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I'm confused re: buying Paris museum pass...

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Sep 8th, 2006, 06:53 PM
  #1
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I'm confused re: buying Paris museum pass...

Hello! I am a first-time visitor planning a trip to Paris in late October.

Can I buy the Paris Museum Pass online ahead of time? The "official" website gives locations that you can buy it when you get there. (see www.parismuseumpass.fr) However, there are many websites that allow you to purchase it before the trip...are these reputable? (ie. www.museumpass.com)

Thanks so much for any clarification that you can provide!
rxgirl22 is offline  
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Sep 8th, 2006, 06:56 PM
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There is absolutely no reason you need to buy this pass ahead of time. And especially since you'd have to pay shipping and handling to get something you can buy at face value all over Paris . . . .
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Sep 8th, 2006, 08:08 PM
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I imagine most of the online websites selling museum passes are reputable, if you mean do you get one eventually. But of course you pay for that as they are a company out to make a profit. I don't see any need to get a museum pass ahead of time, but I guess some people like that and are willing to pay a fee for it. I'm not, but I rarely buy one anyway. I've only bought one once or twice, and have no problem with spending a couple minutes buying one in Paris somewhere, when I do.

If you do want to pay a fee for this online, but sure you are clear on how you get it. Some vendors only give you vouchers and then you have to go some place in Paris to pick them up, so you spend the same time as you would if you just bought one there. And it may even be less convenient that way if there is only one site to pick them up, but many where you could just buy one in Paris.
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Sep 8th, 2006, 08:11 PM
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We simply bought our pass at the first museum we visited, the Ste-Chapelle, which worked nicely; there was a separate line for people with the passes, and one could buy them on the spot.
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Sep 8th, 2006, 09:24 PM
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I have always bought my museum passes on the spot in Paris and have never had to wait in a long line to get one. I simply make sure that the first museum I visit is not one of the incredibly popular ones which might have long lines.

As you really need to check out the website to see what is exactly available on the card to see if it is worth your while, at the same time you can identify a likely place to purchase it. Places that come immediately to mind as not having long queues are the Crypt at Notre Dame, the Pantheon, the Musee de Moyen Age.
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Sep 8th, 2006, 09:56 PM
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We were just in Paris last week and bought the pass at the Pantheon where there was no line up at all. I noticed the Cluny and Ste. Chapelle also had short lines. I had heard that the passes were available at Metro stations, but this is no longer the case.
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Sep 9th, 2006, 05:05 AM
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The only time I ever bought one was at a metro station but that was a few years ago. What everyone else says is the best advice, just get it there, much safer, easier. BUT - be sure you really want one. In late October there may not be terribly long lines which is why people tend to get them - to avoid the lines. Plus there are ways to avoid the lines (e.g. go into the Louve via the unerground mall area which has much shorter security lines than the main entrance, or go early in the day before the lines get long. And really, the only three musuems I've ever seen long lines at are the Louve, D'Orsay, and Pompidou. If you are buying a pass to save money you'd be wise to do some comparisons to see if you would really save anything. You need to visit quite a few museums each day to save money. I personally would rather spread out my museum going than jam them all in a day in order to use the pass.
isabel is offline  
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Sep 9th, 2006, 05:19 AM
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We bought ours from the Paris tourist office at 25, rue des Pyramides last year. It was quick and painless, absolutely no queue whatsoever. We tried at a few metro stations, but they weren't available.

I don't think its really necessary to buy it in advance unless you're really saving a lot of money doing so (which I don't think you will).
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Sep 9th, 2006, 05:33 AM
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If you plan to buy one at the first museum you visit, make sure it's a centrally located museum. I had arrived in Paris in the mid-afternoon and went to the Nissim de Camondo museum an hour before closing time, hoping to buy my pass there. They were out. The closest metro stations also didn't have any. I was SOL and had to choose between paying full price or skipping the museum and strolling in the Parc Monceau instead.
That minor snafu aside, I wouldn't purchase one before the trip.
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Sep 9th, 2006, 05:44 AM
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The RATP doesn't sell the museum pass anymore - since the new one was introduced this year.
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Sep 9th, 2006, 06:06 AM
  #11
 
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Also, you might want to sit down and calculate the cost of what you want to see while you're there. If you are going to visit a lot of the museums of monuments, regardless of the ability to skip lines, you may save money. I think I saved somewhere near $15 (meaning they lost money on me) when I used it in May. It doesn't take too many visits to places on the pass to recoup what you paid for it. (I paid 45E for it and went to 54E worth of museums)
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