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Paris Pass

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 or not it's worth it.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

Paris Pass

Paris from the rooftops of Notre Dame | © Pedro Lastra

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's so much to see, the Paris Pass can really help!

If you are looking for a tourist card to visit the main attractions in Paris, the Paris Pass is your best option.

If you prefer to go straight to the best museums in the city, don't hesitate: the Paris Museum Pass is your best ally.

And if you want some good news, you should know that the Paris Pass includes the Museum Pass, so with just one card you will benefit from both!

What is the Paris Pass and how does it work?

Sightseeing cards are passes that you can purchase for a set number of days to access transport and the city's main tourist attractions at a reduced price. The Paris Pass is the main card in Paris and also one of the most cost-effective.

With this card you can access the most popular Paris attractions such as the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and the Paris Opera at the best price. It also includes public transport and you can also hop on the sightseeing bus and take a cruise on the Seine - great value!

Why I recommend the Paris Pass: If you want to make the most of your trip, visiting the most emblematic monuments and museums, you can save time (as 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.

How much does the Paris Pass cost?

Aerial view Arc de Triomphe
Aerial view Arc de Triomphe

You can get the Paris Pass from 109 Euros. The first thing you need 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 the included attractions as many times as you want 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

Strolling around the Louvre Pyramid
Strolling around the Louvre Pyramid

Pick up

Once you have purchased the Pass, you can choose between the following shipping methods:

  • Delivery to your home
  • Delivery to the accommodation where you will be staying during your trip to Paris.
  • Pick up at any of the Paris offices with the voucher sent to you when you make your booking.
  • Digital version to take with you on your mobile (when I bought it it was not like this, but I imagine they will update it soon).

Activation

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 for the whole day.

What's included in the Paris Pass

Paris Opera House| ©Edgardo W. Olivera
Paris Opera House| ©Edgardo W. Olivera

The Paris Pass pack is divided into three parts: a tourist attraction pass, a museum pass (this is the Paris Museum Pass and can also be purchased separately) and a card for using public transport. In addition, the Paris Pass gives you access to a range of discounts in selected shops 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
  • A day tour on board the Paris sightseeing bus
  • The Musée d'Orsay
  • The Pompidou Museum of Contemporary Art
  • The Palace of Versailles
  • The Paris Opera House
  • The Pantheon
  • Wine tasting
  • Climbing the Montparnasse Tower
  • Guided walking tours in different areas of Paris

Attractions not included

As you can see, there is one major absence from this list: the Eiffel Tower climb is not included in the Paris Pass, nor is entry to the Catacombs, Disneyland or the Moulin Rouge show. These are experiences that you will have to pay for separately, but considering all that this tourist pass covers, I can assure you that it is still value for money.

Paris Pass - is it worth it or not?

Inside the Musée d'Orsay| ©Derek Key
Inside the Musée d'Orsay| ©Derek Key

There is no exact answer, it all depends on what you are going to use it for and what kind of traveller you are. If you make the most of it, the Paris Pass will save you money and time (remember that the Paris Pass includes skip-the-line entry and this is a big advantage in places like Versailles or the Louvre), that's for sure.

When does the Paris Pass pay for itself?

  • If you're interested in culture and don't want to miss the main sights, make a list of their prices separately, add them up and compare it to the price of the pass.
  • The Paris Pass comes with the Museum Pass included, making it the most cost-effective option for visiting as many of the city's attractions and museums as possible (and there are a lot of them!).
  • If you're planning a cruise on the Seine, it's also included.
  • If you're going to be getting around Paris a lot, public transport is a great way to get around.
  • If you fancy a trip to Versailles, the entrance fee is also included.
  • In general, if you're visiting Paris when it's quite cold or rainy, you'll want 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 cram all your sightseeing into a few days, so the Paris Pass will not be cost effective and it is better 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 transport, 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 work out how much the tickets would cost separately to see how much you could save with the Paris Pass.

The Paris Pass and the sightseeing bus

Aerial view Arc de Triomphe
Aerial view Arc de Triomphe

If you've decided to buy the Paris Pass, don't miss out on the opportunity to take a tour of Paris from a bus with panoramic views. Bus tours are often underrated as a "too touristy" option, but I advise you to get your prejudices out of your head because this tour is very enjoyable.

