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 an 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 – 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.
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
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 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:
Paris Museum Pass: to buy or not to buy?
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