Please sign in to post.

Paris Museum Pass needed in April?

When we go to Paris next year, we're choosing the spring as to avoid all the crowds and heat.. since most people get the PMP to avoid long lines (only slight discounts with the museums), and we're planning our time to avoid these lines - is it even necessary to pick up a pass? Who has experience with Paris in April? (Not happy that the Eiffel Tower and now the Catacombs are not covered with it.. :) )

Posted by
11507 posts

DK in many trips to Paris I have only purchased a MP once, a two day one, and then mainly to avoid line at Versailles( this was before you could prepurchase online , and after then got rid of a great train and Versailles combo pass). I always go in either late may , june, july or august or sept. I can avoid long lines at almost any site without the pass. Louvre: this one is easy, just do not use Pyramid entrance, but alternate entrance,, I usually use the one from the underground mall. Orsay: Buy tickets either day before from ticket window( may not used on day of purchase), or when at the Rodin(which is close by) ,, at Rodin they sell same day Combo ticket . Towers at Notre Dame do have insane lines which move slowly., and the MP does not get you by them there, so arrive 1/2 hour before it opens . The Church part line may look long, but it moves fast its just a bottleneck. Eiffel Tower , pre purchase tickets online.
Versailles, same option. Most other places lines will just not be a huge issue. The MP is good for people who like to pop in and out of several sites a day, I personally find only one or two sites a day is enough for me, the rest of the day is for wandering about , lunch and cafe breaks etc..

Posted by
6898 posts

You probably won't see the long lines. And, in my opinion, that's about all the pass is good for. The pass only comes in 2-day, 4-day and 6-day versions. No 3-day or 5-day. The 2-day costs 35Eu and the 4-day costs 50Eu. You really have to visit lots of museums and monuments to make the pass pay. If you will be going to Versailles, a 1-day passport is 18Eu. Some value there but you're out there most of the day and you can't make it up in 1-day if you have the 2-day pass. We did buy the 2-day but found we needed to cram in more museums to make it pay. We just got back from Paris a couple of weeks ago and there were no long lines.

Posted by
3580 posts

In the week between Palm Sunday and Easter, Paris has been very crowded when I've been there. School is out, I think. The area around Notre Dame is especially crowded, but museum lines can be long, too. Later in April, things calm down and the line into Notre Dame is much more reasonable. I usually don't use the pass because I don't enjoy visiting more than one museum per day. If you approach the underground-Metro entrance to the Louvre, there may be no crowd. D'Orsay is sometimes easy to enter later in the day rather than in the morning. Of course, with a pass you can just walk to the south entrance and enter without a wait.

Posted by
2349 posts

Do not attempt to buy the pass at Musee d'Orsay and bypass the line. You cannot buy the pass at the pass entrance but must first wait in the line. Buy it at a smaller museum like Rodin.

Posted by
1530 posts

We were in Paris in March 2010 and we did use the Museum Pass. We were there for 9 days and bought the 6 day pass. It's true that even with 6 days we were rushed but we did get more than our money's worth from it and we went to some museums we would not otherwise have seen, even if we didn't spend too much time in those. We arrived on a Monday morning and also bought the one week Pass Navigo Decouverte for transportation. The pass runs from Monday through Sunday so we got good use from it.

Posted by
4411 posts

'April in Paris'...? There'll be lines...;-) How long the lines will be is a guess - you might arrive just after that 3-bus-large tour group did (ugh). The Paris Museum Pass offers FREE, UNLIMITED visits; perhaps you're thinking of another pass? There are no "slight discounts with the museums". And I've had lots of experience with the pass - in April and many other months. Now, if I were only planning to visit a couple of PMP-covered museums and monuments, I'd probably skip the expense of the pass and just people-watch while in line.

Posted by
73 posts

I guess I should said that if I didn't have the pass the total admission for the places would be a little more in total than the pass itself. That's what i meant by a discount price at places using the pass. Hmmm lines in April sigh. I don't think we'll see enough places soon enough or fast enough for a pass. Considering a hot air balloon ride too! But that is outside the city. Thanks for the advice so far. Keep it coming

Posted by
635 posts

Like all passes, do the math. If you are going to make a serious visit to Paris the PMP can be a good value. You just have to make sure you are planning to visit enough sights to justify the pass. From what I've seen, every pass is priced to only benefit the busy sightseer. Don't underestimate the value of the "pass entrance." I've skipped many a line with a pass.

Posted by
874 posts

I was going to suggest what Ken stated. Do the math: Figure out where you want to go and in how many days, add up the entrance fees, and compare it to the cost of the pass. If you are within a 5 Euro ballpark, I say go for it and buy the pass. We were in Paris in late April 2009 and there were lines especially at Arc de Triomphe (I think a school visit had just arrived right before us), Versailles, Notre Dame Towers, and Orsay (I know that the pass would not have saved us at the ND Tower). Without the pass, we probably would have wasted an unnecessary few hours in lines at the various places if you added up all the visits (20-minutes here, 15-minutes there, etc.). That is precious cafe and strolling-with-pastry time! I also feel that it's a bit safer because you aren't taking out currency/credit cards every time you go somewhere, so they can stay tucked away as you use your pass. Have fun and hope you have good weather. We did and it really made for a lovely visit. Either way, I'm sure you'll love it.

