Paris - museum reservations

Old May 14th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Paris - museum reservations

I usually purchase a museum pass so I can skip the line at museums. This trip, I am not sure we'll have 2 consecutive days for museums and I'm trying to minimize the time in lines so thinking that reservations might be best.

We plan to visit the Louvre, Orsay and Orangerie. I've read that you can make reservations at the FNAC stores - is that all of them or just some? I see they have a location near the Odeon metro but it looks like it might be electronics only or do they also sell the tickets? When you go in the store, do you simply locate the ticket or travel section? Or is it just as easy to go to the ticket office at the museum to reserve for a later time? If you do that, do you go in the reservations/museum pass entrance and purchase advance tickets there? Or is there another method of making reservations that I have not found?

The museum pass may still work for us logistically but I want to explore other options.
I know we will not save money (probably spend more) to purchase the pass, but to me the money spent is worth the time saved by not standing in line.

Thanks! I'm very excite to go back to Paris next week!
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Old May 14th, 2010, 09:47 AM
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FNAC, 77 blvd St-Germain (actually closer to Cluny/La Sorbonne station) does have a ticket desk.

Last we were there, once inside, the ticket desk is to the left against the wall. You can't miss it.

You do pay a small fee per ticket, but receive actual tickets. You can use the Richelieu entrance for Musee du Louvre. If there's a line at Musee de l'Orangerie, just show your ticket to a guard and go on in. Once inside, you can head directly for the exhibition space. At Musee d'Orsay, there's an obvious entrance for those who already have tickets.

Musee de l'Orangerie does not usually have a line. There are so many entrances to Musee du Louvre, and you don't really need advance tickets. Lines you see are for security, not purchasing tickets.

There's a window at Musee d'Orsay for purchasing tickets you can use the next day or thereafter.

If it were me, I'd just pick up tickets to all at FNAC.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 02:38 PM
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Thank you, djkbooks! The FNAC is close to the hotel and sounds like a good option.
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Old May 14th, 2010, 06:32 PM
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You can buy tickets on-line as well and print them at home for convenience.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:38 AM
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Musoka, could you clarify more about where to buy them online? Is there a fee? Also, can a single museum pass be used by two people or must each person have his/her own pass?
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Old May 16th, 2010, 07:50 AM
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Here is the site for the Pompidou's Lucian Freud exhibition, and for Louvre tickets. If you google Musee d'Orsay, there may be one for that, too. Don't know about the passes - probably one person, one pass.

http://billetterie.centrepompidou.fr..._resultats.asp

http://www.louvre.fr/llv/pratique/bi...sp?bmLocale=en
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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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Thanks! Jean - each person must have their own museum pass.

One of my hesitations with the reservation vs. the museum pass is that I have much more flexibilitiy. If I have a reservation for the morning and it is supposed to be sunny in the morning and rain in the afternoon, I would rather be outide and save the museum for when it is raining.

I think I'll probably just go to FNAC the day before and make the reservations - if I can't work out the 2 consecutive days thing for the pass.

I appreciate all of the help!
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Old May 16th, 2010, 08:35 AM
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YOu can't make reservations for musuems in Paris except for special exhibitions. You can buy tickets, that's all, but it is not a reservation for any particular time.

The only exception I've ever heard to that was when the l'Orangerie newly opened, they had timed reservations as it was so popular, for a year or so. The tickets you buy at FNAC are not reservations, so it doesn't matter when you go there to buy them. They are just regular tickets for use any time. So while they might have reservations for that special exhibition at the Pompidou, that link on the Louvre website merely steers you to FNAC or ticketnet or some other agency. They do have reservations for some of the special exhibits at the Grand Palais, also.

So if there is a special exhibition on at those museusm you want to see, you can reserve a particular time, but otherwise, it's just a regular ticket for any date. There is a special Klee exhibit at l'Orangerie until July with timed tickets. I think the only tickets that are etickets are the timed special exhibit ones. You can't get a timed general Louvre ticket nor an eticket (in fact, it says that the date of validity is unlimited).

I've also never heard of any ticket to a museum that you can buy online and print out yourself (in Paris). I can't imagine how they can do that for fraud reasons. the only places I've ever seen that have e-tickets are ones that are for a special date/time and where your ID is checked (like a train). Well, I guess if you had such an eticket to the Louvre or wherever, they could check your ID.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 09:53 AM
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Thanks for the clarification of timed reservations versus tickets, Christina. I can see the advantage of the tickets and still having the flexibility and not tied to a specific time. I'm glad you pointed that out.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:24 AM
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I've bought and printed out tickets online for special exhibits at the Grand Palais and the Jacquemart-Andre
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Old May 16th, 2010, 11:33 AM
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There are more and more venues for which you can purchase tickets online and print them at home. As mentioned, exhibitions at the Grand Palais, also Chateau Versailles...and you can purchase a combo ticket for Musee Rodin/Musee d'Orsay (with a €2 savings), just to mention a few.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 12:59 PM
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I have a friend who just went to the Musee D'Orsay last week and said because of the construction it was free. Is this true for the coming weeks? How come I found online tickets, then? Confused. I did see that you could purchase D'Orsay/Rodin tickets for 13.50 euros. Is that a good price?
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Old May 16th, 2010, 01:16 PM
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For Musee du Louvre

http://www.louvre.fr/llv/pratique/bi...sp?bmLocale=en

There are 3 services for on line ordering. One will send to your home but you have to order ahead to allow for mail.
You can order ahead and reserve for pick up at a FNAC. You will be able to choose from a drop down list of FNAC locations.
YOU CAN NEVER collect advance tickets from the museum itself.
Louvre closed Tuesdays and public holidays. Big holiday is Aug 15 so be aware of that!
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Old May 16th, 2010, 04:41 PM
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>

Well, at Musee d'Orsay, there's a window where you can purchase advance tickets valid for the following day or any day thereafter.
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Old May 16th, 2010, 06:46 PM
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I'm not sure if its totally closed for renovations but the Musee D' Orsay is having its art at the DeYoung Museum in San Franciso through Sept 6th-then some more of their art will be there later on in Sept till the 1st of the year while renovations are going on FYI Chris
I hope you won't be disapointed. We were there in Paris in 06 & went there-great exhibit
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