Paris Museum Pass: Explore Art Museums In Paris

What is the best Paris museum pass and how can you make the most of it?

On my last trip to Paris, I got a chance to see more art exhibitions than I could humanly process… I left the city full of inspiration.

Paris is famous for its art scene and rich cultural heritage. It truly is an art lover’s paradise.

Paris is home to some world-famous museums, such as The Louvre, which is the most visited museum in the world, the gorgeous Musée d’Orsay, and museums dedicated to beloved artists like Rodin Museum, Picasso Museum, and Delacroix Museum.

Paris is also the place where you can view some well-known works of art. The Mona Lisa is undoubtedly the most famous one, alongside the beautiful Van Gogh collection at Musée d’Orsay.

Admission fees for museums in Paris are in the range of about €10-20. When you include skip-the-line tickets (highly recommended), audio guides or guided tours, prices can get much higher.

So what can you do if you want to enjoy all that art that Paris has to offer without breaking the bank?

There are two main ways to save on museums in Paris:

(1) Plan your trip so that you can take advantage of the museums’ free days. In Paris, it’s usually the first Sunday of the month, with some exceptions.

The main drawback of visiting on the free days is that they’re very popular and attract even more tourists than usual. You have to book a time slot in advance and often stand in line.

(2) The second option is to use a Paris museum pass.

A museum pass is convenient and cost-effective if you want to see many museums in Paris and in the nearby region.

In this guide, I’ll help you decide whether a Paris museum pass is worth it for you and which museum pass to buy.

What is a Paris museum pass and how does it work?

Musee dOrsay in Paris - one of the top museums to visit with a Paris Museum Pass
Musée d’Orsay

A museum pass is a card that lets you enter many museums in a city within a certain time period.

Entry is either free or discounted.

When you want to make the most of your time on a short visit, a museum pass can save you money.

In an expensive city like Paris, it’s one of the best tips to make your visit a bit more affordable.

Passes often come with additional perks, such as free or discounted admission to other attractions in the city.

I also use these passes as a general guide to the city’s art and culture scene. Each pass has a list of all the main museums and galleries in the city, as well as some lesser-known ones.

It’s very useful when you’re not familiar with the city, because it gives you a great overview of the art map.

Where to buy the Paris museum pass?

All museum passes and tickets are available online.

You’ll find the links to each pass below.

What museum passes are available in Paris?

There are several museums passes available in Paris.

Personally, I find it helpful to make a list of the museums I want to visit the most, and then see which pass gives me the best value.

Here are your options:

The Paris Museum Pass (2, 4, or 6 days)

This museum pass gives you unlimited access to 60 museums and monuments in Paris and in the Paris region.

It is valid for 2, 4, or 6 days.

A partial list of the museums includes:

  • The Louvre Museum
  • Musée d’Orsay
  • Palace of Versailles
  • Panthéon
  • Musée Picasso Paris
  • Centre Pompidou
  • Musée des Arts et métiers
  • Musée du quai Branly
  • Musée Rodin
  • Sainte-Chapelle
  • Find the full list here

At some of the museums, you’ll get priority access (skip-the-line). It’s a huge time saver in Paris.

Is it right for you? This Paris museum pass is great value if you’re visiting for a few days and want to save both time and money.

Have a look at the museum list to make sure it includes the ones you want to visit.

Prices change according to the number of days (2, 4, or 6 days). You can see the current prices here.

The Paris Museums 4 Days Pass

This Paris museum gives you free access to 50 museums and monuments in Paris and in the Paris region.

It is valid for 4 days.

A partial list of the museums includes:

  • Centre Pompidou
  • Musee des Arts Decoratifs
  • Musee Nissim de Camondo
  • Palace of Versailles
  • La Cinematheque Francaise
  • Musee National Eugene Delacroix
  • Institut du Monde Arabe
  • Musee de l’Orangerie
  • Find the full list here

See the current price here.