Keep in mind that the sheer 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 a tour with commentary included to enjoy its main points of interest before or after visiting them in depth.

This tour lasts for an hour and a half and you can find out more about the route and what you'll see in this article on Paris Hop on Hop off Bus Tours.

Paris Museum Pass

The Paris Museum Pass is a great 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, a visit to the Paris Opera, walking tours or a climb up the Montparnasse Tower.

It does however include a visit to the Arc de Triomphe, a visit to the Sainte Chapelle, the entrance to Versailles or a climb up the towers of Notre Dame (the latter is currently unavailable due to the fire in 2019) and a one-hour cruise on the Seine with live commentary during the tour. If you buy this card online 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 with the Paris Pass, but please note that as there is no three day option with this card, if you purchase the Paris Pass for three days you will receive the Paris Museum Pass for two days.

Other Paris Sightseeing Passes

Detail of the Pompidou Centre| ©Matt Seymour
Detail of the Pompidou Centre| ©Matt Seymour

Although the Paris Pass is the most** popular**, there are other tourist cards for visiting Paris. They are all quite similar in terms of use, number of attractions included and conditions. However, there are subtle differences between them that may make you choose one or the other.

Paris Pass

The Paris Passlib 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 the Paris Pass does not have. The price is a little lower, so it might be a good option if you're 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're 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 of the first 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 to add more days as with other city passes) it includes all the main attractions and museums in Paris for a lower price than other tourist cards.

However, bear in mind that with the Go Paris Pass you won't be able to use the city's public transport, so if you're staying outside the historic city centre, it may not be worth it.

Ana's Traveller Tip

If you opt for the Paris Pass, activate the attractions card first and then the Museum Pass so that you can accumulate more time between the two cards.

Tips on how to get the most out of your Paris Pass (or any other sightseeing pass)

Alexander III Bridge, Paris| ©Léonard Cotte
Alexander III Bridge, Paris| ©Léonard Cotte

Plan

It's clear that any card pays off if you're going to see as many things as possible in a short period of time, but that doesn't mean rushing from one place to another. With good planning, you can access a greater number of tourist attractions (and therefore save money) without sacrificing peace and quiet.

Before you start your trip, make a list of the things you want to see and organise yourself according to the areas where they are located; in many of these areas you'll 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.

Book a day for museums

The day you visit the Louvre or the day you go to see Versailles will take up quite a bit of time (although you'll avoid the queues), so you won't be able to see much else on these days. However, Paris has many small and beautiful museums that you can visit in less time; for example, the Rodin Museum or the Dali Space are pretty top-notch for me and tend to go unnoticed by most tourists.

Consider opening times

Before activating your card, check the opening days and hours of museums and tourist attractions. Some are closed on public holidays or special days. If your trip coincides with one of these days, do not activate your card for that day or take advantage of the Seine river cruise, 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 includes a guided tour of the Opera district. Before planning a visit to an attraction check that the Paris Pass does not include any guided tours of the area.

Also ask the shops or restaurants you go to if you get discounts with this card as you can not only save a considerable amount on tours, but also in local restaurants or souvenir shops.

For the Paris Pass and Museum Pass, activate one card first and then the other

The Paris Pass is three cards in one: transport, tourist attractions and museums. I recommend activating the attractions card first and doing the activities that are exclusive to it, and then activating the museums card the next day. With this simple trick you will be able to save time and visit even more attractions without having to invest in a superior card.

Also keep in mind 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 so you don't lose time using it.

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 can read more about here: Eiffel Tower Tickets.

Monuments aside, there are shows worth seeing in Paris. One of the best known is the Moulin Rouge show and you can also buy separate tickets to complete your visit to Paris and learn more about the show in this other article on Moulin Rouge Tickets.

Finally, one of the most common questions you may have when reading about the wide range of museums included in the Paris Pass is how to choose. I've written this other article on Museums Paris which you can take a look at to help you make up your mind.

Frequently asked questions

  • Are there many Paris City Sightseeing Passes?

    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 is reasonably priced.

  • Does the Paris Sightseeing Pass include public transport?

    The Paris Pass is quite impressive as it includes an unlimited travel card that can be used on all public transport systems in the city.

  • Does the Paris Sightseeing 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 Idéal Gourmet and a free starter or Hot Fudge Sundae at the Hard Rock Cafe.