Go Back  Fodor's Forum > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page > Paris: Museum pass necessary in November
Notices

Paris: Museum pass necessary in November

Reply

Oct 21st, 2012, 12:36 PM
  #1
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 16
Paris: Museum pass necessary in November

We are heading to Paris for a week over Thanksgiving. I understand it is the down time and we may not encounter lines. Wondering if we should bother with the museum pass?
Keiran76 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 01:34 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,955
We were there over Thanksgiving last year. There were not long lines where we went, however, we did not go to the Louvre and D'Orsay on that trip.

We did buy the pass to avoid having to stop and buy tickets everywhere we went but I doubt that you would really need the pass. There are far fewer lines in November than at other times, which makes Thanksgiving a great time to visit. We were first up at the towers at Notre Dame one morning and one of the first in Ste Chapelle another day.
denisea is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 01:48 PM
  #3
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 16
Thank you! I just worked out the math, and for the museums we want to visit- it would save us 32 euros for the 2 day and 17 euros for the 4 day. So it will be worth it in the end.

Now to figure out if we can do it in two days. I was thinking of doing the Versailles trip first thing on Friday, coming back in the afternoon and then heading to the late night (opening at the) Lourve and perhaps another museum that evening.
I don't know if we can fit in Notre Dame, Rodin, Arc deTriumph and Musee d'Orsay in one day. That seems a bit overkill. I would have to get my details in line of our transportation and we would have to limit our time in each museum.

We do have another 2 days in Paris but they are Sunday and Monday...I understand these are the days the museums shut down (esp on Monday) so I was going to reserve those days for relaxing, taking in the culture just sitting in cafes (my first time to Paris!) and hitting the museums not covered by the pass. Eiffel Tower and the Military Museum are on my list
Keiran76 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 02:14 PM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,068
I would do Versailles on a Sunday, when other things may be closed and you can take your time.

Notre Dame, Rodin, Arc deTriumph and Musee d'Orsay: All in one day? I wouldn't, especially as they're scattered all over (well, Rodin and the Musee d' Orsay aren't that far apart if you're a walker). The Arc de Triumphe shouldn't take more than 1/2 hour, if that, to visit, and depending on what your interests in Notre Dame are, that could be a quick visit. But I think you need to look at a map of the city of Paris and group things better. The Musee de l' Armee, for example, is just a stone's throw away from the Rodin Museum.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 03:02 PM
  #5
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 10
I agree with doing Versailles on Sunday. I didn't know how you were going to do the Louvre on Friday night plus another museum! You can spend all day at the Louvre and still not see everything! Look at the map you get from the center kiosk once you enter into the Louvre (you enter going down to the kiosk, then up one of three escalators to then actually enter the museum.) Find what you really want to see on the map, Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, Venus, and in locating them you will pass by enough to make your head spin. I always like the room that holds The Dying Slave.
If you have a museum pass, don't enter through the pyramid. There is a passage Richelieu, 93 rue de Rivoli, enter here. It's the passage between the pyramid and re de Rivoli.
My daughter and I went into Notre Dame one night and they were showing a slide show of the history of Paris, projected on a mesh screen hung between the massive columns. Really cool.
As good complement to Notre Dame is to visit St. Chappelle, (during the day) also on the L'Ile de la Cite, also on museum pass. I've heard the evening concert here. It was beautiful, violins, cello, harpsichord, plus. Tickets at FNAC on St. Germain a couple blocks toward ET from St. Michele. Google St. Chapelle.
If you are seeing Rodin, Invalides is right across the street (the gold dome), then stop for lunch and go on to d'Orsay, or just eat the d'Orsay's cafe upstairs.
A small museum I really like is L'Orangerie, in the Tuileries Garden, by the Place de la Concorde. Monet's Water Lilies, HUGE paintings, along with a variety of artists downstairs. I would recommend stopping there. Also on museum pass.
Check you guide book to see when what you want to see is open and spread them out with cafe time in between and just sit and watch, relax. Have a great time! If the ferris wheel is in Tuileries, ride it. It's great to see the layout of Paris from there.
Psus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 04:13 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,622
I know it is conventional wisdom to tell people it is better to enter the Louvre underground, but the last time I was there (in September), the line was actually longer underground than up at the pyramid. I remember waiting in line down there and looking up after I get past security and noticing those folks just came right in and there wasn't any wait at all. Even so, my wait wasn't that long even in September when there were still lots of tourists, I think it was about 15 minutes underground (I did enter from the metro).
Christina is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 04:14 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 32,622
oh, my note was for people without passes, of course, if you have a pass you do have to go to a certain place.
Christina is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 04:30 PM
  #8
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 16
Thank you! I love this forum...I appreciate all of the advice. Sounds like I need to get a loose itinerary together and bring it back here in another thread to get feedback. I appreciate all of the advice. I have toured all over Europe but I have never been to Paris...My mom saw a deal on a trip next month and we jumped. I have limited time in planning (and learning some key french phrases) so I am devouring the posts on here.
Would anyone judge if I said that we are not art folks? We've done the Hermitage and of course the Met. But we usually 'bottom line' it with the art museums. Just see the majors and move on. I feel like if we just hit the Mona Lisa and a few other majors (thank you for the tips!)I have the Rick Steves audiotapes downloaded that I can play from my ipad or iphone and we can skip some of the rooms/hallways.
My mom is very interested in the archeological museum, the sewer museum? and the catecombs. After listing the numerous sites we want to see that are not on the museum pass...I am wondering if i can put together a detailed plan of metro/public transportation lines that will give us a good itinerary for the museum pass museums for two days, and leave our other three days for the other sites. Thank you for all of the suggestions! I will be looking into them...
Keiran76 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 04:37 PM
  #9
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,955
Keiran...there is a feature on the Paris museum pass site that will let you choose the sites and see them displayed on a map. That might help you group together museums in a way that makes sense.

