The Guide to get the most of your Paris ComboPass®
ComboPass® Premium Paris Pass Guide
- What is the Combopass
- Do I need one?
- What to see for first time visitors
- Cut the line rule
- About available add-ons, your pass "a la carte"
- Get the most of your pass during your stay
- About the Eiffel tower
1. What is the Combopass®
Let's make it simple; with this combo of Paris passes, you can use the public transportation system (metro, bus, etc...) limitless and also enter for free in more than 50 museums and monuments in Paris. The cut the line rule applies in 95%, but you wan't avoid security checks. You'll be able to bypass visitors waiting in line to buy their tickets.
It's available in 2, 4 or 6 days version and can be used for transportation inside Paris only.
A number of add-ons are available in order to extend the advantages of your pass depending on your plans. This combo Paris pass is famous since years because it's the cheapest around and the more flexible too.
ComboPass® is a registered trademark of Justring.com.
2. Do I need a Paris pass?
Maybe you don't if your plans are to visit just a couple of places and not use public transportation at all. Sometimes, visitors are happy using only a hop on/off bus service that will get them to the few places they wish to visit. Business visitors are often chosing the Lite version of the pass for 1 or 2 days, a good way to optimize their stay in Paris with possible free time.
The pass is aimed to visitors with clear intentions to not worry about counting metro tickets left, waiting in lines for tickets or paying cabs to return to their hotel or rented apartment.
3. What to see for first time visitorAll the museums or monuments listed below are included in the Paris ComboPass®.
The Louvre Museum
Located on the Right Bank of the Seine River, the Louvre Museum greets visitors as the largest museum in the world. Approximately 35,000 objects ranging from prehistory through the twenty-first century occupy the Louvre’s 652,000 square feet of space.
The magnificent museum had humble beginnings, built by Phillip II in the twelfth century as a fortress. By the fourteenth century, Charles V oversaw the fortress’ renovation to a royal residence. Francis the First revamped the Louvre in French Renaissance style. He also gathered the foundation of the Louvre’s art collection acquiring various works of art, the capstone of which is da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. The Louvre fell out of favor as a palace when Louis XIV relocated the royal residence to Versailles. During that time artists took residence in the Louvre. During the French Revolution, the Louvre became a public museum. It officially opened to the public on August 10, 1793.
The Louvre experienced steady growth with additional wings added as needed. A major two-phase renovation began in 1988 and finished in 1993. This renovation included the creation of a new entrance and the addition of glass pyramids in front of the Louvre. The most recent renovation added 3,000 square feet to the Louvre in 2012.
The Louvre’s extensive collections are curated by eight separate departments:
• Egyptian Antiquities
• Near Eastern Antiquities
• Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities
• Islamic Art
• Decorative Arts
• Prints and Drawings
As the second most visited museum in the world, the Louvre holds many of the most famous works of art in existence. Which pieces are the most famous is not debatable, that honor goes to the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and the Mona Lisa. Each of these masterpieces makes a visit to the Louvre imperative.
The Most Famous works displayed at the Louvre:
• Venus de Milo
The Venus de Milo is one of the best-known pieces of ancient Greek sculpture. The statue is the image of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, known as Venus to the Romans. A peasant on the Isle of Milos discovered the statue in 1820; historians estimate the creation of Venus between 130 and 100 B.C. and it is popular belief that Alexandros of Antioch is its sculptor. Six or seven carefully assembled individual blocks of Parian marble create the impressive work, which is approximately six and a half feet tall. Venus de Milo was a gift to King Louis XVIII in 1821; the king gifted it to the Louvre where it remains on display.
• Winged Victory of Samothrace
The awe-inspiring statue Winged Victory of Samothrace is the image of the Greek goddess Nike, called Victory by the Romans. While Victory’s creator remains unknown, the detailed piece traces its existence back to 200 B.C. The statue, discovered in 1863, on the island of Samothrace was in various stages of disrepair. Victory stands eight feet tall and is masterfully sculpted using Thasian and Parian marble, creating a blending of gray and white. The contrast helps to enhance the feeling of movement especially of the rippled garments. The consensus among artists and historians is that the Winged Victory of Samothrace is the greatest surviving masterpiece of the Greco-Roman era. The statue came to the Louvre in 1883, after twenty years of reassembling on the island of Samothrace.
• The Mona Lisa
The captivating creation of Italian master Leonardo da Vinci is the most famous painting in the world. da Vinci painted this masterpiece between 1503-1506, although it is believed that da Vinci continued refining the piece up to 1517. The subject of the painting is thought to be Lisa Gherardini, wife of Italian merchant Francesco del Giocondo. The Mona Lisa arrived in France, along with da Vinci, after King Francis I convinced the artist to relocate to France. King Francis acquired the Mona Lisa after da Vinci’s death and placed it in the Louvre, where it has been on permanent display since 1797.
