Paris Museum Pass and transportation

We (a family of four adults) are going to be in Paris for a long weekend in June (arriving Friday afternoon/evening and leaving Tuesday morning). We are planning to buy the Paris Museum pass for entry but know it doesn't include travel. Most of our travel will be in the Metro but we are planning to go to Versailles on Sunday. Can anyone suggest the best type(s) of tickets to buy? Thank you for any help you can give me.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8966 posts

margaret dependint on where you are staying you may just need to purchase a "carnet" or two. A carnet is just 10 single one way tickets that you can all share and use, good on bus or metro. A carnet is about 12 euros , so sold at a dicount as opposed to buying tickets singly. For your trip to Versailles you will need to purchase a seperate RER ticket, this is a point to point ticket and not on any of the transport passes anyways. It will cost you 3.50 euros each way, so 7 euros return.
You are catching the RER to Versailles Rive Gauche, not Versailles Chantiers( both of course get you to the town of Versailles but Chantiers stations is about 15-20 minutes walk to Chateau and the Rive Gauche station is about 5 minute walk to Chateau. Your situation is unique,, too.. First off, the Museum pass comes in 2, 4, or 6 day versions. So you need one for saturday, sunday and monday. Many musuems are closed on mondays, as is Versailles.. So, really, is getting a museum pass going to work for you? You can prepurchase a ticket to Versailles online .. therefore avoiding long ticket lines, and since you will have to go on a saturday or sunday you will be spending 25 euros there ( weekends are more expensive due to fountain show, you have no option with your schedule but to go on weekend) . IF you had a Musuem pass you would STILL have to pay extra to go on weekend to asscess gardens, an extra 8 euros as MP will not allow you in . That leaves you one weekend day( since I consider Versailles a full day in itself) and monday to fill. Since there are closures on monday do you think you can find enough things to do on those two days to justify getting the pass. Not saying you couldn't , you may, but have you sat down and considered what you will be trying to see ?

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
5014 posts

Just to second Pat's excellent advice, that a transit pass and a museum pass would each probably be a bad value for you. For transit, you definitely want to buy carnets for travel within Paris, with separate tickets for Versailles. Unless you intend to see a lot of museums covered by the pass, buy advance tickets online for Versailles, and individual admission for any other museums. Remember that not every attraction is included in the Museum Pass; here's the official site listing what's covered. The 2 day is €39 (or €19.5 per day) and the 4 day is €54 (this would be €13.5 per day, but since you only have 3 days, it's €18 per day). Add up what you know you'll see, and see if it's worthwhile. If you are worried about lines: For the Louvre, search this board for information about the entrance with a short line (there are ticket machines there). For the Musée d'Orsay, you can buy advance tickets on its website. For most of the others, lines are not a problem. Don't forget to allow time for just soaking in Paris - strolling the streets, sitting in cafes, etc. After Versailles, you may have had your fill of busy "attractions," and may just want to enjoy the atmosphere in one of the world's great cities. Remember that the Eiffel Tower, the Musée Marmottan, and the Musée Jacquemart-André, to name three, are not on the pass anyway; on trips when I don't buy a pass, I focus on places like these.

Posted by frank
Jackson, CA, USA
16 posts

I agree with everything said so far, but I'd like to put in a good word for the passes. There might be a cost difference depending on the situation, but I appreciated how hassle free for me they were. I liked going to the head of the line at most venues and there was so much it did give you access to I liked exploring whatever might be nearby without having to be on an itinerary. I bought the Paris Visite pass for travel as well and didn't have to worry about purchasing more if they ran out. To me, it was worth it and I paid extra to get the zone which covered Versailles and Charles de Gaul Airport. I'm not sure I saved money, but I found that I was dealing with enough new experiences as it was and appreciated the simplicity of the passes. If you time your stay right, the Passe Navigo Decouvert is a great deal also.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
8966 posts

The navigo pass is good from Monday thru Sunday, so would be unsuitable for a long weekend.