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Paris Museum Pass Review: a good value or a big scam?

This is one of the eternal questions every traveler to Paris faces. Should I get the Paris Museum Pass?

We are not here to tell you “DON’T do this ! ” or “you MUST do this !”.  Some travelers will find the Paris Museum Pass essential. Instead, other travelers won’t see the point of such investment. On this Paris Museum Pass Review we want to  give you all the information and some tips to understand if the Museum Pass is right for YOU or not.

 

PARIS MUSEUM PASS – IN A NUTSHELL

 

The Paris Museum Pass offers visitors free and direct access to 55 of Paris top attractions and museums in Paris.

How much is the Museum Pass in Paris? There are three available options: a 2-day pass for 48€, 4 days pass for 62€ or 6 days pass for 74€. You can purchase the Museum Pass online or in different places like Paris airports, Paris museums included in the Museum pass or dedicated kiosks.

Paris Museum Pass Review, is it worth it? Paris Museum Pass gives access to 60 museums, monuments in Paris It also gives priority admission, skip long lines

 

PARIS MUSEUM PASS – WHAT IS INCLUDED

 

Notice that the Paris Museum Pass likes to use the keywords “free” and “direct access” on their website. First of all, you don’t visit these places for free, because you paid for the Paris Museum Pass. Also, if you read the small letters, you will find that the promised “direct access” is not like it sounds:

* Not guaranteed when there are security checks in place or limited regulated access for security reasons.

** The “queue-cutter” aspect of the pass cannot always be guaranteed in certain sites operating an access system that requires the production of a free ticket or when there are security checks in place or limited regulated access for security reasons.

 

The Paris Museum Pass allows access to 35 Paris top attractions: Arc de Triomphe, Musée de l’Armée (Tomb of Napoleon i ), Centre Pompidou, Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Espace Mode et Textile, Espace de Publicité, Musée Nissim de Camondo, Musée des Arts et Métiers, Musée du Quai Branly, Chapelle Expiatoire, Musée du Cinéma, Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, Conciergerie, Musée National Eugène Délacroix, Paris Sewers System (public visit), Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration,  Musée de l’Institut du Monde Arabe, Musée d’Art et Histoire du Judaïsme, Musée du Louvre, Cité de l’Architecture et Patrimoine – Musée des Monuments Français, Musée Gustave Moreau, Musée Cluny, Philarmonie de Paris – Musée de la Musique, Crypte Archéologique du Parvis Notre Dame, Notre Dame Towers, Musée National de l’Orangerie, Musée de l’Ordre de la Libération, Musée d’Orsay, Palais de la Découverte, Panthéon, Musée National Picasso-Paris, Musée des Plans-reliefs, Musée Rodin, Sainte-Chapelle

In addition, the Museum Pass includes 20 other interesting attractions outside Paris, like Château de Versailles, Château de Fontainebleau or Villa Savoye.

Should I buy a Paris Museum Pass for my trip to Paris?

There is no doubt that if you are a serious sightseer and you decide to visit 55 Paris attractions in 2, 4 or 6 days, you will save time and money by getting this pass : -)

Instead, if you are a more relaxed visitor, think about how many of the above mentioned Paris attractions you are able to visit (or you are ready to visit) during this time.

HAVE IN MIND that some attractions like Louvre Museum or Chateau de Versailles have so much to see and do that can easily take up a full day.

 

PARIS MUSEUM PASS – THE MATH

Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it?

Everybody agrees that one of the great things about the  Paris Museum Pass is that it saves you time. However, if you are traveling on a budget, it’s all about the money with the passes. If you are going to save money, you want the pass. If you are visiting only a few sights, you don’t buy the pass and you wait in line.

When you look at the prices of the Paris museums listed above, you’ll see that the average ticket price is around €13. The average price for monuments is around €10. That gives you an idea of how much you would need to do in a day to save money with the pass :

  • 2 days pass 48€ (24€ a day) –  you need to visit a minimum of 2 museums, or 3 monuments, or 1 museum plus 2 monuments in a day for the pass to make financial sense;
  • 4 days pass 62€ (15.5€ a day) – you need to visit a minimum of 1 museum plus 1 monument or 2 monuments in a day for the pass to make financial sense;
  • 6 days pass 74€ (12€ a day) – you need to visit a minimum of 1 museum or 2 monuments in a day for the pass for the pass to make financial sense.

