Tag Archives: Paris Museum Pass

Where to buy the Paris Museum Pass

Where to buy the Paris Museum Pass

If you’re heading to the City of Light this July, you might have heard of the Paris Museum Pass – a multi-day pass giving you entry (and in some places the ability to bypass the queues) to more than sixty museums, art galleries, and monuments in and around Paris.

While you can buy it online, if you’re anything like me, you might not make up your mind about the Paris Museum Pass until after your plane has landed at Charles de Gaulle. If you find yourself in Paris before you’ve had a chance to order a pass online, should you rush out to get it? And where can you get your hands on one when you’re on the ground in Paris?

Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it?

Before buying the Pass, make sure you will get value for money. If you’re not going to save money by getting the Pass, then perhaps buying tickets at each of the museums that you visit is a better option for you. For a guide on how I spent my time in Paris using a four-day Museum Pass, see the following posts:

Where can I buy the Paris Museum Pass?

You can buy the Paris Museum Pass online, or according to the Paris Museum Pass website it can be bought at the ticket desk of most museums.

I have purchased the Paris Museum Pass twice, and both times I waited until I was in Paris. I have bought it from:

  • From the tourist information stand in front of Notre Dame de Paris. In July 2012 I purchased a Paris Museum Pass from a tourist information stand outside of the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. The stand might only be set up during the peak tourist season – when I returned to Paris in November it wasn’t there.
  • From the Museum’s membership centre on the Allée du Grand Louvre. We tried buying a pass from the Louvre ticket desk, and they sent us to the membership centre, in between the large pyramid and the Galerie du Carrousel arcade. They also offer Friends of the Louvre memberships here, if you think you’ll come back to the Louvre often.

Have you bought the Paris Museum Pass? Where did you buy it from? Did you think it was worth it? Let us know in the comments!

Paris Museum Pass Challenge – Day 4: Rodin, the Orangerie and the Palais de la Découverte

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.

Musée Rodin

The gardens of the Musée Rodin
The gardens of the Musée Rodin

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.

The Thinker at the Musée Rodin
The Thinker, the famous statue at the Musée Rodin

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

The grand foyer of the Palais de la Découverte

The grand foyer of the 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

The Musée de l'Orangerie
The Musée de l’Orangerie in the Tuileries Gardens

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 Paris Museum Pass: 56 Euros
Entrance costs from Day 1: 18 Euros
Entrance costs from Day 2: 31.50 Euros
Entrance costs from Day 3: 9.50 Euros

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.

Paris Museum Pass Challenge: Day 3 – The Arc de Triomphe

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.

The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe
Climbing the Arc de Triomphe is included in the Paris Museum Pass

After a lazy morning exploring Montmartre, we headed for the Arc de Triomphe for a 360 degree view of Paris and one of its busiest roundabouts. I enjoyed looking out along the straight avenues that lead to the Place de l’Étoile and watching the chaos on the road below as cars tried to navigate their way on to and off of the roundabout.

We ended up spending the rest of the day window shopping along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, before making our way up past the Palais Garnier to end the afternoon at the Galeries Lafayette. It was nice to have a day where we didn’t feel like we had to rush around to get our money’s worth out of our museum passes, and by the end of the day we had broken even. Anything we visited on Day 4 would essentially be ‘free’.

Want more information on the Arc de Triomphe?
Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
Website: http://arc-de-triomphe.monuments-nationaux.fr/
Closest metro station: Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile

Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it?

Cost of Paris Museum Pass: 56 Euros

Entrance costs from Day 1: 18 Euros
Entrance costs from Day 2: 31.50 Euros

Cost of entry to climb the Arc de Triomphe: 9.50 Euros

Verdict: 3.00 Euros ahead, one day left

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

Paris Museum Pass Challenge: Day 1 – Versailles

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.

Buying the Paris Museum Pass

The first challenge we faced was where to buy the pass. The stall by Notre Dame where I had bought them before was closed, so we wandered over to the Louvre, having read on the Paris Museum Pass website that they could be bought at the attraction’s ticket desks or online. At the Louvre, we were directed to an information office halfway between the inverted pyramid and the information desk at the Louvre. They sold passes as well as memberships to the Louvre, and were very helpful.

To Versailles!

Armed with our Museum Passes, we caught the metro to Gare Montparnasse and then hopped on a suburban train to Versailles-Chantiers. It took about fifteen minutes to get there, and the way from the Versailles-Chantiers train station to the Chateau de Versailles is well signed.

The Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles

The displays at Versailles had been updated since I was last there four years ago. There were audio visual presentations about how the chateau had been extended over the years, which seemed to be new.

Versailles is one extravagant room after another, culminating in the Hall of Mirrors.

The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles
The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

On this visit, we also went in to the Mesdames Apartments, which with their white walls and ceilings, were a good antidote to the wall-to-ceiling paintings of the state apartments (I especially liked Madame Adelaide’s library nook).

The Gardens of Versailles

It was a beautiful day for strolling around the gardens. Blue skies and bright sunshine made me forget it was only 12 degrees!

As we walked through the gardens from the chateau to the Trianons, we had fun getting lost in the maze of terraced gardens. Unfortunately, because we were there in November, the statues all had protective covers over them in preparation for winter, and construction and restoration works were taking place on many of the fountains, so the walk through the gardens and along the Grand Canal lost some of its idyll.

The Petit Trianon and Marie-Antoinette’s Hamlet


I could happily make the Petit Trianon and its grounds my home. The rooms inside are cosy and not too grand. (The theatre was closed while we were there).

The Petit Trianon
The Petit Trianon – I could see myself living here!

This visit I had more time to wander around the hamlet and look at the buildings. My brother asked me what the purpose of it all was. When I told him it was Marie Antoinette’s place to escape and pretend she was someone else, he thought it was made for her when she was a little girl. I corrected him, and when I asked him if he could imagine me at the same age having a place like this, he admitted that he could!

The Grand Trianon

It was 4:30pm by the time we reached the Grand Trianon. The sun was already beginning to set, but the lights hadn’t been turned on in any of the rooms, making them dark. I think that the reason that I struggled to like the Grand Trianon during my last visit was a combination of the rooms being dark, there being no real information about the rooms or their historical significance, and the fact that as the last place you visit during your time at Versailles, you are genuinely tired.

The Cotelle Gallery and the portico were still my favourite parts of the Grand Trianon (and you could walk through the Gallery – the last time I visited it was roped off).

Overall, we were very lucky with the weather and had a near-perfect day to visit Versailles!

Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it?

Cost of Paris Museum Pass: 56 Euros
Cost of entry into Versailles, the Gardens, the Grand Trianon and the Petit Trianon: 18 Euros

Verdict: 38 Euros out of pocket, three days left