Have you been asking yourself questions like “is the Paris museum pass worth it?” as you prepare for your trip to Paris? Then this detailed guide will give you all the answers!
“Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it?” “Can you really save money when you purchase the Paris museum pass?” These are some of the most frequently asked questions for people traveling to the French capital especially those visiting Paris for the first time.
With the number of museums in Paris, it is understandable that you would wonder if it’s worth getting the Pass museum pass.
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While you might think it’s an easy “YES” or “NO” answer, unfortunately, it’s not! It “depends” might be the suitable answer as it really DEPENDS on how many Parisian museums you want to visit, how fast you want to visit the attractions, and how many days you have in the city!
To help you answer the question of “Is the Paris museum pass worth it”, I’ve written this detailed Paris museum pass review answering all the questions associated with it plus general tips to help you use it the right way.
Yes, I’ve even done some math for you to point you in the right direction but ultimately, it’s your decision as it depends on your travel time, budget, and what you want to visit while in Paris.
Paris Museum Pass in A Nutshell
Don’t have time to read the entire review, here is why I recommend purchasing this Paris museum pass! You can expect;
- Free access to over 60 museums (both famous and small ones)
- Free access to monuments like Arc de Triomphe, Conciergerie, Panthéon, Sainte Chapelle, and more
- Free access to landmarks near Paris like Château de Fontainebleau, Château de Vincennes, Châteaux de Versailles, etc
- Priority entry at attractions
- Cheaper than buying individual tickets
- Saves time
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Is the Paris Museum Pass Worth it? Paris Museum Pass Review
Without any further ado, here is the detailed Paris museum pass review to help answer the burning question “Is the Paris museum pass worth it?”
What is the Paris Museum Pass?
First things first, you need to know what the Paris museum pass is! Like many major cities in the world, Paris also has a city card dedicated to only museums.
The Paris Museum pass is a card that gives you access to over 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris while also giving you priority entry access to avoid wasting time in queues.
Think of the Paris museum pass as a collection of prepaid tickets to over 60 museums and monuments except that they’re at a discounted rate compared to what you’d pay if you purchased each ticket individually.
Pro tip* Most people confuse the Paris Museum Pass and the Paris Pass but these 2 are different. The Paris pass may be “loosely” referred to as the main city card and it covers everything the museum pass covers and more! However, this means that it’s also more expensive; a little over double the price of the Paris museum pass.
If you’re intruded, you can check out the Paris pass and what it offers in detail here!
Disclaimer* All the prices included in this article were correct by the time of publishing it, ( as of June 2022) but they can change any time without warning!
How much Does the Paris Museum Pass Cost?
The Paris museum pass price depends on the exact option you choose! There are 3 pricing options depending on the number of days it’s valid for. Below is the breakdown of the prices. These prices already include any fees and taxes.
- Paris museum pass for 2 days (48 hours) — € 57
- Paris museum pass for 4 days (96 hours) — € 73
- Paris museum pass for 6 days (144 hours) — € 83
The option you choose entirely depends on how long you’re in Paris and of course, your budget!
Pro tip* Entrance to all public museums is free for all children under 18 years and EU citizens under 26 years. This means that these categories of people don’t need to buy the Paris Museum Pass.
What Does The Paris Museum Pass Include?
The Paris museum pass includes museums and Parisian monuments plus a few attractions around the city. To give you an idea, below is the list of the major attractions included in the Paris museum pass.
Popular attractions included in the Museum Pass in Paris
- Louvre Museum: The largest and most famous art museum in the world.
- Orsay Museum: A museum with the largest collection of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings.
- Centre Pompidou: It has the largest collection of modern and contemporary art in Europe.
- Musée Picasso Paris: An art gallery with Pablo Picasso’s work.
- Musée national Eugène Delacroix: An art museum dedicated to the famous French painter, Eugène Delacroix.
- The Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac: It’s a museum dedicated to indigenous art and cultures of Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.
- Musée National d’Art Moderne: A museum dedicated to modern art.
- The Army Museum and Napoleon’s tomb: A collection of military weapons at the Invalides.
- Panthéon: A final resting place for prominent French people.
- Musée des Arts et Métiers: A museum with a collection of scientific instruments and inventions.
