We'll be visiting Paris in early April for four full days. We're coming by plane from a stay in Madrid, so no jet lag. The PMP is just at break even for us given what we want to see (plus some ticket line skipping as a bonus . We won't be using the PMP for entry to the Louvre as it seems certain that pre-booking a timed entry is now pretty much mandatory to see the Louvre. The minimal cost savings here do not justify pre-purchase and shipping of the PMP to the US, however. OTOH, IF using the PMP for Versailles could also be done in conjunction with a pre-booked timed entry, a pre-purchased/shipped to the US PMP becomes a viable option. Does anyone one know if Versailles can be booked in advance WITH the PMP as is the case with the Louvre?
The PMP provides no advantage at Versailles; there is no pre-booked time possible except by buying a timed passport; there is no way to book a time with the PMP. You could book a behind the scenes tour which could be used in conjunction with either a ticket or a PMP. Otherwise you wait in the long long line or get there an hour before opening to be close to the front.
We went to Versailles on a Wednesday our first day out of Paris after spending a week in the city. Originally I had planned on getting there very early, but we were tiring out so ended up arriving around 11:30am. It actually worked quite well. If you have a Paris museum pass you can go directly into the gardens bypassing the long lines for the palace itself (at that time the palace line looked to be 1-2 hours long!) We went into the info center in left building and got our detailed map(short line, best decision ever) Being 65 & 66 with foot issues we took the petit tram (5-10 minute line) back to the Grand Trianon, PMP allows you to go right in, no crowds or lines, walked over to the Petit Trianon, quite close actually, ate some lunch at the cafe. With PMP again walked right into the petite Trianon then walked back in further to the Queen’s Hamlet, actually my favorite part of Versailles! So photogenic. So about 3:00 or so take the petit tram back toward the palace and the lines had disappeared! Sadly crowds were still somewhat thick within the palace but it was doable. The PMP allowed us instant entry. To be frank I was quite disappointed at the condition of the palace, very dusty, not at all clean but again with the crowds and the gravel all around perhaps it’s impossible to keep it clean. It is huge and worth seeing but I must admit I was disappointed. The Opera in Paris and the Louvre were far better. I’m glad we only did a half day. Even the gardens were not as nice or well kept as the ones in the Loire Valley or the Louvre. You would think with all the tourist money coming in Versailles would be kept up better.
Read Rick Steves guidebook on this, it saved our day. Much of this info I’m giving you is in his book, too. Could not have done our 4 week trip without his guidebooks! We had an overall fabulous time!
Ann again, forgot to say we were there Wednesday May 29, 2019
We used the PMP for the Louvre also , went on a Friday about noon as it’s open late Friday evening. We virtually walked right in with just having the pass, no specific time on May 24. Maybe 10 minutes in security line, so quick I don’t remember now. Line was a bit longer to see Mona Lisa and wishing they would improve that area somehow, watch for pickpockets in that crowded area but otherwise the Louvre was wonderful. Loved the Decorative arts wing in the northern wing and had it to ourselves, in fact the Kings’ apartment was more impressive than Versailles for the elegance and clean sparkling chandeliers. Loved it! Now I know what all other chandeliers are trying to be!
Enjoy your trip!
Thanks for the thoughts, all. At this point, we're still inclined to go with a timed entry, but we'll follow things closely for the next six-seven months before committing.
Any information about the Museum Pass and the Louvre from May of last year is irrelevant. It has all changed and many people were turned away with passes this summer and never got to see the Louvre at all on their once in a lifetime trip. You need to have a timed ticket or a timed reservation with the pass unless you are okay with missing out. It is all different now -- my experience -- anyone else's from before late summer 2019 is irrelevant.