Paris is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Every year, people from all over the world come to Paris to visit its cherished landmarks and for good reason. As a result, the tourist queues at all of Paris’ most popular landmarks (including the ones that don’t require a ticket like Basilica du Sacre-Coeur) have become painfully long. That's right, ticket queues can easily extend for blocks and one can expect tourists waiting anywhere between 1-4 hours.
6 Ways To Skip The Lines at Paris Attractions
Don’t let this scare you into believing that visiting Paris’ famous attractions are a logistical nightmare and a test of your patience. There are a few simple tricks that you can use to get past these notorious lines with ease at most, if not all of Paris’ major landmarks. In this post, we will look at the top landmarks that should be on the must-explore list of everyone visiting Paris.
By the end of the post, you will not only know how to avoid these horror ticket queues, but also get insider tips and information on how to make your experience a truly fulfilling one.
#1 - Buy Skip The Line Tickets
This is a sure-fire way of avoiding arduously-long ticketing queues. Almost all major attractions in Paris sell skip-the-line tickets, which promises you the fastest way into the attraction. Whether you're looking for Eiffel Tower tickets, Louvre Museum tickets, or Catacomb Paris tickets, make sure you pick yourself up some skip the line tickets and enter the attraction worry-free!
Purchase your tickets online ahead of time and head straight for the security gates. There may be security checks at the attraction, post which you can enter and enjoy the beauty of the Parisian landmark at ease.
Check out ticket options here:
#2 - Choose The Right Entrance
Each Parisian attraction has its own blueprint, and more often than not, the attraction will have more than one dedicated entrance. It is therefore recommended that before you visit, you do your homework. Find out which entrance is best suited for you before you visit- this will help shave valuable time. For instance, while visiting the Palace of Versailles, a group would take gate B, while an individual would take gate A. Knowing this ahead of time would save last minute confusion and time on your day of visit.
Learn more about some of the major Parisian attractions' entrances here:
#3 - Opt For Guided Tours
Don't want to deal with the hassle of finding the right entrance at the attraction? Want someone else to be in charge of the nitty-gritties of your tour while you spend your time exploring said attraction? That does sound like a sweet deal, doesn't it?
Consider booking yourself a guided tour. This way, you won't be bothered with the logistics of the tour and have more time to spend admiring the actual attraction. Whether you're at the Louvre gasping at the vast collections of art or underground delving deep into Parisian history at the Catacombs, you're in good hands. Your guide will help navigate you past the long ticketing queue and escort you inside. No waiting in lines. Isn't that the dream?
Check out ticket options here:
#4 - Grab Paris City/Museum Pass
Paris City Pass
The Paris City Pass is perfect to gain priority access to the Palace of Versailles, Louvre, Orsay Museum, the Notre Dame Cathedral, as well other attractions throughout Paris. This pass grants you priority access to numerous attractions, allowing you to skip the line at some of the major landmarks of Paris, notorious for having long ticketing queues. While you have skip-the-line access to attractions like the Palace of Versailles, not all sections are necessarily skip-the-line. For instance, with the Paris Pass, you do not have access to the gardens or shows.
Paris Museum Pass
The Paris Museum Pass gives you priority access to over 60 museums and monuments in Paris for only a fraction of the cost. With the Paris Museum Pass, you will be able to visit the Louvre without having to wait in the ticket line. Check out your options.
#5 - Visit Paris At Night
Waiting lines at any of the Parisian attractions during the day are expectedly massive. This is the case even more so during the summer. With tourists and families thronging the lines, it is a proven fact that you experience lesser crowds at night. Therefore, if you can move your plans of sightseeing at night, we recommend it. Experience the City of Lights in all its glittering glory! Watch the famous landmarks (Louvre, Eiffel Tower, etc.) come to life at night.
