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Paris tourist passes - pros & cons

Is a tourist pass essential in Paris? 

 You are here:  ›  Paris   › Tourist passes - the connoisseur's guide to France
Aware of the choice already? Jump straight to the Pass Comparer
 THE END OF COVID RESTRICTIONS ARE IN SIGHT.... Maybe.  Hopefully, by mid 2021, Paris will be opening up again for travel and tourism, but until then, don't take anything for granted. International travellers may well need to have some kind of covid certificate, either proof of a recent negative test or proof of vaccination. The arguments about this are ongoing between governments, countries, the EU,  travel operators and the tourism sector. Expect some clarification by May. A certificate of vaccination is likely to open up most doors... Get vaccinated, if not for your own sake, then just so that you are less risk to others.

There's a massive amount of advertising on the Internet to encourage anyone interested in visiting Paris to buy a tourist pass. For some visitors, a pass will definitely be worth having; but for others a pass is quite unnecessary.  Check out the pros and the cons with this clear guide.

Visitor passes are not essential, but they are very valuable

You will want a pass if....

You value your limited time in Paris, and don't want to waste too much time standing in queues. With a Paris tourist pass in your pocket, you can "skip the lines", i.e. avoid most of the queues that form outside the entrance to all the main monuments and museums... and that can mean litterally saving several hours of queueing if you visit Paris during a popular period. If you value your time, you'll value a pass.
There are several different Paris visitor passes available.
To find the one that's best for your needs : Jump straight to the Pass Comparer
   Visitors who take a full pass including travel can also just walk on to buses and metros, saving even more time.

You will not need a pass if...

You have all the time in the world while visiting Paris. If you're not pressed for time while in Paris, or don't want to visit a lot of monuments, attractions and museums in a short space of time, there's no point in buying a pass unless you still want to avoid queuing for tickets at the main museums or monuments.
   If you plan to visit just a couple of attractions or museums in a day, or want to spend a whole day in the Louvre or taking a trip out to Versailles, for example, it will be a lot cheaper to buy tickets individually. You can buy print@home e-tickets on the official sites for the Louvre or the Musée d'Orsay : to visit Versailles, you can buy a half-day coach tour from Paris City Vision, or make your own way to Versailles by RER train.


Ticket queues and security queues

Even if you have a pass, you may need to queue to get past security... or just to show the pass. But you won't need to waste time standing in a line to buy a ticket for each visit you make . If you have a combined transport and attractions pass, you won't have the hassle of needing to buy a ticket each time you take public transport.

Compare the main  different Paris Passes:  updated 2021 prices

Compare  Paris passes for content and standard prices - updated for 2020
What is included.. Paris Pass
Biggest choice
Paris City Pass
Best value
Paris Pass'lib Go Paris
Paris Museum Pass
Website The Paris Pass Paris City Pass Paris Pass'Lib Go Paris Museum Pass
Metro, buses  Yes Yes Yes* NO NO
Main museums and attractions Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Eiffel Tower  No No No No No
Seine river cruise  Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Hop-on hop-off tour bus Yes No Yes Yes No
Monet museum No No No No No
2 Days
Adult :  132 €  
Youth :  75 €
Child : 40 €
Adult :  104.90 €  
Youth :  39.90 €
Child : 19.90 €
Adult : 119 €
Youth : 70 €
Child : 35 €
Adult :  105 € (2020)
Child : 45 €  (2020)
Adult :  52 €  
Under-18  :  Free
3 Days
Adult :  166 €  
Youth :  95 €
Child : 55 €
Adult :  124.90 €  
Youth :  49.90 €
Child : 29.90 €
Adult :  139 €  
Youth :  79 €
Child : 39 €
Adult : 66 €  
Under-18  :  Free
4 days
6 days
4 days
5 days
6 days
5 days NONE 4 days
6 days
The Paris Pass

Buy online in advance
Paris City Pass
5% special discount when you book from Code Aboutfrance
Paris Pass'Lib Go Paris

Museum Pass
Buy in advance or at the first museum you visit, or at Paris visitor centres

