Is the Paris Pass 2022 worth it? We review prices and value here

As glorious as it is, Paris can be expensive. There are two main Paris attractions passes available and each offers a great many benefits that could make it a good value to some people, but for many others these passes are poor value, or worse yet, might encourage visitors into such a sightseeing frenzy in order to get their money’s worth that they are unable to really enjoy the wonders of the city.

You can get a good look at most important Paris travel costs, translated into US dollars or any currency you like, on the main page. But here we are going to be concentrating on attractions, museums, and transportation prices to examine the value of the Paris Pass, the Paris Museum Pass, and the Paris Travel Pass that is included with the main Paris Pass.

Note: This article was first written in 2011, and has been updated regularly, most recently in August, 2022. This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. This helps to keep this site going.

COVID Updates in 2022 for the Paris Pass

As you might already know, a lot of the included attractions in the Paris Pass have been closed off and on since March, 2020. Now that we are in 2022, things are starting to look up and it seems likely that vaccinated visitors will be able to explore Paris almost completely.

Even though many attractions have raised their prices since the start of 2020, the Paris Pass itself is now quite a bit cheaper than before. It’s a MUCH better deal than it used to be, at least at the moment.

Paris Passes are good for two years from the date or purchase AND they will give a full refund of any unused passes for the first year. So, with that said, there isn’t much risk if you buy a Paris Pass, and prices will probably go back up once things are closer to being back to normal.

The main Paris attraction passes

  1. Paris Pass – This includes a Paris Museum Pass, a Paris Attractions Pass, and a public transportation pass for the length of the main pass.
  2. Paris Museum Pass – This includes only admission to nearly every major museum in Paris.
  3. Paris Visite travel card – This is the unlimited public transportation card for Paris that you can buy once you arrive.

The main Paris Pass that we are discussing here actually includes the museum pass and the transportation card, as well as the Attractions Pass that gets you onto the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, the Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise, the wine tasting experience (including a free bottle of wine), and many other top sights.

Prices for the Paris attraction and transportation passes

Paris Pass 2022 prices

2-day passes

  • 2-day Adult Paris Pass: €124
  • 2-day Child Paris Pass (ages 4 to 11): €42

3-day passes

  • 3-day Adult Paris Pass: €149
  • 3-day Child Paris Pass: €52

4-day passes

  • 4-day Adult Paris Pass: €169
  • 4-day Child Paris Pass: €62

6-day passes

  • 6-day Adult Paris Pass: €199
  • 6-day Child Paris Pass: €72

Exclusive discount for Price of Travel readers

Prices of the most popular museums covered by the Paris Museum Pass, which is included with the Paris Pass

Louvre Museum: €17

Obviously you can visit Paris and not visit the Louvre, so it’s good that it’s included in the Paris Pass. You now have to make reservations for your visit, but it’s an enormous place so that is usually simple. The building itself is a historic palace that would be worth a tour even if it didn’t contain the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, among thousands of other important pieces.

If you are an art fanatic, feel free to spend 4 or 6 hours in the Louvre or even visit twice. But honestly for most people, it gets overwhelming after an hour or maybe two. When I bring new people to Paris I walk them to the Mona Lisa and then to the Venus de Milo. By that time we’ve passed by thousands of paintings and sculptures and been there 45 minutes. After that we look around at anything else that has caught our eye, and then exit through the gift shop. A focused hour is more enjoyable for most people than wandering around for four hours unsure of what you are looking at. It’s also always pretty crowded.

Musée d’Orsay: €16

Located across the Seine from the Louvre in a gorgeous former train station, the Orsay Museum is actually more enjoyable for most people because it’s far more compact and yet also filled with super famous pieces. Here, along with smaller crowds, you’ll see one of Van Gogh’s Starry Nights, Whistler’s Mother by Whistler, and Bal du moulin de la Galette by Renoir. Honestly, you’ll probably recognize at least 10 or 12 famous paintings and you won’t wear out a pair of shoes in doing so.

Arc de Triomphe: €13

You already know what the Arc de Triomphe looks like, and it’s definitely worth going up to the observation deck on top because you’ll get many of your best Paris photos from there. Most people will climb the 234 stairs, but they also have an elevator for anyone who doesn’t look like climbing 234 stairs is possible (or a wise move). The HOHO buses stop here and it’s a good place to get off for a visit because many other people also get off so there will be empty seats on top when you want to get back on. That isn’t true of several other stops.

