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The perks of museum passes

Let me just put it out there – if anyone ever feel like giving me something but not sure what makes a good gift, one of the sure things would be an annual museum pass. It doesn’t matter if it’s a solo or a duo card – although the latter is handy to bring F or a friend with me – as long as I get to enjoy the many different exhibitions around town. ;)

Museum passes

Some of the perks attached to these passes?
– No queuing to enter a museum nor its exhibition(s)
– Share the joy of museum visits without queuing (with duo card)
– Multiple visits to interesting (temporary) exhibitions
– Discounts for purchases at the gift shop
– Discounts for guided visits or exhibition conferences
– Free/discounted tickets of affiliated sites/museums
– Free/discounted tickets to linked/special events

Over the years, I’ve routinely forked out a small fortune to get the Sésame for Grand Palais. By far the most expensive pass that I buy, considering the insane queues that are often spotted at the Grand Palais, Sésame is worth every cent that I’ve paid for. As the pass is based on “season” of exhibitions rather than 365-days validity, it is easy to psychologically perceive you’ve been cheated out of the value, say, if you buy a pass in October/November but come September the following year when new exhibitions are trotted out, your card is no longer valid. And oh, the youth pass at reduced price is available to anyone between the age of 16 and 30 – you can always get the pass up until you’re 30 years old and 364 days ;)

My favourite museum in Paris is the Musée d’Orsay so it is not a surprise that I pick up a Carte Blanche on an annual basis. They are also very sweet to consider anyone under 36 to be eligible for reduced “young person” rate (yay!) when the Louvre wouldn’t even offer you similar reduced rate unless you’re under 30 – even 30 years (and a day) is a disqualifying age! Actually, the youth solo rate at the Louvre costs more than my youth duo at Musée d’Orsay. Bonus with Carte Blanche – entry to Musée de l’Orangerie just across the River Seine is also free.

The latest addition to my growing number of museum passes is the Laissez-Passer from Centre Pompidou, courtesy of my brother-in-law as Christmas gift. I have not yet profited from it, considering I’ve been busy chasing down exhibitions in the Grand Palais in January, but in the coming weeks, I will be putting it on serious use. I’m even setting a museum date with a friend who wishes to see an exhibition together, but which F is not too keen on. They have some interesting art lectures coming up too, but sadly don’t fit my February/March schedule so I have to give them a miss.

If I have a genie that would grant wishes, I’d asked for a multi-museum annual pass. There is one for the museums managed by the Mairie of Paris, but these are museums with permanent exhibitions that are already free to visit thus the purpose of the pass is to see the temporary exhibitions. What I really would love to have is a multi-museum annual pass that involves many of the big name museums. I don’t mind paying up to €120-150 for this privilege, €200 if it’s a card for duo. Hello museum sales managers, are you hearing me?

Category: Culture, Museum

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4 scribbles & notes

  1. Chloé says:

    Is that a duo laissez passer for Pompidou then? ^^
    I still yearn for my Dutch “Museum pass”: most of the big name museums of the country and lots of smaller ones for only 45€ per year… Good times, sigh…

    • Lil says:

      Yup! If you want to see something at Pompidou, let me know ;)

      I remember you talking about that pass, and it is very good value considering the single entry to most museums in Amsterdam was already quite expensive if I recall correctly.

  2. med says:

    hehe…get a job with the art ministry lil? ;)

    • Lil says:

      It had crossed my mind that a job with the Ministry of Culture would be the way to have free access to all cultural sites, or at the very least I should try to get to know someone who works there and therefore can get me in to the museums, hehe… :p

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