Paris vs. Paris Museum Pass Comparison
Many popular European cities offer a city pass designed for tourists to save time and money. So when I planned for my first Paris trip, I researched to find out whether I should buy the Paris city pass or not. And which one to choose between Paris Museum Pass and The Paris Pass.
Is Paris Museum Pass worth it? Yes, 100% for me. I bought the Paris Museum Pass, and I believed it was a smart decision. But it might not be the best Paris tourist card for you because it depends on your travel preferences and, ultimately, your itinerary.
This article explains more details about the Paris Museum Pass, where to get it, and how to use it. Plus, I will analyze the differences between the Paris Pass and Paris Museum Pass with my Paris itinerary example.
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Why buy Paris Museum Pass?
Designed for museum lovers, the Paris Museum Pass gives you access to 50+ museums and monuments in Paris and its surrounding area. (It grants one entry per site.)
Paris is full of the world’s best museums and iconic monuments. When used wisely, Paris Museum Pass can significantly help you cut down the travel budget. More money for gourmet French pastries!
In tourist-crowded cities like Paris, the true value of the Museum Pass is a skip-the-line privilege. The lines at popular attractions such as Louvre and Notre Dame are no joke. Many of these sites recently require booking a time slot in advance; it deters more people from lining up at the ticket office to a certain degree. Nevertheless, the no-queue privilege still provides significant time-saving value compared to booking individual tickets separately, whether in advance or at the ticket office.
Paris Musem Pass Price (2022)
- 2 Days: €52
- 4 Days: €66
- 6 Days: €78
Note: There is no 3-day Paris Museum Pass.
What’s Included in Paris Musem Pass
- Louvre Museum (€17)
- Orsay Museum (€18)
- Notre-Dame & Archeological Crypt Entry (€9)
- Sainte-Chapelle (€10)
- Conciergerie (€11.50)
- Arc de Triomphe (€13)
- Orangerie Museum (€9)
- Centre Pompidou (€14)
- Rodin Museum (€13)
- Picasso Museum (€14)
- The Army Museum & Tomb of Napoléon (€14)
- Panthéon (€9)
- Château deVersailles & the Estate of Trianon (€18)
- Château de Chantilly (€17)
- Château de Fontainebleau (€12)
- Château de Vincennes (€9.50)
What’s Excluded in Paris Museum Pass
Who Should Buy Paris Museum Pass?
Budget Travelers. You want to maximize your saving.
Museum lovers. You have many Paris museums on your bucket list.
First-time visitors. You want to visit all the famous and iconic Paris places.
Time crunchers. You want to hit as many places as possible within a limited time.
Last-minute Planners. You don’t have time to research and make plans. Most likely, you will want to visit museums and historical places. And Paris Museum Pass will give you savings, flexibility and convenience. No headache!
Who Does NOT Need Paris Museum Pass?
Children under 18 years old or EU residents under 26 years old: National museum entrance is free. They are asked to book a time slot. And show a proper ID to receive a free ticket.
You don’t care much about museums or monuments.
Been there, done that. This time, you want to explore beautiful streets and sit in a cafe for people watching.
You hate the jam-packed itinerary. Your priority is not saving money.
Where to Buy Paris Museum Pass & How to Use It
- Purchase Paris Museum Pass here
- Receive it either online (digital) or pick it up at Paris Tourism Office or Gare du Nord Bureau
- Book your time slots for all museums and monuments in advance (select “Paris Museum Pass” at checkout)
- Show up at your reserved time and present the pass
- The card is activated on your first visit. It actually counts by day, not by hours.
- Must be used on consecutive days
Get the Most Out of Your Paris Museum Pass
- IMPORTANT! The Paris Pass or Paris Museum Pass is NOT refundable. You have 90 days to activate it.
- Pre-order Paris Museum Pass here in advance. Avoid additional courier delivery charges by opting for a digital version or physical pick-up.
- Plan your itinerary to consolidate museums and monuments into consecutive “pass days.”
- Make sure all museums and attractions are open during your stay. If you are staying for a short time and have to miss a couple of places, you might be able to make up for it.