Make your own museum pass

This option isn’t strictly a Paris museum pass, but if you only want to see a few museums in Paris, then a combined ticket can be a good solution.

You can buy combined tickets for some of the leading museums and attractions in Paris, such as:

Note that these combinations are not always discounted. Check the price to see if there’s a discount offered at the moment; it will show you how much you’re saving (usually 5-10%).

Even without the discount, a combined ticket will still save you time with skip-the-line options.

The top 3 art museums in Paris

Instead of a Paris museum pass, you can simply buy individual tickets to the most famous art museums in Paris. These are:

I personally don’t miss out on any of them when I visit Paris.

For art lovers, these are the ultimate Paris art museums to visit, covering a range of styles and periods.

They have world-famous, iconic permanent collections and first-rate temporary exhibitions.

The Louvre is massive and you can’t see everything in one visit, so don’t expect to. It’s best to plan your visit, read about the works of art you want to see and avoid the FOMO.

Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou are large and have a lot of art to see, but I managed to visit both of them on the same day, so it’s doable.

Located in a former train station, Musée d’Orsay is worth visiting for both the art and the architecture. Its speciality is 19th and 20th-century art, including works by the most prominent Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists, such as Monet, Renoir, and Van Gogh.

Centre Pompidou is dedicated to modern and contemporary art. It features some new names you may have never heard of, alongside works by artists such as Picasso, Matisse, and Warhol.

I recommend getting skip-the-line tickets, so you don’t spend time queuing for these super popular Paris museums. That’s especially in peak season; the lines can be so long that you’d feel like your vacation time is going to waste.

If you’re on a very short visit and these art museums are (as they should be) on your classic must-see Paris bucket list, then this is the right option for you.

Tips on how to make the most out of your Paris museum pass

Here are some tips that I have found helpful while exploring the museums of Paris:

  • Decide which museums you actually want to see out of the lists of museums included in each Paris museum pass.
  • Consider the length of your trip and how much time you want to dedicate to the museums in Paris.
  • If you’re really short on time, I recommend you either buy a 2-day pass or simply buy separate tickets to the top 3 Paris art museums.
  • Once you have a museum pass, plan your itinerary in advance:
    • Check the opening hours of the museums you want to see (museums in Paris are often open late at least one day a week);
    • Consider how much time you want to spend at each museum;
    • Check the map to plan an ideal route.
  • Take a break from time to time. It can be exhausting to visit too many museums in one day. Every museum has a cafe. You can also take some time to sit in a nearby park or by the Seine River for a bit, before heading to the next museum on your itinerary.
  • Get an audio guide. I find that for art museums especially, it can really transform your experience. Some museums also have a website with text and audio that you can access through scannable QR codes when viewing the artworks.
  • If you have more time in Paris and want to explore smaller galleries and independent art spaces, I recommend using the Galleries Now website to find exhibition listings and opening nights. It’s a handy resource that also includes an interactive map.

How to get around Paris

When you use a Paris museum pass, you’ll be visiting several museums each day. You’ll find yourself having to move around the city a lot, getting from one museum to the next, sometimes on a tight schedule.

Some museums are within walking distance from each other, so I recommend you plan your itinerary to include some walkable distances.

Otherwise, public transport in Paris is quite convenient, if you use the metro in the city centre. Buses can get pretty crowded and their timetables are less reliable in my experience.

I used Google Maps to plan my routes in Paris, but you can also use other transport apps, like Citymapper or Moovit.

To find details in English on the travel tickets and passes currently available in Paris, have a look at the official RATP website.

An extra tip on saving money in Paris

To save even more when visiting Paris, beyond the museum pass, take advantage of the free guided city tours on offer.

There’s a good selection of free tours in Paris, including:

I took the first three on my last visit there and can certainly recommend them. You’ll learn a lot in just a couple of hours and meet many people from all over the world.

For art lovers, I think the Latin Quarter Free Tour is ideal, because it takes you through some of the more Bohemian streets of the city.

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Paris museum pass - The Louvre

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