"Budget-Conscious Choice: Carte Musées et Monuments" Top 5 Page for this destination Money Matters Tip by BeatChick
Money Matters, Paris: 30 reviews and 15 photos
Favorite thing: The cool thing about the museum pass (Carte Musées et Monuments) is not only can you pay one fee & use it to get into many museums & attractions for free BUT you can also bypass the long lines - especially helpful if traveling with anyone under age 18. They get in free already & this way you can also bypass the boredom of youngsters. Personally, when I'm traveling my time is very precious to me so it's worth it spend the money on a museum pass. Also, I love museums & I know I'm going to visit a ton of them while in Paris so I know I'll get my money's worth.
The current 5-day pass costs 62? or about 21?/day. Considering that many museums now charge on average a 7? entrance fee than you can see that if you plan to visit 3 or more musuems per day than it is already saving you money. Please remember, too, that this includes small museums (such as the Panthéon, Nôtre Dame's towers, etc.) as well as large museums (like the Louvre or the d'Orsay).
So say you're in the Île de la Cité area. This is a small area with loads of attractions. Maybe you've decided to see Ste-Chapelle, the towers of Nôtre Dame, the Crypte Archeologique & the Conciergerie. All are covered by the museum pass, all will get you in past the line (excluding the security line you'll have to pass through to get inside the courtyard of the Conciergerie & Ste-Chapelle). Already you've saved money!
Keep in mind, too, that the card is in use from the 1st time you get the stamp. So if you get a 5-day card you'll want to cluster your museum visits in that 5-day period in order to get your money's worth. I used their list of all museums & attractions in Paris that accept the Carte Musées et Monuments to decide which attractions I'd see & created my itinerary around that. Usually, I'd do one large museum & 1 or 2 museums in one day & then a cluster of small museums on another day.
Fondest memory: Sample itinerary
Day 1 - 7th
Musée de l'Armee
Musée national de la Legion d'honneur et des ordres de la chevalerie
(all in the same area)
Day 2 - 7th
Musée d'Orsay (morning)
Musée des Egouts de Paris (Sewers)(afternoon)
Day 3 - 3rd/4th
Maison de Victor Hugo
Day 4 - 3rd/4th
Musée des Arts et Metiers
Centre Georges Pompidou
Day 5 - 5th
Musée de l'Institut du Monde Arabe
Musée du Moyen Age, Thermes de Cluny
A lot of the smaller museums can be seen in an hour or 2 (Maison de Victor Hugo, Panthéon) so these itineraries can easily be done. Note also that types of museums are mixed up in order to add some flavor to the day. Who wants to spend the whole day looking only at Modern Art?
Also, please note that you may pick up the card from Métro stations (bought mine at the Métro St. Paul) or from smaller museums.
Photo: August 2005
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