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Take Note Before You Buy The Paris Museum Pass.

The Paris Museum Pass may be a reasonably good deal for many tourists, but know that it does not ensure your admission to the 60+ attractions advertised.

My wife and I bought the 4-day, €62 version of the Paris Museum Pass. We planned on visiting the Louvre, the Orsay, the Catacombs of Paris and the Arc De Triomphe. The cost of individual tickets for each was roughly equal to the PMP, but the 'skip the line' promise in tourist-crazed July seemed worth it.

And it would have been, had we not been denied entry to the Louvre with our Paris Museum Pass. We went late on Wednesday July 17/19 (about 5 PM, planning to use the evening opening hours) when the staff member at the "patrons with tickets" line told us that there were so many people inside that they could not allow anyone else entry. While we were quite disappointed (this was our only window of opportunity for the Louvre on our stay) we would have understood, except that patrons who had purchased their advance tickets directly from the Louvre website were still being admitted. So it wasn't actually "full"...if you'd given your money to the Louvre directly you were still welcome. The Paris Museum Pass not only did not allow us to skip the line, it meant we had wasted our money.

Their fine print online does day "Exceptional closures and free admission (strikes, public holidays...) will not give cause for any extension of the duration, nor any refund for one or several days." We're not sure this applied to our situation, since it was not a closure (again, those smart enough to pay the Louvre directly were still getting in).

I simply offer this cautionary note. I'm sure this capacity problem at the Louvre is uncommon, and that in many cases the Paris Museum Pass delivers as promised. However, if you want to GUARANTEE you'll see the Louvre, buy your tickets in advance directly from the Louvre site. Patrons who who've paid the museum will be given preference if a problem arises.

Posted by
16894 posts

Thanks for confirming your experience. This procedure is new this month, so we've had a few other threads discussing it. If customers happen to look at the Museum Pass web site, the warning is now there. But it will take a while to get the word out, and others travelers probably will get similarly disappointed this summer.

Posted by
14247 posts

As Laura indicates the issues with entering the Louvre with the Paris Museum Pass have literally just stated in the last 2 weeks as has the apparent ability to re-enter a museum.

A Museum Pass holder (or in fact a timed ticket holder) has never been able to skip a security line and in places like Musee d'Orsay that is generally where the line up is.

Catacombs - has not covered by the Museum Pass so hopefully you knew to purchase timed tickets to this venue.

Long thread here:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/france/if-you-plan-to-visit-the-louvre

Posted by
9858 posts

A Museum Pass holder (or in fact a timed ticket holder) has never been able to skip a security line and in places like Musee d'Orsay that is generally where the line up is.

Sorry, this is not correct for the Musée d’Orsay. Of course one still goes through security with a museum pass entry, but the line to enter and go through security is substantially shorter for pass holders and those with pre-purchased tickets at the Orsay (through door C) than the regular line (through door A).

Posted by
2 posts

“As Laura indicates the issues with entering the Louvre with the Paris Museum Pass have literally just stated in the last 2 weeks as has the apparent ability to re-enter a museum.”

But had not yet at the time of our visit, hence the reason for my cautionary note.

“A Museum Pass holder (or in fact a timed ticket holder) has never been able to skip a security line and in places like Musee d'Orsay that is generally where the line up is”

Of course, we didn’t expect to skip the security line. The Paris Museum Pass’s ‘skip the line’ process refers to the ticket buying line. Regardless, my complaint above was that we were denied entry to the Louvre completely with the PMP...while tickets purchased from the Louvre were being admitted.

I understand that management is trying to solve this by having Paris Museum Pass holders book a timed entry as well. I hope it works, but if they bailed on their previous promise of entry, who’s to say they won’t bail on this too. Again, if I wanted to be ASSURED of entry to the Louvre, I’d buy my tickets online in advance from the museum.