Sainte-Chapelle: €11.50

Conveniently located just a short walk from Notre Dame cathedral, the Sainte-Chapelle church will be another unexpected highlight of your Paris visit. This 800-year-old church has easily the world’s most impressive and beautiful stained glass windows in several different rooms. It’s breathtaking when you first see it, and one other great feature is that it’s small enough that you can easily enjoy it in less than an hour. The Paris Pass allows you to pack in many smaller and quicker attractions like this without worrying about going broke in the process.

What ISN'T included in the Paris passes

  • Eiffel Tower – 2nd floor elevator: €16.60, 3rd floor elevator: €25.90
  • Catacombs of Paris: €15.00

Extras included in ONLY the Paris Attractions Pass

Eiffel Tower guided climb to 2nd floor: €36

This is an exclusive deal for Paris Pass holders and it’s not for everybody, but it will be the highlight of your Paris trip for many. This is a climb of the 674 stairs up to the 2nd Floor (out of 3) with interesting live commentary and explanations in English. It takes 3 to 4 hours in total, so you won’t be racing up. If you are fit enough this will be amazing. And honestly, the 3rd floor isn’t much higher and it’s so high that all of your best photos will be from the 2nd Floor anyway.

Wine Tasting: €35.00 (includes free full-size bottle of wine for each person)

If you want to learn more about wine and try a few interesting French bottles then this is perfect. It’s a long block from the Louvre but an easy walk along the Seine, so it’s an ideal activity to schedule for after your Louvre visit. You get an English-language mini tour in a historic cellar explaining the key aspects of wine making, and then samples of three different wines near the end. They even send each visitor away with a full bottle of French wine to take with you, so it’s a hard one to pass up.

1-day Big Bus Paris hop-on, hop-off tour: €42.00

This is a full-day hop-on, hop-off pass on the doubledecker bus that goes by and stops at almost every major tourist attraction in Paris in about a 3-hour loop. You can use it as transportation to get from one attraction to another, but I highly recommend starting early and doing the full loop once before hopping off. I’ve done at least 25 similar HOHO bus tours in major cities and the Paris one is easily my favorite. Paris is compact enough that the loop isn’t too long, and all of the main sights are clustered on either side of the Seine, so you don’t waste much time driving through random areas.

Whether you buy a Paris Pass or not, I highly recommend you take the HOHO bus tour on your first full morning in the city, and you will have seen all of the main sights and know how to get back to them later before noon.

Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise: €18.00

In my opinion, this is the other must-do tour in Paris, whether you buy a Paris Pass or not. These large boats with plenty of top-deck outdoor seating leave from near the Eiffel Tower on a frequent basis, but they are popular so it’s wise to get there a bit earlier than you want to depart. The trick is to select a departure right around sunset. Paris is stunning as it is lighting up for the evening, and you pass under 18 bridges that are each lit up in a unique way. By the time you get back to the Eiffel Tower an hour later, it will also be gorgeously lit up for amazing photos.

Parc Astérix: €55

This large theme park in the northeast suburbs of Paris is based on the Astérix comic book and characters, so it’s a great option and compromise if you are traveling with young ones. The places has many roller coasters and other thrill rides to go along with the character themed attractions. There are buses that leave from central Paris that take you to the park for a fee. You can also take the RER train to Charles de Gaulle Airport and then a special shuttle from that train station to the park.

Montmartre & Sacré Coeur walking tour: €36

Leaving three times per day (10AM, 2PM, 5PM), this 90-minute walking tour is a highly recommended way to get to know perhaps Paris’ most interesting neighborhood. Especially gorgeous at night (so the 5PM tour could be perfect), Montmarte is the city’s most famous art district and community. At its center is the namesake hill with the stunning Sacré Coeur cathedral perched on top. This will be one of your favorite stops in Paris and some of your favorite photos as well.

Grevin Wax Museum: €25.00

This is the French equivalent of Madame Tussauds and it’s far more enjoyable than most people expect. With a central location close to several other included attractions, the Grevin Wax Museum is in a gorgeous building filled with over 450 characters that look so lifelike that you keep expecting them to move. There are obviously many French historical figures, but also international historical figures and athletes and actors and pop stars. You’ll know scores of them. While it’s true that you might not normally pay €25 to visit a wax museum, it’s great with the Paris Pass because you can just pop in for an hour or so in between other places. Most people are very impressed.

