When planning on visiting Paris for the first time, many people opt to look into a Paris Pass of some sort. The questions that follow usually lead into…which one should I get, how much is it, and then, is it worth the money?
There are a million things that I love about Paris: the sandwiches, the wine, the walking, the architecture, but what I love the most, is that with the Paris Museum Pass, you get to see EVERYTHING.
If you’ve read any of my articles on New York, you know how much I love activities. I would love to meander around the world with no timeline, but the reality is that I have a job and am only in this city for a certain number of days. I definitely want to make the most of my time there. Bring on the activities!
My husband and I got the Paris Museum Pass, and we couldn’t decide which one was the better deal – the 10 pack of Metro tickets or the Museum Pass. WHAT A TIME SAVER.
We walked right past the ticket line at Saint-Chapelle.
We walked right past the ticket line at Arc de Triomphe.
We skipped the ticket line at Versailles. We did, however, have to wait in the (almost discouragingly) long security line. Wish I could tell you that it moves fast. Read up on my trip to Versailles and make sure to get there when it opens.
Keep in mind, the Paris Museum Pass does not include the Eiffel Tower, so plan accordingly for this attraction.
WHY WE CHOSE THE PARIS MUSEUM PASS (AND NOT THE PARIS PASS)
1. It included most of the attractions we wanted to visit
After brainstorming our bucket list attractions in Paris, we looked to see if the passes included any or all of the sights on our list. Then, we calculated what the cost would be for each one.
- The Louvre
- Notre Dame
- Arc de Triomphe
- Musée d’Orsay
- Sainte Chapelle
- Palace of Versailles
Because there is no pass available (including the Paris Pass and the Paris Museum Pass) that includes the Eiffel Tower, you can either show up yourself, wait in line and buy a ticket, or you can sign up with a tour.
We opted for a tour from Get Your Guide, and not only did it allow us to skip the line, but we also got a behind-the-scenes tour of the Eiffel Tower as well.
2. It offered the best value for our dollar
Always the savvy traveler, I made sure to add up the cost of our must-see attractions in Paris. Even if we had to cut one out because of time constraints, we would still be saving a significant amount. We got the 4 day Paris Museum Pass, and at 64€ each, it was a steal. We also opted for the 10-ticket booklet for the Metro and at 14.50€ for both of us, we still came in under the price of ONE Paris Pass.
3. It allowed us to make the most of our days
Chances are that no pass will include every single thing you want to do. Climb the Eiffel Tower? Hop in line. Cruise down the river? Cough up the cash.
What the Paris Museum Pass offered most of all was to maximize our time in Paris. Our first attraction of the day was always something that we would have to wait in line for, and we always chose an afternoon activity that had a fast-track entry. This allowed us to make the most of our time at each place while minimizing our time spent in line.
4. We didn’t feel the need to ride the Big Bus
Paris is an easily walkable city. Everything in Paris is easily accessible by walking a few minutes one way or another. You will be walking a lot (on our Louvre day, we clocked in at 33,000 steps) but even if you get tired, the Metro is easy to use and the stations are easy to locate.
We elected to purchase the 10-ticket Metro booklet and this was a good choice for us. We used two in the morning to get to our area for the day, and two to get back to the hotel at night. If you need more, it is easy to use the machines to buy another 10, or, if you prefer to ride more often than walk, a weekly pass might be a good option for you.
The Paris Metro is a simple but extremely efficient system, unlike the confusing maze of subway in New York. Everyone gets around Paris by walking, biking, or taking the subway, so you won’t feel out of place.
So was the Paris Museum Pass worth our money? A big giant YES. We barely made a dent in the attractions in Paris and did 2 or 3 of them a day. The Paris Museum Pass was worth its weight in line-bypass alone. When we return, we will definitely be purchasing the Paris Museum Pass again.
WHERE TO BUY
When you are at Charles de Gaulle Airport, go straight to the Visitors Information Desk. There, you can purchase your metro tickets AND your museum pass. They speak English (among other languages) so they can help you immensely. They may also ask you how you are getting to your hotel; this is to ensure your safety. You can transfer easily from the airport to the city center (Gare du Nord) by taking the RER train B.
I traveled here in 2017. As always, be sure to check your country’s travel advisories before booking any trips or excursions. You can check out the Canadian opinion here.