Paris is the most visited city in the world and with that comes an endless amount of different things to do, museums to check out, attractions to enjoy, and areas to explore.
While not as expensive as other popular tourist destinations in Europe, such as London, Paris is still quite pricey and your daily costs can really start to add up if you’re paying to get into different attractions and spending money on other things to do.
One of the best ways to make the most of your visit to the beautiful French capital is to pick up a Paris Pass, especially if you’re interested in checking out some of the main attractions in the city including museums, historical, and cultural attractions as well.
Given the price of the past, I’m sure some of you are wondering:
Is the Paris Pass worth it?
My quick answer to you is that it depends on what it is that you’re interested in doing and whether or not some of the things to do in Paris that you have to pay for are actually things that you want to check out and take advantage of.
I’ll be completely upfront, the company behind the Paris Pass provided me with the pass for free so that I could give it a review and help my readers know whether or not it’s actually worth it.
In this post I’m going to cover everything that comes included with the Paris Pass and how to use it most effectively during your trip.
One thing that I want to mention is that if you’re not interested in museums or checking out the main attractions in the city such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum, and other similar attractions then the pass might not be that worth it for you.
It’s definitely possible to visit Paris and just walk around without having to spend much money on anything but if you want to enjoy some of the best that the city has to offer then it’s a good idea to see what you can do to save some money in the long run.
Let’s take a look at what the Paris Pass has to offer!
Exploring Paris with the Paris Pass
With the Paris Pass you get the city pass along with a Museum Pass as well as a ticket for unlimited public transportation for the duration of your pass validity.
It’s basically three different passes that you get and you have to present a specific one depending on the attraction you’re visiting or if you’re using public transportation in the city.
With the Paris Pass and the Museum Pass you’re able to take advantage of free or discounted entry to more than 60 different attractions and museums throughout Paris.
Using the different passes is very straightforward – you just show up, walk up to the entrance booth or stand and present your pass.
If you happen to present the wrong one the person working will correct you and ask if you have the other pass available so you really don’t have to worry about which one works where, just make sure you have everything with you at all times.
What I love about the city pass for Paris is that it even comes with a ticket for unlimited public transportation use and given the size of the city this is really helpful when it comes to getting around without having to walk everywhere.
I was able to get from the Arc de Triomphe to Tour Montparnasse and all the way to the Louvre Museum really quickly and if I had decided to do it on foot it would have taken me the whole day of walking just to get everywhere.
The transportation ticket is just a small little ticket that you just have to use whenever you get on to the public transportation that you’re taking and it’s really easy to use as well.
I was able to use the different passes for two days in Paris and while I was able to see quite a bit of the city I really had to pack it in and move quickly between the different attractions.
I think for two days you really have to push it when it comes to what you want to see and whether or not there is enough time but for three days or longer is where I think the Paris Pass is going to be the most effective.
It’s possible to choose between a few different time frames depending on the length of your visit and these include:
- 2 day (€135)
- 3 day (€152)
- 4 day (€179)
- 6 day (€203)
For three or more days is where you’re going to find the best value with this pass because that gives you two full days in the city that you can explore as well as a third day or more for checking out some of the day trips from Paris and other attractions nearby.
Keep in mind that these prices include access to public transportation and given that it’s about €7 just for a daily metro pass you’re already saving money right off the bat as well as time by not having to figure out how to deal with buying public transportation tickets.
To pick up the Paris Pass you’re going to need to visit their office and it’s actually quite centrally located, only about a 20 minute walk from the Notre Dame Cathedral as well as close to Metro and bus stops.
Picking up the pass is quite straightforward and all you need is the voucher that you received after ordering although you should be able to just give your name and the relevant reference number to the individual working.
When you pick it up you’ll be given a detailed booklet on the different attractions and everything else that’s included with the pass and to make it easier for you I would recommend downloading the Paris Metro map to your smartphone so that you have it for quick access when you need it.
Remember that you’re going to need to write down the dates and your name on the back of the different passes as well as on the transportation ticket and as soon as you activate the first pass that’s when it becomes valid for the duration of its validity.
Where to Use the Paris Pass
Like I mentioned up above you can use the pass at more than 60 different attractions and other points of interest in Paris.
There are also quite a few places where you receive a discount for rather than having to pay the full price.
Some of the more popular points of interest, museums, and other attractions where you’re able to enjoy free entry to include:
- Louvre Museum
- Arc de Triomphe
- Big Bus Paris Bus Tour
- Seine River Cruise
- Notre Dame Cathedral
- Montparnasse Tower
- The Orsay Museum
- French Wine Tasting Experience
- Centre Pompidou
- Paris Opera House Tour
- Dali Museum
- Palace de Versailles
- Archaeological Crypt of Notre-Dame
- Picasso Museum
These are really just a handful of the wide range of different attractions and other points of interest that you’re able to check out for free.
To get a better idea of everything that’s included you’re going to want to check out the Paris Pass website where they go into detail for each of the attractions they provide.
Some of the free entry options you get aren’t actually located in the city centre, like the Palaces of Versailles, and you’re going to need to plan to spend a few hours at these places to really get a feel for them.
