How do I maximize my Paris Pass?

Maximizing the Value of Your Paris Pass: A Comprehensive Guide

Visiting Paris, a city teeming with art, culture, and history, is a dream for many. The Paris Pass can be an excellent tool for travelers looking to explore the city’s rich tapestry of museums, monuments, and attractions while saving both time and money. This comprehensive guide will provide you with strategic advice on how to maximize the benefits of your Paris Pass, ensuring you make the most of your visit to the French capital.

What is the Paris Pass?

The Paris Pass is an all-inclusive sightseeing card that provides holders free entry to over 60 attractions, museums, and monuments in Paris, including the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, and the Palace of Versailles. It also offers additional benefits like fast-track entry at some of the busiest sites, unlimited travel on public transport within central Paris (zones 1-3), a 1-day hop-on hop-off bus tour, and various discounts at shops and restaurants.

Planning Before Your Trip

1. Purchase Your Pass in Advance: Buy your Paris Pass online before you arrive in Paris. This not only often secures you a lower price but also means you can start using it straight away without needing to queue to purchase the pass upon arrival.

2. Choose the Right Pass Duration: The Paris Pass is available for 2, 3, 4, or 6 days. Assess the length of your stay and think realistically about how much you can visit each day. Remember, the days are consecutive once activated, so plan to use the pass on days when you’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing.

3. Study the Guidebook: You will receive a guidebook when you purchase your Paris Pass. Use it to plan your itinerary. Note the locations and opening hours of attractions you want to visit and any need for reservations.

Strategies for Using the Paris Pass

1. Start Early in the Day: Many of Paris’s attractions open by 9 or 10 AM. Start your day early to take full advantage of your pass. Prioritize attractions with typically long queues, such as the Louvre or Sainte-Chapelle, early in the day when crowds are smaller.

2. Take Advantage of “Skip the Line” Benefits: The fast-track entry benefit is invaluable and saves you time at busy attractions. Use your Paris Pass to bypass long lines, especially at popular sites like the Louvre and Orsay Museums.

3. Utilize the Included Public Transport: The pass includes unlimited travel on the metro, RER, buses, trams, and SNCF trains in zones 1-3, which cover the entire city center. Use public transport to move quickly between attractions and save your energy for sightseeing.

4. Plan Geographically: Group attractions that are close to each other to minimize travel time. For example, the Louvre and the Centre Pompidou are within walking distance of each other, as are the Eiffel Tower and the Musée Quai Branly.

5. Use the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour: The pass includes a one-day ticket for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus which provides a good overview of the city and can be used as convenient transport between major sights.

Additional Tips

1. Check for Special Entries: Some sites, like the Eiffel Tower, are not included in the Paris Pass. Plan and budget for any attractions you wish to visit that are not covered by the pass.

2. Evening Activities: Not all attractions close early; some museums have late closing hours one night a week (like the Louvre on Wednesday and Friday nights). Take advantage of these extended hours to fit more into your day.

3. Refresh and Recharge: Schedule some downtime. Trying to use the pass from open to close can be exhausting, especially if you’re visiting museums filled with extensive collections. Take breaks for coffee, meals, or just to relax in a park.

4. Monitor Temporary Closures: Always check the official websites or the Paris Pass guidebook for unexpected closures or changes in opening hours.


The Paris Pass can significantly enhance your visit to Paris, offering not only great value but also convenience. By planning ahead, starting your days early, grouping nearby attractions, and utilizing the included transportation and skip-the-line benefits, you can ensure a fulfilling and efficient sightseeing experience. Remember, the goal is to enjoy your trip, not just to ‘get your money’s worth’ from the pass, so mix thorough planning with the flexibility to wander and discover the magic of Paris at your own pace.