I think it also depends on your level of interest ina particular museum or tyoe of art.

With Notre Dame, do you want to visit the cathedral only or climb the towers. If you are climbing, get there around 9:30am before the line gets really long. Worth the line (which won't be bad in Nov and early) to see the view and the gargoyles. If you only want to visit the church, then go to Ste Chappelle first thing, then Notre Dame.

I think Notre Dame and Musee d'Orsay could work together....adding Rodin would be alot. ADT....put that on another day.

Try the interactive map on the pass site, and see if it can help you sort out the groupings.
denisea is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 04:40 PM
  #10
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 10
If you go through the Catecombs, have the ticket taker at the front mark your map where you come out. It's not the same place. I was totatlly lost! Maybe there's a way to know this, but I surely didn't know it!
You will get through the Louvre much faster just hitting your personal highligts. Have fun! And you don't have to be art people. Walking around taking in the surroundings (and eating) is fun. Have a great time!
Psus is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 05:11 PM
  #11
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,068
I would just say if you're not museum people, don't pay for and commit yourselves to visiting museums. I've been to Paris 109 times and only gone to the Louvre maybe 12 of them. I love the Musée d'Orsay, the Orangerie, the Marmottan, the Jaquemart=André, the Pompidou, the Carnavalet, and a bunch of others, but please don't feel obligated to get a pass and trek around to a bunch of museums. Paris, IME, is much more about walking around and savoring the different experiences in different neighborhoods. I was just there in September and we did NO museums at all - of course, I was on crutches and our time was limited, but not going to museums didn't detract one little bit from spending time in Paris.

On the other hand, if you go to museums not being art people (which I am, BTW), take it easy, research ahead of time what parts of the museums you want to see, and do "museum-light."
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 05:12 PM
  #12
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 16
Thanks again for the input. With Notre Dame, we are interested in climbing the towers. We could do this first thing, perhaps d'Orsay and Rodin museum (and def the gardens) during the day...would it be ok to do the Arc de Triumph after dinner...at night, to see the lights of the city? Or is this a site that should be done during the day? They have the latest close time at 10:30pm
Or am I just crazy and should not try to put these four in one day?!
Keiran76 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 05:16 PM
  #13
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 16
And yes StCirq- we are museum people, just not 'art' people So i think doing a museum pass for a short time is ok. I wish there was a three day option! That would be our best bet. We'll either be rushing to get all of them in in two days - and having the other three days to enjoy our other sites and relax. Or doing the four day pass that I'm not sure we'll take advantage of
Keiran76 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 05:45 PM
  #14
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 42,068
keiran76, there used to be a 3-day museum pass, and IMO it was ideal. Not sure why they changed the duration of the passes, but it pi**ed me off!

