Please sign in to post.

Museum Pass; Paris PassLib or Paris Pass; Should we forgo or buy one . . . dilemma

There are 6 women, 50yrs + traveling to Paris and I would like to hear from others about your thoughts on the Paris Pass; Paris Passlib, or Museum Pass, and which one would you suggest that would be worth it for us to buy for the 6-8 places we may visit during our 3 days in Paris. I’m reading a lot of general information but want to hear from anyone who knows about these passes and if it would it be better to pay as you visit the attraction or buy the minimum pass like the Museum pass along with a Metro or batobus pass to get around while still enjoying the beauty of Paris outside of museum and tourist attractions?

Some of the places we’ll be visiting are: Arc de Triomphe 12E; Notre Dame Cathedral 10E; Palace of Versailles 18E: The Louvre 15E FTE; Musee D’Orsay 12E FTE: Seine River 17E (E=Euro; FTE= Fast Track Entry). (All estimated costs from other websites: Total above 115E; ParisPass 159E; ParisLib 129E; Museum 71E) Also need optional transportation for all 3 days to lesson some of the walking.
Choice Options:
Option 1: Museum Pass 4 day, 71E plus BatoBus $61 USD 3 days
Option 2: PassLib 129E (does this include Metro transportation for 3 days? any free bus tickets?)
Option 3: Paris Pass 159E (does this include Metro Transportation for 3 days? any free bus tickets?)
Thanks All comments will be appreciated. AV
UPDATE 3/29/18:
Sorry I couldn’t update sooner as this website server stalled and I'm new at this so instead of replying I'm adding on.
Thank you everyone for this information it’s all very helpful. We are arriving on Saturday and would use the pass Sun/Mon/Tuesday with 1/2 day on Tuesday seeing Palace of Versailles and then on to Giverny, Bayeux, Amboise and back to Paris. The batobus sounded good with some boat rides included but thanks for the insight that it only travels along the river and is slow and more expensive than needs to be. We'll also look into the optional carnets of Metro/bus tickets instead. I did assume the FTE is a marketing way to sell the passes but is wasted when some of us may want to climb the tower – then back in the ticket line we go. Thanks for confirming as I am leaning more to buying the tickets on several of the places we do plan to visit directly from the museum's website, and stand in line for the other couple of places we may want to check out. We are jamming in a lot and think any of the passes are overpriced for the minimal convenience of having the ticket in hand, when they still could be purchased ahead of time directly from the museum(s) which would be the same “FTE” process. Getting excited! Any more helpful hints would be great!

Posted by
11350 posts

We always buy the Museum Pass whne we travel to Paris. It isn’t so much about saving money but rather about skipping long lines.

Posted by
11507 posts

First , the Cathedral of Notre Dame is FREE , it's the Towers of Notre Dame that have a fee . Are you going to climb the towers ?

Secondly I personally don't like the Batobus for getting around at all ! It only goes up and done the river so you still need to take metro or walk to various sites . Just take a Seine cruise , no need to prepurchae tickets for that .

Please note that while the Museum Pass does gain you entry to Versailles it does not allow you to skip the often painfully long security line , so get to Versailles before it opens !!!! Or purchase the Kings Apartment tour on the Versailles website , it's an additional 7-8 euros on top of Museum Pass but it does get you a timed entry in addition to being able to take a small group tour into areas of the chateau the rest of the public does not have access to .

Honestly all you need is a Museum Pass and one carnet of metro tickets for each of you , a carnet is simply 10 one way tickets good for metro or bus , sold at a discount to buying singly , think it's just over 14 euros now .

Posted by
4132 posts

The museum pass is a great value that will also change your travel experience.

The others, including what looks like a boat pass (?), cost more than they are worth.

Posted by
2466 posts

The Batobus is slow, and expensive for what you get.
The best bet is a Navigo Decouverte card. Bring sure to bring photos.
No free bus tickets.
The Museum Pass does not come with free bus tickets. You have to decide which museums you want to visit.
http://en.parismuseumpass.com

Posted by
5697 posts

Yes Museum Pass and carnets of Metro/bus tickets. You can even buy three carnets (30 tickets) at first, sharing them amongst yourselves, and then buy another carnet if your group needs more rides. Buy RER tickets to Versailles separately.
Seine boat is not covered by the pass.

Posted by
2573 posts

during our 3 days in Paris.

How many nights are you spending in Paris? If your 3 days includes only 2 nights, then you only have 1 full day in the city. You would need to stay 4 nights to have 3 full days in Paris.

These details are very important because if you have only 1 full day in Paris, it´s unlikely you´ll have time to visit all of the locations on your list. Versailles alone takes most of 1 entire day.

Also consider transportation costs. The Paris Visite (metro transportation) included in the very overpriced Paris Pass and the equally overpriced PassLib is only valid for zones 1-3 which excludes the airports and Versailles. How are you arriving and departing from Paris and what days of the week will you stay? This is important information when determining overall costs.