- Musée Rodin: A museum dedicated to the works of the French sculptor, Auguste Rodin.
- Sainte-Chapelle: One of the stunning churches in Paris not to miss.
- Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie: The biggest science museum in Europe.
- Musée national des Arts Asiatiques: Has one of the largest collections of Asian art in Europe.
- Arc de Triomphe: A monumental arch constructed to honor people who fought and died during the French revolution and other Napoleonic wars.
- Musée national de l’Orangerie: To see some of the largest water lilies painting by Claude Monet. This is one of the most famous French paintings, so be sure to visit this museum.
- And many others.
Popular Attractions Included in the Museum Pass Outside Paris
- Château de Fontainebleau: One of the largest French castles near Paris.
- Château de Vincennes: A former fortress and residence for French royals just outside Paris.
- Château de Chantilly: One of the most beautiful castles near Paris.
- Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace: A museum dedicated to air and space.
- Château de Pierrefonds: It still has some of its defensive military architecture worth admiring.
- Abbaye Royale de Chaalis: An abbey worth making the trip for.
- Versailles Palace: One of the most important former royal residences. It’s also one of the easy day trips from Paris, so don’t miss it.
- And may others.
These are just some of the attractions included in the Paris Museum Pass but you can find the complete list here. Please also note that these attractions can change at any time so before booking, first confirm the current list here.
Where to Buy the Paris Museum Pass
The most convenient place to buy the Paris Museum Pass is online. I use GetYourGuide to buy all my tickets and passes and I’ve never had any issues, so you can buy your museum pass here on GetYourGuide too.
Buying online will save you so much time instead of queuing at the ticket offices to buy one.
However, if for some reason you feel compelled to buy it when you reach Paris, you can one at the Paris Tourist office, at the tourist information centers at CDG airport and Orly airport, or at popular museums like the Louvre.
How to Buy The Paris Museum Pass
Now that you know where to buy the Paris Museum Pass, it’s important to know how to buy one.
It’s pretty straightforward but for people who prefer visuals, here is exactly how to do it.
First, click on this link and it will take you to the buying page. Click on the first option that says “Paris Museum Pass: 2, 4, or 6 Days” and it will transfer you to the page shown in the screenshot below.
Scroll down and select the number of participants, and date, and check availability. Please note that this shouldn’t be the date you plan to land in Paris but rather the date you plan to actually pick up your museum pass.
When you click check availability, it will bring you the 3 options we talked about earlier. You can then select the pass you want, either for 2, 4, or 6 days. Select the appropriate option and add it to the cart and continue to check out.
The best thing about buying your Paris museum pass from GetYourGuide is that if your travel plans change, you can always adjust your booking or even cancel for free if you cancel before the date you selected when making the purchase.
How to Receive Your Paris Museum Paris
The Paris museum pass is a physical card, which means that you’ll need to collect it. If you buy it from here, you’ll be able to pick it up from the tour office at 23 Rue d’Aboukir, 75002 Paris (in the 2nd arrondissement) any day from 09:00 -18:00. It is just a 10-minutes walk from the Louvre museum.
And no, you won’t be stuck in the long queue as people just buying it. Pick up is quite quick.
If you buy it when you’re already in Paris, you’ll be able able to get it instantly. Sounds easy, but the only downside is the long queues.
The other alternative is shipping it to your location. Some ticket operators offer this option but I don’t recommend it as it can be costly in carrier fees and there might be unforeseen delays that can interfere with your trip.
how To Use the Paris museum pass
This is probably the easiest part. All you have to do is to show up at the museum you want to visit first. When you enter the museum/monument, your Paris museum pass will be instantly activated.
This means that if you bought a museum pass for 2 days, the day you use it will be day 1 and the next day, day 2 regardless of the time of your first visit.
Also, days are counted in a consecutive way so you can’t say you use day one (let’s say) on Tuesday and day two on Friday. It has to be 2 days following themselves so make sure you plan accordingly to fully take advantage of the museum pass’s potential.
Speaking of taking advantage of its full potential, I recommend starting your visits early in the morning. Basically, as soon as the museums open. This will help you have enough time to visit other museums because even if you start you start using the pass at 4:00 PM, that will be considered your day 1.
