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In this Go Paris Pass review, we’ll break down how the pass works, what it costs, and whether it’s the right choice for your Paris plans.
As one of the most beautiful and iconic cities in the world, Paris draws crowds from all over the globe on a daily basis. The City of Light isn’t the cheapest place to travel, and avid sightseers know that costs add up quickly. World-class museums, majestic cathedrals, and delectable cuisine come at a price.
Of course, savvy travelers are always looking for ways to save money without sacrificing experiences. That’s why we love sightseeing passes that help you do more for less.
One of the most popular destinations in the world, Paris already has several passes to choose from. However, there’s a brand-new player on the market that could help you save – the Go Paris Pass. But, is this pass even worth it? Buckle up because we’re about to dive in!
How the Go Paris Pass Works
The Go Paris Pass is an all-inclusive sightseeing pass that could help you save time and money in Paris. It’s valid for two consecutive calendar days and is actually two passes in one. You get four tours and a show, but this pass also includes access to the city’s official Paris Museum Pass.
The Paris Museum Pass (valid for the same two days) grants all-inclusive access to more than 55 museums and monuments in Paris, including the most popular ones.
So, how does it work?
You buy the Go Paris Pass online and receive it immediately via email. You can print it at home or download it to your smartphone using the free Go City app. For the Paris Museum Pass portion, you’ll need to pick it up at the Big Bus ticket center in Paris – there’s no digital option.
You activate your pass in one of two ways:
- Scanning it at an attraction
- Picking up the Paris Museum Pass
The pass includes a Hop-On, Hop-Off (HOHO) Bus Tour, so it makes sense to head to the Big Bus ticket center early in the morning, pick up your Paris Museum Pass, and then take the tour. The earlier you begin, the more time you’ll have to use the pass.
You can choose any of the options included on either pass and visit them once each, in any order. Also, you don’t need to worry about keeping tickets organized. If you’ve got your Go Paris Pass on your smartphone and your Paris Museum Pass in your hand, you’ve got access to over 60 attractions!
Aside from the convenience of ditching tickets, the Go Paris Pass saves you valuable time by letting you skip the line at select attractions. And the best part? It can save you up to 20% on admission prices compared to paying at the gate.
What’s Included on the Go Paris Pass?
Now that you know a bit about how the Go Paris Pass works, let’s take a look at the lineup, along with the regular adult gate prices.
The Go Paris Pass provides entry to the following:
- Paris Museum Pass – €52
- Big Bus Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour – €39
- Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise – €15
- Petit Train de Montmartre – €6.50
- The Paris Story – €11
- Musée du Parfum Fragonard Tour – €8
It’s important to dig a little deeper here because the bulk of what the Go Paris Pass offers is actually included on the Paris Museum Pass, as noted above. It grants access to more than 55 of Paris’ museums, including biggies like:
- The Louvre – €17
- Musée d’Orsay – €14
- Arc de Triomphe – €13
- Versailles Palace – €18
- Centre Pompidou – €14
- Pantheon – €9
*Prices current as of March 29, 2020
Go Paris Pass Pricing
This is easy. While other passes (like the Paris Pass) offer multiple options, the Go Paris Pass keeps things simple. It’s available for two days:
- Adult 2-Day Pass – €105.00
- Child 2-Day Pass (ages 2-17) – €45.00
*Prices current as of March 29, 2020
I’m glad to see the child pass is less than half the cost of the adult pass, since some of Paris’ best museums offer free admission to people under 18.
To get your money’s worth from the adult pass, you need to do at least €105 worth of attractions in two days. Is it possible? Absolutely – but it isn’t likely unless you do the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour.
Why? Most of the museums in Paris aren’t terribly expensive. Unless you rush through them, the most you can realistically fit into a day is three (maybe four) spots if you plan carefully. If the average museum price is around €15, visiting six over two days would only add up to €90.
However, if you do the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour, that’s €39 right there. That means you only have to do €66 worth of attractions to get your money’s worth. If you visited five museums with an average price of €15, you’d save €9.
Top Reasons to Get the Go Paris Pass
Save on Admission
Although museums in Paris aren’t super expensive, a busy sightseeing trip can still rack up quite a bill – especially if you have a large group. The Go Paris Pass helps soften the blow by saving you money compared to regular gate prices. That comes out to 20% off!