- For physical pass: Write down your name as soon as you receive it. But do NOT write down the date until you are setting your foot into the first museum just in case it doesn’t work out as you planned.
- These passes offer “fast track entry.” What it really means is that you will skip the line at the ticket office. During peak hours, it can save a lot of time. But you might not be on the “fast track” at the security. In some cases (e.g. Saint Chapelle, Chateau de Versailles), you first have to go through security with everyone else there.
Got a Ticket to Paris?
Yay! But….planning your dream trip to Paris is not an easy feat. I spent long hours researching things to do and Paris 20 arrondissement, etc. before creating my perfect Paris itinerary for first-time visitors.
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Paris Pass vs. Paris Museum Pass:
What’s the Difference?
The Paris Pass is a more comprehensive city pass that offers fast-track entries to 80+ Paris Museums and attractions. If you get The Paris Pass, you get two passes: Paris Museum Pass and Paris Pass.
>> If your main interest is to visit Paris museums and monuments, you will get the most out of the Museum Pass.
>> If your goal is to hit up museums and attractions while taking advantage of organized tours, the Paris Pass might be the best value for you.
Paris Pass Price (2022)
- 2 Days: €124 Paris Museum Pass (2D) + Paris Pass (2D)
- 3 Days: €149 Paris Museum Pass (2D) + Paris Pass (3D)
- 4 Days: €169 Paris Museum Pass (4D) + Paris Pass (4D)
Note: The Paris Pass no longer offers a 6-day pass.
What’s Included in The Paris Pass
The Paris Pass offers fast-track entries to attractions, such as:
- Eiffel Tower Guided Climb (€34)
- Opera Garnier (€15.5)
- Big Bus Paris Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour (€42)
- Bateaux Parisians River Cruise (€17)
- Les Caves du Louvre (€35), a guided wine tasting tour for one hour
- Notre-Dam and the Archeological Crypt Experience (€34)
- Tour Montparnasse (€17)
- Montmartre & Sacré-Cœur Walking Tour (€34)
- Le Marais Walking Tour (€34)
- Latin District Selfie Tour (€34)
- Covered Passages Walking Tour (€34)
- Montparnasse Neighborhood Walking Tour (€34)
Can you activate Paris Museum Pass and The Paris Pass on different dates?
No. Whichever you activate, your first visit is when the clock starts ticking.
Is Paris Museum Pass Worth It?
The short answer for me is undoubted yes. Generally speaking, the museum pass pays for itself in the end. Another reason museum pass worked best for me is because I love visiting museums while I usually steer away from overly touristy attractions.
Take my 4-day Paris itinerary as an example. Let’s say, I would do self-exploration in the neighborhoods instead of joining a tour. Then, it’s not difficult to see why I chose the Paris Museum Pass. The 2-day Museum Pass would give me the best savings. Clear winner!
I would even adjust my itinerary to maximize the saving based on this calculation. For example, if I switch Montmartre (Day 2) and Orsay Museum (Day 4), I only need a 2-day Museum pass instead of a 4-day pass.
Caveat: I sometimes do join walking tours. But this time, I preferred to explore Galerie Lafayette and St-Germain on my own. I skipped the Eiffel Tower climb because I would rather see the Paris skyline with the tower in it.
Is Paris Pass Worth It?
The Paris Pass includes many popular attractions that the Museum Pass does NOT cover. You can access the Eiffel Tower, Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus, wine tasting tour, Opera Garnier and Tour Montparnasse with this pass.
You can also take advantage of various neighborhood walking tours, like Montmartre or Le Marais.
So let’s say you want to follow my 4-day itinerary AND join all the guided tours included in The Paris Pass. If you are interested in these activities, The Paris Pass can be a great choice with the convenience of having an all-in-one package. Get the most bang for your buck. AND you probably don’t need to research much before you get there.
See how it works? In the end, you will need to check your interests and needs, run some numbers, and decide for yourself.
Now, it’s your turn to decide. I shared all the information you need about Paris Museum Pass and The Paris Pass. I also walked you through my Paris itinerary example. I bet you can develop your game plan and decide which Paris tourist card is right for you!