUR 127.8 Transport — Navigo 1 week pass + Paris-Colmar train tickets. EUR 150 Accommodations — EUR 75 per room per night (average price) in a budget hotel/hostel. 3 nights in Paris + 1 night in Colmar. Two people sharing the cost. EUR 200 Food — EUR 40 food budget per day (inexpensive meals) x 5 days EUR 346.8 Activities — Includes admission tickets/entrance fees on selected activities above. EUR 824.6 Total — Including 5 days expenses above. Excludes flights to France, tourist visa costs, travel insurance & personal expenses. Approx. PHP 49,476 / SGD 1,295 / USD 932.The daily budget is PHP 9,895 / SGD 259 / USD 186. Other expenses EUR 25.3 France Travel Insurance — World Nomads ‘Standard Plan’ base policy price per person, for a 5 day trip in France, for Philippine residents. Click below to see the price for your country/trip length.Book here France WIFI hotspot/SIM card — Enjoy easy access to online maps, French translation, currency exchange rate & other helpful travel apps.Book discount here Where to Stay in Paris Stay in a central location near Paris’ top tourist spots. In case you find a nice place to stay that’s farther afield, make sure it’s located near a metro/train station. Check discountsSee more Click below to compare rates and Paris hotel reviews within your budget. Best Luxury Hotels in Paris — Splurge at the best 5-star and 4-star hotels in Paris.See rates & reviews Under EUR 180 Promo rates on 4-Star & 5-Star Paris hotels — Grab discounts on luxury rooms available for booking today.See discounts Under EUR 130 Recommended 3-Star Paris hotels & mid-range accommodations — Great-value rooms for couples or when traveling with family & friends.See rates & reviews Under EUR 80 Best Paris budget hotels — For travelers looking for decent yet affordable accommodations.See rates & reviews Under EUR 50 Best Paris hostels & budget hotels — affordable places to stay for backpackers/solo travelers.See rates & reviews From EUR 15 Cheapest places to stay in ParisSee rates & reviews Where to book Book your room through these trusted booking sites. I use them frequently to grab rock-bottom prices & enjoy convenient bookings. Click below to confirm the lowest prices: Booking.comAirbnbAgoda Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons. Where to Stay in Colmar Book a room in Colmar City Center or near the train station. There many places to stay within easy walking distance to the main tourist spots in Colmar Old Town. Check discountsSee more Click below to compare rates and Colmar hotel reviews within your budget. Best Luxury Hotels in Colmar — Splurge at the best 5-star and 4-star hotels in Colmar.See rates & reviews Under EUR 120 Promo rates on 4-Star & 5-Star Colmar hotels — Grab discounts on luxury rooms available for booking today.See discounts Under EUR 80 Recommended 3-Star Colmar hotels & mid-range accommodations — Great-value rooms for couples or when traveling with family & friends.See rates & reviews Under EUR 60 Best Colmar budget hotels — For travelers looking for decent yet affordable accommodations.See rates & reviews Under EUR 40 Best Colmar hostels & budget hotels — affordable places to stay for backpackers/solo travelers.See rates & reviews From EUR 35 Cheapest places to stay in ColmarSee rates & reviews France Travel Tips Before You Go How much does the train cost from the airport to Paris city center? Paris Metro cards and train ticket fares Paris transport zones Should I get a Navigo card or a Paris Visite card? Pre-book your France tours & attraction tickets online Should I book my France hotel online? How much does the train cost from the airport to Paris city center? The one-way fare from Charles de Gaulle Airport to Paris city center costs EUR 10.30 using a single-use ticket. From Orly Airport, the one-way fare is EUR 8.30. There are no direct trains from Beauvais Airport to the city center. The one-way shuttle bus fare from Beauvais Airport to the city center is EUR 17. Paris Metro cards and train ticket fares For convenient train rides on the Paris Metro train lines (Central Paris) and the RER train lines (greater Paris/Île-de-France area), consider a “Navigo” or “Paris Visite” metro card instead of buying individual train tickets. These contactless smart cards are time and money savers, especially if you plan to travel often by train. Here is a summary of Paris metro cards and train ticket fares: Navigo Découverte card — Offers unlimited rides on Paris Metro/RER public transport network. This electronic smart card is sold as a weekly or monthly pass. In addition, you can choose a “two zones” coverage (if you’re traveling within Central Paris only, for example) or the “five zones” coverage that includes trains to CDG Airport, Versailles, Disneyland & the greater Paris area. The Navigo card cannot