Since a good portion of my time in Paris was spent visiting museums, the Paris Museum Pass was both a money saver and time saver.
With the pass, you get admission to a number of monuments and museums in and around Paris. Best of all — you don’t have to stand in those long lines — you get to bypass all those people and go straight to the front of the line. Temporary exhibits at the museums are usually excluded, though.
The pass can be purchased for 2, 4, or 6 days, and currently costs 30, 45, and 60 euros respectively. (Check the website for pricing changes.)
On your first visit to one of the museums or monuments, the pass is activated, and your time starts running. This allows you to buy the pass in advance, should you wish. You can buy the pass online, at participating museums and monuments (I purchases mine at the Louvre), or at any Paris Tourist Office.
I planned my museum visits so that I could maximize the value of the pass, taking note of the location, travel time, open days and hours of each that I wanted to visit. I knew that I couldn’t see everything, but with good planning I was able to save a lot over individual admission prices AND speed up the process by avoiding lines. You can find the full list of museums and monuments online.
With a four day pass, I was able to take in the following:
- Arc de Triomphe (regular admission is 8 euros)
- Centre Pompidou (regular admission is 10 euros)
- Conciergerie (combined admission with Sainte-Chapelle is 9 euros)
- Louvre (regular admission is 8,50 euros)
- Museum d’Orsay (regular admission is 7,50 euros)
- Pantheon (regular admission is 7 euros)
- Rodin Museum (regular admission is 6 euros)
For me this represented a savings of 11 euros (about $16) over regular admissions, and savings in time of several hours avoiding lines. Granted, I had to cram a lot of visits into a short period of time, but I tried to find a good balance of art, architecture, history, food, and fun every day. It worked for me, but it you would prefer a slower pace, get a longer pass.
Additional considerations when deciding if the Paris Museum Pass is for you: Most museums are free for those under age 16, and offered reduced admissions for those 16-25 years of age. Many museums also offer free admissions at least one day of the month.
If the museums and monuments are on your to-do list in Paris, a Paris Museum Pass can be a savings in more ways than one.
Photos: personal collection