Museum Passes, Paris
The Paris Museum Pass is interesting if you are staying at least 2 days in Paris and want to visit several museums.
It gives free entry and direct access to 60 museums and monuments in and around Paris (e.g. Versailles). The number of visits is unlimited and you can buy the pass before the day you are going to use him.
The prices of the Museum Pass have been again increased for 2014 (except the 6 day pass):
2 DAY pass costs 42 €
4 DAY pass costs 56 €
6 DAY pass costs 69 €
NOTE: The museum pass of 1, 3 & 5 days does not exist anymore since several years!
You can buy the museum pass at the museums and monuments but take a small museum in order to avoid queuing. You can also buy the pass at the FNAC stores and the Tourism Offices. There is one at the Carrousel du Louvre.
You can also buy the museum pass at the Airport of Roissy-CDG at the Espace Tourisme Information of several terminals.
Online buying is possible but you have to pay shipping costs: EU 14,50 €, USA etc. 24 €.
The average price for a museum entry is between 8 and 12 € (Versailles 18 €) so that you can calculate if it is interesting for you. Note that entrance is free in many museums for less than 18 yr old visitors.
As what concerns direct access you should know that most Paris large museums have a security check so that even with a pass you might have to queue but certainly less than other visitors. Also note that there is no privileged access at the towers of Notre-Dame.
Please note the Paris Museum Pass is for NATIONAL Museums and Monuments.
There are also "Musées de la Ville de Paris" like the "Petit Palais" or "Musée Carnavalet" where the entry to the permanent collections is free.
I'm not usually a fan of passes but this one was an exception as (a) we were there long enough to put it to good use, and (b) it allowed multiple visits to museums that simply can't be seen in one day. As with most passes, having it in hand also put us into shorter lines - although some attractions have only one queue and/or involve a security check.
Passes come in 2, 4, and 6-day amounts and must be used on consecutive days. The link below gives you information on where to purchase them, prices and the 60 attractions they cover. You don't have to buy them from the website: we bought ours at one of the less-visited museums to avoid standing in a long ticket line - meaning don't buy them at the Louvre!
As with any pass, it's best to review what it has to offer and then weigh the price against the walk-in fees of the places you want to see. If you aren't planning on browsing a lot of museums or have limited time, it probably isn't a worthwhile purchase. As a lot of what the pass covered was on our wish list - plus we visited the Louvre three times - it was a good deal for us.
The pass has to be filled out with name/date before your first museum visit. Do NOT enter the date until the day you start using it as that starts the clock ticking! For instance, we bought ours the day we arrived but it was late afternoon and everything was closing so we didn't fill it out until the next day when our sightseeing really began.
Also follow the instructions for filling out the card carefully. Folks from the U.S. often date documents by month/day/year but European dating is more often by day/month/year so just make sure you put the right date in the right box and fill in just the last two digits of the year. See the "How to use the Paris Museum Pass" section of the website.
NOTE: Don't confuse this with The Paris Pass! Those are much more expensive as they also include a public transport metro card, some shopping coupons, etc. Buying a carnet of tickets for the Metro is usually a much more economical way to go. Also note that neither pass covers the Eiffel.
My first visit to Paris encompassed parts of two days and one miserably hot night, with no air conditioning to be found. (I tried five different hotels.) My memories of that visit are mostly negative but I did discover one treat which I have tried to use to the max on subsequent visits.
The first Sunday of each month the classic museums of Paris open their doors for free. Amble, or get pushed, through the Louvre’s sculpture gallery and squint at the Mona Lisa, or exhaust yourself in the Musée d’Orsay. Arrive early but don’t expect to succeed in dodging the crowds.
European Heritage Days 2007
24th edition: 15th and 16th September 2007
This annual programme offers opportunities to visit buildings, monuments and sites, many of which are not normally accessible to the public.
In Paris, an information point will be in operation at the Ministry of Culture and Communication, 182, rue Saint-Honoré (1st arrondissement), from Monday 10th to Sunday 16th September. Open from 9.30am to 7pm (until 5pm on Sunday 16th September), it will enable the public to obtain full programmes of the European Heritage Days and more precise information regarding opening hours and activities.
From 10th September, all information regarding the European Heritage Days programme will be available by calling (from France) 0 820 202 502 (0.09 euro/minute).
See Pictures of former Journees du Patrimoine:
I bought paris museum card for two days (30 euros). I bought mine in Louvre, but you can also purchase it in museum and monument participant or tourist information
I entered 8 places with that card,
Saving me time for waiting in queues in museum d'orsay and museum rodin( in museum rodin there were no sign to enter with museum card so you need to go to front fo the queues and show them your museum card , they will let you in )
and other places there were no queues
I still need to wait like an hour in line to enter Notre Dame tower
You can avoid standing in long lines to buy tickets by getting them online before you even arrive in France. They will be mailed directly to your home address. It is worth it because on some days the lines at the museums are very long. Before you go, make a plan as to what museums you want to visit. Check the schedule to find out what days they are closed, and also see if there is free admission on certain days. The Orsay museum is a must for lovers of French Impressionist Art. The Louvre is really overwhelming. It is best to pick the top things you want to see there instead of trying to see it all. You won't be able to and you'll feet will pay the price!
