On my recent trip to Paris, I traveled with a group of friends. We decided to use the Paris Museum Pass in order to save time and money seeing the most popular museums and attractions. Here’s some information about the passes and how we used them.
The Paris Museum Pass is available for 2, 4, or 6 consecutive days. I find that it’s hard to get enough value from the 2-day pass – it costs 48€, which averages to 24€ per day. Most of the museums and attractions that are included regularly cost from 8€ to 12€, so you would have to go to more than two museums per day to have it pay off. The 4- and 6-day passes are 62€, and 74€ respectively, which brings down the average cost per day.
If you go to the Paris Museum Pass website, you can see the list of museums and attractions that are included. Decide which ones you would like to see and then figure out which ones on your list are your highest priority. Look at opening days and hours and consider that some places will have waiting lines. Once you’ve narrowed down the list, you should be able to determine if the pass will save you money.
The Paris Museum Pass might be a good option, even if it only saves you a small amount or if you would break even. Several of the museums have separate lines for pass holders, which can add up to a significant time savings. The Louvre, the Orsay, and the Orangerie – Paris’ top three art museums – let pass holders enter in a different, much shorter line.
There is one more consideration when buying passes. Disabled persons along with one companion and children under 18 are admitted free to many museums (with proof of disibility or age). Persons between the ages of 18 and 25 who are not from the European Union, often receive a discounted admission. These concessions do not allow for the shorter line but it should be something to think about.
On the trip we used a four-day pass. We visited the pass sites on Monday through Thursday. The Versailles Chateau is part of the pass, but it is closed on Mondays. The Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, but open late on Wednesdays. These were things I kept in mind as I figured out the schedule. Here are the sites we visited:
- Monday – Notre Dame Tower, Arc de Triomphe
- Tuesday – Versailles Chateau
- Wednesday – Sainte Chapelle, Conciergerie, the Louvre
- Thursday – Orangerie, Musee d’Orsay
The total admission for these sites would come close to 100€ if they were purchased separately, so a four day pass offers significant savings and some shorter lines. We had four busy days – if we had decided not to visit some of the sites, the savings would not have been as great, but it still may have been worth buying the pass. If we had chosen to visit the same sites over 6 days instead of 4, there would still have been enough savings to make the pass a wise purchase.
The sites that I chose for the trip are only a small portion of those available to Paris Museum Pass holders. Other popular sites include the Pompidou Center, the Army Museum, the Picasso Museum, the Rodin Museum, the Cluny Museum and the Paris Sewer tour. Check out the website for the entire list.
As you can see, there are many options for using the Paris Museum Pass. If you think about it ahead of time, you can save money and time. Try it out the next time you are in Paris!