Paris Museum Pass Challenge: Day 2 – The Museums

The Paris Museum Pass gives you free access to over forty museums and monuments in Paris and the surrounding region. We decided to purchase a four day pass, thinking that with our planned visits to the Chateau de Versailles, the Louvre, the Towers of Notre Dame and the Arc de Triomphe, we would eventually come out ahead after paying the 56 Euros per pass.

Museum Day

The grey Parisian sky was threatening rain, so we decided that the second day of our Paris Museum Pass challenge should be spent indoors as much as possible. We singled out a number of museums that people had recommended to us, such as the Musée National du Moyen Âge, as well as the iconic sights of the Louvre and Notre Dame. Armed with our Paris Museum Passes, we headed for the first stop on the list.

Musée National du Moyen Âge (Musée de Cluny)

The entrance to the Hôtel de Cluny
The entrance to the Hôtel de Cluny reminds me of a chateau

The Musée National du Moyen Âge is a museum housed in the Hôtel de Cluny. The museum is known for its collection of the six The Lady and The Unicorn tapestries, which I had wanted to see ever since reading Tracy Chevalier’s novel of the same name. The Musée National du Moyen Âge also contains a collection of artefacts from the Middle Ages, from illuminated books, stained glass, ancient statues and sculptures, decorative boxes, to religious objects and artwork, as well as having third century Gallo-Roman baths.

The Lady and the Unicorn - 'Taste' tapestry
One of The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries at the Musée National du Moyen Âge – ‘Taste’

Want more information on the Musée National du Moyen Âge?
Address: 6 Place Paul Painlevé, 75005 Paris, France
Website: http://www.musee-moyenage.fr (in French only)
Closest metro station: Cluny – La Sorbonne

The Towers of Notre Dame

The view over Paris from the towers of Notre Dame
The view over Paris from the towers of Notre Dame

After visiting Notre Dame de Paris and admiring the beautiful stained glass rose windows, we joined the queue for the Towers climb. This was definitely easier to do in the off-season. We only had a wait of thirty minutes queueing along the side of the cathedral – much better than the two hour waits I’ve endured to climb the Towers during July and August.

By the time we climbed up to the top of the South Tower, the sky had cleared, giving us beautiful views over Paris.

Want more information on the Towers of Notre Dame?
Address: Rue du Cloître Notre-Dame, 75004 Paris, France
Website: http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/spip.php?article477
Closest metro station: Cité

The Archaeological Crypt of Notre Dame

The Roman foundations of Lutetia in the Archaeolgical Crypt of Notre Dame
The Roman foundations of Lutetia in the Archaeolgical Crypt of Notre Dame

Maybe I’ve read too many ghost stories, but whenever I hear the word ‘crypt’, I think of dark chambers full of tombs and decaying bodies. However, the Archaeological Crypt of Notre Dame, which is accessible from the courtyard in front of the cathedral, displays ruins of Roman foundations from when Paris was known as Lutetia.

I’m not sure if I would have visited it if it hadn’t been part of the Paris Museum Pass, but that’s one of the good things about the pass – it allows you the freedom to check out a museum you might not otherwise have gone into, since it doesn’t cost you anything more.

Want more information on the Archaeological Crypt of Notre Dame?
Address: 1, place du Parvis Notre-Dame, 75004 Paris, France
Website: http://www.notredamedeparis.fr/spip.php?article477
Closest metro station: Cité

The Musée du Louvre

The Venus de Milo at the Louvre
The Venus de Milo, one of my favourite exhibits at the Louvre

How is it that on my fourth visit to the Louvre I still end up getting lost and it is my brother who, on his very first visit, figures out how to get us to the Venus de Milo and the Mona Lisa? I will never understand why the Louvre makes me feel so disoriented.

Want more information on the Musée du Louvre?
Address: Musée du Louvre, 75058 Paris, France
Skip the lineup outside of the large pyramid by entering via the Galerie du Carrousel entrance on the Rue de Rivoli
Website: http://www.louvre.fr/en
Closest metro station: Palais-Royal–Musée du Louvre

Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it?

Cost of Paris Museum Pass: 56 Euros

Entrance costs from Day 1: 18 Euros

Cost of entry into the Musée de Cluny: 8 Euros
Cost of entry into Notre Dame de Paris: free
Cost of entry into the Towers of Notre Dame: 8.50 Euros
Cost of entry into the Archeological Crypt of Notre Dame: 3 Euros
Cost of entry into the Louvre: 12 Euros

Verdict: 6.50 Euros out of pocket, two days left