To save myself time and energy I decided to book myself the Paris Pass. A lot of big cities have these types of passes that include every big or fun thing to do in that city and some things not quite in that city. I used the London Pass when I went to London in college, and I’ve done the Discover Seoul Pass with Nathalie when I helped her film all the things you can do using it for a competition. (I like the Discover Seoul Pass, they also have a BTS edition)
But I can’t decide whether the Paris Pass was worth it. The Paris Pass comes with three parts: The Paris Pass, the Museum Pass, and a transit pass for zones 1-3.
My problem which makes me unsure whether it was worth it or not is that the Museum Pass was only available for 2 days of the 3 days I paid for fully. Which would’ve been fine if only 90% of the attractions online hadn’t said I could use the Paris Pass itself rather than the Museum Pass. Places like the Louvre and actual museums made sense to me. But other places like the palace of Versailles or Saint Chappelle which is a church surprised me. This meant if I wanted to go to these places I had to cram them all in together on the same two days, back to back and rush. It was stressful. And if I do the math, monetarily it wasn’t worth it.
I managed to do the following:
Paris Pass (3 days)
- Hop on Hop off Bus which is €38
Museum Pass (2 days)
- Palace of Versailles €18
- the Louvre €15
- Sainte-Chapelle €10
- Musée d’Orsay €12
3 day transit pass for zones 1-3 €27.3
That comes out to a total of €120.3. The total cost of the Paris Pass is €165.
I’m not sure if I would’ve been able to accomplish more if the strikes hadn’t been happening and I’d have been able to get around easier. I for sure got my full use of the museum pass and the transit pass, even though running around trying to fit everything into two days with the museum pass was stressful.
According to the Paris info website the Museum pass is only available for 2 days €52, 4 days €66 or 6 days €78. I do think it is possible to buy it on its own. I think the museum pass is worth it if you’re going to try and cram as much into your trip as possible. You’re able to jump into what is essentially a fast lane into the museum. They just scan your card and you’re in. Which is really nice.
The Paris Pass itself however I didn’t have time to use beyond the Hop on Hop off bus. I think if I’d staggered them and had been in Paris longer I probably could’ve used them both. But because I wasn’t, it didn’t work out in a financially responsible way. There was only one other thing I tried to use my Paris Pass for that I had time for and that was a tour of the Opera. I don’t know why the opera didn’t count as a museum but the church and the palace did which is beyond me. But they had two times in which I could go and join a guided tour. But when I arrived early for the afternoon time I learned, along with everyone else in line that the tour is a first come first served sign up that starts at 10am. If you don’t arrive at 10am and sign up for a spot in either the morning or afternoon then you can’t use your Paris pass. You can still explore the opera, but you have to shell out the €17 on your own cash, making it kinda worthless to have the Paris pass or even try to show up at the time. Because you can go wander around the opera at any time. It also doesn’t include the audio tour, which I found completely necessary to not get lost and to find my way around.
I think for this trip the Paris Pass wasn’t worth it for me.
If you decide you want to do the Paris Pass you can pick it up at the Big Bus main shop starting at 9:30am. This is also where you can catch one of the Hop on Hop off buses. If I had had more time I probably would’ve checked out the Seine river cruise which counted as a Paris Pass attraction and maybe some of the smaller museums that for some reason counted as a Paris Pass rather than actual museum like the chocolate museum, the wine cellar in the Louvre, or the perfume museum. But for this trip I just didn’t have time.