There’s no doubt that the Paris Pass – an all-in-one visitor card for travellers – is both a useful and easy way to explore the best of this amazing city.
Granting visitors free access to over 60 attractions across the city, as well as hassle-free travel around Paris, the pass definitely has some very appealing credentials.
But is the Paris Pass worth it financially?
As a dedicated budget traveller, I was committed to finding this out on my recent trip to Paris and feel very fortunate that the kind folk at Paris Pass gifted me one of their 2 day packages to put this money-saving offering to the test.
So here bringing you the full lowdown, is my honest Paris Pass review, which will give you all the answers about just how worthwhile this city card is…
- Top 10 Free Things to Do in Paris
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The Paris Pass kindly sponsored my 2 Day Pass, but, as always, my views are my own.
This page contains affiliate links meaning Big World Small Pockets may receive a small commission on any purchases at no extra cost to you.
Paris Pass Review
First, up, I want to give you an overview of how this review article is going to shape up, as well as remind and reassure you that, as always, this post is giving to give you my honest advice based absolutely on my personal experience.
First up, I’m going to let you know how the Paris Pass works – what it is and what it does.
Then I’m going to go through its advantages and disadvantages – what I see are the great bonuses, as well as the annoying downfalls of this travel card.
Next, I’m going to give you a top 2 day Paris itinerary that will show you how to make the best of this pass.
And I’ll even price up this itinerary, both with and without the Paris Pass, to clearly show you the evidence of whether this pass is worth it… or not.
And finally, I’ll talk about some of the longer Paris Passes (3, 4 and 6 days), before giving you some of my exclusive Paris Pass tips, which I’ve picked up from using this card myself.
So, let’s get on with it…
How Does it Work?
It’s hard to consider whether the Paris Pass is worth it without taking a quick moment to explain exactly how this card works.
Essentially the Paris Pass is comprised of 3 parts:
- 1x Paris Museum Pass
- 1x Paris Attraction Pass
- 1x Paris Travel Card
Between these 3 different passes, which come together under the umbrella package of the Paris Pass, holders are eligible to visit a huge selection of:
- Paris Museums – such as the Louvre and the Towers of Notre Dame multiple times
- Paris Attractions – such as a cruise on the Seine River and access to the Montparnasse 56th Floor once
- Paris Travel – such as unlimited transport via Metros, RER, buses and trams within zones 1-3
Paris Passes are available for different lengths of time (2 days, 3 days, 4 days and 6 days) and for different ages (adult, teen and child).
Prices vary depending on the length of pass and the holder’s age.
The longer pass you buy, the greater the value it offers.
Passes are set for a consecutive number of days and are activated after their first use.
What this means is that you can buy the card far in advance (up to 12 months before your travels in fact), but that it won’t start until you get to Paris and use it at the first attraction or museum.
Advantages of the Paris Pass
There are definitely some huge advantages to the Paris Pass, which you should bear in mind when trying to work out whether it’s worth it for you.
#1 Free Access
Once you purchase your Paris Pass, you’re granted free access to over 60 attractions in and around the city.
The vast majority of the things you want to see in Paris are included i.e. the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Palace de Versailles as some key examples.
All these attractions come under the Paris Museum Pass, which means they can therefore be accessed multiple times.
This is great because it means you don’t have to waste time trying to buy multiple tickets to enter everywhere in Paris.
Here the Paris Pass makes your travel life simple by combining access to pretty much all the attractions you want to visit in the city, into one handy digital card.
The Paris Pass now even includes climbing the Eiffel Tower, so if you want to enter and ride the life to the top of this icon with a guide, this is the way to do it!
#2 Free Tours
In addition to the free attractions, the Paris Pass also gives you the opportunity to sample some great tours around the city, including wine-tasting and cruises on the Seine (which are both included under the Paris Attraction Pass).
These really add an extra level to your Paris experience; after all, even the hardest culture vultures can get a bit museum-ed outQ
In fact, I loved exploring the city via the free bus and walking tours included in my Paris Pass perhaps more than the museums.
