How to get into Paris museums in Corona times
Logically, crowd control in Corona times requires to a set date and time block. Bringing your QR proof, which they call Pass Sanitaire.
In an ideal world you should be able to just buy a museum ticket online – this process should take 1-2 minutes worldwide.
In Paris which I visited in December 2021, as a professional museum guide from Holland, buying tickets beforehand was an obstacle course and sometimes a nightmare. Things made complicated by web site developers who do not care about you losing half and hour or more in the process. Ultimately this is the responsibility of the museum Staff to check and oversee.
Hot tip. To start, for online bookings you MUST have a credit card. You just do not exist online otherwise.
A bank card is sufficient at the ticket desks once you are inside.
The information below is true and checked be me for December, 2021. I give no guarantees and I am not to be held responsible.
Louvre, Paris. The online ordering page is a nightmare. Bureaucracy in full fanciful flight. You need to fill in dozens of required fields and data (seemingly even your grandmother’s pet veterinarian’s name and her pet’s health certificate (-: ) and if you forget one field you are kicked back mercilessly to an empty square 1 and you need to start all over again. In the end It did not accept my real Dutch email address. Thus I was again kicked back to square 1. In the end I contacted the staff by email. They told me to empty my History and my Cache (!) so the problem was all on my side! The Help desk, email@example.com did not actively help me in the end. Bureaucrats.Exasperated, I bought tickets at the commercial site Tiqets with no hassle. Within two minutes.Warning: Before you enter the building you stand in a long line in the cold air or rain next to the pyramid. No shelter. At the coat check / vestiaire the first five clothes cubicles we tried by punching in secret numbers were out of order, broken, and they not want to close, but they were NOT marked out by the staff with a ribbon or sticker. Bad show al together! Inside you get great art in many many departments.
Centre Pompidou / Beaubourg. Easy sailing. No complaint here. Please note: leave your coats and bags downstairs. in cold weather you need a winter sweater to go up in the escalator systems in freezing cold air. Good views over Paris!
Orsay museum. I am still shuddering from the buying nightmare 4 years ago. I had proof of payment in a printout but no ticket was automatically issued. It took half an hour of talking to staff members, ticket person, ticket chef, superior of ticket sheet etc. before mercifully getting in. Thus I did not even try to enter in 2021.
Petit Palais. Because this is a free museum, no prior time block needs to be booked for the standard exhibition. Except for your entry into the temporary exhibitions. I did NOT have that ticket and all the signs said “sold out for today” but at the desk I easily charmed the guy and obtained tickets anyway.
Arts Asiatiques / Musee Guimet. The web page is a nightmare. It does not state that you just walk in an buy a ticket at the desk. Without a date+time block. This really take the crown for misinformation.
Basilica Cathedral St Dénis. No ticket problems here. I made the silly mistake to take the fast RER train to the railway station out there. Crime capital black spot it seems. It gives you a shady world of guys selling stolen goods and cigarettes. Was guided through by a friendly dad and daughter. Inside, architecture and funerary monuments to take your breath away. Birth place of Gothic architecture. For the way back we took the normal Metro back next to the Cathedral.
Musee des Monuments Francais. Plaster cast of large portals and sculpture ensembles in a glorious building. It saves you a trip to 80 French cities and you can come up and make photos up close all in white gypsum plaster, so very photogenic. Please be warned there is only an expensive restaurant inside and you cannot just enter for a coffee / tea and cake, only for a full expensive meal.
Arts et Metiers technical museum. No problems here. I think you do not have to book a date and time slot. On a Saturday afternoon when I visited the museum was almost deserted.
At Gare du Nord railway station I bought a 5-day public transport RATP ticket for me and my partner, at the total cost of Euro 76 and the machine ate my information but did NOT deliver any tickets. The money was booked off my bank account. A complaint is active right now. It takes a degree in science to get to the right information to file a RATP complaint. Filing online through a web site is blocked. So I had to print a page and add a postage stamp.