Paris is one of the most amazing cities in the world to visit. With dozens of museums and monuments, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular travel destination. With so many options to choose from, the cost to enjoy them can quickly add up. The Paris Museum Pass can help you save both money and time during your visit. I’ll show you how to decide if it’s worth it for you to buy the pass for your trip.
Most major cities offer passes that promise to help you save money visiting the sites on your list. The Paris Museum Pass is no different. The pass is designed to help you save money by charging you a flat rate to visit the museums and monuments included in the pass. We have visited Paris twice and both times we purchased the pass for our trip. I’m going to show you why I recommend it and how you can determine if it’s right for you.
What Is The Paris Museum Pass
The Paris Museum Pass is a pass that allows you entry into over 50 of Paris’ museums and monuments for one flat rate. You can purchase a pass that’s valid for 48 (2 days), 96 (4 days) or 144 (6 days) consecutive hours. One convenient thing about the pass is the clock doesn’t start until you scan your pass at the first museum you visit. Previously, the pass was only valid for the number of calendar days you purchased. Now you don’t have to get up early on Day 1 to get the most value out of your pass.
Keep in mind, there’s another popular pass being sold with a similar name called the Paris Pass. This pass does include a Paris Museum Pass but it also is valid for use at other attractions but costs significantly more. We have purchased both and in my opinion, I think the Paris Museum Pass is more than sufficient for most people visiting Paris.
How Much Does It Cost – At the time of publication, the cost for a 2 day Paris Museum Pass was 52 Euros.
Who Needs A Pass – Children under 18 can visit most of the museums and monuments for free. This wonderful policy saved us a lot of money when we took our 5 kids to Europe a few years ago. If you are a citizen of the European Union, then you can visit for free if you are under age 26.
How Often Can I Visit – You can visit as many of the museums and monuments as you’re able to within the time frame that your pass allows. However, you can only visit each site once.
Is There A Fast Track Line – Many of the locations have a fast track line for those who purchased the Paris Museum Pass. This can be especially useful and some of the popular attractions like the Louvre. This was the line for those who didn’t have the pass so we were able to save a lot of time with the pass.
Which Museums Are Included
Here are a list of the more popular museums and monuments you can visit with the Paris Museum Pass. You can see a full list of all the places you can visit here.
- Louvre Museum
- Arc de Triomphe
- Château de Versailles
- Musée Rodin
- Musée d’Orsay
- Musée de l’Armée – Tombeau de Napoléon
- Notre Dame Towers (currently closed due to the recent fire)
- Musée de Cluny
- Quai Branly Museum
- Musée de l’Orangerie
- Centre Pompidou
- Villa Savoye
- Château de Fontainebleau
Notable Exceptions – Not all of the national museums are included in the Paris Museum Pass. A few of the most notable exceptions are the Eiffel Tower, the Paris catacombs, the Sacré Coeur Dome, Grand Palais, Luxembourg Museum, Musée Marmottan Monet, Montmartre Museum, and the Treasury of Notre-Dame.
Tips For Visiting The Museums
Free For Everyone – Many of the museums in Paris are free on the first Sunday of every month. If you’ll be in Paris that day, you’ll want to consider this when you’re deciding whether or not to buy the pass and for how long.
Routine Closers – A lot of the attractions are closed on either Mondays or Tuesdays, as well as some holidays. Be sure to check each museum you are planning to visit. You don’t waste time getting there, only to find that it’s closed.
Visiting The Palace of Versailles – If you can, avoid visiting Versailles on Sundays and on Tuesdays when the Louvre is closed. The first time we visited Paris we went to Versailles on a Sunday. The crowds that day were worse than a NY subway during rush hour. The second time we went was on a Wednesday and it was so much more enjoyable. The crowds were a lot smaller and you could really enjoy your visit. Some days there are special events in the Versailles gardens and you will need to purchase a supplemental ticket if you visit on one of those days.
The Louvre – Recently the Louvre has started allowing you to book a time slot for visiting. These are free to book with the pass and will help you save time when you visit. Once you have your pass, you can book your time slot here.
Eiffel Tower – Even thought the Eiffel Tower isn’t included in the Paris Museum Pass, you’ll definitely want to go there. Lines to purchase walk up tickets can be extremely long so don’t wait until you get there to buy them. Advance tickets to ride up the tower can sell out months in advance, so you’ll want to buy them as soon as you know when you’ll be in Paris.
Where To Buy The Paris Museum Pass
There are numerous places where you can purchase the pass so it’s super convenient to get. When you purchase your pass, be sure to use a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. If you don’t have one of these cards yet, you’ll want to get one before you go. These fees can really add up when you’re traveling abroad.
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There are several tour companies that sell these passes online and will typically mark them up. Be sure to read everything carefully so you know what you’re buying. Here are a few of the easiest ways to purchase them in person or online.
In Person – You can purchase the pass at several locations while you’re in Paris. You can buy them at the tourist information offices at the Charles de Gaulle (CDG) airport or the Gare du Nord train station. There are also several Visitor Centers located throughout the city or the Central Tourist Office in Paris.
Online – Both times we visited Paris, we were only in town for 2 days. To save time, we purchased them online and had them shipped to our house before we left. You can also purchase them online and have them delivered to your hotel in Paris for a fee. If you want to avoid the fees, you can also purchase them online and pick them up in person from the Central Tourist Office when you arrive.
Is the Paris Museum Pass Worth Buying
Overall, I definitely recommend buying the Paris Museum Pass when visiting Paris. We purchased it both times we were in Paris and I would buy it again the next time we visit. I understand everyone’s situation is a little different but here’s why I think you should consider it.
Value – We spent less money on the pass than we would have if we had paid the cumulative entrance fees at each attraction we visited. Take a little time and look at the places you want to visit. If you add up the cost of visiting each site individually and it’s more than the cost of the pass, buy it. However, if you add up everything and the pass is a little more expensive, you may still want to purchase it after you consider the other reasons why I like it.
Saves Time – When you buy the Paris Museum Pass you don’t have to wait in line to buy tickets at each location. It also gives you access to separate entrance lines exclusively for pass holders at many of the attractions. This can easily save you a lot of time so you’re spending more time enjoying the sites and less time waiting in line.
See Something Unexpected – The pass gives you the opportunity to see something you hadn’t planned on. Each time we had the pass, we visited a museum that wasn’t originally on our list. We visited the Pantheon and Napoleon’s tomb because they were close by and included in the pass. We loved both places and would have completely missed them if we didn’t have the pass.
We all want to get the most out of our vacations and I think the Paris Museum Pass can help you do just that. Not only can it save you money but it can also save you precious time and help you see more than you planned. Leave us a comment below if you have any other questions and I’d be happy to answer them.
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