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a VirtualTourist member from Johannesburg asked on Dec 27, 2014


Skipping lines - Paris Museum Pass and Pre-booked Eiffel Tower Tivkets

We'll be in Paris end of April and will by a Conciergerie Pass (which includes the Paris Museum Pass) and we will pre-book our Eiffel Tower Tickets.

With these passes/pre-booked tickets you're supposed to be able to skip the lines. My husband has used these passes before, but said that you still wait in very long ques. I think he just used it wrongly tbh :)

My question is how do you use your Patois Museum Pass and pre-bookes Eiffel Tower tickets to avoid the long ques?

15 Answers

answered on 12/27/14 by
a VT member from Sydney

There is small chance that you may skip lines with pre booked passes..............however, there are ALWAYS long queues, either way (Especially at Eiffel)

The Museums are ok- not such long queues

Notre Dame queues also move quite quickly= and its free

answered on 12/27/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

Hi - We used the Paris Museum passes on our last trip yes, they allow you to skip ticket lines but not security check queues. There are security checks at Versailles and Sainte-Chapelle, and I'm reading that waits at Versailles can be long. See the Museum Pass website for details, and pay attention to what the pass does NOT cover at that one:

Most attractions have a separate line for pass-holders. If you don't see a sign, ask an attendant.

The one place where passes do not allow line-skipping privileges at all is the Towers at Notre Dame (Tours de Notre-Dame). Because only so many people are allowed up into the towers at one time, everyone - pass or not - stands in the same queue for that one.

It's a good idea to take a look at instructions on using the card at each individual attraction: those are are provided on the website:

We used ONLY the Paris Museum Pass during our week in the city (and purchased it when we got there) and I'm unfamiliar with a Conciergerie Pass. I'll caution to weigh the amount of time you have in the city against passes which offer more than you'll have time to take advantage of.

answered on 12/27/14 by
a VT member from Chicago

Goodfish is right about the three places that no pass skips, the security lines at Versailles and St. Chappelle and the Towers of Notre Dame. You do not need to stand in the ticket lines at either Versailles or St. Chappelle however and depending on the time of the day, that will save you time.

My strategy for Notre Dame is to line up before it opens, a queue forms at least a 1/2 hour before, one person can hold the place in line while the other browses the gift shops surrounding Notre Dame, I've even brought people who had enough time to view the interior of Notre Dame, it's much less crowded early in the morning and it's free to enter so if they don't see it all, they can always go back in.

I have saved oodles of time on various trips, once when an enormous school group showed up at the Rodin Museum, always to go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, sometimes at the Louvre, sometimes at the Orsay.

I think the 6 day Museum Pass is 69€, what are you getting for the additional money? The conciergerie website I found it on says it is 154.90€ for a 6 day pass, it doesn't sound like a great value if all you are getting is a museum pass and a metro pass and a river cruise, you can easily buy a number of different transit options without getting it in a combo pass and the river cruises aren't that expensive.

Most of us buy carnets of 10 metro tickets but even if you wanted an unlimited transit pass, the Paris Visite is 38.20€ for 5 days for zones 1-3 which is what the pass you are looking at offers which quite honestly is more money than I've ever spent for transport. Carnets of 10 tickets can be split among the whole group if there is more than one of you traveling.

answered on 12/27/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

I might agree, Dabs. We all travel differently but buying carnets of transport tickets saved us a bundle over passes which included transit. Paris is a great city to walk, and we found ourselves using public transportation so little that one shared carnet of 10 tickets lasted us all week.

answered on 12/27/14 by
a VT member from Sacramento

I compared all the passes at some point and generally we don't use any of them, partly because we stay long enough that the passes are useless but mostly because they just don't pay for themselves. Here's the comparison and you can look at it. [original VT link]
[original VT link]

You can skip lines at the Louvre by using the Lion's Gate entrance which has its own security. We've never had a big problem at the Orsay. Either there has been no line or the line has moved very quickly. I'm perfectly content looking up at the Eiffel Tower but if i absolutely had to go up it, I'd pay for a meal at the restaurant and truly enjoy the experience. The pass is for convenience and it may be worth it to you, but you are going to have to face a few lines to go through Security checks and most of the other places won't have lines anyway so you need to weigh the value to you.

