Using the Paris Museum Pass--with kids?

Jan 19th, 2013, 07:51 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 700
Using the Paris Museum Pass--with kids?

Hi all,
I need some advice about the Paris Museum Pass for our upcoming 9 day-trip this May/June. My question pertains specifically to the logistics of using the museum pass (as adults) when you have children with you, since children get into the museums free anyway and you wouldn't need to buy them a pass.

I vaguely recall from my last trip about 8 years ago... we were in line at the Rodin and I *think* I had a pass that trip... but I recall having to go back to the kiosk to get a paper ticket or validation for the baby in the stroller. This might have also happened at the D'Orsay, but I'm not 100% sure... early motherhood seems to steal one's memory.

Back then, I also don't recall there being very long lines to get into museums (well, there were at the Louvre but we enter through the Carousel and avoid that). But the descriptions of the lines today sound horrendous.

So I'm wondering from those in the know---do adults with the pass (and their children) simply bypass the lines and walk right in, or do we still have to wait in the long lines or some alternate line to get paper tickets for the kids? If it's the latter, that eliminates what to me is a biggest benefit of the Passes.

OTOH, if it does allow our family to bypass the lines, then I think the passes for my DH and I are worth it---even with the relatively short list of places we want to visit, simply because it gives us the flexibility to visit multiple times during our visit---to come and go as we please and keep the visits short. With our 7 and 10 year old, the max number of museums we will even try to visit with a 6-DAY pass are:
-Musee D'Orsay (but the pass would give us flexibility to go multiple short visits)
-The Louvre (also, gives us flexibility for multiple short visits)
-Musee Rodin (multiple times to walk garden because or apartment is around the corner)
-Versailles (at least once and I heard the lines here are really long)
-The Orangerie (maybe)
-Notre Dame tower (maybe)
-St Chapelle (maybe)

Bypassing the lines at the D'Orsay and Versailles---and the flexibility to come and go over 6 days---leans me towards buying it.

Thanks in advance for the help!

skatterfly is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 08:56 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2,394
According to the FAQ on the Paris Museum Pass website, yes, your children can bypass the lines with you without need to obtain a special ticket, for at least the most visited places. If your children appear close to the cutoff age qualifying them for free entry, you may want to take along their passport or copy of something with their birthdate. Both of our children are tall for their ages, and on a couple of occasions I had to demonstrate that they were still "free."
fourfortravel is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 09:15 PM
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Yeah, thanks four... I didn't click that far through their FAQs and I probably should have. They say there are a few establishments that issue tickets... maybe they consider the Musee Rodin one of those.... anyway. Looks like I got my answer. My kids are 7 and 10 so there is no doubt as to their age. Yippeee!
skatterfly is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 09:31 PM
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There are definitely places where, once inside, you do have to acquire a ticket for the kids, but you still bypass the ticket purchase line.

The only places on your list the museum pass is truly useful for skipping ticket purchase lines include Musee d'Orsay and Versailles.

For those, you can purchase advance tickets online at their official websites,, or at any FNAC with a ticket counter once in Paris (after you've had a chance to check the weather forecast for Versailles).

If you're going to Rodin, anyway, you can go there first, purchase a combo pass that will entitle you to use the advance ticket holders line at Orsay.

If you want to see Mona Lisa at the Louvre, check the official website for the Porte des Lions entrance hours. Mona Lisa is right up the stairs. There's never a line at that entrance and, if you get there at opening time, you'll be way ahead of all those using other entrances.

The museum pass does not get you to the front of the line for the Notre Dame towers. Best bet is to get there before opening time. Same goes for Ste-Chapelle (because the ticket booth is past security and everyone waits in the same line for that).

If you're visiting only 7 included venues over 6 days, recommend comparing costs of admission to price of the 6 day pass.

Note also that the pass is very limited at Versailles gardens on fountain days. (You have to purchase a supplemental ticket, for the children as well.)
djkbooks is offline  
Jan 19th, 2013, 11:11 PM
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Hmmm... curious which places I'll still need to buy tickets for the kids once inside.

Skipping the lines at Musee D'Orsay and Versailles seems like a good idea, but I see your point about being able to buy those individual tickets separately.

That's interesting about the Versailles fountain days.

Right now, when I add in 1 visit to everything on my list (plus a couple of times to Md'O and the Rodin) it seems like a fair deal. But if we take something out, not so much.

Thanks for your help,
skatterfly is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 12:03 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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You won't need to "buy tickets" for the kids, just pick up a voucher or button, or whatever.

Over six days,do you really think you'll need to return to Orsay, Louvre? May be better to set aside sufficient time and do other things otherwise.
djkbooks is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 12:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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You'll need a separate (free) kids ticket for the Army Museum / Napoleon's Tomb. There wasn't much of a line there when we went so it wasn't a factor.

As mentioned above, you won't be able to skip the line for the Notre Dame climb and Ste Chapelle. (We thought we could at the later but I think we ended up accidentally queue jumping as we went through the quicker line on the left).

I don't recall any others where we had to get anything special for the kids.
indy_dad is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 03:27 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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It isn't an issue of buying tickets for kids unless, of course, the place doesn't let children in free. It's getting a ticket for them which is possibly an accounting measure, for mgt to keep track of how many people visit, who knows why they do it but they have their reasons.

I think the Arc de Triomphe is one place where the children need to get tickets but not sure.
Christina is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 04:16 AM
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Here are some thoughts about the Paris Museum Pass on a thread that I posted after our trip to Paris with our granddaughter in June of 2011. As indy_dad says, the only place we needed to actually stand in the ticket line to get a free ticket for our granddaughter was at the Invalides - she just walked right in with us at every other place. Also, even with the pass, there was only one security line at Versailles which was LONG.
john183 is offline  
Jan 20th, 2013, 08:21 AM
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Thanks Christina and DJK... I think I misread DJKs comment. Yes, I figured there will be a counter where I'll have to go and get their paper ticket even though they're free, and I do think it has to do with some sort of occounting thing. Actually, the paper tickets (at least used to be) quite beautiful and we used to keep them as bookmarks. I can't imagine paying supplements anywhere except of course Versailles.

And DJK, you asked "Over six days,do you really think you'll need to return to Orsay, Louvre?" Yes, and probably yes. Even if it were just me and my husband, I'd go to the D'Orsay multiple times because it's my favorite place in Paris. And with a 7 year old who might only have an hour of museum in her, it gives me the flexibility to come and go over several days as we like. The Louvre, I could just try to go just once in a longer visit... but then again the flexibility to go more than once works for me.

We'll be there for 10 days, with maybe a day trip to Versailles and lots of time to relax and enjoy Paris. This is not my first (or even my second or third of fourth) time to Paris. So I don't have to worry as much about racing around to the "other" things because we'll have plenty of time to see the ones we love best.

So.... back to my original question, I'm thinking I can just run the numbers of the 3-4 museums I know we will visit (add an extra visit for D'Orsay)... and when I do that it's probably not worth it---if, as you say, you can avoid the line at the D' Orsay by simply buying tickets ahead of time.

I'll also read up on John's thread too. I missed that earlier.

Thanks for help thinking it through!
skatterfly is offline  

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