REMEMBER that the days of validity of the Paris Museum Pass have to be consecutive.

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE BUYING A PARIS MUSEUM PASS

the city of Paris without the Paris Museum Pass

♣ The Paris Museum Pass does not include the access to Eiffel Tower, Montparnasse Tower or Paris Catacombs, three of the most popular attractions in Paris. If you want to visit these three Paris top attractions you must pay the tickets apart.

♣ Paris Museum Pass does not include the museums’ temporary exhibitions.

♣ The city of Paris has many interesting museums which are always for free. Have you heard about the free museums in Paris? Some of them are very cool . .

♣ Most of the Paris attractions included in the pass are free for the under 18s and EU residents under 26s.

♣ Some Paris top attractions tickets can be purchased online. This allows you to skip the lines without buying the Museum Pass. Be aware that not all tickets can be purchased online.

♣ Some of the best museums in Paris in the pass (the ones in bold) are free for everybody on the 1st Sunday of the month or other special events like the Museums Night (in May, next date to be confirmed) or the Journées du Patrimoine (next dates 16th and 17th September). Do you have a flexible schedule for your next trip to Paris?

♣ Paris tourist attractions have some time slots very busy (especially on weekends) while other time slots are pretty cool. Knowing the less frequented time slots for each tourist attraction can save you lots of waiting time without any kind of pass.

♣ Some attractions like Chateau de Versailles or Chateau de Fontainebleau, outside the city, need a full day to get the most out of them.

 

PARIS MUSEUM PASS REVIEW – OUR TIPS

 

♣ Plan your trip to Paris in advance. Make a list of things to do in Paris, your “musts” in Paris.

♣ Don’t overcharge your plan. Doing more than two museums a day, for example, is pushing it.

♣ Create a cool plan with a nice mix of things to do in Paris, Paris attractions, outdoor spaces and nice walks. Spend some time in a Paris cafe or enjoying nice meals in a good restaurant or brasserie.

♣ Remember that Paris is a moveable feast. Part of the city’s charm comes from strolling the streets, admiring its beautiful architecture or relaxing in the city’s parks (all free activities), especially if the weather is nice! Walk le Marais, have a stroll at Ile de la Cité, Luxembourg Gardens or Tuileries Gardens. Walk the cobbled streets of Montmartre or Butte-aux-Cailles. Feel the Seine’s breeze on your face and explore the Paris canals.

♣ Once you are happy with your sample itinerary calculate how much you would spend on single tickets for those Paris attractions on your list. Then compare it to the Paris Museum Pass price to figure out if the pass is right or not. It can be a time-consuming process, but is certainly worth it in the end.

You will find other travel tips & articles to help with your planning here below:

Related:  First trip to Paris: Paris travel planner
Related:  Avoid the lines in Paris tourist attractions (and pay less)

 

Paris Museum Pass: to buy or not to buy?

 

OUR SUGGESTIONS: CLICK FOR MORE INFO ↓

 

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Paris Museum Pass: is it worth getting? The Paris Museum Pass gives access to 60 museums, monuments and attractions in Paris. It also gives priority admission and lets you skip the long lines. But is it right for you? Read our review and find out!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that we earn a commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase. Did you find this Paris Museum Pass review useful ? If you decided that you want to buy a Paris Museum Pass and would like to support this website in some way, using these links will help do exactly that.

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Red Nomad OZ (Marion Halliday)
    09/19/2017 at 12:03 am

    We followed a similar process with the London Pass last year, and didn’t end up buying it – which turned out well because we spent a longer time at many of the attractions we visited. We’d rather do a few things properly than try to do everything – we didn’t want to end up walking/driving past a LOT of things instead of really experiencing a few hand-picked things well. We’d probably feel the same about the Paris museum pass – I prefer your ideas about really experiencing the city with a variety of activities.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/19/2017 at 1:18 pm

      Thanks Marion for reading and for your interesting feedback. I am sure our readers planning a trip to Paris will appreciate it 🙂

  • Reply
    Kate
    09/18/2017 at 4:27 am

    This is a good and comprehensive consideration of the pass. I faced a similar issue when deciding if I should get a Rail Pass in Japan, which is widely suggested as essential. However, I did all the maths for the trains and found out that it was marginally cheaper to just buy every ticket for each trip that I took. I think that combined passes are attractive if you don’t want to think about the costs of individual elements, but are only really worth it if you are moving around quickly and fitting in a lot of sights at once.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/19/2017 at 1:21 pm

