Paris museum pass?

Old Jun 16th, 2003, 09:05 AM
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Paris museum pass?

I was going to buy a rail ticket online from Amsterdam to Paris, and an option to buy a museum pass came up. It was $42 for 3 days, and says it would avoid lines and pay entry fees for instance at the Louvre, Versailles and other places..Has any one used this, what did you experience?
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 09:34 AM
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http://www.intermusees.com/wwwie/index.html

The Cart Musee is well worth getting. The site above tells you all you need to know - it's available in 1, 3, and 5-day versions. The 3-day pass costs 30E if bought in Paris, and there is no need to purchase it in advance.
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 10:09 AM
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I am a "do it in advance" kind of person, but there's no reason to apply that to the museum pass. In Paris, you can buy it easily at many metro stations, every participating museum (even one you don't particularly care to visit) and even at some hotel front desks.
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 03:42 PM
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I agree with Elaine. Museum passes are readily available in Paris. What you've been told about getting one is correct. You should get one especially before you go to the Louvre and/or d'Orsay, but you can waint until you get to Paris.
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 08:35 PM
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I was in paris a few weeks ago. I tried three metro stations (all in central paris - 1e, 4e) and none of them had the museum pass. I ended up buying it at Sainte Chappelle only after having to wait in line for 35 minutes. I would have paid the extra $5-10 to buy in advance.
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 09:36 PM
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I must be one of the few people who never buy a museum pass or a carte orange (weekly Metro ticket) in Paris.

How many museums do you plan to do?

I went in to The Louvre the last time in August through the Denon wing (along the Seine). There was absolutely no wait.

Then I visited the Picasso and Jewish Museums. I do not know about others, but I can only see so many museums without getting "museumitis". I also do not rush in and out of museums. I stay a long time.

So, it depends on how many museums you intend to see. For me, 3 museums was more than enough for the week. I did nothing else the day I went to The Louvre. I saw the Picasso and Jewish Museums the same day but that was all I did.

Insofar as the weekly Metro pass is concerned, I generally just buy a carnet of 10 Metro tickets and refresh my supply as needed. If you intend to spend a lot of time on buses and underground, the Carte Orange may be worth it, but I generally only take 1-3 Metro trips a day because I enjoy walking around.

The only museum where you cannot avoid a wait is the D'Orsay, so, if you plan to hit that one, perhaps the Museum Pass might be a good buy. Dunno.
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 09:42 PM
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Lauren, I feel the same way you do about museum passes--one a day is the best I can do. In May there were short lines at the Louvre, and I made a point to get to Orsay before it opened. The line wasn't bad at all, and moved quickly once the doors were open. I loved the CC ticket machines in the Louvre. Couldn't figure out why people were standing in lines to buy tickets.

But I love my Carte Orange and get lots of use out of it. Well worth the money to me.
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 10:10 PM
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We were about to buy the museum pass in Paris back in May, 1999 - the attendant managed to get it across to us that the majority of Paaris museums were on strike.

I kind of agreed with the workers - their main grievance was that the museum system was being starved of funds for upkeep and restoration work, rather than wages. However, with the Louvre and most other attractions closed (including the Arc de Triomphe) it would have been a waste. Versaille was open and the Cluny was open, except the day we went to see it, a sudden rainstorm flooded it out and it was closed.

Oh, and the towers of Notre Dame were under repair - only the ground floor was open. The entire donjon of Vincennes was in scaffolding for a multi-year rebuild, and the day we left for Venice it was chaos and the train left 2 hours late because the rail workers were on strike and picketting the tracks.

3 days later, we read in the paper how a conductor had been found dead on the Metro - the entire Metro shut down for a day to protest the lack of safety for workers. The next day his autopsy revealed death of natural causes.
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Old Jun 16th, 2003, 10:21 PM
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we bought the 5 day pass on a recent trip and used it quite often, but still just barely broke even on the cost. The only significant time savings were in Versaille and the D'Orsay. No line at the Louvre, particularly...they seemed to have so many ticket windows open. I was glad to have it, for those two lines, but we did a lot of museums and didn't save any money.
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 01:58 AM
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I bought my 3 day museum passes (2 X 30 euros)when I purchased tickets for the sightseeing bus. Then I found out the museums were closed because of the general strike. So my 3 day pass turned into a 1 day pass. At least the sightseeing buses were running.
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:24 AM
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The two places with huge lines that we bypassed in March thanks to the carte musee were the Musee d'Orsay and Versailles.
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 05:58 AM
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Hi
Sally30, I'm sorry you waited to buy it in a long line, but there wasn't any reason at all to do that. The website lists all the participating museums.
You could have gone to the nearest (small) museum in your neighborhood, even one you didn't care to visit, and bought one without waiting in line.

I don't always buy the pass myself.
But when I am going to Paris for a short time and want to guarantee not waiting in line, or going with kids or first-time visitors, I want to be as efficient as possible. Then I buy a pass for one or three days. I can do a big museum (e.g., Orsay or Louvre) or Versailles, during part of the day, take a break and go back there, or do another small one in the other half of the day, or even go back to the Louvre or Orsay if that is one of the evenings they stay open late.

Frankly I don't buy it to save money, I buy it to be sure I won't have to wait in line. If I am on my own and have total flexibility, I may try going without the pass, feeing that I can always try to pop back at the end of the day, or save it til tomorrow. Having been to Paris a lot puts less pressure on me to fit things into a schedule; I know for sure I'll be back, and if I skip the Louvre or only spend an hour in the Orsay on any one trip, that's fine.
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Old Jun 17th, 2003, 07:46 AM
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Thanks to everyone for the input, I will wait to purchase one until we arrive. I think a bit more chatting with husband and kids before we decide on a 1 or 3 day. Thanks again!
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