be used on trains to/from Orly Airport. Paris Visite card — Similar to the Navigo Card, it also offers unlimited rides on the Paris Metro/RER public transport network. Designed for tourists, this electronic smart card is sold as a 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, 4-day or 5-day pass. In addition, you can choose a “three zones” coverage for Central Paris or a “five zones” coverage for the greater Paris area. The Paris Visite card is valid for trains to/from Orly Airport. Mobilis day pass — A one-day travel pass (magnetic ticket) that allows unlimited travel in your choice of selected zones, or all zones. Single-use tickets — One-way/point-to-point tickets. The train fare is EUR 1.90 for single journey tickets called “t+ tickets” valid within Central Paris. Paris transport zones Here’s a summary of notable places covered by public transport zones in Paris: Zone 1 to 3 — Central Paris & La Défense. Zone 4 — Versailles & Orly Airport. Zone 5 — Charles de Gaulle Airport, Disneyland Paris & Fontainebleau Should I get a Navigo card or a Paris Visite card? The Navigo card is a much cheaper option compared to the Paris Visite card. The Navigo card, however, has some timing considerations you need to know. On a 5-day trip to Paris, I recommend that you get a Navigo weekly pass if you arrive in Paris on a Monday up to Thursday. If you are arriving on Friday or on a weekend, I suggest you get the Paris Visite card covering zones 1-3 (for Central Paris) and buy the airport train tickets individually. You can easily get these cards at the airport train stations. The Navigo weekly pass is sold on a per week basis. Meaning, you can only buy the pass valid for the current week if you arrive in Paris on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday. The validity ends on Sunday. If you arrive and purchase the Navigo card on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, it will be valid for the next week (starting next Monday) so, you’ll need to purchase separate passes/tickets to use for the current weekend. Here’s a comparison of costs for your reference: Total cost Cost per day Navigo card – Zone 1 to 5 1-week pass EUR 27.8 EUR 5.56 Paris Visite card – Three Zones Pass 5-days pass EUR 38.35 EUR 7.67 3-days pass EUR 26.65 EUR 8.89 2-days pass EUR 19.50 EUR 9.75 Paris Visite card – Five Zones Pass 5-days pass EUR 65.80 EUR 13.16 3-days pass EUR 53.75 EUR 17.91 2-days pass EUR 38.35 EUR 19.18 Mobilis 1-day pass Zones 1-2 EUR 7.50 Zones 1-5 EUR 17.80 Central Paris-CDG Airport one-way ticket EUR 10.30 Pre-book your France tours & attraction tickets online I often book online to enjoy discounts and cashless convenience during my actual trip. Always check prices of tours and attraction tickets on these booking sites: KlookGetYourGuide Prices are often cheaper than booking on-site. Huge discounts on many activities. Maximize your trip! Avoid wasting time queueing at ticket booths & shopping for tours. Get a good idea what to expect. Knowing all the inclusions/non-inclusions & reading user reviews is very helpful to make an informed decision. Earn rewards points for every booking. Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies. If you’re booking tours and you’ve already finalized your travel dates, book early, especially if you are traveling with family/friends to lock-in those open slots for everyone in your group. Should I book my France hotel online? Book your stay sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms tend to get fully-booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons. I frequently book my stay with the sites below to grab rock-bottom prices & enjoy hassle-free trips. Click below to see today’s lowest prices. AgodaBooking.com Having hotel reservations is very important when traveling abroad because immigration officers often require tourists to provide the address of their accommodation. In addition, here top reasons why I prefer to book online & why you should too: Wide selection of hotels/hostels. Often cheaper prices than walk-in rates. Earn rewards points for every booking. The more you book, the more you earn! Trusted by millions of travelers. Read reviews from actual staying guests. Instant confirmation and free cancellation on most properties. Pay in your home currency. Worry less about bringing cash/exchanging currencies. Convenient & secure payment by credit card or Paypal. Fast customer support. Don’t Stop Here Did you find this travel guide helpful? Share your France experience & tag #detourista. Follow trip updates on: Instagram @detouristaHQ Facebook @detourista Pinterest Check out these pages for more travel inspiration beyond France: Florence Travel Guide Athens Travel Guide Don’t leave yet. There’s more! 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