The Orsay Museum, housed in a former railway station on the left bank of the Seine River. Construction of the Beaux-Arts style structure took place between 1898 and 1900. The Orsay Museum served southwestern France as the railway terminus until 1939, when the station’s short platforms no longer suited the needs of longer and newer train lines. The Orsay became a mailing center during World War II and it also served as a movie set.
The building is a work of art unto itself, embodying the fine tradition of Beaux-Arts architecture. Lavish Baroque and Rococo details accentuate the conservative lines of the structure. Prominent architectural details add to the grandeur of the Orsay.
Opening as a museum in 1986, the Orsay boasts the largest collection of art produced between 1848- 1914. Visitors can witness the progression of art from neoclassicism and romanticism to impressionism, expressionism, and art nouveau.
In addition to sculpture, architecture, and photography the Orsay holds paintings from a host of renowned masters like Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Whistler and more. This is a required stop for all art lovers, especially those who love impressionism. Right, this is the place where you will also see "Whitler's Mother" in much better shape than in the movie, thank you Mr Bean for not touching the one and only hosted at Orsay museum.
A small haven for impressionists, the Orangerie Museum is located in the Tuileries Gardens on the bank of the Seine River. The museum, built in 1852, originally sheltered orange trees. It served its intended purpose as well as lodging soldiers, housing sporting and musical events, and occasionally featured agricultural and industrial displays.
In 1921, the French government designated the Orangerie a museum; many claimed it was too small to be a museum. To memorialize the end of World War I, Claude Monet donated decorative wall panels of water lilies to the French government. A specially designed viewing area holds the awe-inspiring works. Monet instructed the paintings displayed under direct diffused light, in a room with plain walls and sparse furnishings. More than sixty of Monet’s distinctive works reside in the Orangerie.
By Jason7825 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=39731615
Visitors praise the Orangerie for being a very manageable museum, offering a peaceful and relaxed atmosphere for viewing the art. In addition to the extensive collection of Monet, the Orangerie is home to works by other greats such as Cezanne, Malisse, and Renoir.
Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral
A breathtakingly beautiful cathedral, Notre-Dame de Paris is a Medieval Catholic Cathedral built in the French Gothic style. This amazing landmark is synonymous with the city of Paris and it still functions as an active cathedral as well as being the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris.
This designation gives Notre-Dame the honor of holding three relics which are sacred to Catholicism: one of the Holy Nails, a shard of the True Cross, and the Crown of Thorns.
Notre-Dame can trace its roots back to 1163 when construction of the cathedral commenced at the insistence of Bishop Maurice de Sully. The Bishop ordered the demolition of the previous cathedral, which dated back to the fourth century because he believed the city of Paris needed a new cathedral worthy of the nobility who attended. One hundred and eighty-two years later, the Notre-Dame Cathedral stood complete.
Notre-Dame’s distinctive French Gothic style makes it one of the most recognized cathedrals in the world. Beauty and functionality go hand in hand at Notre-Dame. It was one of the first buildings to use flying buttresses, which were wall supports. Intricate statues served as beautiful column supports. Among the most famous architectural features are the gargoyles of Notre-Dame. Created to be water spouts, these gargoyles boast wonderful details and have a variety of expressions from fierce to whimsical and everything in between.
Inside the cathedral, awe-inspiring stained glass and immense pipe organs welcome visitors and worshippers. Notre-Dame has ten bells; the largest weighs thirteen tons and has been in the cathedral since 1681.
Notre-Dame endured much vandalism over the years. Most damaging was the desecrating acts during the French Revolution, which saw statues beheaded and stained glass and other decorative details in pieces. More damage came to the cathedral during World War II. Each time, Notre-Dame returned to its glory and restored, and it continues to stand as a symbol of strength and endurance.
The legendary Musee Rodin is a must-see for any art lover in Paris. The museum is located in the magnificent Hotel Biron and iconic sculptures are also on display in various locations throughout the seven acres of awe-inspiring gardens. As the name suggests, the Musee Rodin is dedicated to the work of master sculptor, Auguste Rodin.
Rodin had his workshop in the Hotel Biron and orchestrated a deal wherein he would donate his sculptures and an extensive art collection in exchange for the Hotel Biron becoming a museum dedicated to his work. True to his word, Rodin gifted the museum with his own art collection, which included works by Renoir, Monet, and Van Gogh.
The museum houses an extensive collection of Rodin’s works. A wing of the museum safely preserves Rodin’s marble sculptures, which when displayed outdoors were at risk of permanent damage due to weathering. Rodin’s famous marble sculpture The Kiss resides in this wing. Rodin took great pride in placing sculptures in the gardens on Biron’s grounds. Thus began The Sculpture Garden, an outstanding venue to view Rodin’s bronze statues in natural light, among natural beauty. Two of Rodin’s most famous sculptures reside here, The Gates of Hell and The Thinker.