Sure, do the Arc de Triumphe after dark. It's not a big deal, considering all that Paris has to offer. If you don't even get there, it's no big loss. It's a tower overlooking a huge traffic circle. You go up it, overlook the traffic, go down. Far better, IMO, to wander some interesting neighborhood, hang out at a café, or take the 69 bus and see the main sights of Paris from a window for less than 2 euros.
StCirq is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 05:53 PM
  #15
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 16
Wonderful! Yes, we have the complete Route 69 bus tour ready from Rick Steves...I forgot to mention, we are looking forward to that. The more I research, the more i am leaning towards spending our time on the streets, finding the hidden treasures that Paris has to offer!
The museums will be there when I return
Keiran76 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 06:40 PM
  #16
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,552
Make sure mom visits tht Crypts of Notre Dame, it will be her thing, and its on the pass, and there is never a line. Its in front of square of church ( its not inside church) its only about 1/2 hr but worth it to see the excavated remains of anicent paris.

You have too much stuff planned for friday.

And no musuems close on Sunday, its monday and tuesdays.
justineparis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 21st, 2012, 06:41 PM
  #17
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 7,552
Sorry, no major museums not sure about boutique museums.
justineparis is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2012, 12:31 AM
  #18
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 437
Interested to see the view expressed that Versailles on Sunday is a good idea - we were looking at Saturday, since seeing somewhere that Sunday and Tuesday are best avoided since it is closed Monday!
bendigo is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2012, 04:34 AM
  #19
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 3,955
Bendigo, I think Sunday at Versailles is just fine in November. Sure, in summer it might be super crowded, as everything seems to be at major attractions but in November all the sites are much less crowded.

Keiran, if the ADT is really key for you, definitely do it at night. I have never been to the top after 5 trips to Paris. It's just not my thing, I guess. I agree with the advice re: the Louvre highlights. The louvre is massive and it can be overwhelming, so do figure out what you really want to see and where it is located. It is impressive but still one of my least favorite museums, as I am less interested in religious paintings and portraits. I much prefer D'Orsay or L'Orangerie because I like Impressionism.

The buses in Paris are a great way to see the city and learn your way around. We wish we had started using it sooner! It is quite convenient.
denisea is offline  
Reply With Quote
Oct 22nd, 2012, 05:01 AM
  #20
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 1,573
IMHO, if you are going to be in Paris a full week, I would highly recommend the Carnavalet Museum -- http://carnavalet.paris.fr/en/museum-carnavalet -- a wonderful (and free for the permanent collections) museum about the history of Paris.

Maps, models, paintings, furniture (including an amazing art nouveau room), just to list a few of the great items.

If your visit were only a few days, and if you are not into history, I might not recommend it, but my wife and I (in four visits to Paris) have never skipped it.

Also...put me down as another strong advocate of using the buses. My philosophy is: You can never get lost in central Paris. Hop on the first bus you see...ANY bus. Within a couple of stops, you'll see a Metro sign. Get off. Once in the Metro system, it's easy to get back to your hotel Metro stop.

Look into a Navigo Card (electronic swiping card) with a 1-week, Zone 1-2 pass loaded onto it. Depending on which days of the week you are there, it can be a real money-saver and convenience.

It's a Mon-Sun only pass, not an any 7-day-period pass. (Seems to be targeted for locals rather than tourists, but anyone can buy the Découverte version, which is issued to anyone on the spot -- though you need to supply a small photo for it.)

My cutoff has always been 4-days. I.e., if I arrive as late as Thursday, I'll buy one for Thu-Sun...or use it for a Mon-Thu (or longer) stretch.

SS
ssander is offline  
Reply With Quote
 



Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:18 AM.