The Paris Big Bus Tour and Seine River Cruise are great ways to get oriented for first-time visitors

On your first visit to Paris you definitely want to visit the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, and hopefully the Palace of Versailles (a bit outside the city center), but you also want to have a good look at the city of Paris itself.

Whether you buy the Paris Pass or not, you’ll want to strongly consider taking the Paris Big Bus Tour (included in the Paris Pass) as well as the Seine River Cruise. Both of these offer an excellent and efficient look at all of the famous places you might want to visit later, and you can do both of them in half a day. Take the hop-on, hop-off bus tour as early in the day as you can, and plan on doing the Seine river cruise just after sunset in order to see how beautifully lit the bridges and famous buildings are at night.

Is the Paris Pass good value?

If all of the above seems confusing, you are in good company. These ‘city cards’ can be a great tool for many first-time visitors to destinations, but in some cases they cost too much or disrupt your trip in other ways. Before a trip it’s easy to plan 4 or 5 museums and attractions for each day, but once you arrive that always feels too ambitious. A big part of what makes Paris so incredible is the gorgeous city itself, not just the museums and main sights.

Another thing to consider is that if you lock in your sightseeing expenses before you arrive there will be the temptation to just rush from one thing to the next to get the most from your money. If you happen to have a day when you only get to one or two attractions, you might have a sense of guilt over missing your pre-trip goals.

On the other hand, if you prefer to pay in advance and then challenge yourself to make sure you see all the amazing sights that Paris has to offer, then the Paris Pass can be a great deal. If you are mostly interested in the museums then the Paris Museum Pass is probably the better deal, but if you also want to take a bus tour or a river cruise or do the wine tasting then the Paris Pass is the way to go.

For great value hotels check out our recommended Paris hotels section, which gives you 5 excellent choices without the hassle of going through nearly two thousand hotels in the area.

New: How to get the most out of a 2-Day or 3-Day Paris Pass

Important advice for getting good value out of a Paris Pass

After using so many of these city passes through the years, and also getting some comments from customers who don’t feel like they got good value out of the Paris Pass, I can reveal two important bits of advice for Paris Pass holders.

1. Start early in the day, at least on your first couple days using the pass

The number one struggle for those who regretted buying a Paris Pass is starting early enough. Especially on your first couple of days using the Paris Pass you are strongly encouraged to leave your hotel by 09:00 or so, and go to the most popular attractions first. Places like the Louvre or the bus tour tend to not get too busy until 11:00 or so, which means that if you start on those things right after breakfast you will have time to do TWO top attractions before lunch. After that you’ll have the rest of the day to do one, two, or three more activities, and you’ll still have the whole evening free to have a long dinner and wander the beautiful neighborhoods.

NOTE: As of August, 2019, the Louvre requires an advance reservation. You can make the reservation at the Paris Pass pickup desk or online using a link they will provide.

Some people complain that by the time they got to their first attraction of the day, the place was packed, so they started on a bad note and then felt rushed the rest of the day trying to catch up.

2. Plan your day and route before you leave your hotel

The Paris Pass comes with a very helpful booklet that shows all of the attractions on a map, with hours of operation. If you spend some time before you leave your hotel for the day, planning an efficient route that connects the attractions you want to see that day, it will all seem easy and you’ll get the most out of your Paris Pass.

If you aren’t able to plan ahead like this then maybe the Paris Pass isn’t ideal for you. If you aren’t able to spend a bit of time planning ahead, chances are you’ll be racing around and wasting a lot of time, and you’ll be unhappy with the Paris Pass.

The Paris Pass is ideal for:

  • First-time visitors to Paris who want to cover most of the main sights in a few days
  • Travelers who want to see and do as much as possible on a short trip
  • Visitors who want to orient themselves with the bus tour and Seine river cruise

The Paris Museum Pass by itself is ideal for:

  • Culture vultures who plan on visiting at least 2 museums each day but don’t care about tours or anything else
  • Budget travelers coming during busy season who want to skip the ticket queues

Visiting with no pass is ideal for:

  • Visitors spending more than 7 days in the city who might prefer to see only one sight per day
  • Backpackers and other extreme-budget travelers

Exclusive discount for Price of Travel readers

One last thing to consider about budgeting your time in Paris

There are plenty of free things to do in Paris, many of which should be high priorities for first-time visitors, including strolling the Champs-Élysées, exploring the Montmartre neighborhood, and admiring the Eiffel Tower and the Arch de Triumphe from the street, so spending a lot of money on museums and attractions isn’t necessarily the key to enjoying the city.

