Museum pass: If you are serious about seeing Paris museums, consider the Paris museum pass. It is available and valid at over 60 monuments and museums.

There are actually three passes, so buy the one that fits your needs. The one-day pass is 70 francs or about $12, the three consecutive day is 140 francs ($24) and the five consecutive day is 200 francs ($33). If you visit only the Louvre and the Orsay you would save money with the one-day pass. Also, the pass eliminates waiting in lines to buy tickets.The pass is available at participating museums and at major stations of the subway, which also happens to be the best mode of transportation.

The Metro: Anywhere you might be in Paris is about a 10-minute walk from the world's best subway system, the Metro. The system is easy to use - even in a foreign language - once the basic concept is down. There are 15 lines, each with its own color on the Metro maps. The maps are available at stations or on stations walls. Each line has two end-points with a name. For instance, the orange line has the Grande Arche de la Defense on one end and the Chateau du Vincennes on the other. Once inside the easy-to-find Metro stations, blue signs point to the boarding platforms that head toward one of the end points. Once you are headed the right way you can simply check the onboard line maps that show each of the stops and step off when your destination or transfer point is found.

Stops are named after local landmarks such as the Musee du Louvre. Stations also have neighborhood maps to make your final walk efficient.

Because transfers are free, you can start anywhere in Paris and get anywhere else. If you make a mistake, you can simply leave the train, study a map and reboard with a new plan. The Metro can actually be a fun way to observe the real culture of Paris.

Other museums: The Art of Africa and Oceana; Musee des Egouts de Paris, which traces the sanitation history of Paris including a trip through the heart of the city's network of drains; a museum of musical instruments; and one of the leading maritime sites in the world.

There are also museums dedicated to many of the great French writers, artists and sculptors, usually named after the masters including: Eugene Delacroix, Victor Hugo, Gustave Moreau, Jean-Jacques Henner, Balzac and Bourdelle.

On the outskirts of Paris is the Palace of Versailles, which gives you a glimpse of the sumptuous life French royalty had.

Web site: A Web site with city/bus/Metro maps and an interactive museum and monument map, basic museum information and an A-Z listing, holidays, the city calendar, helpful pictures and more is at (www.paris.org).