Paris seen from the top of Notre Dame

Paris Pass Review: Is It Worth It?

Chances are that I’m not the only one who loves a great deal. Through my travels, I’ve learned that there are many tips and tricks that make your sightseeing adventures more affordable while helping you save time with skip-the-line privileges and VIP access to top sights.

Many cities, like Paris, have bundled tickets for your sightseeing costs that save money and time compared to buying individual entry to each place you want to visit.

If you’re planning a trip to the romantic city of Paris – either as a couple, a family or a solo traveler – then you may want to consider the Paris Pass.

But before you do, read on to find out more about it and whether or not it makes sense for your trip to Paris.

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Is The Paris Pass Worth It?

Regardless of which type of traveler you are, the Paris Pass can come in handy.

Whether or not the purchase is worth the cost depends largely on your budget, your itinerary and the group that you’re traveling with. This Paris Pass review aims to shed light on the perks that come from buying one – undoubtedly convincing you that it is worth it. What Is The Paris Pass?

Imagine exploring the beauty of Paris, moving from one attraction to the next without the fuss of buying individual tickets, worrying about public transportation cards or waiting in long lines. In a nutshell, this is what the Paris Pass allows you to do.

It’s a complete, all-in-one sightseeing pass that allows tourists to see as much of the city, for the least amount of money possible by bundling admission costs into one pass. There are also different options for the travelcard available to use in the Paris Metro and across many of the city’s public transportation.

This gives travelers easy access to the sights and attractions the Paris Pass provides, for the number of days they choose.

But is the Paris Pass worth it?

What The Paris Pass Gets You

Paris sunrise

Does “all-in-one” sound too good to be true? I can assure you that the thought crossed my mind too. But after taking full advantage of tourist passes around the world, including others like the convenient Stockholm Pass or the New York CityPASS, I’m happy to say the Paris Pass is equally as great.

The pass is broken down into three separate sections, namely an attractions pass, a museum pass, and a transport card. After purchasing the pass, you can benefit in the following ways;

  • Free entry to over 60 museums, iconic monuments, and uniquely Parisian experiences.
  • Access to the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tour.
  • A detailed guidebook and map that showcases the best attractions near you.
  • Exclusive discounts and offers on various events and exhibitions.
  • A free Paris Travelcard which allows for effortless travel throughout the city.
  • Hassle-free entry into selected museums and galleries with skip-the-line access.

Paris Pass Travelcard

Paris Metropolitain entrance station. A pole with traditional metro sign

Many people choose to buy their Paris Passes purely for the convenience of getting around the city (and to the various French attractions).

The pass gives travelers the freedom to use the local public transport system throughout Central Paris (Zones 1-3). Without going into a Paris geography lesson, I can tell you from my many Paris trips, there are very few instances where you’d need to go beyond Zone 3.

Places like the Charles de Gaulle Airport, Orly Airport, Versailles, Chateau Fontainebleu, and Disney Paris are outside of the city, and thus, beyond Zone 3.

These unlimited rides within Zones 1-3 can take you to 85% of the attractions and museums included with the Paris Pass. Not to mention save time and hassles by avoiding traffic and not needing to figure out which transport tickets to purchase at an automated kiosk.

Normally, a single transport ticket will cost around €1.90, with a bulk booking of 10 tickets (a.k.a. a carnet) costing a discounted €1.49 per ride. An unlimited day pass can cost €12 for one day, €19,50 for 2 days, and up to €38,35 for five days.

A quick calculation based on how many days you’ll be in the city, and how often you’ll use public transportation, is a good indication of whether the pass is worth it.

For example, if you stayed in Paris for 5 days and used the Paris Metro roundtrip each day between one part of the city and your hotel, you’d save €15 per person.

If you’re like me, even with walking a lot, you’ll probably use the metro 2-3x a day to get to different parts of the city. This is where the savings from the included travel card really start to stack up.

Access to Paris Monuments and Historic Buildings

Paris Pantheon

The history of Paris extends back further than 2,000 years. This means any visit to this city will be rich in historical experiences, monuments, and buildings just waiting to be explored.

The Paris Pass gives travelers access to some of the most renowned monuments in the whole of France – let alone its capital. Here are a few of these monuments and buildings. You’ll want to make note of which ones align with your ideal Paris itinerary.

The Panthéon

The building is located in the Latin Quarter in Paris, which is one of the best areas to stay in Paris as a tourist. Originally built as a church, the iconic dome is now one of the city’s main attractions.

