Many of our clients ask us whether we recommend purchasing the Paris Museum Pass (PMP), whether it is good value or, in any case, worth buying. Our answer is no, a definite maybe and yes.
The PMP is currently sold in denominations of 2, 4, and 6 days, at prices of 32, 48 and 64 euros, respectively. When you use your pass the first time, the date of first use is stamped on your pass and you must use the remainder of the denomination you have chosen on consecutive days. You do not have the luxury of selecting discrete and non-consecutive days after you start to use your pass until the total number of days has been reached.
It seems to me the PMP management is either mean or short-sighted for not allowing its clients to choose isolated days on which to use their passes. It only requires printing a space on the back of the pass for each of the number of days covered by the pass, and writing in the date of each use, if different from the precedent, until they are all filled. What difference would it make to them? As logical as that sounds, it is not currently an option.
This means that you have to plan on seeing several places per day on back-to-back days for the PMP to become a financial advantage worth mentioning, versus buying tickets individually at different places. The question then is: will you enjoy seeing more than a couple places covered by the pass per day on consecutive days? The answer depends on your level of energy and passion.
I reach museum-overload within a couple of hours. The idea of going to several museums in the same day approaches one of my ideas of torture. True torture is doing that day after day. Of course, living in Paris and armed with annual passes, I have the luxury of visiting a museum here for half an hour, or another there, for an hour, whenever I wish. That is not an option when traveling, and the last time I was in Bruges I did not flinch at doing several museums per day for several days.
You are the best judge of whether you can apply yourself enough to make the PMP good value, in terms of saving money, versus paying the individual entry fees. Visit the websites of the museums/monuments that you plan to visit and tally the single entry costs, and compare it with the cost of the PMP. Also see http://www.parismuseumpass.com/en/home.php, the PMP official website.
The clear advantage of the PMP is obviating the need to queue to buy the individual museum/monument tickets. At the Louvre and Orsay Museums, unless you know your way around, they can be hideously long. Having the PMP conserves the most limited and precious asset you have when you visit Paris: the time available to see everything you would like. That is how the PMP provides unquestionable value.
Even so, you often need to queue for the security-check to enter a museum or monument. They usually move quickly, but you can speed up the procedure, or dispense with it altogether, by not carrying any bag, including a purse, or a back pack. Touring lightly has so many advantages….
As detailed at http://www.parisluxurytours.com/museumpass.php, Paris Luxury Tours procures the PMP for its tour clients, at modest cost, and delivers them to their Paris address on the eve of their arrival. We can do the same for individual tickets to many Paris museums, such as the Louvre, Orsay and Orangerie, as well as for the Chateau in Versailles. However, one of our next posts will explain how and where you can easily procure all of those on your own, avoiding any surcharge.