Paris - Museum Entrance Questions

Old Apr 20th, 2012, 04:32 AM
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Paris - Museum Entrance Questions

We will be in Paris the first Sunday in May when some museums have free entry. Will the museums be unusually crowded then? So despite the savings, should we avoid going on that Sunday or are the museums packed every day?

I don't think the museum pass works for us. If I purchase individual tickets online now, can I skip the lines or is that privilege just for museum pass holders? (When I travel in the US, I skip lines by prepurchasing tickets.)
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Old Apr 20th, 2012, 04:59 AM
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Here's a link to multiple Louvre entrances... if you avoid
using the pyramid entrance you'll likely be fine:
http://www.tovisitparis.com/2011/03/...-entrance.html

Your American credit card will work in the ticket machines at the Louvre. There will still be a good line for security though... especially on a free day.

If advance tickets are available... go for them. Myself... I don't find museum entry fees that high... I would actually avoid a free day because things will be crowded. Or visit some
of the more off beat museums instead.
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Old Apr 20th, 2012, 05:23 AM
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The big Paris museums are always very crowded on the first Sundays. I always go in the evenings on other days when it's much more comfortable.
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Old Apr 20th, 2012, 05:56 AM
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You can only skip the lines with a museum pass. I see no advantage to purchasing tickets online ahead of time - you pay more, don't get the advantage of skipping the lines, and have one more thing to carry across the ocean with you. Yes, the museums are crowded on free days.
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Old Apr 20th, 2012, 08:38 AM
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Agree, use the Carousel entrance off rue du Rivoli for the Louvre (look for red awning). Go early or late!
We went to D'Orsay on a free Sunday and the line did move pretty quickly. It was the security check that slows things down. We were there around 10am and were only in line 20-25 minutes.
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Old Apr 20th, 2012, 09:51 AM
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We went to the Cluny/Musée du Moyen Age and the Cité de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine on the free first Sunday last October. Neither was crowded, which was a pleasant surprise.
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Old Apr 20th, 2012, 10:03 AM
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yes, you should get to skip the line if you buy a ticket online, otherwise there wouldn't be any point to doing it. Having a ticket already is essentially the same thing as having a pass, it just means you already have a ticket. And if you buy from FNAC, the agent's fee is very low for doing that (I think only around a euro, I think ticketnet is the same way). If you go to the Louvre website, for example, it says right at the top of the online purchase page "Don't wait in line -- buy online!"

I know you can buy Louvre and Orsay tickets online, don't know about others. I think you may have to pick them up at FNAC or some other ticket agent, but some are printable.

There really wouldn't be any point to agencies like FNAC selling tickets if you still had to wait in line. At museums the entrance signs will say something like one entrance may be for those "munis de billets" which means equipped with tickets. Entrance C at the Orsay is like that, it is for those with tickets, passes or memeberships (members don't have to wait in line, either, it's not just those with passes).
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Old Apr 20th, 2012, 06:38 PM
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I am spending way too much time overanalyzing this! If I keep this up, I will miss my flight.

I think I will get the museum pass. But if it's only for permanent exhibits, how do you get a timed ticket for a special exhibit such as the Degas at the d'Orsay?

Also, has anyone taken the 90 minute tours in English at the Louvre and L'Orangerie? Are they worth it (timewise)?

btw - ticketnet.fr is in English, seems easy to use and you can print tickets at home.
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Old Apr 20th, 2012, 11:22 PM
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The Degas exhibit at the d"orsay is not timed. It was crowded during the week as wel as SUnday but the line moved quickly. We got there about 20 mins. before opening time and wer in within 10 min of opening.
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Old Apr 21st, 2012, 04:16 AM
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The D'Orsay says it is timed admission for Degas and on ticketnet.fr, you have to select a time to make the purchase.

http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/visit/a...sion-fees.html

avalon - did you use the Museum Pass? If you just bought a ticket at the entrance, you might have had a time on your ticket and didn't notice.

In any event, museum passes are for permanent exhibits. How does one use it and see the special or temporary exhibits?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2012, 05:04 AM
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ttt
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Old Apr 25th, 2012, 01:47 AM
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i love museum and historical pleas and thing
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 09:09 AM
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That's a good question about the special exhibits as I've never had a pass and then wanted also to go to a special exhibit. I know when you just buy a regular ticket, you have the choice of basic or including the exhibit. I would presume with a pass you will still have to stand in line to get a tickt for a special exhibit if that's what you want. In the Louvre, that shouldn't be a big problem as personally, the main line their is mainly the security, I think, although it may vary by time/date.

I know you can just buy exhibition tickets on FNAC and ticketnet also to the biggies.

The problem is that if it is popular and timed, there will likely be none available for the exact time you are there when you just show up with your pass.

Maybe someone else has done this but for untimed exhibits, I wouldn't worry too much as I think sometimes you can buy tickets for those inside somewhere (but can't swear to that, just think I've seen it). But I would never expect to get a ticket for a timed exhibit on the spot for that same time when I just showed up to a museum with my general pass.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 12:39 PM
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We took the English tour at the Louvre a number of years ago and enjoyed it and thought it a good way to see the main things in the least amount of time. We recently recommended it to friends going for the first time.

We did a free Sunday at the L' Orangerie one time in the late afternoon and didn't wait long and it wasn't very crowded, and that was just after it had reopened.
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Old Apr 27th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Christina - I agree that it is doubtful a timed ticket will be available just when I walk in. The last timed ticket I did was Van Gogh in Philadelphia last month and it was a zoo with the timed ticket. I and everyone else bought them in advance. I can't imagine that I'm the first person with a pass to face this issue. Either I'll pass on the exhibit or buy a ticket and go back on another day. Luckily, my hotel is nearby and it's not a big deal to return. btw - ticketnet sells tickets for the D'Orsay or D'Orsay + Degas, not Degas alone. It makes sense that you would need both if you're buying for the Degas.

blh - thanks for the feedback.
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