Question

Is it worth it to buy a museum pass in Paris? Or should I just pay individually?

Location

City: Paris

Region: Ile-de-France

Country: France

Answers

When my wife and I were in Paris for two weeks, we saved over €50 each by having the museum pass. It depends on how many things on the pass you go to, though. In the summer it's an absolute must, however, as it allows you to skip the lines on a lot of the major places.

We had dinner with a couple who tried to do many of the things that we did and ended up spending their week standing in line, where we just walked in, they were quite upset with themselves for not planning!
If you plan in advance what you want to see(noting how much entry, if not free, will cost), and when you can visit (museum passes are for consecutive days), you may find you do not need a pass. I would look at the economics more than the lines, since you can never just "walk right in" because of the security checks (which can be very long at the Louvre, Orsay and Ste Chapelle).

There are really only lines at: Louvre, Orsay, Pompidou Centre, Versailles Château outside Paris, Ste Chapelle (with longest security line), and sometimes Arc de Triomphe, but only because everyone is slow walking up the stairs, and no pass will help that. The line at the Notre Dame Tower also is to go up the stairs, not to buy tickets. Most other museums have no lines at all, and the pass doesn't cover expositions at the Grand Palais or temporary expositions at the municipal museums (Carnavalet and Petit Palais, for example).
Yes, in August 2008 at least (I highly doubt things have changed since then) you could just "walk right in"...hate to break it to you. The lines are a serious issue if you don't have the museum pass. However, economically it pays for itself very quickly.
Hi Richard,
I live here and take my clients to the museums every week. I can send you photos of the security lines at the Louvre, Centre Pompidou and the Ste Chapelle if you don't recall from your trip. They've been here at least as long as I have been here: 13 years. The lines for security are certainly faster than the ones for tickets, but they sadly still exist no matter what.
You're using the wrong door then, it's not brain surgery.
The security lines at the Orsay, Louvre, etc. really were just walk straight on it, 30 seconds at the most with the museum pass. Honestly, do you go for the main doors?
The security lines at the Orsay, Louvre, etc. really were just walk straight on it, 30 seconds at the most with the museum pass. Honestly, do you go for the main doors?
Wow, aren't you well-mannered. The Louvre has multiple entrances, the side entrance off rue de Rivoli being the quickest through security. There is only one entrance at Pompidou and Orsay.
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