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Passes in Paris


Is the Paris pass a good option, since I will be taking a few museums and Versailles. It gets me a day bus tour and a Seine river cruise as well as a metro pass also. I don't want to do all the museums , the ones with skip the queues in the Paris pass is ok with me. Also if I have a pass does it ensure skip the queue, or is it a different pass in various places including the Eiffel.

Any help will be greatly appreciated by a first timer in Paris in June.


Saugata (India)

Posted by
10344 posts

Rick in his guidebook to Paris devotes a page to how to calculate whether the Paris Museum Pass will save you money. I don't remember the details and the discussion was long and would be difficult to adequately summarize here.
Possibly Rick's discussion is available on this website.
If not, you might want to download his book from Amazon to your e-reader.
You'll need a guidebook anyway.

Posted by
15450 posts

The general wisdom is that the "Paris Pass" is poor value. The "Paris Museum Pass" may be worthwhile. If you plan well and break even with the Museum Pass, then it's usually worthwhile, because it then allows you to "drop in" on other museums briefly. There aren't that many queues that you skip - the Orsay is the main one. You can avoid the long queue at the Louvre by visiting either late afternoon on Wednesday or Friday (open until 9.30-9.45 p.m. those days) or by using the Carousel entrance. It does not help you skip the line at the Notre Dame towers or the Sainte Chapelle - where the lines are long. Most other places, you won't encounter long lines.

Posted by
2261 posts

Saugata, be careful here, as there are a few different "passes" with the words Paris and pass in the name. As has been discussed many times here, the general consensus is that the Paris Museum Pass (see link below) is worthwhile if visiting several museums. Other so-called passes are often an assortment of coupons and vouchers, many of which either will not be of interest to you or you simply won't have time to get your money's worth out of.

The Paris Museum Pass is the star of the bunch:

Posted by
18490 posts

The "Paris Pass" is very overpriced for what you get. The Eiffel Tower is not on anybody's pass. It includes a Paris Museum Pass that you can buy separately for a lot less. That is where the "skip the lines" comes in, but you cannot skip the security line, which is often the long one. Transport can be done by getting a "carnet", which is a 10-pack of subway/bus tickets for 14.10 euro. You'll need a separate train ticket for Versailles, which will be about 14 euro round trip. If you want the hop-on-hop-off bus tour, just pay the 29 euro.

Count it up. You pay 113 euro for those items bought separately for 4 days. Paris Pass is 182 euro, and 163.80 if you bite on the current 10% discount offer.

Posted by
7620 posts

the Paris Pass is not a pass if by pass you mean a card that gives you transport and museum entry. They just take the ordinary Paris Visite (almost always a bad deal) and the Paris Museum Pass (often a good idea for a first time visitor) and put them in an envelope with some additional coupons and add a hefty fee. There is virtually no scenerio where this would be a good idea. You can pick up a museum pass on arrival at the airport or at the first museum you visit (just pick something other than the Orsay which has hideous lines most of the time since with the pass you can use the special pass/ticket holders line.

The Seine River cruises are cheap and you can just walk up and take one if you decide you want to. The HOHO buses are annoying and slow -- and if you are riding them around Paris you are not using the overpriced Paris Visite.

If your trip is close to a week and falls between Mon and Sun of a single week then the Navigo Decouverte transport pass is worth getting. Otherwise just buy carnet of 10 ordinary bus/metro tickets for 14 Euro. The Visite only works if you are doing something like commuting from somewhere outside Paris every day or have two airport runs within the 5 day period.