Posted by
73 posts

Maryam I was thinking the same thing and then you posted. Add up what we want, and get whatever pass works for the time needed to easily see the sights. If the pass is more than the admissions total I'll gladly call that the convenience fee for jumping the queue. Thanks everyone

Posted by
267 posts

we were in paris this past april during the second week and purchased the PMP. it worked out for us and we were there for 5 days. i liked what rick states in his book that with the pass you might stop into some of the places on the pass that you normally would'nt, or maybe there is only and hour left and your walking by one of the museums and you want to go but do not want to pay full admission , with the pass you can go in and check it out. like i stated it worked for us just something to think about. have fun !!!! :):)

Posted by
874 posts

Just one last note. Purchase the pass once in Paris. We bought ours at CDG airport once we landed and it couldn't have been easier. Others recommend purchasing it at a less crowded site, which would have to be your first site visited.

Posted by
893 posts

I think the decision might come down to which museums you are planning on visiting and whether there's an advantage to having the PMP for line-skipping at those particular museums. Like it's been posted, you have to stand in line at the Notre Dame towers no matter whether you have the pass or not. Using the Louvre Carousel entrance allows you to skip the long lines at the Pyramid entrance. There are automatic ticket machines (but I don't know if they work with a non chip & pin card) at the Louvre, Pompidou and Musee de l'Armee. You can buy your Orsay ticket at the Rodin museum to skip the Orsay line. I recently used a 2 day PMP during my kids' school vacation and was quite surprised by the lines in Paris at the end of October. You will be there during spring break for French public schools and might also find long lines. The PMP was extremely helpful at Ste. Chapelle, the Arc de Triomphe and Pompidou (you get priority entrance and there was a huge line to get through security before even buying tickets.)

Posted by
2238 posts

We were there in April several years ago and there were lines - long ones.

Posted by
82 posts

We were in Paris in April 2010, bought the 2 day pass and were so glad we did, as there were very long lines virtually everywhere we went (we gave up on Notre Dame and will try again this April when we return). We sailed into the museums, passing those in line- worth every penny as we considered our time well worth the money. I agree with earlier posters about school kids on vacation- in Paris '10 we ran into countless Brits, etc. in Italy '10 we ran into countless French kids, and this past year in Spain we ran into countless French and British kids. It became a running joke!

Posted by
72 posts

If you are active muesum/site goers, this is one more vote to get the pass! Like posters above we purchased ours at the airport before heading into town and it couldn't have been easier. I added up the admission prices before (to see if we would benefit) and after we visited Paris and it turned out that we would have spent 140 Euro each to see the museum/sites so the 50 Euro four day pass was a great deal for us!

Posted by
813 posts

As for the crowds, in April most European schools have some kind of 1-2 week break, around Easter mostly. Some are the week before and after Easter, some start with Easter and take the 2 weeks after off. Paris is busy all the time though. You will definitely avoid heat in April ;-)

Posted by
15686 posts

As Bruce noted, the best part of using the pass - if indeed you plan to see a lot of the sites included - is that you don't think 6 times if a place is "worth the entrance fee." You also don't feel like you haven't got your money's worth if you only stay for a short time, or go in to see a couple of specific bits. I've never regretted buying the pass, for just these reasons. Have I saved money? Dunno. Maybe once it cost me €3-4 euros more than the entrance fees, but if it's saved me time, or if I've seen a site that I would have passed over, it was worth it.

Posted by
1806 posts

If you do decide to buy the pass, just make sure you check the days the museums you want to visit are closed. You don't want to activate a pass on a Sunday and then realize that several of the places will be closed on a Monday or Tuesday. And while you may skip past the entrance line with a pass, you will not get to cut the security check lines. I can't speak for April, but in the summer some of the lines to go through a metal detector or just have a security guard look inside my (small) purse were long.

Posted by
15686 posts

As Ceidleh points out, most sites are closed one day a week. I make a list of all the places I would like to see, noting the hours they're open, and days they are open late and/or closed. It makes it easier to plan. I also try to group them by location. The Louvre and the Orsay are rather close to each other and about the most popular. One's closed on Monday, the other on Tuesday. They tend to be more crowded on the day only one is open, so I'd avoid them both then. The Louvre is usually not at all busy in the evenings (Wed + Fri) that it's open late. I think the Orsay is always crowded - but then it's a much smaller museum. I'd try to get there when they open, and start on the top floor, working your way down.

Posted by
2349 posts

The official museum pass site has a handy part where you can pick the sites you are interested in, and it will give you a print out of those, with addresses, hours & days open, etc.

Posted by
17 posts

I was there in mid-April, and had ordered my passes ahead of time and had them mailed to me. I was very happy I did once I got there. The lines were huge, we saved hours (and $$) having the pass. I wish it had been good for the Notre Dame lines, but cest' le vie. Have a fabulous time, and don't rush!! Allow for plenty of time to just sit in the cafe's people watching.

Posted by
11507 posts

Kathleen glad you enjoyed pass, but ordering it online ahead of time is not needed, and one pays a bit more for it that way.. its easy to get once there( if one feels they want it)

Posted by
73 posts

thanks for ALL of your replies!!!! By putting together all the advice here, we've decided to pick up the 4 day pass when we arrive, we have our list of places to see and will start the pass in the middle of the week to make sure that we don't include Mon or Tues when a lot of things are closed. If we don't "get our value" from the places we see, we will chalk up the extra $ spent to a convenience fee for the wonderful perk of jumping the queue. Hope that takes in the best of the advice, and thanks again!