Also, remember that there are only so many hours in the day, and you can only do one thing at a time. The Louvre itself takes at least 3 hours even for a “quick” visit, and while you are inside it doesn’t matter if you get 50 or 100 other “free” things included, you’ll only have time to do a few per day at the most.

However…

The Paris Pass is a popular and efficient way for first-time visitors to see all the best sights in a short time, with little stress and almost no time wasted in ticket queues. Whichever way you decide to visit Paris, you will have a good time. If you can get a discount on the Paris Pass, it’s obviously a better deal and worth considering.

Paris Pass highlights video

Below you’ll see a short video that takes you through some of the highlights of the Paris Pass.

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All Comments

  1. Linda says:

    Hello Roger. We will be spending 8 days in London (May 20 – 28) and have purchased the London pass on line. Will also be spending May 28 – June 5th in Paris.Of course we want to see the main sites and museums as well as spending time just wandering around the different neighbourhoods. In your opinion would the 6 day Paris pass prove beneficial for us? Thank you!!

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Linda, One thing about using these city passes is that you tend to stay very busy, which isn’t a perfect vacation for everybody. On the other hand, if you are interested in seeing much of what the Paris Pass covers, then being able to skip some queues will give you more time, and by the end of May the lines will be long. Since you’ll have 8 or 9 days in Paris, the 6-day Paris Pass might still be good because it gives you at least a few days to just relax and walk around. Or you might consider the 4-day pass instead, so you could compress your main sightseeing into those days (hopefully weekdays) and have even more time to relax and enjoy the gorgeous city itself. Bon voyage. -Roger

      1. Linda says:

        Thank you for that bit of advice Roger. I think you may be right about the 4 day pass so I think that’s what we’ll do and have the best of both!! I expect the pass is 4 consecutive days which kind of sucks but c’est la vie. Thanks!! Linda

  2. Des Trigg says:

    My wife and I are visiting Paris [ first time ] from NZ Mar 26-29 . Visiting inet has me really confused – to allow free time to wander am looking at ” hop on / hop off ” bus tour + a river cruise . Any comments / suggestions as to tour operator / cost [ ie buy online pre leaving NZ ] greatky appreciated

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Des Trigg, well, the Paris Pass includes both a Hop-on Hop-off bus tour AND a river cruise, and both are recommended for a first trip to Paris, especially one of only 3 days or so. Really, the Paris Pass is perfect for your situation since it comes with those and admission to most of the top attractions as well. However, if the Pass seems a bit expensive and you might prefer to just walk around the city and visit only a couple of the famous attractions, you’ll still have a great time and it obviously won’t cost as much.

      If you don’t want the Paris Pass but you want to do the bus tour and/or river cruise, you can just pay before you board. Late March is still the low season so you won’t have any trouble getting spots. -Roger

      1. Lisa says:

        Still a little confused…..will be in Paris middle of June….spending 8 days in London and thought we would spend an evening in Paris….any suggestion?

        1. Roger Wade says:

          Lisa, if you can spend an evening in Paris, and especially if you’ve never been, do it. -Roger

  3. Fernanda says:

    I’m planning a 6-day trip to Paris for New Year’s Eve. I’m going solo, I like museums but also the different attractions. 2 years ago I went to NYC and got the pass, and loved it, specially because of the shorter lines. Even though I don’t like to rush through places, I still think it might be worth it.

  4. Michelle A. says:

    Hello Roger:

    I am a little confused, above you’ve said “Extras included in ONLY the Paris Pass and not the Museum Pass …Palace at Versailles: €18.00”. However, when I looked on the official Museum Pass website, it appears that Versailles and all the gardens and Trianon is included on the Museum Pass.

    ????

    Thank you for your help,
    Michelle

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Michelle A., I just checked and you are correct. I think they must have added this to the Museum Pass since I put this together, so I will change the article now. Thank you for pointing it out. -Roger

  5. D and G Stone says:

    The Paris Museum Pass is not worth the money. You would need to do nothing but rush from one museum to another to get the price of the pass back. Some main Museums will be closed for e.g. refurbishment (e.g. Picasso, Conciergerie when we were there). Many good museums in Paris are free-or part free anyway. The no-queuing claim is false (e.g. Notre Dame Towers – you have to queue for security bag checks anyway. Pay as you go is better.

  6. Pamela Scire says:

    My 78 year old mother and I were recently in Paris and thought the Paris Pass would be a great idea to avoid having her stand in long lines. What a disappointment.

