Paris Museum Passes

Are the Paris Museum passes a good value?

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
653 posts

If you're an energetic sightseer who's likely to visit a couple of museums in a day for several consecutive days, they can be a good value. Look at the website, http://en.parismuseumpass.com/,
and figure out whether using the pass would cost less than paying separately at each museum you want to see. The first covered museum visit activates the pass and starts the clock. Keep in mind that most museums are closed either Mondays or Tuesdays, plan accordingly so you don't let "pass time" go to waste. We found that having the pass made us likelier to visit places we might otherwise skip, "lesser" museums that can be great experiences. Having the pass would also make it easier to bail out of a place that turns out to be disappointing, since you haven't made a specific investment in it. In other words, you can cut your time loss without a money loss. (I don't recall being disappointed in any Paris sights, though!) The pass also enables you to bypass the ticket-purchase lines in front of popular museums like the Louvre and Orsay, saving time in the on-season. Best strategy is probably to buy the pass at a "lesser" museum (we used Cluny) where there's little or no line, then start using it there. There's no advantage to buying it online before your visit, and it may cost more that way. The Museum Pass is not to be confused with the "Paris Visite" pass, which by all accounts is not worth it for most people.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17716 posts

Kathy, Whether the Paris Museum Pass will be a "good value" will depend to some extent on which Museums you want to see. One of the greatest benefits of the Pass is to avoid huge queues for those buying tickets, in favour of much shorter (or non-existent) queues for those that have a Pass. With shorter duration Passes, there's often a bit of "pressure" to get in as many Museums as possible within the validity period, in order to get the best value from the Pass. Happy travels!

Posted by Ken
Spring, Texas
599 posts

My wife and I each had 6 day passes on a recent trip. It was great to be able to walk in and out of museums during that period. We dropped into several museums we probably wouldn't have paid for if we were doing it without the pass. Some were worthwhile and some we left fairly quickly. A big part of making sure the Paris Pass is worth the cost is to add up what you want to see and make sure the math works in your favor. For the Paris Pass, Versailles is a big contributor to covering the cost of the pass with avoided admission charges. We also got to skip a fairly significant line there. I've bought some passes for trips and not bought others. The common reason for not buying a pass is that we weren't going to be there long enough to justify the expense. Short passes require you to cram too many admissions into too little time. Extra days on a pass always reduce the overall cost per day. That let's you be more relaxed and still lets you benefit from the pass.

Posted by Adam
Boston
2624 posts

A benefit of the pass is that we found ourselves visiting some of the smaller museums that we probably would have skipped otherwise. Maybe this would not have made a difference to someone else, but for us having the card created a kind of mini-attitude adjustment. Why not check this place out for a few minutes since we're here, rather than, We're not going to drop any more money on "that." It made for a much richer experience. So if the financial aspect is even close, I'd say round off the difference and get the pass.

Posted by Sarah
Chicago (formerly St. Louis), IL, USA
1309 posts

I agree with the others. We bought the 6-day Museum Pass and saw 5 museums plus Versailles, which the pass includes. I did the math to compare the pass with total ticket prices and we saved 5 euros. But the real savings came when we skipped the crazy long ticket lines at the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, and Versailles and went right in.

Posted by Carol
Atlanta, GA, USA
679 posts

I always get one. You can just drop in and see a small museum you wouldn't pay for (or just use the bathroom :) ) Worth it? Just the time savings are "worth it". My time in Paris is limited I don't want to waste it

Posted by steven
white plains, ny, usa
648 posts

I have nothing further to add , but I want to echo Ken ( Vernon , Canada ) and Sarah ( St. Louis ) . Judging the value of this pass or similar ones i.e. Firenze pass or Roma pass , solely on monetary value is a mistake . Generally you are going to break even . The true value is in what level of convenience and time savings they provide . To me , that is the most relevant aspect of a pass .

Posted by Cary
Gator Country, Florida
297 posts

The math is simple: if you are going to Versailles, D'Orsay, and Louvre the math will work out in your favor - and the line-skipping is a nice benefit. As an alternative to buying the pass at a lesser museum, you can buy it at a major museum late in the day. We bought ours at the D'Orsay at 4:30 PM the day we got to Paris. We wanted to go out and poke around to keep us from falling asleep to early. Doing this provided a nice reason to get up and go out. Then we started using them the next day.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7818 posts

The thing is, if you are not going to alot of sights, you don't need a Musuem pass to cut lines or save time. Louvre- no lines of consequence to deal with if you use althenate entrance, done this many many times in high season. Orsay- you can purchase ticket day before and avoid ticket line, tickets for days OTHER then day of, are sold at a window kiosk just to the left of main entrance, no lines Versailles is easiest, prepurchase tickets online .Same cost. Now the one advantage mentioned a few times and is a valid point is, with the pass you are more likely to pop into a few more places, and not feel guilty if you decide to leave after 20 minutes.

Posted by sarah
levowitz
2 posts

We spent ten days in Paris. Our main theme was getting to know the city by walking. Both of us bought a 6 day pass dipping in and out of big and small museums along our route. Worked out saving time and euros. The walking guides we likes most were Rick and his friendly dialogue and a new one called No Worries Paris with its maps and colour photos. The Louvre: make short visits and don't go on the day that its free.