I suspect your husband used his pass correctly but was there at a very busy time. When there are huge numbers of people, there are lines even for pass holders. That is when you look for extended hours or alternate entrances . . . or even alternate attractions. Visit the Msrmottan-Monet instead of the Orsay; visit the Carnavalet instead of the Louvre or use the Lion's Gate entrance at the Louvre. The Cluny is a great museum and the Museum of Letters & Manuscripts is fascinating. There are options.

For transport, we use the carnet of 10 Metro tickets. They work on the bus, Metro, RER in town and the funicular, and 10 will last us a week. If you need another one, just buy it or use single tickets. The carnet is 14.10 while a single ticket is 1.80 euros. Again, the pass is strictly for convenience. It isn't worth it to me, but you may feel differently. Here are the options. I haven't updated it for 2015 but will next week so you can get the idea but you'll need to check back for current prices. [original VT link]

Whatever you choose to do, have a wonderful time in Paris.

answered on 12/27/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

Yes, you do have to do the math with a pass but we more than broke even on the Museum Pass because we made some return trips. For instance, the Louvre was too big to absorb all at once so we spread it out over three visits: that would have added up fast had we bought that many tickets!

answered on 12/27/14 by
a VT member from Johannesburg

Thank you for everyone's advise! I've read about the carnet but wasn't sure how and where we could use it. We will try and walk as much as possible but my son will be turning 3 then and if he gets tired we will need to take a bus.

We will be there for 5 days so I think the Museum Pass might be a good idea for us, and then we will get the carnet of 10 tickets.

We are staying in the 2nd arrondissement, will 10 tickets be enough?

answered on 12/27/14 by
a VT member from Sacramento

In the 2nd you are close to most things so will do a lot of walking. The carnet may be all you need. A 3-year-old rides free. Age 4 would be half price. If you run out of tickets, just buy another carnet or get single tickets for a day. We stayed a month once and the two of us only used three carnets.

Have fun.

answered on 12/29/14 by
a VT member from Newark upon Trent

Btw, when we were there, the Lion's Gate entrance to the Louvre was just as busy as the others - so I guess the word is getting around!

answered on 12/29/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

And to note, if you are using the Museum Pass at the Louvre, entry for passholders is only through the Carrousel or Pyramid entrances:

answered on 12/29/14 by
a VT member from Sacramento

We've never seen more than one or two other couples ahead of us at the Lion's Gate and it isn't a secret entrance. It's on the Louvre web site and has been touted for years by tourist web sites and such. I've always been surprised it isn't more busy. We were there on an extremely busy day last June when lines were around the courtyard but the Lion's Gate was nearly empty. We also went in there on May Day once when the lines were hours long and there was absolutely no one at the Lion's Gate. I think some people actually enjoy all the action at the Pyramid entrance.

As goodfish mentions above, check the pass web site for their requirements regarding entrances. It can make a significant difference.

answered on 12/29/14 by
a VT member from Minneapolis

We also went in there on May Day once when the lines were hours long....

The museum isn't open on May Day (5/1)!

answered on 12/29/14 by
a VT member from Sacramento

Sorry . . . It was a free Sunday, the first Sunday in May. The lines were hours long. We had friends whose kids were there at the same time and stood in line for 3 hours. We walked right in at the Lion's Gate. I wouldn't stand in line 3 hours anyway but I guess it was a special trip for them.

answered on 1/1/15 by
a VT member from Rockville

You dont necessarily skip the lines, you just get put in a much shorter line reserved for people with passes! For places like the Louvre and Orsay and museums this did speed things up considerably. You still have to go thru security before entering.

Places like the tower at Notre Dame dont have a separate line for museum pass holders, and that site I particularly remember you have to come early cause you will be waiting a good long time.

answered on 1/3/15 by
a VT member

Hello Nadine,

Yes you skip the lines, but not the security check.
For Eiffel tower, you need to book your ticket separately as it is neither included in the museum Pass, nor the Paris Pass.


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