With the Paris Pass you can make the most of the city's attractions without worrying about your budget: here's how to get it and whether it's worth it or not.
The Louvre, the Pompidou, the Musée D'Orsay, the Musée Rodin, the Eiffel Tower, the Opéra Garnier, Versailles, Notre Dame, the Sacre Coeur, the Arc de Triomphe? There is so much to see, the Paris Pass can be a great help!
What is the Paris Pass and how to get it
Tourist cards are passes that you can purchase for a set number of days to access transportation and the city's main tourist attractions at a reduced price. The Paris Pass is the main card of Paris and also one of the most profitable.
With this card, which you can purchase on its official website, you can access the best price to the most popular attractions in Paris, such as the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe or the Paris Opera. In addition, it includes public transport and you can also get on the tourist bus and take a cruise on the Seine.
Why I recommend the Paris Pass: if you are someone who wants to get the most out of your trip, visiting the most emblematic monuments and museums, you can save time (because with the Paris Pass you will save queues at the ticket office) and money, as it will allow you to access the attractions at a fixed price.
If instead you prefer to go directly to the best museums in the city, do not hesitate: the Paris Museum Pass is your best ally.
And if you want to receive good news, you should know that the Paris Pass includes the Museum Pass, so with a single card you will benefit from both options!
How much does the Paris Pass cost
You can get the Paris Pass from 109 Euros. The first thing to know is that the price of the Paris Pass depends on the number of days you book the card for. You can book the Paris Pass for two, three, four or six days.
During the time you have it active, you can access as many times as you want to the attractions included without paying anything extra and without waiting in line (in many museums there is an entrance reserved exclusively for members of this card).
How the Paris Pass works
Once you have purchased your Pass, you can choose from the following delivery methods:
- Home delivery
- Delivery to the accommodation where you will be staying during your trip to Paris.
- Pick up at any of the Paris offices provided with the voucher that will be sent to you when you make your reservation.
- Digital version to take with you on your mobile (when I bought it, it was not like this, but I imagine it will be updated soon).
Once you buy your Paris Pass it will be valid for one year and will be activated the first time you use it at an attraction or on Paris transport (which is also included). Please note that activation is by calendar days and not by hours, so it is not advisable to use your Paris Pass for the first time at the end of one of the days of your trip, but at the beginning of the day to take advantage of it throughout the day.
What is included in the Paris Pass
The Paris Pass pack is divided into three parts: a pass for the tourist attractions, a pass for the museums (this is the Paris Museum Pass and can also be purchased separately) and a card to use public transport. In addition, the Paris Pass gives you access to a range of discounts in selected stores and restaurants and you also receive a guidebook and a map of the city.
Attractions and activities included
- The Louvre Museum
- Climbing the Arc de Triomphe
- A cruise on the Seine River
- A day tour aboard the Paris sightseeing bus
- The Musée d'Orsay
- The Pompidou museum of contemporary art
- The Palace of Versailles
- The Paris Opera House
- The Pantheon
- A wine tasting
- Climbing the Montparnasse Tower
- Guided walking tours in different areas of Paris
Attractions not included
As you can see, there is a big absence in this list: the climb to the Eiffel Tower is not included in the Paris Pass as neither is the entrance to the Catacombs, the entrance to Disneyland orthe Moulin Rougee show. These are experiences that you will have to pay separately, but taking into account everything that covers this tourist pass, I can assure you that it is still cost effective.
The Paris Pass, is it worth it or not?
There is no exact answer, it all depends on what you are going to use it for and what kind of traveler you are. If you make the most of it, with the Paris Pass you will save money and time (remember that the Paris Pass includes skip the line entry and this in places like Versailles or the Louvre becomes a great advantage), that's for sure.
When does the Paris Pass pay off?
- If you are interested in culture and don't want to miss the main landmarks, make a list of their prices separately, add them up and compare it to the price of the pass.
- The Paris Pass includes the Museum Pass, which makes it the most cost-effective option to visit the maximum number of attractions and museums in the city (and there are many!).
- If you have in mind a cruise on the Seine, it is also included.
- If you are going to move around Paris a lot, using public transportation will be very convenient.
- If you feel like taking a trip to Versailles, the entrance fee is also included.
- In general, if you visit Paris during the cold or rainy season, it will be good to have this card to protect you from the weather inside its wonderful museums and places of interest.
When does the Paris Pass NOT pay for itself?
- If you are going to be in Paris for a very long trip you don't need to pack all your sightseeing into a few days, so the Paris Pass will not be cost effective and it is best to enjoy the culture of Paris at your leisure.
- If you don't love the idea of visiting the museums or attractions on the inside either, you won't get much out of it either.
- If you don't plan to use the city's public transportation, you won't use this advantage either.
Ana's Traveller Tip
Make a list of the museums and attractions you want to see in Paris and calculate how much the tickets would cost separately to see how much you would save with the Paris Pass.
The Paris Pass and the sightseeing bus
If you have decided to purchase the Paris Pass, don't miss out on the opportunity to take a sightseeing bus tour of Paris. Bus tours are often underrated as a "too touristy" option, but I advise you to get rid of your prejudices because this tour is very enjoyable.
Keep in mind that the size of the city makes it impossible to tour it "at a glance", something that the Big Bus tour of Paris does provide. The fact that visiting a city from a vehicle is not the ideal option does not exclude the possibility of enjoying an excursion with commentary included to enjoy its main points of interest before or after visiting them in depth.