I think this is largely because the Pass gave me the chance to experience things I normally wouldn’t have done, such as a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour that I actually thoroughly enjoyed!
Am I beginning to show my age here!
#3 Fast Access
The Paris Pass will also allow you to jump the queue in many of Paris’ top attractions.
If you’ve been to this city and stood in any of the ticket lines before, you’ll know this can be both a real drag, as well as a drain on your precious sightseeing time.
One of the best things about the Paris Pass, therefore, is that in many places it will allow you to skip the ticket queue, saving you precious time in this amazing city and spare you the boredom of standing around for hours on end.
This makes the Paris Pass especially useful for families, as well as those short on time in my opinion.
Armed with a Paris Pass, my top queue jumps were at the Arc de Triomphe and the Musée d’Orsay, where I reckon I saved almost an hour at each!
#4 Easy and Convenient
And so, cutting out both the need to buy tickets and stand in long lines, there’s no denying one of the top advantages of the Paris Pass is the level of convenience it presents.
This is also true of the Paris Travel Card that comes with the Pass and allows you to hop on and off public transport without having to negotiate ticket machines or fines!
If you don’t speak French or aren’t a particularly confident traveller, the Paris Pass will definitely help remove many of the stresses that can occur during a trip to this bustling metropolis.
Add into this the fact that you can buy the Paris Pass from the comfort of your own home, while you are planning your trip, and the ease and convenience of this tourist travel card is definitely one of its major advantages.
#5 Money Back Guarantee
And while we’re talking about buying the Paris Pass online from home, before your trip, it’s also worth mentioning this card offers a 30 day money-back guarantee.
So if you order the card online, you’ll automatically receive a 30 day guarantee against any non-use of the product, giving you a full refund if you do not use and activate your pass.
In case your plans change, this is a great insurance option that gives you flexibility in the event of any unforeseen changes.
Disadvantages of the Paris Pass
Making sure you get the best value for money from your Paris Pass can only really be achieved by putting a bit of time into your travel planning, as this review explores in more detail here…
Ensuring the Paris Pass works for you will mean planning your visit, or at least having a rough outline of how you want to spend your time in the French capital ahead of your visit.
For example, if you mostly want to enjoy restaurants, bars and parks, the Paris Pass is unlikely to be worth it for you.
However, if you want to see many of the city’s key attractions such as museums, historical buildings and icons, then it’s likely your trip to Paris will hugely benefit from the Pass.
As such, having even a vague idea of what it is you want to do in Paris is crucial to ensuring you get the best value from this city card.
Along with organisation, you’ll also need to do some Paris research ahead of your trip.
By this, I mean that it really does pay to know what is included in the Pass and what you want to see during your time en Paris!
It might sound a bit pedantic, but honestly, it’s a really good idea to construct a rough itinerary for your visit to ensure you can get your money’s worth from the length of pass you’re looking to buy.
2 Day Paris Pass Itinerary: Example
However, I totally understand that planning a rough itinerary in a foreign city you’ve never visited before can be hard to do!
So, to help you do just that, I’ve constructed a perfect 2 day Paris itinerary, with a budget breakdown, that will ensure you get great value from your Paris Pass.
Let’s get stuck in…
- Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour – 2 routes available and a great way to help get your bearings in this city
- Paris Story – 1 hour film giving you a great introduction to Paris
- Musée du Louvre – The world’s most visited museum, which contains the Mona Lisa
- Notre Dame Towers – Climb to the top of this 12th century Gothic Cathedral and then head inside it
- Centre Pompidou – Leading modern art museum
- Montparnasse Tower – Take in the Paris night sky from the city’s tallest building
- Musée d’Orsay – Home to the works of Degas, Monet and Van Gogh
- Musée Rodin – Showcases the master sculpture’s greatest body of work
- Wine Tasting – Visit the historic Royal wine cellar of Les Caves du Louvre
- Musée Picasso – The only public collection of Picasso’s works in the world
- Bateaux Parisiens – Cruise the Seine for an hour
- Arc de Triomphe – Ascend Paris’ iconic landmark after dark
Is the Paris Pass Worth it Financially?
