Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it? Maybe.

When we visited Paris, with rain in the forecast, we decided to use it as an opportunity to enjoy the city’s many museums.

We’d already been to the Louvre on a previous trip, but since our parents were with us this time, we HAD to see the Mona Lisa again (note: it’s smaller and more crowded than you think). Then my mom mentioned she wanted to see the Van Gogh exhibit at Musee d’Orsay. We also wanted to visit the Pantheon, which has a crypt filled with the final resting places of some of the “Nation’s Heroes.” The following day we already planned to visit Palace of Versailles and the estate of Trianon.

It quickly became obvious everyone was interested in the “big attractions” at the museums and less into other exhibits. That’s key in determining whether the Museum Pass is right for you.

Expect a massive crowd to see Mona Lisa

First, we broke down the cost of each museum:

-Louvre: €15
-Musee d’Orsay €12
-Panthéon €9
-Versailles (including Trianon) €20
-Total: €56

Then we looked at the Paris Museum Pass. At €48, it offers cheaper admission to all five museums in two days, plus it has the added benefit of allowing us to swap in other museums if we decided to change our mind.

For us, it was an easy decision to go with the pass, but it required us to go through each museum quicker than most art aficionados. Instead, others may find better value in the €62 four-day pass if you’ll be in Paris long enough.

If you average one large museum (i.e. the Louvre) and one small attraction (i.e. Panthéon) each day for four days you’ll come out well ahead. There's also the added bonus that you don't have to wait in queues to purchase tickets. You can just stroll to the next line for security, which is sometimes even longer.

I will note consider other factors before buying the pass.

First, make sure there is a charge for the museum you want. Notre Dame is one of the museums listed with the pass, but as a church, it’s free to enter. The charge is for the tour and greater access. Personally, I think just entering and exploring the church portion is enough for most.

Interior of Musée d'Orsay
Second, unlike most attractions, buying the Museum Pass direct may not be the cheapest option. We ended up buying from GetYourGuide. At face value, Get Your Guide is more expensive, selling the pass for €53, but Norwegian Air occasionally offers a special 18% off all attractions purchased through its partner site. That brought the price down to €43.46, or a €4.54 savings.

Finally, note you cannot buy the Museum Pass at the museums. Instead, it must be purchased online or at an authorized retailer. In our case, the order was processed online with the discount then I had to take the vouchers to the Get Your Guide office. It wasn’t far out of the way, but it did require an extra stop. Redemption there was very easy and I walked out with the passes in just a few minutes.
Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it? Maybe. Is the Paris Museum Pass worth it? Maybe. Reviewed by Brandon on February 25, 2019 Rating: 5

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