The Paris Pass – is it money well spent?

The Paris Pass is a card that is available for use by visitors to Paris.  Basically, purchase of the Pass allows you entrance to many Parisian attractions.  Included in the Paris Pass package is:

  • Paris Museum Pass – free entrance to over 55 of Paris’ world famous museums and monuments.
  • Paris Attractions Pass – free entry to Paris’ best attractions including a Seine River Cruise, Musée Grévin, Tour Montparnasse and even a Wine Tasting experience!
  • Paris Visite Pass – free unlimited travel on the metro, buses and RER within central Paris.
  • Paris Bus Tour – Free Les Cars Rouge hop-on-hop-off bus tour of Paris, every Paris Pass comes with an unlimited use ticket valid for 2 consecutive days.
  • 120+ page Guidebook – a detailed guide to all of the sights and landmarks in Paris including a map and directions as well as loads of helpful tips and hints.
  • Special Offers – exclusive offers at shops and restaurants in central Paris.

What is doesn’t include is the cost of admission to the world’s most popular tourist attraction, the Eiffel Tower.

One of the best features of the Paris Pass is the exclusive right to skip long and frustrating ticket lines and head straight to the front at many of the busiest tourist attractions.  Normally it can take over an hour to queue for tickets at some attractions, particularly if you plan to visit Paris during peak season, so the Pass does actually allow you more time for sightseeing, plus watching the looks of frustration of the people on long lines as you stroll past them and into the attraction has got to have some value as well.

The Passes must be pre-paid and can be posted to you, or left for collection at the Fat Tyre Bike Tours office in rue Edgar Faure.  For a small extra fee, which amounts to just 2.5% of the total price, you can purchase insurance which guarantees a 100% refund should you not be able to use the Pass.

The Paris Pass is valid for 2, 4 or 6 days, and the more days you purchase the more you save.  The promoters claim that you can save 159 Euros if you purchase the six-day Pass.  Although you may purchase a Pass for 2, 4 or 6 days, this does not mean they are consecutive days.  So, if you purchase a 2 day Pass and use it today, but have a trip organised to another part of France for the next few day, you can still use your remaining day upon your return to Paris.

You do need to be canny when using your pass, though.   If you start your day’s sightseeing in the late afternoon and use your Pass to do so, it is only available for that date, it is not a 24-hour Pass, so the best way to use it is to start your sightseeing in the morning to get most value.

There are a couple of the things to know.  If you are a citizen of an EU country and are under the age of 26 then entry to museums is free to you anyway – and you will have to queue to prove your credentials, so it may be worth just strolling through with the Pass and saving the time.  Also, each attraction can only be visited once with your Pass.  If you wish to spend a few days seeing the Louvre Museum (and you can’t see it properly in one day) then you can only use your Pass on one of those days.

Getting back to my original question – is the Paris Pass money well spent, if you use it wisely it offers fantastic value.  However, if you are the type of person who likes a good sleep in and is generally unorganised when touring – there’s nothing wrong with that, each to their own – then you may not receive full value.  Work out how you can best utilise the Pass, then go for it.

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2 comments to The Paris Pass – is it money well spent?

  • We NEVER recommend these passes to any of our guests in Paris. It is not worth the money except for the CARNET. Especially for people who are in Paris for only 2-5 days. These passes are meant to fleece the tourists who know no better about public transport in Paris. The city is very small and the most number of times you can use these passes would be 3 or 4 times a day. Always compare it with the CARNET which is 12 euros for 10 tickets. Passes are always more than 2 zones. No tourists would go beyond 2 zones anyway. And how many museums could you visit in 2 days?

  • Very interesting comments from someone who knows Paris intimately. Thank you for your feedback.

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