The Paris Pass Has Benefits that’s Worth its Weight in Gold:
For our month in Paris we needed to cover as many attractions and museums as possible and there was no question that we needed to buy the Paris Pass for our visits. Sometimes people ask if the Paris Pass is value for money? Although the Paris Pass offers free entry into a huge number of museums, monuments and attractions, the question is are you able to visit sufficient museums and attractions to get value for the purchase price of the pass. We too had that niggling doubt, but from our stay in Paris, we can definitively say that the Paris Pass was value for money for us.
What is the Paris Pass?
The Paris Pass covers three main components:
- a Paris Museum Pass
- a Paris Attractions Pass and
- Paris Visite/Metro Pass
- Free hop-on-hop-off bus tour of Paris on Les Cars Rouge for 2 consecutive days
- A free Seine River Cruise
- A range of discounts on activities and at some eateries
You can buy a Paris Pass for 2, 4 or 6 days. We bought a 6-day pass, which meant that our Paris Museum Pass, Paris Attractions Pass and Paris Visite/Metro Pass are valid for 6 days. Each of these passes can be used separately and the 6 days start from the moment you use it for your first attraction.
What is great about the Paris Pass is that you get priority entry into a range of Paris’ busiest attractions and the 120 page guidebook gives you a summary of the attraction, has phone numbers and tells you which metro line to take to get to the attraction.
How to Make the Most of your Paris Pass
On the Paris Pass website, they give an illustration of how if you only visited twelve of the more expensive attractions, you will have recovered your purchase cost. As we were in Paris for a month, we were able to spread out the usage of our Paris Pass to get the most of it. We used the Paris Attractions Pass during the second week of stay, followed by the Paris Museum Pass in the following week. This way we were able to concentrate on as many attractions as possible in one week and then visited as many museum as possible in the next week. Our Metro Pass was saved for the final week of our stay as we had bought separate Navigo passes (like the Oyster Card in London) for our travels around Paris.
Tip: If you plan to separate the usage of the passes like we did, pay attention to whether the attraction is covered under the Museum pass or Attractions pass. We had assumed that the Dali Museum was covered under the Museum pass when in fact it was included under the Attractions pass. We found this out the week of our Museum visits, by which time our Attractions pass had expired. They won’t make any concessions for your mistake, but they did tell us that the Paris Visite/Metro Pass entitled us to a 10% discount on the entry price, which wasn’t expensive anyway.
Was the Paris Pass Value for Money?
We became converts of the Paris Pass very quickly during our visits of Paris attractions. If you visit Paris in summer, one thing you will find out is that the popular Paris museums and attractions are extremely busy and the Paris Pass lets you skip the queue at most of these places. We saw the long queues at the Louvre, the Musee d’Orsay, etc. and we were very thankful that we didn’t have to spend an hour or so in the line at each attraction.
Except for a couple of attractions which do not offer priority entry, like the Notre Dame tower and Saint-Chappelle, the “skip the queue” benefit really works. We tried a couple of times to get up the Notre Dame tower but the queue was a minimum of one hour wait. The attendant told me that a one-hour wait was not long and that at peak holiday season the queue can be up to two-hours long. At the Paris Catacombs (which is not included in the Paris Pass), the queue went all around the circle the size of a huge roundabout. I asked a couple of ladies how long they had been waiting and they said that they had been queueing for three hours and it looked like it would be another hour before they reached the entrance point. Fancy spending four hours of your holiday time standing in a queue for one attraction! So, just from the point of view of not having to waste time queueing which eats into your holiday time, the Paris Pass is worth its weight in gold.
We got good value out of the Paris Pass from the number of attractions that we visited. The Paris Attractions Pass also included visits that we wouldn’t normally have made such as the Chocolate Museum which we thought was very interesting and wine-tasting at O’Chateau. The Metro Pass gives you unlimited travel on the Paris metros and buses within zones 1, 2 and 3 and you don’t have to worry about how many times you’re hopping on metros.
From our experience, the Paris Pass was definitely good value for money and we recommend it to anyone who wants to take full advantage of their visits to the attractions that Paris has to offer. You can buy your Paris Pass Here.