#6 - Visit Paris During The Low Season
The shoulder season in Paris is between the months of November and March. Since most tourists are looking for sun-soaked destinations to escape to during these months, Paris is less-crowded this time of year. Now, when we say "lesser-crowded", you can still expect crowds, just less than the hundreds of thousands you can expect during the summer and spring.
Attractions In Paris With The Longest Queues: What Can I Expect?
Now that you know the best ways to waltz past the terrifyingly-long ticketing queues at famous Parisien attractions, let's find out what some of these attractions are so you can plan your trip accordingly:
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel tower is undoubtedly the highlight of the trip for most people visiting Paris. Over 7 million people visit the Eiffel Tower every year. That roughly equates to 20,000 people in a single day. Standing at a height of 324 metres, the Eiffel Tower consists of three levels that are open to public - first level, second level and the summit. The first and second levels are accessible via stairs or elevators from the ground level while the summit level is accessible only via elevators from the second level.
With only a limited number of elevators available to transport people up and down the tower, the queue that lines up to take these elevators are extremely long and depending on when you go, can be upto an hour long, if not more.
How To Skip the Lines At The Eiffel Tower
The Louvre Museum
The Louvre Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world. Surpassed only by The Palace Museum in Beijing, the Louvre sees over 23,000 people walk through its doors every day, bring the yearly visits to a staggering 7.5 million visitors each year. If you visit The Louvre Museum with the intention of purchasing tickets on site, then prepare yourself to wait in a line that snakes in front of the Louvre Pyramid for hundreds of meters and has a waiting period of anywhere between 1-2 hours long.
How To Skip the Lines At The Louvre
The Catacombs are a network of medieval mines and tunnels that run under the bustling streets of Paris and are home to the skeletal remains of over 6 million people. Today, more than 200 hundred years after the bodies were laid out, the Paris Catacombs have become one of the most visited attractions in Paris.
The visitable section of the Catacombs is just over a mile long and can house a maximum of 200 visitors at a time. With an average visit to the Catacombs lasting from 45 minutes to 1 hour and only one entrance, the regulation on the number of visitors causes extremely long waiting queues to form at the Catacombs entrance. On certain days, if you go late and wait in the long line, there’s a chance that your wait will be fruitless and you won’t get a chance to enter.
The Orsay Museum (Musee d’Orsay)
Once a railway station in Paris that welcomed visitors from the south-west of France, Gare d'Orsay was converted into an art museum and renamed as Musee d’Orsay. One of the largest museums in Europe, Musee d’Orsay is home to the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world. Built between 1898 and 1900, the museum houses prominent works of art from the 19th century, including remarkable pieces from artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Manet, Cézanne, Sisley and Gauguin.
With lose to 4 million visitors every year, Musee d’Orsay is one of the most visited museums in Paris, with only the Louvre getting more visitors. The story with Orsay is the same as pretty much every major landmark in Paris - a queue that we could all do without.
The Palace of Versailles
The Palace of Versailles is one of the most extraordinary architectural achievements of Renaissance Europe. Built in the 17th century as a hunting lodge for King Louis XIII, the Palace slowly grew to become the royal residence of the French Monarchy until the French Revolution. During this period, the palace was heavily embellished by the ruling monarchs and was transformed into a surreal architectural achievement.
Spread over 63,154m², the Palace of Versailles contains 2,300 rooms and is home to works of art from over five centuries. A work of art in itself, the Palace of Versailles is visited by approximately 5 million people every year. Even larger is the number of people who visit its royal garden.
How To Skip the Lines At The Versailles Palace
FAQs: Skipping The Lines in Paris
The best way to skip the lines at famous Parisian attractions is to buy skip-the-line tickets.
Yes, guided tours help reduce the wait time at famous Parisian attractions. You also don't have to worry about choosing the right entrance with a guided tour.
Some of the Parisian attractions with famously-long ticketing queues are Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Paris Catacombs, the Palace of Versailles, and the Orsay Museum.
It absolutely is recommended to visit Paris by night- it is a great time to view the city lit up and you can beat the tourist crowds at this time of day.
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