• Sharon To

Museum Hopping: What happens when an avid Disney parkhopper discovers Paris Museum Pass

One of my small joys in life is seeing how far I can stretch my dollars. When I calculate the cost savings of buying and utilizing value items to their full extent, I feel like I’ve gamed the system (feel being the operative word here).

It’s one of the reasons I became a Disneyland Annual Passholder. There’s just so much bang for your buck! I actually remember hearing about an article written about how the price per hour of entertainment you get from an Annual Pass at Disneyland is actually equivalent or even cheaper than other forms of entertainment that people are more likely to turn to. But I digress. Seeing as how I love packing value into purchases and overplanning my trips down to the 5-minute interval, you can only imagine how much joy I felt when I discovered the Paris Museum Pass while planning my Paris trip last September. The Paris Museum Pass is like a park hopper ticket, but for museums in and around Paris. You can get passes that are valid for a varying number of days depending on how many days in Paris you want to spend visiting museums, and the pass basically gives you access to a wide variety of different museums across the city. On top of that, the pass itself is your ticket, so for the locations where the ticket line is separate from the entrance line, you get to skip right ahead of everyone waiting to purchase a ticket, which can save you lots of time! This pass is very similar to CityPASS, a service available in many US states and Toronto, and there is an equivalent Paris Pass that gives you access to more attractions on top of museums like water taxis and the like. I did a brief comparison of how many attractions outside of museums I wanted to visit and whether or not the Paris Pass was worth it, but since most of the things we wanted to visit that had admission fees were museums, the Paris Museum Pass was it for us! I quickly (and verry thoroughly) dug into the price of admission for every museum that accepted the Paris Museum Pass as well as their locations apart in order to calculate which museums would be the most worth it in terms of 1) cost and 2) travel time, since more time spent traveling meant less time spent enjoying the attractions themselves. It also helped me gauge how many museums I could cram into a single day without having my family completely destroy me (sorry family!)

So first things first, how do you get one of these? You have a couple of options. You can purchase them online and have them shipped to you (additional cost for shipping), at any venue that accepts the Paris Museum Pass, some visitor centers, and visitor information booths at the airport. You can choose what day to activate your pass and it’ll last for the duration of the pass you bought. My trip was about 8 days long and while I wanted to spread out the museum visits because they can be pretty tiring, the 6-day pass seemed too long and the 2-day pass was much too short, so we opted for the 4-day pass, which was just right! And since the Paris Museum Pass lets you skip the line, it felt counterproductive to wait until a museum visit to purchase the pass so we got ours from the visitor info booth at Charles de-Gaulle airport (Gate 4 arrivals level, Terminal 1) as soon as we touched down so that we were ready to go as soon as our first museum day arrived. Once your Paris Museum Pass is activated, you’re good to go to any participating museum! Here’s how I broke down our museum visits per day to maximize pass usage.

Museum Pass Day 1

Musee d’Orsay (12 €)

Musee Rodin (12 €)

Musee National Picasso (14 €)


Museum Pass Day 2

Louvre Museum (17 €)

Conciergerie (9 €)

Sainte-Chapelle (10 €)

Musee de l’Organgerie (9 €)

Arc de Triomphe (12 €)

Museum Pass Day 3

Pantheon (9 €)

Centre Pompidou (14 €)


Museum Pass Day 4

Palace of Versailles (20 €) This was a packed trip and we definitely got progressively more tired as each day passed. Our first Museum Pass day was literally the day after we flew into Paris so we were combatting jetlag and Museum Pass Day 3 was the day of our runDisney half-marathon! And as to be expected with all trips, plans change because of unexpected events and all you can do is adjust. We weren’t able to actually achieve my aggressive museum hopping plan because the Yellow Jacket strikes caused more interruptions that I had anticipated, particularly with the subway lines, and sudden acute illness that struck my travel party definitely required we shift things around, not to mention general exhaustion from trudging around all day everyday, running 13.1 miles, then trudging some more. So here’s how the actual itinerary turned out:

Museum Pass Day 1

Musee d’Orsay (12 €)

Musee Rodin (12 €)

Musee National Picasso (14 €)


Museum Pass Day 2

Louvre Museum (17 €) Conciergerie (9 €) Sainte-Chapelle (10 €)


Museum Pass Day 1

Musee de l’Organgerie (9 €)

Museum Pass Day 1

Arc de Triomphe (12 €) Total Value: 95 € 4-Day Museum Pass: 66 € We were really good about sticking to the schedule initially, but obviously made some major cuts towards the end of the trip. Sadly amidst all the on-the-fly itinerary adjustments, I hadn’t realized that Museum Pass Day 4 fell on a Monday and Versailles is closed on Mondays! So we couldn’t use our Museum Pass for the Palace of Versailles (boo), but we fortunately still did go and what an amazing trip that was! Please keep this in mind if you plan on visiting: TRIPLE CHECK OPENING DATES! While I didn’t get to take as full advantage of the Museum Pass as I was hoping for, I got so much value out of it I really can’t complain too much. Every museum we did visit was breathtaking and lovely and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to immerse myself in French culture and French history. And on top of the museums themselves being amazing places to be, the experience was also so positive because I didn’t have to wait in line with the masses of other people waiting to buy their tickets. This was so immensely useful at Musee d’Orsay, Louvre Museum, and Arc de Triomphe in particular. Because these locations are so popular and well-known, people literally flock to them and will wait endlessly in lines to buy the tickets then in yet another line to actually enter the museum. Since we had a schedule to stick to and we wanted to get as much of a guarantee as was possible that we got to do our activities in the time windows I had set, we too started our days extremely early (particularly for the Musee d’Orsay and Louvre Museum) but it was definitely worth it because we got it in without issue and right on time! The fact that I was able to save that time and avoid the added stress of lines and maneuvering the proper order of operations, and save around 30 per person made me feel like such a winner! And it was so reminiscent of how I feel as a Disneyland Annual Passholder with MaxPass. I love saving time and avoiding the flow of crowds, and saving money while I’m at it! More details on the actual museum visits to come! And if you have any questions or thoughts on the Paris Museum Pass I’d love to hear from you! Until then, I hope you have a magical day!

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