Also on the museum grounds is The Chapel, a converted Neo-Gothic chapel built in the seventeenth century. It now serves as office space, storage, and an exhibition hall. The renovation of the chapel included installing a glass ceiling over the exhibition hall providing ample natural light.
Arc de Triomphe
A visit to the Arc de Triomphe is a must for a Parisian visitor. Commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon I and completed in 1836, the Arc is comprised of masonry stone and features intricately detailed elements.
Easily one of the world’s most recognizable monuments, its extreme size, and relatively simple design give the Arc the stamp of romantic neoclassicism.
The Arc de Triomphe is located on the west end of the Champs-Elysees avenue, in the center of one of the world’s most notorious intersections. Twelve different avenues converge at the Arc, so wise visitors use the subterranean passageways to reach the Arc.
The base of each of the Arc's pillars is adorned with one of four massive relief sculptures: one commemorating The Triumph of 1810, by Cortot, Resistance, and Peace, both by Etex and a fourth, The Departure of the Volunteers, more commonly known as La Marseillaise, by François Rude. Engraved on thirty shields around the top of the Arch are names of major Revolutionary and Napoleonic war victories.
The inside walls bear the names of less important victories; additionally engraved on the interior walls, the names of 558 generals who served in these campaigns; the names of those generals who died in action are underlined.
Inside the Arc is a small museum that documents its construction and history. Also inside of the monument is a staircase of nearly three-hundred steps which allows access to the Arc’s roof and amazing views of Paris.
Near the base of the Arc is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the final resting place of a World War I soldier. An eternal flame guards the Tomb; it was this flame that inspired American First Lady Jaqueline Kennedy to arrange an eternal flame at the resting place of her husband, President John F Kennedy.
Although the Arc de Triomphe’s construction finished after Napoleon’s death, he would be pleased with the grandeur and notoriety of the physical embodiment of his idea.
- Louvre museum
- Orsay museum
- Orangerie museum
- Notre-Dame Towers or more generally about the Cathedral
- Rodin museum
- Arc de Triomphe
4. Cut the line rule
All museums and monuments now have security checks and, of course, you can't avoid them.
In most places, you'll be able to cut the lines of visitors waiting to buy their tickets just by showing your included Paris museum pass. Go in front of the place entrance and look for the special passholders entrance.
There are 3 places where cut the line rule won't apply because of the way they control the flow of visitors, there's only one line for ticketing and security checks:
- Sainte Chapelle
- Notre-Dame towers
- Versailles Castle
5. About available add-ons, your pass "a la carte"
- Extra Metro day:
If you're staying 3, 5 or 7 days then you can select this add-on your original ComboPass® metro pass for one extra day. Please note that you can't extend the included Paris museum pass that only comes in 2, 4 or 6 days, but there are plenty of things to see and do in Paris without the museum pass.
- Hop on/off Bus tour:
Covering more than 40 stops with 4 different routes, this is a great way to discover the city of Paris, the perfect addition to your included metro pass. It's available for 2 consecutive days.
- Paris A la Carte:
This combo pass includes the hop on/off bus listed above as well as the Batobus, the Seine river boat shuttle. Batobus is not a touristic service but really a river shuttle used by Parisians to cross the river. it's available for 3 consecutive days.
- RER train tickets:
Since your metro pass included in your combo Paris pass covers only 3 zones (inside Paris) you will then need special train tickets to reach two popular destination outside Paris; Versailles Castle and Paris Disneyland® attraction park. They include a round trip journey to either one of these areas in the suburbs of Paris.
- Versailles Fountain show ticket:
The gardens of Versailles Castle can be visited and are included with your museum pass during low season and only during weekdays in high season (April to October). If you intend to visit the Gardens on week-ends then you will need this add-on to enjoy the magnificence of the gardens and musical water shows.
6. Get the most of your pass during your stay
Some visitors like to plan things to do others don't. Do not overestimate your capacity to visit a certain number of places in one day. Even if the metro makes it easy to get from one place to another, there's always a fair amount of walking, make sure to wear appropriate shoes.
Regarding the included Paris metro pass, remember that it's valid for consecutive days starting the first day of usage, it's not based on 24h but calendar days. If you start to use it at 5:00PM then first day will end at midnight, same day. The same rule applies for your included Paris museum pass.
Ax explained above in "cut the line rule" section, it's strongly suggested to visit some places early in the morning so you don't waste your time and strengh waiting in line. The complete list of participating museums and monuments is available on the ComboPass® webpage offering a link to each of them for detailed information about opening hours, etc... These informations will be listed as well on your folded Paris museum pass. Spending a little time to plan things before will save you a lot of time.
7. About the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is not included in the pass because they need to control the flow of visitors at all time, individuals or groups. You will still find Eiffel tower tickets options available by visiting this specific search result page.