Based on the above itinerary, I’ve done a budget breakdown (with prices correct at the time of publication) as follows:
1 Day Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour – €33
Eiffel Tower Climb – Guided Tour to 2nd Floor – €35
Musée du Louvre – €17
Notre Dame Towers – €8.50
Centre Pompidou – €15
Montparnasse Tower – €19
Musée d’Orsay – €16
Musée Rodin – €12
Wine Tasting Tour – €35
Musée Picasso – €12
Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise – €17
Arc de Triomphe – €12
2 Day Paris Travel Card – €19.50
Total – €251.00
The 2 Day Adult Paris Pass costs €124.00.
This means that yes, the Paris Pass is worth it financially!
But that’s not all.
Because in addition to the saving, you need to remember all the other advantages that come with the Pass as well, which also make it worthwhile.
These include the added benefits of…
- less time waiting in lines
- not having to worry about speaking French
- not having to navigate ticket systems, especially when it comes to public transport
- being able to visit the attractions that come under the Museum Pass multiple times at no extra cost
3, 4 & 6 Day Paris Passes
It is also worth pointing out that the longer the length of your Paris Pass, the more cost effective it becomes.
For example, while a 2 Day Adult Paris Pass costs €124.00, a 3 Day Pass costs only €149.00.
A 4 Day Pass is then €169.00 and a 6 Day Pass just €199.00
So, the longer you have on your pass, the less the daily rate and the more time you have to explore the 60 free attractions.
Essentially, this means greater value for you!
The Palace de Versailles, for example, is one of the city’s top attractions not included in my 2 day Paris itinerary above.
I would love to have visited it and, with an extra day up my sleeve and by buying a longer length Paris Pass, this sort of flexibility would have been open to me.
If this all sounds like a good idea to you too then …
Order your 3, 4 or 6 Day Paris Pass online here and now and save tons of time and hassle by getting it even before you reach Paris!
Other Top Tips for the Paris Pass
#1 Start Early in the Day
Most of the museums are open from 9am-6pm, with last entrance normally 45 mins before closing.
If you want to get the best value out of your Paris Pass, therefore, I highly recommend starting your day early, so that you have as many hours as possible to visit the free attractions.
Again my suggested itinerary above makes use of this, by placing those activities that are still available after 18:00 into the evening slots.
#2 Make Use of Public Transport
With your Paris Pass, you have a free travel card anyway, so make use of this at no extra cost, by hopping on as much public transport as possible.
Doing this will get you around the city faster, allowing you to visit more attractions in a shorter space of time and making sure you get the best value possible from your Paris Pass.
#3 Buy Your Paris Pass in Advance
I’d also suggest buying the Paris Pass in advance.
Not only will this allow you to plan and organise your use of it ahead of time – helping you get the most out of it – but it will also mean you don’t have to waste time in Paris sourcing and buying the Pass.
Simple order your Paris Pass online today and have it on your phone and ready to go ahead of your trip – meaning your time in this great city can just be spent enjoying it!
You can order up to 12 months ahead of your trip and doing so also makes you eligible for the pass’ 30 day money-back guarantee.
#4 Get the App
And the 4th tip of my list of Paris Pass hacks is to download the app.
Yes the official Paris Pass app is now available on both iOS and Android and can help you a great deal with navigating your way around the capital, discovering the attractions included in your pass, as well as planning and building your own customisable itinerary.
PIN IT TO PINTEREST!
So if you’re asking me whether I had an easier, less stressful, jam-packed and more exciting time in Paris due to my Paris Pass, then I’d have to say yes.
As such, I’d certainly agree the Paris Pass is worth it… and I think this review shows that.
What do you think?
Have you had experience with the Paris Pass?
Let me know all your thoughts in the comments box below…