I was asked earlier this week if the Paris Pass was a good value. I thought it was an excellent question and worth sharing on the blog. My opinion on the value of the Paris Pass is…it all depends.
Using passbooks, coupons, even Groupon deals when traveling is a great idea but sometimes you need to see if what you are buying is worth what you will get out of it. The Paris Pass is sight-seeing package with several features including access to major sites and museums, a wine tasting, a bus tour and a travel pass to use on local transportation.
When deciding if the Paris Pass will work for you, consider the following:
First, determine how many days you will be using it and how many places included in the pass you will be visiting. The Paris Pass has to be used in consecutive days but there are 3 options of length available.
Start by making a list of the places you want to see and activities you want to do. Do this first and then compare to what is included in the pass.
Next, calculate all the entrance fees and activity prices as if you were paying them straight out. Since the Paris Pass includes a travel card, calculate how much you may spend on public transportation. It also has other activities like a hop on/hop off bus tour, a river cruise and a wine tasting so include the cost of those activities if it is something already on your list.
Take that total you calculated from above and compare to the cost of the pass. If the pass is cheaper, then right away it is a great value. If it is the same, then you might as well purchase it because you are not out any money, you can use the fast track options even it if is only for one museum and it gives you options to other sites and activities if your itinerary changes.
If the pass is more expensive, the next thing to consider is the other advantage of the Paris Pass which is the fast track queuing option. It is limited to a selection of museums however. If you are going to many of the museums on the fast track list, it might be worth the time saved even if not in the cost.
Another thing to keep in mind is what you get with the entrance pass. For example, Notre Dame Cathedral is free to visit. The pass is for the Towers which does have an entrance fee.
Even though the pass offers free entry to 60 places, you are actually buying the pass to get those free entries so a little work upfront will let you determine if the Paris Pass is a good value for you.