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Paris - Museum Pass & Travel pass (2 questions)

I'm headed to Paris this summer ---
I am going with 3 nieces (14, 17, 19)
They have told me they don't want to do the "touristy stuff"
Things they want to do are:
* Catacombs
* Sewer museum
* Versailles
- and that's all they mentioned
I'm wondering - is the Museum pass worth it?
I don't see them that often so I can't say exactly what they would be interested in , and this trip is a bit of a surprise for them.

2nd question
Travel pass
Is this worth it?
Our hotel will be located close to the Arc de Triomphe

I know - it's a bit open ended question, but I was hoping that someone has had a similar experience and can give me some pointers.

Posted by
2012 posts

They have told me they don't want to do the "touristy stuff"

I could not think of anything more touristy than Versailles and the Catacombs. Not many people go to les égouts or sewers, bring boots and a flashlight. Why not a fashion show at Galaries Lafayette, a tour of Art Nouveau objects at Maxime´s, or a visit to the Drouot auction house to see what is offered? Drouot is liking going to a museum for free.

I don´t think that the museum pass is worth the price. I tend to spend a lot of time in one museum, not running among several. The 14 and 17 year olds get in free anyway.

Travel pass questions become complex. You need to tell us where you want to go, what days of the week you are in Paris, and do you need transportation outside the city?

You should be asking these girls for details, have them decide. I am not so sure if they have explored the options very deeply.

Posted by
4268 posts

I enjoyed going up the Arc de Triomphe, as did my girls who were 20 at the time. My girls loved Paris. Favorites were the Notre Dame roof :( , Sainte Chapelle, walking around and along the Seine and around the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Élysées and the Tuileries, Luxembourg Gardens, the markets, and the Orangerie

Posted by
9736 posts

For what they want to see I would not bother with the Museum Pass. Neither the Catacombs or the Sewer Museum are covered by the pass. It would cover Versailles but it would be easier to just purchase the needed timed entries. You'll need timed entries for the Catacombs but am not sure about the Sewer museum.

In general I do not get the museum pass any more. You really have to run the numbers to see if it works out better for each person's itinerary especially since the big museums require timed entries now and are restricted to one admission per museum per ticket.

I wonder if they might be interested in the Cluny Museum with the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries?

Posted by
6632 posts

Most museums are free for the younger two (not the Eiffel Tower nor I think the Catacombs, however -- neither of which are on the Museum Pass anyway). -- you will need to get timed tickets on line and in many museums timed tickets for the free ones but it is easy to do. The Museum Pass makes no sense here. It has no advantage for you.

Travel passes may well but we need to know the dates you are there.

take them to the Notre Dame virtual reality experience at la defense -- it is amazing

Posted by
103 posts

Thank you everyone for your thoughts and suggestions.
The girls are kinda in the loop for this trip, so they have given some ideas, I'm booking things now and some extra stuff I think would be great to see.

It sounds like
NO do not get the museum pass
NO do not get the travel pass

Posted by
2012 posts

NO do not get the travel pass

I don't think anyone wrote that. You might want some type of pass, but you have not given any information upon which a suggestion could be formulated.


People have not yet recommended a travel pass as there are several options and it depends on which days of the week you'll arrive and depart to make the most meaningful suggestions. In general, if a person is in Paris more than a couple of days, passes make good sense, both economically and convenience wise.

I find it hard to believe the girls could be in Paris and not want to go up the Eiffel Tower! Not far, at Parc Andre Citroen you can go up in a helium balloon. It's tethered so you come back down in the same place but it goes up about 500 feet. I've done the egouts tour and while boots were not needed, on a warm day the smell was as rank as you'd expect.

When we took our 15 year old daughter to Paris years ago, I took the advice someone had offered on a forum and gave her several guidebooks and had her pick some things she wanted to do and see. I also put her in charge of metro navigation and it really got her invested in the trip.

Posted by
104 posts

I’m heading to Paris this summer with my 13-year old. She is interested in the 3 sites you mentioned as well as cemeteries (there are 3 we plan to visit), thrift store shopping, doing a “Paris secrets” bike tour, and a macaron baking class (she is not a baker per se but loves cookies!) Enjoy!

Posted by
27 posts

I’m in Paris now. Been here all week. We did get the museum pass and used it for 5 museums and Versailles. Went right to the front of the lines. Also used our Navigo transit pass for the metro, bus and train to Versailles. So much easier than buying separate tickets. Don’t forget these passes save you a lot of time and stress. Also some museums now require advance reservations- such as the Le Orangerie- but don’t cost you anything extra if you have a pass. I’d take the girls shopping in the Marias district- lots of trendy boutiques - not super expensive either and you could do the BHV department store there if you like. Also- take the girls on a river cruise at 9 pm and don’t tell them the Eiffel Tower sparkles on the hour - starting at 10pm. Let them be dazzled…. Did that for my daughter years ago and will never forget the look on her face when she saw that. Special memories……

Thanks for mentioning the ParisCharmsandSecrets bike tour Amy! I forgot that our 15 year old loved it! This 53 year old at the time did too! We also did Segway tours 3 visits in a row. Live those things!

Posted by
2012 posts

Went right to the front of the lines.

Anyone purchasing a ticket in advance avoids the ticket line. It does not require the museum pass.

Posted by
6632 posts

Now that everyone has timed tickets the museum pass no longer offers a line advantage (and it never gave one over those who had regular tickets ahead). Typically there was a security line for those with and without tickets/passes. Now that most places expect timed tickets almost everyone has a ticket or pass and those lines can now be long.

I once watched a tourist throw a hissy fit at the Orsay when he tried to walk 'right to the head' of the line for ticket holders insisting that 'he had a pass' and so should shove his entitled self ahead of everyone else, who also either had a ticket or pass and was in the correct line for that. It didn't go well. In those days the ticketed/pass line at the Orsay was usually no more than a 15 minute wait. When we visited in April it was closer to half an hour as everyone had tickets.