It’s not just the architecture that amazes tourists, but also the beautiful interior that boasts brilliant art and detailed design. Normally, entrance to the Panthéon costs €9 per person but it is free with the Paris Pass.

Arc de Triomphe

Inaugurated by King Louis-Philippe in 1836, the Arc de Triomphe is a monument dedicated to the armies of the revolution and the Empire. Today, the monument holds the same historical weight and offers sweeping views of Paris from the terraced balcony, especially at night when the Eiffel Tower is lit!

Located at Place de I’Étoile, at the top of the Champs-Élysées (a national symbol in itself), the Arc de Triomphe normally costs €13, but admission is free with the Paris Pass.

Palace of Versailles

The Palace of Versailles has inspired many stories – some of which have even been made into movies. Originally, the palace was the royal residence in the 1600s until the French Revolution in

Today, tourists pay €20 and up to visit the gorgeous Hall of Mirrors, the King’s Grand Apartments, the Museum of the History of France, and to stroll through the gardens. With the Paris city pass, visitors can access the Palace, the exhibitions, the Gardens, and the Coach Gallery without paying a cent upon arrival.

Paris Versailles

Sainte-Chapelle

Gothic in style, the Sainte-Chapelle is the royal Chapel whose famed construction began soon after 1238 and was completed in seven short years. The “radiant Gothic gem” is home to precious relics of the Christian faith, including the Crown of Thorns of Christ.

Travelers usually spend €10 to explore the 15 canopies and marvel at arguably the best stained glass windows in all of Europe. However, those who hold a Paris Pass enter for free.

Opera Garnier Guided Tour

The Opera Garnier building drips with opulence and is adorned with stunning detail and an unforgettable Chagall-painted ceiling. One glimpse of the opera house and it’s easy to see why it is revered as one of the most recognized opera houses in the world.

A tour of the 2,000-seat Beaux-Arts style theater, with its 19th-century chandeliers and marble staircases, normally costs travelers €17. However, if you hold the Paris Pass, then you can indulge in a tour for free.

Cháteau de Fontainebleau

Also known as the Palace of Fontainebleau, the Cháteau de Fontainebleau is known to be one of the largest French royal cháteaux. The UNESCO World Heritage Site castle is Medieval in style and promises an enchanting experience for all who visit.

Located 55 kilometers outside the center of Paris, the commune of Fontainebleau makes a great morning trip from Paris – with the castle at the center of the excursion. Paris day trips and excursions into the French countryside are great ways to expand on your time in Paris.

The full ticket price for the palace is €12, however, the pass allows free entry. Once there, the beautiful grounds, building, and history can be enjoyed in its full glory.

Entrance into Paris Museums

Gare d'Orsay Museum Paris

The history of Paris and its remarkable art collections can be further discovered in the many museums that are located throughout the city. Some of the most popular ones (which are included in the pass) are as follows.

Louvre Museum

Famed around the globe as the world’s largest art museum, the Louvre doubles up as an iconic historic monument in Paris. The central landmark was originally a royal palace, but now houses some of the most celebrated artworks in the world – including the Mona Lisa and the Venus of Milo.

The museum is on the bucket list of many people who normally pay approximately €15 for general admission. Those holding the Paris Pass are granted free entry and skip-the-line access, however, they are required to pre-book a timeslot on the Louvre’s website.

Musée d’Orsay

Flanking the Seine River, the Musée d’Orsay is filled with French art that dates back to the 1840s. A visit to the museum introduces guests to Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings and sculptures that defined French history.

Housed in a former rail station, the Orsay promises an unforgettable experience for travelers of all ages, and especially those who love works by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, and others.  A ticket to enter the museum normally costs visitors €14 – but costs Paris Pass holders nothing.

Musée de l’Orangerie

Located in one of the most picturesque areas of Paris along the Seine River, the Musée de l’Orangerie showcases an entire floor of Monet’s famous water lily paintings. The panels cover nearly entire walls for a take-your-breath-away effect. Downstairs, the museum displays art from renowned artists such as Cezanne, Renoir, and Picasso. 

Originally built in 1852, the building is not a historical building but also one of the most famous art galleries in Paris. No matter how many times I’ve been to Paris, I always go back to this museum. Usually, entrance to the ‘Musée de l’Orangerie’ costs €9 but it’s free with the pass.