Do You Need to Make Reservations at Attractions?
Though at most places you don’t need to make a reservation or book a time slot, popular museums require you to book a time slot on top of your Paris museum pass.
Such include places like the Louvre museum, the Arc de Triomphe, Cité des sciences, Musée du Quai Branly, and others. You can check out the complete list of attractions that require compulsory time slot booking from here. Here is the French version.
If you’re visiting the Louvre, you can book your time slot from the official Louvre website here. You won’t need to pay again but just to enter your name and the serial number on your pass. It’s mandatory otherwise, you might be denied entry to the Louvre if you don’t book a time slot.
Please note that requirements keep changing and can change at any time without warning. Though the pdfs I linked above are useful, the conclusive information on whether you need to book a time slot or not can only be found on the individual attraction’s website. So, please confirm that before you go.
Pros and Cons of Buying The Paris Museum Pass
Pros of Buying the Paris Museum Pass
It Gives Free Access to Over 60 Museums and Monuments
One of the no-brainer pros of using the Paris museum pass is free access to over 60 famous and unknown attractions.
It Saves Time by Skipping the Long Lines
Paris being one of the most visited cities in the world, you can expect long queues at attractions. I am talking 2 hours (even more) kind of wait at some famous attractions.
But with this Paris museum pass, you get to skip all those long lines at the participating attractions. Yes, there is a dedicated queue for people with passes and that takes just a handful of minutes.
Sometimes even just going through security check because there are always just a few people in that queue compared to the thousands on the “regular” queue.
Skipping the lines is especially useful if you’re visiting Paris for a short time. No one wants to waste 2 hours a day in queues if they have just 2 days in the city.
It Saves Money
Paris is an expensive city and any Euro saved goes a long way. So, how will you save money, you ask? Here is a brief example.
Let’s say you buy this Paris museum pass for 2 days which is € 57. Just visiting the Louvre museum (€ 17), Orsay Museum (€ 16), Centre Pompidou (€ 16), Musée national de l’Orangerie (€ 12.50), and Sainte-Chapelle (€ 11.50) would cost you €73 if you bought each ticket individually.
But by opting for the Paris museum pass, you not only skip lines at these attractions but also save € 16 which you can use for something else not included in the museum pass.
Of course, it doesn’t have to be these exact attractions but on average if you visit say 3 attractions a day, you’ll already be saving money.
The Museum Pass Covers Even the Smaller and Lesser-known Attractions
While most people stick to just the known landmarks, the Paris museum pass opens another world of possibilities by offering non-touristy things to do in Paris — attractions you’d probably miss if it wasn’t for the pass.
Cons of Buying The Paris Museum Pass
The Paris Museum Pass Doesn’t Cover Some Popular Landmarks
One of the downsides of the Paris museum pass is that it doesn’t cover some famous landmarks in Paris.
Some of the popular attractions not included in the Paris Museum pass include;
- The Eiffel Tower: You can instead buy this Eiffel Tower entry ticket. And don’t forget to read my post about tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower like a pro. So for people who had questions like ” Does the Paris museum pass include the Eiffel Tower?”, the simple answer is NO.
- The Opera Garnier: You can admire the opulence of this place by purchasing this self-guided ticket instead.
- Paris Catacombs: Are the catacombs included in Paris Museum Pass? No, they’re not but you can still descend under to see the dark side of Paris by buying this ticket to the Catacombs that comes with an Audio guide. Alternatively, you can book this guided tour by a professional tour guide to learn more about the history of the place and get access to areas in the Catacombs that can only be accessed with a tour guide.
- Grevin Wax Museum: Get a closer look at your favorite famous people, at least in their wax figures by purchasing this Grevin was museum entry ticket.
- Montparnasse Tower: If you want to take in the views of Paris or the views of the Eiffel Tower from Montparnasse, you’d need to buy a separate ticket as it’s not covered by the museum pass. You can purchase this ticket to access its rooftop terrace.
The Museum Pass Doesn’t Include Access to Temporary Exhibits
While you have access to almost all the museums in Paris, you can only visit the permanent exhibitions and not the temporary ones. This means that if you want to see a temporary exhibition, you’d need to pay for it separately.