      Thanks Kate for reading. Some travelers will find this pass essential; Others not. For me the key is to decide what you want to do /visit and then do the math

  • Reply
    Wandering Wheatleys
    09/16/2017 at 7:49 pm

    That is incredibly useful! We always wonder if a city pass is worth buying when we arrive in a new location. We usually end up not buying one because we don’t want to feel pressured to visit a bunch of museums that are not on our must see list. It sounds like you are of the same mindset. Better to spend your time wandering through the streets of a new city and enjoying yourself than rushing around trying to see all the sites on a tight schedule!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/16/2017 at 9:45 pm

      Well I am a local so I don’t need to visit 60 museums in Paris in 2, 4 or 6 consecutive days. Plus I always try to visit all these museums for free, even if that means longer lines (in my case time is not a constraint). I tried to be objective but maybe I was not successful?

  • Reply
    Danijela WorldGlimpses
    09/16/2017 at 12:10 pm

    You’re so right. It does save you a bit of money if you buy it online, but if you have few days in Paris and you want to visit the Eiffel Tower, or Montparnasse, then it doesn’t sound like a good idea.
    One should probably live in Paris in order to see all those 50+ museums! 😀

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/19/2017 at 1:27 pm

      Mmmm . . . I live in Paris and I may have visited only 90% of these museums (but it’s a secret, don’t tell anyone 😉 )

  • Reply
    Rhonda Albom
    09/16/2017 at 10:44 am

    We used passes in many countries when we were travelling in Europe back in 2012, but they were always for lots of different types of attractions, not just one category. And we always make sure that there is enough attractions we want to visit on the pass to make it worth our while.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/19/2017 at 1:23 pm

      Thanks Rhonda for reading. There is also the PARIS PASS which includes the transportation and other attractions. I will write a post about it, one day 😀

  • Reply
    Alyson
    09/16/2017 at 9:59 am

    Thanks for walking us through this. I never know whether to go for tickets like this or not. Would I want to visit museums every day? Not sure.

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/19/2017 at 1:24 pm

      Personally I don’t do many museums when I visit a new city for a couple of days. But if the weather is awful outside an interesting museum is always a good idea

  • Reply
    Claire
    09/14/2017 at 9:52 pm

    This is a great list to help you decide if it’s worthwhile or not. While I’ve been to Paris a few times I still haven’t been to any museums there yet. Would love to do them one day so may use this post to see which ones I’d want to do and see if the pass is worth me getting 🙂

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/15/2017 at 8:07 pm

      Good idea! 🙂

  • Reply
    Miranda
    09/14/2017 at 8:29 pm

    I’m glad you highlighted the fine print on the website regarding free and direct access. I’d totally be one of those people glossing over that!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/14/2017 at 8:58 pm

      Ha haa. OK. I found it funny because it is not free and the access (for security reasons) is never direct . .

  • Reply
    Punita Malhotra
    09/14/2017 at 7:13 am

    Lot of people end up buying city passes, but it tends to put you under a lot of pressure. Its not practically possible to cover everything there is to cover, so it doesn’t work as well as it seems to. You’re right, one should identify selected sights and leave enough time to explore the city on foot. More cobbled roads for me 🙂

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/14/2017 at 8:23 pm

      He hee. Indeed, lots of cobbled roads for you in Paris 🙂

  • Reply
    Juliette | Snorkels to Snow
    09/14/2017 at 5:48 am

    Good to know what it does and doesn’t include. I think as travellers its easy to think a sightseeing or do-it-all pass is the best option, but really, each activity takes up a lot of time! Like you said about the Louvre – heck, you could easily spend a few days exploring it! It pays to do the math first and research how much time realistically you need to spend in each place. Great guide!

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/14/2017 at 8:23 pm

      Glad that you liked it, Juliette! 🙂

  • Reply
    Tracy
    09/14/2017 at 3:29 am

    I agree about getting the passes if only we can use it surpassing the value we have paid it for. Sometimes it can be tricky and easily fall into the “trap” if we don’t calculate it well. Great tips! 🙂

    • Reply
      WorldInParis
      09/14/2017 at 8:22 pm

      Thanks! 🙂

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