Skip the Line Access
Paris’ iconic museums draw crowds from all over the world, and with good reason. The downside? Notoriously long ticket lines. There’s nothing worse than wasting precious vacation time in a lineup. The Go Paris Pass saves you time by letting you skip those lines at three major museums:
- The Louvre
- Musée d’Orsay
- Centre Pompidou
Incredible Museum Selection Plus More
The Go Paris Pass includes the Paris Museum Pass, which opens the door to more than 55 museums and monuments in Paris. Although you can’t come close to scratching the surface of that kind of selection in two days, you can definitely fit in several of the biggies.
Of course, if world-class museums are your sole concern, the Paris Museum Pass on its own would meet your needs. I like that the card includes the HOHO Bus Tour and a few other attractions to round out your experience.
Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour
The Hop-On, Hop-Off (HOHO) Bus Tour is a fun way to see the landmark sites while learning about Paris’ history. The route includes nine stops and you can stay on board for the whole tour or hop off to hit an attraction at any stop. If you choose to step off, you can hop back on any time that same day.
The HOHO Bus Tour is the single highest-value attraction on the card, so adding it to your itinerary helps ensure you get the most from the pass.
Other Benefits of the Go Paris Pass
Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise: The scenic one-hour sightseeing cruise is a lovely way to relax after a busy day of museum hopping. Evening availability is a convenient perk for anyone looking to max out their sightseeing opportunities during the day.
Digital Pass: The Go Paris Pass is available digitally (though the Paris Museum Pass isn’t). All you do is download the free Go City app and store your pass there for easy access.
Where the Pass Falls Short
The Go Paris Pass can help you save time and money in Paris, and it’s hard to argue with that. Sightseeing passes in Paris aren’t known for being an exceptional value (like the New York Pass and the London Pass), so even a little savings is better than none. Still, there are a few drawbacks worth mentioning.
You Must Pick Up the Paris Museum Pass in Person
First of all, it’s annoying and confusing that there’s a pass within a pass. The Go Paris Pass includes the Paris Museum Pass, which is not available digitally and must be picked up in person at the Big Bus ticket center.
Because you have to go there before visiting any museums, it makes sense to do the bus tour first thing in the morning. That way, you can hop off at your first museum of choice.
So, although the setup kind of works out, it would still be more convenient if the pass included access to those museums without involving a second pass.
No Eiffel Tower Access
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most iconic structure in Paris, so its omission from the pass may be disappointing for some. That said, this two-day pass isn’t designed to be comprehensive. Plus, unless you really want to go up the tower, you’ll be able to see it any time you want for free. I recommend travelers interested in visiting the Eiffel Tower buy tickets online in advance because they often sell out.
There’s a Limit on Your Savings
A final drawback of this pass is that it places a cap on potential savings. The most you can save with the Go Paris Pass is €26.50. This is because the pass is subject to something called a purse value.
A purse value basically sets a limit on how much value you can get from a pass. In this case, once you use it to access €131.50 worth of attractions (€79.50 for the child pass), it expires. This means that once you subtract the cost of the pass (€105) from the maximum value of the attractions (€131.50), you won’t save more than €26.50. That’s 20% in savings, which modest compared to some other passes on the market.
I disagree with purse values on principle, but I don’t imagine many people could realistically fit in more than €131.50 worth of attractions in two days, anyway.
Who Should Buy the Go Paris Pass
Museum Lovers Who Want a Little Extra: The Go Paris Pass is designed for museum buffs who also want to do a couple of tours. It includes access to more than 55 museums, checking all the major Parisian boxes. Museum lovers who are also interested in the HOHO Bus Tour and the Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise will save more money with this pass than with the Paris Museum Pass on its own.
Serious Sightseers: In order to get your money’s worth from the pass, you must be willing to go hard for two days. If that sounds like a blast, charge ahead.
Travelers With Short Stays: The Go Paris Pass keeps things short and sweet, since it’s valid for only two days. While it may not suit someone in town for a week, travelers with shorter stays – such as a long weekend – might find it ideal.
Who Should Skip the Pass
Travelers Who Don’t Care for Museums: The Go Paris Pass is essentially a museum pass with a bus tour and a river cruise thrown in. If you aren’t interested in visiting Paris’ major museums, there’s no point in buying this pass. If you only want to do the HOHO Bus Tour or the Bateaux Parisiens River Cruise, just buy your tickets at the gate. It will be cheaper that way.