Centre Pompidou Museum of Modern Art

Also known as the Pompidou Centre, the complex building’s design contrasts against the historical buildings in the city. Built in a high-tech architectural style, the building is home to a large public library and is the largest museum for modern art in Europe.

The Paris Pass saves visitors €14, allowing you to stroll through the exhibitions and enjoy the museum without any additional expense.

Paris Les Invalides

Rodin Museum

Dedicated to the artist after which the museum was named, the Rodin Museum is filled with sculpted artworks by famed artist, Auguste Rodin. The small museum is located near the Eiffel Tower and was once the artist’s home. In spring, the grounds come alive around the statues and highlight just how beautiful Paris is.

Ordinarily, access to the museum and surrounding garden costs €12. However, as with the other museums included with the pass, visitors can enter for free.

War Museum at Les Invalides (and Napoleon’s Tomb)

The French Revolution and both World Wars are important parts of French history and the constant fight for independence. 

The War Museum, also known as Les Invalides, is the national military museum of France. It houses more than 500,000 military paraphernalia and also serves as Napoleon’s last resting place.

Most travelers pay €12 to learn about the French military history and see Napoleon’s tomb, but those with a pass enter for free.

Other Paris Activities and Experiences

River Seine Paris France

In addition to fantastic museums and historical monuments, there are plenty of fun experiences that the Paris Pass includes.

Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise

Paris is not only a historical city, but also a breathtakingly beautiful one! Hopping aboard a cruise down the River Seine allows travelers to experience the city from a completely different angle.

The city is gorgeous from the water and the atmosphere so peaceful from the busy streets above. The 1-hour cruise normally costs €15 for an adult, and €7 for a child, but is free with a Paris Pass.

Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus

For visitors who want to discover Paris with the help of a guided route, the one-day hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus tour is perfect. On the bus tour, travelers can sit back, relax and enjoy seeing the city while ticking off their bucket list sights from the Louvre Museum to the renowned Eiffel Tower (which is not included in the pass).

Along the way, visitors can hop on and off at any of the 11 central stops to see a top sight, visit a museum, or explore a new part of the city on foot. Normally, these 1-day bus tour tickets cost as much as €39 for adults and €18 for children but are free with the Paris Pass.

Les Caves du Louvre Wine Tasting

Another experience included with the Paris attractions pass is the Les Caves du Louvre Wine Tasting. French wines are known around the world for their fine flavor, making wine tasting a must-do activity – for those of legal age.

Les Caves du Louvre is a historic wine cellar that offers tastings and a basic overview of the colors, flavors, and smells of their wines. If you hold the Paris Pass, this experience is free, saving you the usual cost of €32.

Paris Aquarium Cineaqua

The city’s aquarium is one of Paris’ top attractions, providing fun for the whole family. The aquarium has an impressive program of films, feedings, environmental talks, exhibitions and a wonderful array of sea creatures.

The aquarium gives visitors glimpses of sharks, clownfish and various other forms of underwater life for the cost of €20.50 for adults and €13 for children. However, the pass gives visitors free access to the aqua haven.

Stade de France

If you’re a sports fan then you need to put the Stade de France on your Parisian itinerary. As the home stadium for the French football and rugby teams, the national stadium has provided countless memories of victories, losses and iconic games.

Not only can guests walk around the grounds that hosted the 1998 FIFA World Cup and 2007 Rugby World Cup, but they can also visit the museum and the stadium’s permanent exhibition. Most visitors pay €15 to step behind the scenes of sport’s history, but those with a Paris Pass can do it for free.

Paris Pass Cost Breakdown

Paris Luxembourg gardens

By now the benefits of the Paris Pass are hopefully obvious. So, let’s look at the cost and determine your possible savings.

Paris Pass Price

There are different options for the Paris Pass depending on how long you plan on visiting the city and how many attractions you wish to visit.

Travelers can choose from a 2-day, 3-day, 4-day, and 6-day pass. The prices differ for an adult (18+ years), a teen (12 – 17 years old) and a child (4 – 11 years old). The prices for the various options are as follows:

2-Day Paris Pass

  • Adult – €130
  • Teen – €75
  • Child – €40

3-Day Paris Pass

  • Adult – €165
  • Teen – €95
  • Child – €55

4-Day Paris Pass

  • Adult – €205
  • Teen – €115
  • Child – €65

6-Day Paris Pass

  • Adult – €245
  • Teen – €145
  • Child – €80

Keep in mind, these are regular prices. But, Paris Pass runs frequent promotions where you can save 10-15% on each pass.

