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website recommendations for purchasing museum tickets in Paris and Barcelona


I will be traveling to Paris and Barcelona soon and would like to purchase museum tickets/passes ahead of time. Any reliable website recommendations? Have you heard of a Paris Pass? Is it worth purchasing it?


Posted by
5180 posts


If you plan to go up the Eiffel Tower, and have not booked your tickets yet, you may want to do that soon:

You don't mention when your trip will be taking place, but you can book your Eiffel Tower tickets online, 90 days in advance

If you plan to visit many of the beautiful museums in Paris, you may be better off buying the, 'Paris Museum Pass', over the Paris Pass
There is no need to buy the Paris Museum Pass online, as you can easily buy it once you get to Paris.

It's been a number of years since I visited Barcelona, so I will let others give you that information.

You may find it helpful to get some guidebooks for these 2 cities for more detailed information.

Have a wonderful trip!

Posted by
11507 posts

It's not worth pre purchasing tickets for museums in Paris, there are only two that may have lines of much account. Louvre and Orsay.
Lines at for ticket at Louvre are not the problem, you can easily get tickets at a machine, or at the Tabac in the underground shopping mall it is in. Lines are for security and can sometimes be very long , and a oreourchased ticket doesn't help you skip security.

I think getting a museum pass is best bet , I have used one several times , they are good for many sites, but not for Eiffel Tower.

Posted by
15547 posts

The Paris Pass is a ripoff, IMHO: it's nearly impossible to come out even on that one. The Paris MUSEUM Pass, on the other hand, is a good deal IF you have the time and interest in seeing enough of what it covers. Just purchase it when you get to Paris.

Along with being much less expensive than the Paris Pass, it allowed us multiple visits to attractions which are difficult to cover in one visit (e.g. Louvre) or which might be worth a visit both during the day and again during an evening (e.g. Arc de Triomphe).

It does not include local transport but that's easily - and much less expensively - gotten around by purchasing carnets of 10 individual-ride tickets for 14.10 euro. My husband and I shared 1 carnet between the two of us, and barely went through it during the week we were in the city. It's more fun to walk than ride around Paris whenever possible! Again, just purchase them at the Metro stations in Paris.

Posted by
2600 posts

The posters above are right on about the Paris Museum Pass....I buy one every time I go and it covers so many museums that I make good use of it. It's so easy to buy at the airport, so no need to buy it in advance. Barcelona is harder. There's no all-encompassing card there. There is an art card that covers 6 of the popular art museum. I didn't buy it as I'm not an art museum fan. Here's a link to the info:

To the extent that you want to see OTHER Barcelona sites like Gaudi houses, Sagrada Familia etc., you buy tickets for each site in advance, preferably. Definitely don't just show up at the Sagrada Familia or you'll wait hours and hours. A quick Google search for each site you're interested in should lead you to a link to purchase timed entry tickets.

Posted by
7896 posts

It is not true that the ticket does not help you skip long lines in Paris. The Orsay has a separate entrance for those with the Museum Pass or a ticket and it often has no line or a very short line when the unticketed line can be a couple hours long. The Orangerie has a separate security line for pass/ticket holders. The Louvre has a separate security line at the Pyramid for those with passes or tickets. I believe the Arc and the Pompidou also have easier access with tickets or pass.

Posted by
10047 posts

Correct Janet: the Pompidou has a priority line for Museum Pass holders, too.
If you want to buy tickets on line ahead of time, try the FNAC.

For Barcelona, the offical tourist information website has links for buying tickets ahead of time.

You can also buy the Museum Pass, RER tickets, and Metro tickets at the Tourist Information Kiosk in your arrival terminal at the airport.

Posted by
8 posts

Thank you all for your replies. I just learned that buying tickets for the Eiffel Tower (to get to the top) is a MUST. They are sold out until the middle of August :(

Posted by
9 posts

Hey zaragrig,

As everybody's been saying, the Paris Museum Pass is a good deal while other Paris City Passes are not. For Barcelona, you might check out the Barcelona Card as an alternative to the Art Ticket. For 15-30€ more, the Barcelona Card includes 27 attractions as opposed to the 6 on the Art Ticket. Plus the Barcelona Card provides free public transit while the Art Ticket doesn't.

A few of my favorite museums in Barcelona:
- Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya - housed in a gorgeous mountainside palau overlooking a big plaza (Barcelona Card and Art Ticket).
- CaixaForum: smaller gallery in a gem of modernisme architecture (Barcelona Card).
- DissenyHub: highlights Catalunyan design in a series of modern and interactive exhibits (Barcelona Card).
- Reciente Modernista Sant Pau: antique hospital that is, in my opinion, the best example of modernisme architecture in the city. It's actually a series of small buildings, each one more gorgeous than the last, that you can visit for 10€ - half the price of the Gaudí attractions (it's not on any of the cards, unfortunately).

If the Barcelona Card sounds interesting, you can read more here about it here:

Have a great trip!

Posted by
360 posts

We did the Paris Museum Pass and thought it was worth it -- we were in the Lourve in less than five minutes. I think the only "annoying" wait was at the Orangerie, where they were alternating the Pass line with the regular line with equal weighting of how many got it (sort of defeated the purpose). But overall, I'd definitely recommend it. We did a Sunset Eiffel Tower tour with Fat Bike Tours, in case they might have an opening?

In Barcelona, here's where I purchased advanced tickets for the following sites (and would recommend doing so b/c they're so crowded):
Picasso Museum:
Sagrada Familia:
Park Guell:

Posted by
15547 posts

One mention about the Paris Museum Pass....
Unless things have changed, there were two places where they didn't have separate lines for pass holders: the Towers at Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle. We had waits at both of them.

Posted by
15547 posts

One mention about the Paris Museum Pass....
Unless things have changed, there were two places where they didn't have completely separate lines for pass holders: the Towers at Notre Dame and Sainte-Chapelle. At Sainte-Chapelle, everyone went through security BEFORE the line split into one for passes and another for visitors needing to purchase tickets. At the Towers, there is a limited amount of people who can be allowed up at one time due to the small space, and there wasn't any priority entry for pass holders.

Posted by
2600 posts

Do not forget to pre-buy your tickets for Casa Mila and/or Casa Batllo in Barcelona.