a VirtualTourist member from Singapore asked on May 25, 2013
Hi, I would be in paris on 10(Monday) & 11(Tuesday) June. I am thinking of getting the paris museum pass as I want to skip the queue of buying tickets.
I intend to visit Lourve, Arc de Triumph, Notre dame on Monday
& Versailles & Orsay on Tuesday.
Is this itinerary too much? I am interested in visiting Rodin & Musee Cluny. Is it possible to squeeze so many museums in 2 days????
The first thing you need to do is figure out which museums are closed on Mondays and which are closed on Tuesdays. Versailles takes an entire day so you might want to save that for a future trip. I'm not sure going up the Arc de Triomphe is on the Museum Pass so check their web site.
The Rodin is a great museum and the Cluny is my favorite in Paris. I can spend a day in either the d'Orsay or the Louvre so it depends on how much you want to see.That's a very personal thing. I think you can get to everything except Versailles if you check the days they will be closed and plan accordingly.
If you just want to visit Note Dame, it's free although there may be a line to get in. Go early for your best chance to avoid a line. There is no pass to get you around it.
The only place lines are a problem are the Louvre and the d'Orsay and you can avoid the lines at the Louvre easily without a pass. [original VT link]
The arc de Triomphe is indeed on the museum pass and the last time I was there (July 2011) there was an enormous queue, really glad I had the pass. Versailles didn't save time the last time I was there but they change the way the pass works every time I'm there. Go early for Versailles. Also doesn't save time at Notre Dame towers, I got in line 1/2 hour before it opened and there was already a line. I'd suggest going there 1st and going at least 1/2 hour early, while one person waits in line, the other(s) can take a stroll through the cathedral which is free and has no line that early in the morning.
Versailles and the Orsay in one day might be tough, I'm doing them together on my trip in a couple of weeks but I'm doing it on a Thurs when the Orsay is open late. I suppose if you got a really early start to Versailles you could probably squeeze a couple of hours in at the Orsay....
Great that you want to visit many museums....however, will that leave any time to just enjoy Paris and do some exploring?
My own view is that your itinerary is ambitious for a week's visit. As Lynne Hamman has already pointed out it gives no time to just explore. On my first visit to Paris I visited the Louvre and the impressionist gallery of the time. I remember very little about them. I do remember having a glass of wine in a small cafe, walking along the Seine, and having a meal in a restaurant at the same table as a woman and her husband who ate there most nights because it was so cheap. If indeed you are very interested in art / and or architecture, then your itinerary doesn't allow you time to see any works of art in depth. If you do decide to visit several museums, then the other advice you've been given will help reduce the waiting time. Enjoy Paris. Bruce
Bruce the OP says that she will be in Paris for 2 days..............but even one week is a short time!
Sorry, not clear. I meant : "It is ambitious for a week's stay, and you only have 2 days."
BTW, the Notre Dame web site now has a notice that holders of the museum pass will not be able to jump the line. I think it has something to do with security.
It is an ambitious itinerary, but if time is limited, sometimes it is amazing what you can do. Our first trip to Paris was a 3-day whirlwind and we still had a great time. We've taken a more leisurely approach since then and that's nice too. You're young; there will be other trips so enjoy this one and plan for the next one. Each trip is special in its own way.
You could never jump the queue at Notre Dame's towers which is why if the OP is going to do it I would recommend going at least 1/2 hour before the opening time to stand in line, you have to queue with everyone else so there is no line advantage to the Museum Pass. The number of people going up is limited to so many at a time, the later you get in line, the longer you will wait.
You do skip the ticket queue at Versailles but last time I was there everyone waited in the same security line, on previous visits there was a special entrance just for pass holders. That seems to change every time I go so it may be different now. I will know in about a week when I visit :-)
We've visited Notre Dame many times because that's where we go to church when we're in Paris but we've never climbed the towers. There is often a line to get into the church but it moves quickly. If it meant standing in a long line and I had limited time, I'd save the towers for a future trip. They've been there 850 years so they should be there a few more. ;^)
Hi fellow VTs,
Thanks for all your answer. Actually I will be in Paris on 10, 11 June, and also 23(Sun) & 24(Mon) June. But I've decided to visit Montmatre & Giverny on my last 2 days in France.
Actually my initial itinerary was only Lourve, Orsay & Versailles for the 2 days, but alas, Orsay is not open on Monday.
I had wanted to buy the pass as they say its possible to skip the queue at Versailles. But it seems that the rules change every year. Hence, I'm still deciding whether to buy the pass.
Actually, I'm not really interested in Arc De triumph, Effiel Tower & Notre Dame. But since its my 1st visit to Paris, was thinking how to fit into my itinearary.
Haha, I live very far away in Asia, & there are still many countries in Europe I wanna visit. So I don't know when will I visit Paris again after this trip.....
You should really not miss visiting Notre Dame...........it is and always has been the Paris iconic must see. Ever read the book 'Hunchback of Notre Dame'? Its a classic by Victor Hugo, written a long long time ago
If you are not interested in visiting a place, then you shouldn't, there isn't a master tick list that everyone simply must visit. I love the top of Notre Dame, great views that include the Eiffel Tower (whereas going up the Eiffel Tower of course you can't see it) and those fabulous gargoyles (chimera) but if it isn't your cup of tea, then schedule something else. I also love going up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, I love watching the traffic and the people and seeing the layout of Paris.
Figure out your itinerary, look at the museum pass and see if it saves you money and/or time. Doesn't make sense for everyone.
Good point Dabs. We've never gone up the Eiffel Tower or the Notre Dame towers but we've seen other parts of Paris that are not on the must-see list of most people. They are on our personal must-see list.
We've spent days in the Louvre and can't get enough of it and never miss a chance to visit the d'Orsay. To us it's worth the trip out to visit the Marmottan, but we didn't even think about Versailles until about our 4th trip to Paris. We enjoyed ourselves there but probably won't go again, but never miss a chance to go through the Cluny yet again and always go through the Tuileries no matter what the weather. We all have different interests and while it's good to explore, it is also good to do things you particularly want to do.
We don't usually get the Museum Pass because it just doesn't pay for itself on our itinerary. We have used it though and when we did, made a point of scheduling enough museums to make it worth while. We've been to Paris and never entered a museum which is also fun. So many wonderful choices . . .
The last time I took a niece to Paris (17 years old) the only place I insisted she see was the Louvre, I figured her parents would never left me hear the end of it if I didn't. So I told her that we had to see the important things (Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, the Slaves, Venus de Milo) and that when we were done with that we could go if she wanted. She trudged through, dragging her feet and we left when we were done. My point being that there is nothing, not in any city, that everyone has to see just because it's on some list. Go and enjoy what you want to see. If Versailles is top on your list, go see Versailles even if you only have a couple of days. When I take someone new, that's always top on my suggestion list. :-) And you do skip the ticket line with the Museum Pass just not security, you can also order the tickets ahead of time or someone said there was a place just outside the Palace where you could buy, gwened will know.
That's funny, Dabs. She could have ended up loving the Louvre too. I didn't want to go to Paris on our first trip to France because I don't like cities. My husband dragged me there. I immediately fell in love with it and we're now planning a month in Paris to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Time flies when you're having fun . . . ;^)
Isn't it wonderful that we can have different opinions on the Travel Forum!
Some like you,gwened?! ;^)