Calculating the Value of the Paris Tourist Pass

Paris Rodin Museum

The best way to assess whether it’s worth investing in the pass is to map out your itinerary, route and the costs involved. By doing so, you’ll be able to predict how much your ideal Paris experience will cost you.

When deciding whether you should buy the Paris Pass, you need to consider what you intend to do in the city. Many of the main attractions in Paris can cost approximately €20 alone. With more than 60 attractions available, you can easily make up your money by visiting just a handful per day.

First, decide what attractions you want to visit. Do these Paris sights and museums match what the Paris Pass offers?

Then, decide how much time you’ll need to visit these attractions, consider the price of transport, and compare the total cost to that of the Paris Pass.

Keep in mind that the purchase gives you exclusive Paris Pass skip-the-line access to a few of the attractions as well, saving you both time and money.

2-Day Paris Pass Example

The best way to understand the value of the pass is to see it in action.

For example, If you purchase the two-day Paris pass, you’ll need to average €65 a day to break even. After transport, entrance fees and admission, you can quickly balance this monetary value with your experiences.

Using my many previous trips to Paris to plan out a possible two-day itinerary, your estimated costs could be as follows.

Day One:
The Louvre Museum – €15
Opera Garnier Tour – €17
Sainte-Chapelle – €10
Les Caves du Louvre Wine Tasting – €32
Arc de Triomphe – €13
Unlimited day of transport – €12

Day Two:
Montparnasse Tower – €18
Musée de l’Orangerie – €9
Rodin Museum – €12
Night boat tour – €15
Hop-on-Hop-Off Bus Tour – €39 (no Public Transporation costs today)

The total costs of two days’ experiences in Paris total €192 which means travelers can save €62 with the 2-day Paris Pass. Depending on the length of your stay, keep in mind the savings benefits improve exponentially with the 3-, 4- or 6-day pass.

Who Should Buy The Paris Pass?

Paris Champs Elysses

Hopefully, by now you’re getting an idea of whether the Paris Pass is worth it for you. And, chances are you’re feeling pretty excited about your upcoming trip to Paris!

If you’re still deciding whether to get a Paris Pass, then read on to see who it’s right for…and who it’s not.

Families Traveling Together

Traveling as a family can quickly get expensive. Rather than buying one admission ticket, you’re often buying more than 3. Not only can it get pricey traveling with children, but having skip-the-line access can be a real life-saver.

The Paris Pass costs less for children and gives families access to several kid-friendly attractions that are sure to bring joy to the whole group. The skip-the-line access, particularly at the Louvre, also cuts down the waiting time at several attractions.

One thing to note, though, some museums and attractions give kids below a certain age free entry. Check which sights and museums are on your itinerary and compare pricing with the child Paris Pass price.

Travelers With A Full Sightseeing Itinerary

Some people enjoy exploring a city at a casual pace, allowing the wind to blow them in the direction of the day. Others prefer an itinerary that is packed to the brim, experiencing as many uniquely Parisian attractions as possible within a limited time. (And because Paris has many things to do in the city center, it’s easy to see several places in a day.)

The latter can get quite expensive when adding up the various admission costs. Buying the Paris Pass takes bundles the individual ticket prices into one lower-cost ticket with built-in savings.

Travelers Looking For Convenience

For many travelers, the biggest advantage of the Paris Pass is not having to purchase individual tickets, skip-the-line access, and the included Travelcard.

Paris is a popular tourist destination, especially in the summer months, and the attractions can get quite crowded. The pass allows travelers to save a lot of time by heading to the front of the queue and enjoy their experience without the fuss.

When Is The Paris Pass Not Worth It?

Non touristy things to do in Paris

Although the pass is a great option for many travelers, sometimes it may not be worth the cost.

Anyone not planning an itinerary around the city’s main sights and museums may not get the best value from the Paris Pass. The savings come when you visit several of the included attractions and museums and take part in some of the experiences.

If you only want to visit places, like the Catacombs, or other nontouristy Paris sights that aren’t included with the Paris Pass, it may not make sense for you.

Students or seniors who are eligible for discounts or free entry at many places in Paris may not see the cost savings with the Paris Pass as those paying full price.

Keep in mind, the Paris Pass is time-sensitive. A 2-day pass is just that. So, if you’re planning a longer trip to Paris and don’t want to cram everything in, the Paris Pass may not make sense.

