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.
On my first orientation tour of Paris in 2010, my tour guide pointed out the back of Rodin’s The Thinker as the bus sped past. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to visit the Rodin museum – and since it was listed on the museums and monuments that were part of the Paris Museum Pass, I grabbed the opportunity.
While darting from statue to sculpture in the gardens of the Musée Rodin, and deciding that the estate could be added to the shortlist of houses that I could live in, we began to worry – we couldn’t see The Thinker anywhere.
It turned out we had taken the longest way around possible. As we had gone through the entrance and stood facing the chateau, we had headed left all the way around the gardens and then through the house. The Thinker was just to our right!
Palais de la Découverte
For a break from the traditional sightseeing (and to get more value out of our Paris Museum Passes!), we headed for the Palais de la Découverte, a science and discovery museum housed in the Grand Palais. We were hoping for a French version of the Investigator Science Centre that we grew up with back in Adelaide. While there were some interactive games and exhibits (including some computer quizzes in English), there was a lot of reading to do as well and it wasn’t as hands-on as we were expecting.
Note: Entrance to the Planetarium (3 Euros) was not included in the Paris Museum Pass.
Musée de l’Orangerie
Another museum that was on my list to see was The Orangerie. I had wanted to go there to see Monet’s waterlilies paintings, but was surprised to find that they were not my favourite art pieces in the small gallery. I far preferred the Renoir portraits tucked away amongst the work of other renowned artists.
Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it?
Cost of entry into the Musée Rodin: 7 Euros
Cost of entry into the Palais de la Découverte: 9 Euros
Cost of entry into the Musée de l’Orangerie: 9 Euros
Verdict: 28.00 Euros ahead
The four day Paris Museum Pass was worth it for us, though admittedly some of the places we visited, such as the Palais de la Découverte, we only went to because it was listed on the Paris Museum Pass.
We didn’t feel any pressure to visit as many sights as we could to make our money back. There were many other museums and monuments we could have crammed in if we had really wanted to, but we took it easy and still managed to come out ahead of what we would have paid visiting all of the sights separately.
Since we visited Paris in autumn, we had no chance to be able to ‘jump the queue’ with our Paris Museum Passes, but having this ability would be very useful during June, July and August, when tourist numbers in Paris are at their peak.
To find out whether it is worth it for you, take a look of the list of museums, palaces and attractions that the Paris Museum Pass grants you entrance to, and work out which ones you want to visit and whether you have the time to see them.
A complete list of the museums and monuments can be found on the Paris Museum Pass official website.