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Paris Pass, Museum Pass, Metro Tickets, I'm confused!

We will be in Paris in May and I'm trying to determine costs for our trip. Can someone explain the differences between the Paris Pass, the Museum Pass & a carnet of Metro tickets for Paris? What are the costs for each, advantages, disadvantages, etc? Merci bien!

Posted by
5689 posts

Museum Pass gets you into selected museums for a specified number of consecutive days(see their website for list of museums and costs) Paris Pass includes bus, metro and RER transportation within Paris for the specified number of days, some additional sights like Seine river cruise, but at higher cost. Carnet is 10 Metro/bus tickets which can be used by any member of your party at cost of E13.30 versus buying 10 tickets one at a time at E1.70 each.

Look at the museums covered by each pass, compare them to what YOU want to see in the time you are in Paris (making sure you allow for days the selected museums are closed) and decide if the pass is worthwhile versus buying tickets as you go. If the costs are about the same, the time savings from not standing in ticlet lines with a pass is valuable.

On my last trip we got the Paris Pass and two carnets -- booked a Seine river cruise online at E9 each -- and did a lot of walking.

Posted by
11450 posts

Diana.. the Paris Pass is almost never considered a good value.. whileas the Paris Museum Pass is usually considered a very good value.

Depending on a few factors.. length of stay, how many days long visit etc.. I would suggest a Paris Museum Pass and a carnet or two of tickets is efficent and best value.

I walk to many sites by staying central.. and I do like the MP for the ability to pop in a out of many musuems without having to worry if its "worth it" .. plus for the large museums its nice to break up visit into two shorter visits rather then 5 hour hauls.. ( you can revisit as many times as you want on the pass as long as pass is valid)

The Paris Pass seems to offer a lot but most people find they simply cannot do it all so the extra price for the pass is not worth it.

Also, remember when planning your itinerary.. many musuems close on either monday or tuesdays.. and while Versailles IS included on the pass,, if you visit on fountain show days ( sat, sun and some tues) then you will have to pay an 8 euro supplement.. not worth it to me personally and I have been over a dozen times now)

The Musuem Pass allows you to skip the ticket lines in most places ( not Towers of Notre Dame) but in most places that will not be an issue.. only at Orsay and perhaps Orangerie..

Posted by
697 posts

I should have mentioned that we will be staying in Paris for a week in late May, arriving on a Monday and leaving the following Monday. We are staying in an apartment near Luxembourg Gardens. Thanks.

Posted by
16165 posts

You may be a candidate for a Navigo Decouverte Semaine transit pass. It goes Monday morning to Sunday night. Cost is 19.80 euro for zones 1-2 (central Paris) or 34.40 for zones 1-5 (Paris and suburbs including the airports and Versailles). There is a 5 euro initial processing fee and bring a 1" by 1 1/4" passport type photo of yourself. Pass has an internal chip that you scan on the Metro or RER turnstiles and on the buses.
The zone 1-5 pass will pay for itself if you are arriving at one of the Paris airports and take one round trip to Versailles. You can get it at the CDG train station if you are arriving there, or any manned Metro or RER ticket booth.
The Paris Pass is a complete waste. (IMHO)
The Museum Pass is very handy. You can buy at CDG tourist booths at all the arrival points.

Posted by
5689 posts

Sorry, I should have said we got the Museum Pass, not the overpriced Paris Pass.

Posted by
1976 posts

As others have said, you'll have to do the math and compare the price of the Museum Pass (I assume you'll buy the six-day one?) with individual tickets to each museum you want to visit. My sister and I were in Paris for 8 nights about a year ago and we each bought the six-day pass. We saved 5 euros and we skipped the long ticket lines at the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, and at Versailles. This time savings may alone be worth the cost of the pass, even if you don't break even or save a little money.

The carnet is a booklet of ten one-way tickets good for the Metro (and the buses I think). The carnet is a good deal - the tickets are cheaper than if you bought them individually. We each bought a carnet at the staffed booth at the RER station at CDG. On the last day of our trip we each bought 3 more individual tickets when our carnets ran out. We were in Paris for 7 days and we went to Versailles for a day too. This trip requires RER tickets, which are different than the carnet tickets.

Posted by
11450 posts

Diana.. reread Sams post.. you are the perfect candidate for a Navigo card.. it will simplfly your life considerably.. and its a good deal for your dates.

Also, the line skipping thing.. at Versailles we had a Museum pass but we foolishly arrived late.. around 10.30 even with the pass we waited about 45 or more minutes in the security line.. which obviously is unskippable.. with pass still get there before opening
Also pass is valid for admission to Tower of Notre Dame, but will not let you skip line,, the line there is very slow moving ( remember I am not talking about line for church, which looks long but moves fast, but line for Towers) so get there BEFORE it opens.

PS DO NOT prepurchase pass.. easy to get in PAris and cheaper then paying for delivery .

Posted by
28 posts

I dont understand why people think the Paris Pass is so expensive. We bought it for our upcoming trip to Paris over Thanksgiving. I looked at the places we wanted to go and priced it out and we are saving money. Plus, the other thing I like about some of the city passes we have used, like in London, is that it opens up other opportunities to see the not so well known spots in those cities, taking you away from the crowded tourist sections. I used my London City Pass (2 separate visits) and we will do the same in Paris and get to see everything we want without having to wait in line for tickets. Look at what each offers then make up your mind. You get the bus/river cruise and the metro pass. I find it will be worth our time and money.

Have a great trip to Paris!

Au revior,


Posted by
11450 posts

Let it know how it goes for you Christina.. you won't have time to do all the stuff and are paying for somethings you won't get around to,, but enjoy . Did you really price out the Paris Museum Pass in comparision.

Posted by
2349 posts

I agree that you may want to buy the Navigo Decouverte Semaine. (Semaine means week.) But probably just for the zones 1-2. Since you leave on a Monday, the pass you used the previous week would not be good for the trip to the airport. You can use a copier to reduce your passport photo to the correct size.

Go to the museum pass site. It's full of great info. You can even pick the ones you're interested in and print out a list with addresses and hours.