Also, think about what you want your Paris itinerary to look like. Just because you’re staying in Paris for a week doesn’t mean you need the 6-day Paris Pass.

Perhaps the 3-day pass makes more sense because you’ll spend 3 days seeing included attractions and the other 3 days going to the Eiffel Tower or Disney Paris, which aren’t included.

Tips To Make The Most Of The Paris Pass

where to stay in paris

Once you’ve bought the Paris Pass, then these tips can help you make the most it.

Maximize Your Time

The value that you get from your Paris Pass depends largely on how you choose to use it. There are a few tricks to consider that’ll help you make the most of your time.

First, arrive organized. Buy your Paris Pass in advance and map out your itinerary. Group places in similar areas and be mindful of cramming too many museums into one day. 

Take full advantage of your first day. The Paris Pass is valid for 12 months after purchase but starts the first day that you use it. The clock is not set by hours but by the number of days.

So, make sure you use it for the first time as early in the morning as possible so that you can fully enjoy that day’s access.

The clock also begins when you use your Travelcard. So don’t use your Travelcard until the morning you decide to start with your Paris Pass sightseeing.

ProTip:

Many museums and monuments are open to the public for free on the first Sunday of the month. 

While that may sound like a great deal on the surface because nothing beats free, it also means these places will be incredibly busy.

Avoid using your Paris Pass on these days. And if possible, avoid visiting these places on their free days. As tempting as it seems, the crowds can really put a damper on the whole visit and waste a lot of time.

Double Check The Attraction’s Details

The Paris Pass gives travelers access to over 60 monuments, museums, and experiences. Take a few extra moments to make sure you know the hours and days the various attractions are open. A few extra seconds checking these details could save you a wasted trip or even a day of your pass if you start it on the wrong day.

In addition, some museums are open until late into the night. Taking advantage of these late hours helps to extend the time your Paris Pass is valid.

Go For The Most Savings

If you buy a Paris Pass to cover part of your trip, use it for the most expensive attractions like the Louvre, Versailles, or the Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus. Consider any tours or Paris Pass experiences like the River Seine Boat Cruise of the Opera Garnier Guided Tour. You can always pay individually for something less expensive if you run out of time.

Use the Travelcard

I get it. The Metro can be intimidating. But it can also help you save time. I love to walk around Paris and have been known to easily log 30k steps in a day! However, I would never do that with the Paris Pass because I want to see as many things as I can before the pass expires. 

Spend time with your Paris Pass guidebook before traveling and map out the ways public transportation can get you to where you want to be quickly. Combined with your Travelcard, you’ll look like a total pro.

How (And Where) To Get Your Paris Pass

Paris Sunrise

By now, you should have a better idea as to whether the pass is worth it for your trip or not.

The Paris Pass offers such an easy travel experience – starting with buying it. You can buy the pass from the website and choose to collect it in Paris for free or have it shipped to your address for €4 – €10. Keep in mind that although global shipping is possible, you need to allow for enough time for the delivery of the card.

One of the best parts about the Paris Pass is that it can be bought before your trip, giving you time to read the guidebook, solidify your itinerary and arrive on French soil fully prepared.

There’s More To Smile About…

Paris Pass comes with a 30-day refund policy. So if your plans change, cancel your order for a full refund within 30 days of purchasing. Keep in mind, if you had it shipped to you, the return shipping costs are your expense.

This is a great perk to reduce any risk, in addition to what the pass already provides, which, as a reminder, is:

  • Free entry to over 60 museums, iconic monuments, and uniquely Parisian experiences.
  • Access to the hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tour.
  • A detailed guidebook and map that showcases the best attractions near you.
  • Exclusive discounts and offers on various events and exhibitions.
  • A free Paris Travelcard which allows for effortless travel throughout the city.
  • Hassle-free entry into many museums and galleries with skip-the-line access.

The Paris Pass – Should You Buy One?

Paris seen from the top of Notre Dame

In one word – yes! If you’re visiting Paris and want to discover as much as you can while saving money time and avoiding any fuss, then the Paris Pass is a worthy investment.

Having explored Paris off-the-beaten-track as well as the main attractions over several trips (and counting!), I can vouch for the savings and many benefits the pass provides.

All that’s left to do now is to finalize your itinerary – and decide what you’re going to do with the savings that the pass gives you!

What are your questions about the Paris Pass?

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