    1. The only place this helped was at the Louvre and that could have been accomplished with just a museum pass. This skip-the-line feature should also be true for other attractions such as the Eiffel Tower but isn’t. We felt very misled.

    2. The river cruise. Why on earth did we have to stand in line to get a ticket? Travelers should be able to use the Paris Pass as the ticket.

    3. It would be really helpful if the H.O.H.O. Red Bus tour did not have to be consecutive days for those who would like to rest in between and not have to be on a firm schedule. It was a bit hectic.

    4. They do not include a Metro and bus map… both of these were useless to us without one and just try to find one… impossible. This part was completely wasted money because of this since we only took the Metro once… and got lost without a map.

    5. Way overpriced for what it is. We would have been much better off financially to purchase tickets only for the attractions we saw. It is impossible to see everything on a vacation trip and there was no added convenience to make up for the extra cost because we had to stand in lines anyway.

    In short, I would not do this again unless you intend to run your fanny off.

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Pamela, Thanks for the review, and I agree that the Paris Pass is not for everyone. Still, I’ve found that the vast majority of people who buy them are very happy with it and would recommend it. It’s good to hear the other side as well. -Roger

  7. Farhana says:

    This article is really useful as we are contemplating whether to buy paris pass not for our 3 days stint in paris early june this year. This will be my second trip but first trip with our 3 boys aged 19, 15 and 10. I guess my gut feeling is right after reading your article. Thanks.

  8. Sue from Wigan says:

    Great article, made me realise that getting a Paris Pass would not be the best option for a family visit with our 3 boys as I’m sure we would fall into the ‘got to pack it all in’ frenzy and miss out on soaking up the atmosphere of such a wonderful city. Whilst we plan to dip our toe into a couple of the museums and art galleries, we plan to mix that with a cycle tour, a visit to the catacombs, a wander round Montmatre and other delights. Can’t wait!

    1. Roger Wade says:

      Thanks Sue. These passes really are ideal for some visitors who plan on hitting many of the top attractions anyway, but I firmly believe that a city such as Paris is kind of an attraction on its own, and when you are inside a museum you are missing out on today’s Paris. I think most people have a gut feeling whether these passes will work for them, and most of those people are right. -Roger

  9. K g says:

    We have had a seven day trip to Paris. We bought the one week metro and rer pass and separately the 4 day museum pass the second full day. This was the perfect way to do it because we settled in, got over the jet lag and wandered around at first. Then we started hitting multiple museums a day with the pass. No lines. We bought the pass in the office on the lower level of the louvre the first visit. The louvre is open at night on wed and Friday so we went twice one day. Orsay and lorangerie are closeby so you can have a bite in a cafe closeby and switch museums when you need a break.

    1. Giulia says:

      Hi, Roger I’m coming from Australia staying in Paris for 6 night in march, these are the places I would like to see.
      Eiffel tower /Lunch tour.
      The Louvre museum
      Palace at Versailles
      Tours De Notore- Dame .
      What is the best way to form matt these into a passes and which one is best to do separate with out a pass. And where do I go to get the passes as I would like to buy on line to make sure I dint have to wait in a line I will be going with just myself and my daughter .

      1. Roger Wade says:

        Giulia,

        If these are your main goals, then I don’t think a Paris Pass would be wise for you. The Eiffel Tower is the only major attraction which is NOT covered by the Paris Pass, and the other three items on your list will cost only €40 per person in total if you pay as you go. The main benefit of the Paris Pass is it covers the very popular (and recommended) hop on, hop off bus tour (€33), and Seine River cruise (€15), and several other high-price attractions that many people want to visit anyway. If you are doing those tours and visiting a couple of the other pricey attractions, then the Paris Pass will save you time and money. But if you just want to visit a few museums and the Eiffel Tower, it’ll be cheaper to just pay. With some of those you can buy tickets online, which lets you skip the longest ticket queues.

        If you do want to buy a Paris Pass, you have to buy it online from the official site, and you can pick it up once in Paris. Bon voyage. -Roger

  10. Jill Levin says:

    What a great article and good reminder that there is no one-size-fits-all answer to getting a good value and a wonderful experience. My husband and I will be first-time visitors to Paris, but everywhere we go we always love checking out neighborhoods, and strolling or biking around at least as much as seeing all the ‘required’ sites. This was a helpful reminder that Paris is a great city to relax and enjoy even without being at the main attractions.