As has already been suggested, avoid the bateau bus. It´s a very inefficient and costly way to travel Paris. Certainly consider a Seine boat cruise. Vedettes du Pont Neuf sells tickets at 12€ if you purchase them on line. It´s a fascinating way to see Paris and get an overview of the city in only an hour.

Notre Dame is free to enter. The 10€ is if you want to climb the bell tower and there is a new admission procedure eliminating the strategic advantage of the museum pass. It´s not clear that you have time to climb the bell tower.

FTE= Fast Track Entry

There really is no such thing as Fast Track Entry. This is a marketing tool to entice you to overly spend for the Paris Pass. The Fast Track Entry portion is the Paris Museum Pass sold as part of the Paris Pass and Parislib. All that this represents is prepaid admission which gets you past the ticket lines. Generally however, it is the security lines which are long and time consuming and you´ll still be waiting there. Yes, the museum pass gets you past the ticket lines, but so does purchasing tickets on a museum´s own website without paying for the museum pass.

Take another look at your itinerary and the time you have available. Reevaluate what you are paying for transportation costs, all transportation costs. You may find that you´ll save a lot of money by not buying these over hyped passes.

Posted by
4684 posts

There really is no such thing as Fast Track Entry

There is at the Musee d'Orsay, where a pass will allow you to join a shorter security line to the right of the main one (which can get extremely long at busy times). The same arrangement happens at the Orangerie, although the last time I went there the "normal" and "passholder" security lines were much the same length.

Posted by
12172 posts

I tend to travel like Pat, a museum pass and a metro carnet. That said, it's worth looking at what is included and ask yourself if it's better than just buying a ticket for each place? If you don't get a pass, it's still possible to prepurchase your tickets for the big sights online so you only have to go through security.

Posted by
2573 posts

There is at the Musee d'Orsay, where a pass will allow you to join a shorter security line to the right of the main one

As an advance ticket holder I have also used the shorter security lines, access is not unique to pass holders.

No one should purchase the Paris Pass but many people who purchase the museum pass probably spend more money than they need spend.

a museum pass and a metro carnet.

When using the English language kiosks to purchase tickets, you´ll never see the word carnet displayed anywhere.

Posted by
5697 posts

Good catch, Tocard -- no "carnet" listed on the screen, but there is an option to buy 10 t+ tickets at a reduced price. (And younger transit employees may not even recognize the term.)

Posted by
14157 posts

I'll just add one plus for the Museum Pass that I don't think anyone has mentioned. I'm not sure when you are traveling but if it's a time when there are fewer tourists, museums in general have nice toilets. You can visit the same museum multiple times with the museum pass so ~sometimes~ they are convenient for a quick comfort stop. Not the Louvre or d'Orsay but I've made multiple stops at The Orangerie if there are no lines as well as the Cluny.

**Note the Cluny is closed March to or through July 2018

Posted by
2573 posts

there is an option to buy 10 t+ tickets at a reduced price.

Yes there is such an option but are you referring to the reduced price which applies only to those under 10 years of age or are you referring to the booklet price of 10 tickets?

If you want to purchase 10 of any type of ticket, the screen will display booklet of and it could be tickets t+ or it could be 10 tickets from Paris to CDG or 10 tickets from Paris to Marne-la-Vallée; all sold at a discounted group price.

Posted by
8164 posts

Tocard makes an important point. Never buy products for transport listed as 'reduced price' as those are only available to people who are qualified e.g. for tourists it would be children 4-9. The 10 ticket set does include a 20% or so reduction in price but it isn't billed as 'reduction'.

Posted by
11507 posts

I usually buy my carpets from Tabaccs , they will have a transport symbol in the window if they sell them . Price is same . And they've already known exactly what a carnet means there .

Ps they are not in a booklet , they are simply ten loose tickets , wrapped in plastic .

Posted by
2466 posts

For just 3 days, I'd buy tickets - "t - tickets" - that anyone can share.
Be sure to keep them when you are on the street level, then toss.

Posted by
8164 posts

You can easily buy metro tickets including in groups of ten from machines in the metro; they take US chip/sig cards, you just hit continue or wait when they ask for the PIN and it will process for the small amount of money involved in buying a carnet of tickets. (someone has reported that with the weak dollar, the monthly charge for a Navigo is beyond the limit for cards without PINs in the French system). The machine just spits out 10 individual tickets.

Posted by
2349 posts

If any of you are on the fence about going to Versailles, then those people should probably pass on it. For those of you who are enthusiastic, go. Just know that it will be unpleasantly crowded.

Posted by
11507 posts

Totally agree with Karen..

Versailles in season is unpleasantly crowded in palace.. and those only going because they think "they should" or because its on a top sights list.. should really skip it..
I love the history so I just put up with the wriggling smelly mass of humanity funneled through the palace.

One good thing is the estate is so huge its never crowded

Posted by
1989 posts

I've been to Paris three times and still haven't visited Versailles because I can't stand crowds. If you don't have a lot of time in Paris, I would skip it in favor of another attraction.