Sightseers Who Are Only Interested in Museums: If you couldn’t be bothered with the HOHO Bus Tour and just want to spend your time visiting Paris’ world-class museums and monuments, you don’t need this pass. The Paris Museum pass on its own will suit your needs and cost you less.
Travelers Who Want Several Days of Sightseeing: This pass is valid for just two days, so it might not meet the needs of travelers with longer stays. Those seeking several days of jam-packed sightseeing should check out the Paris Pass, which also includes the Paris Museum Pass but offers options for more days. Travelers who are okay with two busy days but would prefer to spread out other sightseeing might combine the Go Paris Pass with the Paris Explorer Pass.
Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Pass
- Activate Your Pass Early: The Go Paris Pass is valid for two calendar days, so it’s best to begin early on your first day so you can get in a full day of sightseeing.
- Group Attractions Based on Location: It’s best to visit museums that are near each other on the same day so you don’t lose much time in transit. Taking a few minutes before you go to plan out your itinerary with locations in mind can save you a ton of time once you get to Paris.
- Don’t Activate Your Pass on a Monday or Tuesday: Many museums in Paris are closed on either Monday or Tuesday, so if you can avoid it, I wouldn’t use my pass on those days. It will limit your options.
- Consider Hours of Operation: It’s also important to know which attractions are open late so you plan your days efficiently. For example, the Arc de Triomphe is open until 10 p.m. every day, so it makes sense to spend the earlier hours visiting attractions that are closed during the evening and then head to the Arc de Triomphe later.
- Watch for a Sale: The Go Paris Pass frequently goes on sale, usually for 10% or more. If you can nab the pass on sale, you’ll save even more on Parisian sightseeing. It doesn’t hurt to sign up for the newsletter and keep your eyes open.
- Do the HOHO Bus Tour: The HOHO Bus Tour costs €39 at regular price, so including it on your itinerary will help you max out the value of the pass. Even if you’d rather spend your time museum hopping, the bus can help you catch a ride between point A and point B. If you don’t plan to do the tour, you probably won’t save money with this pass.
- Visit at Least Six Attractions: If you visit at least six attractions over the life of the pass and make sure the HOHO Bus Tour is one of them, you should save money. This might not hold true if you pick the cheapest museums, but if you include at least a few of the most popular ones, you’ll do alright.
How to Buy the Go Paris Pass
If you’re ready to give it a try, you can buy the Go Paris Pass here. You’ll receive a copy via email that you can download and print or save on your smartphone using the free Go City app.
There’s a risk-free guarantee, meaning – if you change your mind – you have 30 days to get a full refund on a pass that isn’t activated. You can keep the pass on ice for a while, but make sure you activate it within one year of purchase. After that, it expires.
Important note: Don’t forget that the Go Paris Pass includes the Paris Museum Pass, which is a separate, physical card that you must pick up in person at the Big Bus ticket center in Paris. Picking up the Paris Museum Pass activates it, so make sure you do that early on the day you plan to start using it.
Go Paris Pass Review: Will It Save You Money?
The Go Paris Pass can save you a little bit of money on sightseeing if you’re interested in visiting multiple museums and doing the Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour. If you could take or leave the bus tour, you’re better off sticking with the Paris Museum Pass.
The other thing to think about is that the Go Paris Pass is only available for two days. If you’re interested in a pass that will last longer, there are other options you might consider.
If you do decide to buy the pass, you should have realistic expectations about the savings potential, since the most it can save you is 20% unless you grab it on sale. I’d be happy to save 20% any day of the week. Just don’t expect enormous savings.
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Go Paris Pass Review Summary
Although it is one of the most expensive and most visited cities in the world, Paris isn’t known for having excellent sightseeing pass options. The Go Paris Pass is a suitable pass which continues in that tradition.
This card offers entry to over 50 of the top attractions in Paris. When used on the most expensive options, the Go Paris Pass can save users up to 20% on admission prices. With that said, most of those options can be found on the city’s official museum pass. Additionally, if you do not plan on using either the HOHO bus tour or the river cruise, you should probably skip the pass as it loses almost all of it’s savings value.
The Go Paris Pass is not intended to be as comprehensive as some other options, which is clearly seen in the fact that it only offers a 2-day option. So, while it isn’t the most earth-shattering pass we’ve seen, it can still save a bit of money for the right user. In our mind, saving a little money is better than none – especially if you’re traveling with your family or a small group.