Admission to most museums is somewhere between 4.50 and 8.00 Euros.
If you plan on visiting several museums while in Paris, you should think about getting the
'Paris Museum Pass'.
The Museum Pass, "Carte Musées et Monuments", provides free access, without waiting, to the permanent collections of 70 museums and monuments,including the Louvre Museum.
~ Cards valid for 1 day are 18 Euros; for 3 days are 36 Euros, or 5 days are 52 Euros.
~ They are available for purchase at all pariticipating museums and monuments, and also may be purchased in all main metro stations and at the
Paris Tourist Information Office.
~ It is very easy to buy these passes once in Paris.
*ON FIRST SUNDAYS OF THE MONTH ENTRY TO ALL NATIONAL MUSEUMS are FREE.
Some of the privately-run museums are not included with this pass:
Musée Marmottan - Claude Monet
Paris Museum Pass
With the museum pass, there’s no admission charge, no waiting in lines and no limit to the number of times you can visit more than 70 museums and monuments in Paris and in the Paris region, and many times you want for 1, 3 or 5 days.
With the Museum pass you can visit several times the same museums and monuments. The more you visit, the more you save.
Three choices: 1, 3, or 5 days (consecutive).
Fares (July 2005)
1 day EUR 18.00
3 days EUR 36.00
5 days EUR 54.00
The Museum Pass gives you more:
- Free direct entry to the permanent collections.
- Unlimited visits
- Unlimited validity
My husband and I got a 4 day pass when we were there a few years ago. We found it to be a good deal and easy to use. If you hit most of the big sites, it basically pays for itself. The other nice thing is that you can go back to the sites as many times as you wish during the days your card is active. It takes off some of the pressure. For instance... the Louvre is a BIG place! Perhaps you want to see part of it one day, and another part the next.
The name of this palace derives from the tile kilns or tuileries which previously occupied the site. The palace was formed by a range of long, narrow buildings with high roofs that enclosed one major and two minor courtyards. This former French royal residence is adjacent to the Louvre in Paris. It was destroyed by arson in 1871 but subsequently rebuilt.
The Paris Museum pass gives you unlimited trips to over 60 sites, just whatever you can fit in. You can purchase a 2, 4 or 6 day pass, depending on how museum oriented you are. Be aware these are day oriented, not 24 hour, so if you start your pass at 3 pm, your first day is done by midnight. Plan your time wisely, and begin your pass first thing in the morning. Also, these days are consecutive, so if you are planning other activities, do them around your museum activities. The passses come with a list of attractions along with their operating hours. The big plus is being able to skip the lines and moving to the front, saves a lot of time. Combine this with a metro pass for unlimited travel on the metro system, and you are good to go. Definitely order the passes ahead of time, this being the best site:
By doing this, you can look ahead to see what days each is open, find the closest metro station, get your days planned for the most smooth and productive visit. There is also a Paris Pass, but when you compare the two, I think this is the best deal.
Palais de l'Institut is the headquarters of l'Institut de France. Known as the French Institute in English, it was created in 1795 to manage several important academies, the most famous of which are l'Académie Française and l'Académie des Beaux-Arts. The institute now also manages museums and foundations around France. The domed Palais de l'Institut pre-dates the institute itself, and was built in 1650 as an educational establishment, named Collège des Quatre-Nations in reference to four regions then newly united with France: Artois, Alsace, Pignerol and Roussillon. The palace occupies the elegant position on the Seine opposite Pont des Arts and le Louvre.
Most people going to Paris know ..or should know...about the Museum Pass. It allows entrance without standing in line.
The best thing I found out was NOT to purchase the pass in the US or on the internet. It is considerably less expensive to purchase at your first Museum site.
Also it really is a great help to map out before hand the museums you intend to see. Seeing all the museums in 2 days ends up being quite a marathon and it's best to have them in some doable order and remember to check schedules as some are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays.
Don't let the long lines at the Louvre entrance get you down!
Purchase a Paris Museum and Monument Pass (Carte Musees) to gain privileged access to more than 70 Museums, including: The Louvre, Musée d'Orsay, Panthéon, National Picasso Museum, Versailles Palace, and more.
I usually take the mall entrance into the Louvre and purchase my 1-3 day pass at the museum information center. I walk directly over to the Louvre entrance where they allow you to enter without standing in line. You can also purchase a pass at the Musée d'Orsay information center and skip the long ticket and entrance line. There are also many other places that a pass can be purchased without standing in line. They can also be pruchased in advance of your trip.
I can thank VTer Beatchick for stressing the importance of these passes to avoid the huge queues which develop outside the main Paris attractions. I estimate that the wait outside the Musée d’Orsay would have been about two hours: with my pass I was inside within ten minutes. The queue outside the Orangerie, once I reached the outer gate (I waited in line to get there, then showed my pass), would have been over an hour – again I was there within minutes. Time is valuable when you’re travelling!
The passes will gain you entry to over 60 museums and monuments in the Paris area, so apart from the time savings you also have a monetary saving on entry costs. Note that they are undated when you purchase them, but you must put your name and commencing date on the card when you begin visits, to activate the pass. I would rate these passes as “highly recommended, almost essential”.