The duration of the complete tour is one hour and a half and you can learn more about the route and what you will see in this article on Paris Hop on Hop off Bus Tours.
Paris Museum Pass
The Paris Museum Pass is a very good option if your main interest is the museums of Paris. The difference with the Paris Pass is that most of the visits included are to museums. For example, unlike the Paris Pass, the Paris Museum Pass does not include wine tasting, visit to the Paris Opera, walking tours or the Montparnasse Tower.
It does however include the climb to the Arc de Triomphe, the visit to the Sainte Chapelle, the entrance to Versailles or the climb to the towers of Notre Dame (the latter is currently unavailable due to the 2019 fire).It also includes a one-hour cruise on the Seine with live commentary during the tour. If you buy online this card you have the option of delivery to your hotel in Paris, but not to a private residence within the city.
The Paris Museum Pass is included in the Paris Pass, but please note that as there is no three day option with this card, if you purchase the three day Paris Pass you will receive the two day Paris Museum Pass.
Other Paris Sightseeing Passes
The Paris Passlib card is very similar to the Paris Pass, but will suit you if you are looking for a 5-day option which is the only one that the Paris Pass does not have. Its price is a bit lower, so it can be a good option if you are not interested in seeing the Paris Opera, climbing the Montparnasse Tower or doing the wine tasting.
These three tourist attractions are the main difference with the Paris Pass, so if you are not interested in any of them, the Paris Passlib may be a better option. Also, with the Paris Pass if you pay a little extra you can get access to a tour on the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.
Go Paris Pass
The main advantage of the Go Paris Pass is the price. With a duration of two days (there is no possibility of adding more days as in the rest of the city pass) includes all the main attractions and museums in Paris for a lower price than other tourist cards.
However, keep in mind that with the Go Paris Pass you will not be able to use public transport in the city, so if you are staying outside the historic center of the city, it may not be worth it.
Ana's Traveller Tip
If you opt for the Paris Pass, activate first the attractions card and then the Museum Pass to accumulate more time of use between the two cards.
Tips for getting the most out of the Paris Pass (or any other tourist pass)
It is clear that any card pays off if you are going to see as many things as possible in a short period of time, but that does not mean rushing from one place to another. With good planning you will be able to access a greater number of tourist attractions (and therefore save money) without giving up calm and tranquility.
Before you start your trip, make a list of the things you want to see and organize yourself according to the areas in which they are located; in many of these areas you will also have the opportunity to take a free walking tour, so don't think that buying the Paris Pass means spending the whole day visiting closed sites.
Set aside a day for the museums
The day you visit the Louvre or the day you go to see Versailles you will spend quite a lot of time (although with this card you will avoid the queues), so these will be days when you will not be able to see many more sites. However, Paris has many small and beautiful museums that you will visit in less time; for example, the Rodin museum or the Dali space are for me quite top and usually go unnoticed by most tourists.
Keep in mind the opening hours
Before activating your card, check the opening days and hours of museums and tourist attractions. Some are closed on holidays or special days. If your trip coincides with one of these days, do not activate the card for that day or take advantage of the cruise on the Seine, the wine tasting or the visit to Versailles.
Find out about discounts and guided tours
You may be touring the Paris Opera district and not know that your Paris Pass has a guided tour included. Before planning a visit to an attraction check that the Paris Pass does not include any guided tours of the area.
Also ask at the stores or restaurants you go to if you have discounts with this card as you can not only save a considerable amount on visits, but also in local restaurants or souvenir stores.
In the case of the Paris Pass and the Museum Pass, activate first one card and then the other
The Paris Pass is three cards in one: the one for transportation, the one for tourist attractions and the one for museums. I recommend activating the attractions card first and doing the activities that are exclusive to it, and the next day activate the museums card. With this simple trick you will be able to save time and visit even more attractions without having to invest in a superior card.
Note also that the time on this card runs by calendar days of use and not by hours; if you arrive in Paris in the afternoon spend that day touring the city and activate your Paris Pass the next morning to not lose time of use.
If you are interested in the Paris Pass, you will also be interested in
With the Paris Pass there is very little left to see in Paris as it includes almost everything. After a few days using this card you will have very few things left to see in the city, but there are a few things like the Eiffel Tower which you have more information about here: Eiffel Tower Tickets: how to buy and prices.
Monuments aside, in Paris there are shows worth seeing. One of the most famous is the Moulin Rouge show, and you can also Moulin Rouge Tickets with Dinner to complete your visit to Paris and learn more about the show in this other article: This is the Moulin Rouge Show in Paris.
Finally, one of the most frequent doubts you may have when you read the wide range of museums included in the Paris Pass will be how to choose. I have written this other article on Museums Paris which you can take a look at to make up your mind.
Frequently asked questions
Are there many tourist passes for the city of Paris?
Paris offers a couple of types of tourist passes, however the most popular is the Paris Pass, because it includes skip-the-line entry to many attractions and a reasonable price.
Does the Paris tourist pass include public transportation?
The Paris Pass is quite impressive as it includes an unlimited transport card that can be used on all public transport systems in the city.
Does the Paris tourist pass include other discounts and benefits?
Apart from free public transport, the Paris Pass also gives you 15% off a range of bike and Segway tours and chauffeur-driven 2CV tours, 20% off all food and drink at the Monument Café, Monument Cafe, 10€ off at Idéal Gourmet and a free starter or Hot Fudge Sundae at the Hard Rock Cafe.