This is also one of the main reasons why I recommended the pass if you’re going to be spending three days or more in Paris.
Some of the attractions and museums can take hours to explore and two days simply isn’t enough time to visit some of the different sites, go on a few tours, and spend some time in museums.
If you’re not really that interested in museums then the pass for two days could definitely enough if you take some time beforehand to plan a route and make sure that you’re using your time effectively.
How Much I Spent and How the Card Saved Me Money
Considering that the passes start at €135 for the two day one and get more expensive from there you want to really make sure that the different sites and attractions are things that you actually want to check out and that you’re willing to plan effectively so that you can make the most of your time with the pass.
I only had it for two days and on both of these days I spent all of my time taking advantage of the pass and getting between the different attractions using the public transportation system.
On the other hand, it would have been quite expensive if I paid for everything on my own without the pass and just like with the passes that I have used before in Budapest, Vienna, London and other places, they end up being worth it in the end and can really save you a lot of money.
On its own the two day public transportation pass for the three zones in the city centre costs €18,95 so right away I’ve already saved that and that puts the actual price of the two day pass at €116.
The first day with the pass I really went big and I was able to visit 5 different attractions.
As soon as it opened I was ready and waiting to head up to the Arc de Triomphe to enjoy the view of the surrounding city and afterwards I took the Metro to Montparnasse Tower to also enjoy the view from a different perspective.
Once I finished at the tower I made my way to the Notre Dame Cathedral where I went on a little tour of the inside and also had my third view of the day from the top.
Right beside the cathedral were the archaeological crypts and those sounded pretty interesting so of course I checked those out.
At this point it was time for lunch so I sat down to eat something and then I made my way to the Louvre Museum where I spent the rest of the afternoon.
So just in one day the total of all of the different attractions that I visited would have added up to €55 have I paid for them each separately.
On my second day I used the Big Bus Tour to actually get to the different attractions without having to use the metro as much.
Since the weather was fairly nice I went on a Seine River Cruise and then walked over to near the Louvre again where I did a random wine tasting experience.
I don’t actually even drink wine that much but the tasting experience was interesting and I learned a lot more about wine than I knew before – plus I got a bottle of red to bring home with me!
Afterwards I dropped the wine off at my hotel and then spent a few hours wandering around the Orsay Museum and I checked out the Dali museum rather quickly before I had to call it a day.
On my second day I would have had to shell out about €100 if I was going to pay for everything on my own.
For two days in Paris, thoroughly exploring some of the best attractions and other points of interest in the city, I would have spent €155 and another €19 for public transportation bringing my two-day total to €174.
Considering the cost of the two day pass is €135 I enjoyed a savings of €39.
To be honest I didn’t calculate the savings until just now and I definitely was thinking they would be higher considering how much I really got to see.
Still, €39 is a really good amount to save and that can definitely be put towards other aspects of my trip.
This only further adds to my thoughts that these passes are much better suited for longer trips since you can also take advantage of the attractions that require a day trip away from the city and they typically don’t cost that much more for the third, or more consecutive, days as well.
After I did everything that I wanted to do there wasn’t much more that I was interested in checking out in the city of Paris so it was still definitely a valuable pass for me to have.
Is the Paris Pass Worth It?
Depending on what you want to see, and how well you’re able to make a plan and get between destinations, I believe that the Paris Pass is definitely worth it – even more so for trips of three days or longer.
I was only in Paris for a short while so I wasn’t able to visit Versailles or the other interesting attractions outside of the city but if I had a third day I could have definitely planned for that.
If you’re not careful and you don’t plan all of the different visits properly or you just want to visit a specific few attractions then it’s likely that the Paris Pass isn’t going to be worth it for you.
For me it’s also nice to have because I don’t have to worry about waiting in line to buy tickets, having to figure out where to buy public transportation tickets, and it’s a lot easier to just deal with the passes rather than having to figure everything else out on your own.
When I’m travelling I hate wasting time so I’m always interested in the best ways to spend my time in a city that I’ve never been to before effectively and city passes really help to make this possible.
With the amount I save I’m able to spend that on accommodation, souvenirs, food, or anything else that I want and it can even be used to extend the trip.
Overall, I believe that the Paris pass is definitely worth it if you’re planning on spending a few days in the city and you really want to check out and experience some of the best attractions and other points of interest that Paris has to offer.
Tips for Using the Paris Pass
- To make the most out of your visit I would recommend picking up the pass if you’re going to be spending three or more days in Paris.
- Make sure that you visit the office as soon as it opens so that you can spend the full day taking advantage of your pass or simply have it delivered to your house before your trip so that you can use it as soon as you arrive.
- It’s a good idea to write down the specific places you want to visit and double check the opening and closing times so that you don’t get somewhere and find out that it’s not opened.
- Download the Paris Metro map to your smartphone or keep a printout of it so you can more effectively get between the different attractions without wasting too much time having to figure out directions.
Where to Buy
You can buy the Paris Pass through their website and it’s even possible to have it delivered to your home.
Alternatively, you can order it online and pick it up at the Paris Pass redemption centre office.
I would recommend having it delivered to your home or current location so that you can use it as soon as you arrive in Paris and so that you don’t have to make your way to the redemption office.