The Paris Museum Pass Doesn’t Include Guided Tours
If you’re someone who prefers guided tours instead of an independent visit, unfortunately, the Paris museum pass doesn’t cover that. In that case, I wouldn’t advise you to buy it but to rather book guided tours as some of them come with entry tickets.
Honestly, if you weigh the pros and cons, you’ll realize that the Paris Museum Pass is worth buying.
Does the Paris Museum pass include Versailles?
Another frequently asked question about the Paris museum pass is whether Versailles is included. The answer is YES but not to everything — at least on some days.
While you get “full access” to other attractions, it’s a bit different at Versailles. You only get access to Châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon.
This means that you get free access to the Palace of Versailles, and the gardens but only if there is no musical show going on.
If you visit on the day when the Versailles garden musical show is happening, you won’t have free access to them.
You’d need to purchase a separate ticket for the show, which you can buy from here or at the palace, but it is a little bit cheaper and more convenient when bought online.
However, if you visit on a day with no garden musical shows, you’ll be able to access the entire palace (plus the gardens) for free.
Basically, this should be a personal choice. You can choose to either go on a day with no garden musical shows and visit the garden without paying extra or go on a day with the show and pay a bit more to enjoy it.
Another thing you should know about Versailles is that while it gives priority entrance to the palace, you’ll still queue in the same security line like everyone else. After the security line, that’s when you can join the fast-entry line with pass holders.
My advice is that even if you have the Paris museum pass, arrive at Versailles as early as possible to not stay in the security line check for long. Admission starts at 9:00 am, so you can plan accordingly.
Is the Paris Museum Pass Worth it? Like really? Let’s Do the Math!
Does it offer free access to lots of attractions? YES! Does it help save time by skipping the long queues? YES! But is it REALLY worth it? If you’re still not sure whether it’s worth it or not, here is an example with real-life figures.
Of course, the activities you opt for might differ but this is just to give you a general idea of whether it’s worth it for YOU or not.
I am not going to pack in so many activities in these examples but just a few that are doable in the specified days without burning out. Of course, you can do as many or as little as you’re comfortable with. I just want to give realistic examples!
Sample Itinerary With The Paris Museum Pass for 2 days (€ 57)
- Louvre Museum — € 17
- Orsay Museum — € 16
- Arc de Triomphe — € 13
- Versailles Palace — € 20
The total, assuming you spend the whole day at Versailles will be € 66 compared to the € 57 for the pass. You save € 9 which may not seem like a lot to some but that topped with the fact that you skip the lines makes the Museum pass worth it already.
Sample Itinerary with the Paris Museum Pass for 4 days (€ 73)
- Louvre Museum — € 17
- Centre Pompidou — € 16
- Orsay Museum — € 16
- Panthéon — €11.50
- Versailles Palace — € 20
- Arc de Triomphe — € 13
- Château de Chantilly — € 17
The total for the sample attractions by just doing 2 attractions a day (you could even fix a third or leave the third attraction for another attraction not included in the pass) is € 110.5 which saves you a whopping 37.5 Euros compared to the € 73 price of the museum pass for 4 days. Plus, of course, no wasting time in queues.
Sample Itinerary With The Paris Museum Pass for 6 days (€ 83)
- Louvre Museum — € 17
- Sainte-Chapelle — € 11.50
- Conciergerie — 11.50
- Versailles Palace — € 20
- Orsay Museum — € 16
- Panthéon — €11.50
- Musée de l’Orangerie — € 12.5
- Château de Chantilly — € 17
- Arc de Triomphe — € 13
- Château de Fontainebleau — €13
- Centre Pompidou — € 16
- Les Invalides: Napoleon’s Tomb & Army Museum — € 14
If you visit all the above attractions, you’ll have to part with € 173 if you pay for each ticket individually compared to the €83 rate of the Paris museum pass. You save € 90 — almost half the price. You could do so much with this saved money.
Those were just a few samples of what your itinerary could look like and they sure prove that the Paris museum pass is INDEED worth the money.
Who is the Paris Museum Pass Perfect for and Who’s not!
Yes, the Paris museum pass is a great deal in my opinion, but the truth is that it may not be the right thing for everyone as I mentioned earlier! So who should buy the pass and who should forego it? Let’s find out.
General Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Paris Museum Pass
Now that you know that the Paris Museum pass is worth the money, here are a few tips to get the most out of your pass.
- Know the closing days of the museums or attractions you want to visit. It would be a shame to “activate” your pass today (day 1) only to realize that the attractions you want to visit on day 2 will be closed. Check the closing days of each attraction and plan your visits according.
- Avoid visiting museums/ attractions on days when admission is free for everyone! This will be a loss and you’ll not be compensated, nor will your museum pass be extended for another day. This includes days like the first Sunday of the Month, when most museums are free, or the night of the museums (La Nuit des musées) when access to museums is free at night for everyone. You can use such days to visit attractions not included in the pass and use your museum pass on other days.
- Plan out your days well! This kind of encompasses the last 2 points but it’s worth mentioning. Unlike when you don’t have a pass, you can just visit whatever you feel like that day. However, when you have a Paris museum pass, let’s say for 2 days, pick 2 days out of your travel time in Paris that you’ll use to focus on attractions that are included in the pass. Remember, these 2 days should be consecutive and make sure that entrance is not free for everyone on such days.
- Start with the most expensive attractions. Since some attractions are not included in the Paris museum pass, it makes sense financially to first use the pass on attractions that are more expensive than others so that if you run out of time and need to pay out of pocket, you spend a bit less as you’d be left with the lesser expensive ones.
- Don’t pack too many activities in those few days. It’s only fair to want to exhaust the money you paid for the pass by packing as many activities as you can. While it’s doable for some, it may lead to burnout for others. Take your time to enjoy the museums/landmarks without just rushing through them and try to plan a realistic amount of visits a day or you’ll end the day when you’re fully exhausted and end up not enjoying the entire experience.
- Choose attractions that are not far away from each other. While most of the popular attractions are not really far away from each other — and the metro makes it even much easier — it’s important to visit attractions next to each other so that you don’t spend a lot of time in transit; except when visiting attractions outside Paris.
- Don’t forget to book time slots for the places you plan to visit. As I mentioned earlier, some places now require everyone (even those who buy individual tickets, pass holders, and those entering for free) to have booked a time slot before visiting. This helps the management of those places to maintain a certain number of people who can access the attraction at a given time. Just check the individual attractions’ websites and you’ll be able to book a time slot that favors you. No, you won’t need to pay again.
Which other Options Do You have if you don’t purchase the Paris Museum Pass?
Let’s assume that for whatever reason even after reading my detailed Paris museum pass review, you decide that it’s not for you? What next?
Well, you can either purchase individual tickets to attractions or consider checking out other Paris passes. Alternatively, you can check out combined tickets which are usually discounted compared to individual tickets.
Some of the Paris passes you can consider include;
- The Paris pass: This is the general Paris city card. It has everything the Paris museum Pass has and more. It has access to over 80 attractions with a 1-day hop-on hop-off bus and a Seine cruise. However, it’s also a lot more expensive costing € 124 for a pass of 2 days. You can get more details about it from here.
- Paris Visite Pass: This pass will help you travel around Paris and the entire il de France region by public transportation for free. Think, metro, train, tram, or bus! Like the above passes, you can still choose the number of days you want to use it for and the zone you want to use it in. The minimum rate is € 13. 2. You can read more about it here.
Some of the Best combined tickets you can check out include;
- Louvre Timed Entry and Seine Cruise: >>> Book it from here <<<<
- Sainte-Chapelle & Conciergerie: >>> Book it from here <<<<
- Eiffel Tower and Seine River Cruise: >>> Buy the combo ticket here <<<<
Final Thoughts on the Paris Museum Pass Review
With all the benefits that come with this Paris museum pass, it’s not hard to see why it has become increasingly popular among tourists.
Whether you want to get the most out of your buck or save time while visiting attractions, the museum pass will come in handy.
Of course, it might not be the perfect choice for you, so, crank up the number and see if it makes sense for you time-wise and financially.
So, if you clicked on this article with questions like “Is the Paris museum pass worth it?”, I hope that I’ve helped you answer that question.
But if you still have more questions about it, drop them in the comments below and I’ll answer them.
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Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
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- What to Pack for Paris in winter
- Fun facts about Paris
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