Note: Most passes are offered for periods of 2 days, 3 days, 4 days, sometimes 5 days, and 6 days. The Paris Pass'lib is also available for just one day, this "mini" version just includes the  hop-on tour bus and a Seine river cruise; but at 40 € for one adult, it is 20% more expensive than the Combo bus tour + Seine cruise offered by Paris City Vision
IMPORTANT: Eiffel Tower : None of the Paris passes include the Eiffel Tower. (One pass offers a second floor Eiffel Tower ticket for 20 € extra... But a second floor ticket is only 11 € on the official Eiffel Tower site !) Tower access must always be purchased separately, or as part of  certain specific tours . Buy your Paris City Pass or your  The Paris Pass online, then buy Eiffel tower ticket online from the official site. See Eiffel Tower information.

The passes in more detail....

Other passes:

PASSES are often the easiest solution, but not necessarily the cheapest way to visit Paris ...

 Choosing which pass is best for you, or whether you actually need a pass at all, will depend untimately on what sights you want to see, what you want to do in Paris, and how long you are staying.  Paris has litterally hundreds of different tourist sights (see Paris tourist attractions), including museums, monuments, views, places to walk, tours, concert halls, cabarets, restaurants and cafés. No-one has time to see everything. In fact, most tourists, in the space of a short trip to Paris, can do no more than scratch the surface.
  So before choosing a pass, or no pass, ask yourself the following questions.
  1. Do you want to take in at least three paid entry attractions a day (between monuments, museums, river cruise...)  . If so, the Paris City Pass is probably your best value option, 
  2. Do you want primarily to visit Paris's world-class musuems, more than other attractions? If so, the Museum Pass may be your best solution.
  3. Do you want to avoid the big paid-entry sites, with their queues, and enjoy Paris by visiting smaller museums, taking in Paris's free attractions (including museums), soaking in the atmosphere of the old streets and riverbanks, and enjoying the bars and cafés ? If so, you don't need a pass at all, it would be a waste of money. Just pay at the entrance to the paid-entry sites you visit, and enjoy the others for free.
  4. Do you plan to use the metro or buses more than 5 times in a day, including getting to and from your hotel located in central Paris or the inner suburbs? If so, the Paris Visite transport pass might be worth it.. but note that it is included in the various City passes anyway...
  5. Do you want to pack in as much as possible in a short space of time, including the main sights ?  If so, the Paris City Pass is your best value option. If you want a pass including hop-on hop-off buses, the go for The Paris Pass   Home page -  Site search  -  Regions  -  Maps of France  

The guide

Your guide to France - its life, its attractions, and how best to enjoy them helps you make the most out of your trip to Paris and France in general.  
  With over 300 pages packed with information, practical tips, and insider knowledge, helps you discover where to go in France, when to go, and how to get there. Discover our Paris pages, our regional guides, city guides and themed tourism  guides, covering such topics as coasts and castles,  villages and wildlife, scenic railways and prehistoric sites, and much more too.

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paris Pass
The best value Paris pass is now even better value with the special discount  ...
Even before the discount, The Paris City pass is the cheapest of the full Paris visitor passes - up to 24% cheaper than other passes for adults, and nearly 50% cheaper for children. Prices start at just 19,90 Euros for a two day pass for children and 104.90 Euros for a two day adult pass
Get 5% off all passes by booking direct from (click here) and use the discount code "aboutfrance"

In an emergency in Paris:

24 hr chemist / pharmacies:
a) 84, av des Champs-Elysées 75008, tel
0145 62 02 41
b) 6, place Clichy 75009, tel
0148 74 65 18 .

English-speaking pharmacies:
British Pharmacy
62, Avenue des Champs-Elysées
75008 Paris
0143 59 22 52

British-American pharmacy,
1 rue Auber, 75009
0142 65 88 29

English-language crisis line;
Daily 3 pm - 11pm
01 46 21 46 46

Call/phone: 15

Hertford British Hospital: 3, rue Barbès, 92300 Levallois-Perret
Tel 0146 39 22 22

American Hospital of Paris
63, Bd Victor Hugo
92200 Neuilly-sur-Seine
0146 41 25 25

Map of France

Going to London as well ? Compare London tourist passes too !

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