There are so many incredible things to see in Paris that you’re sure to want to fit in as many as you can during your visit. If you are only in the city for a short break or a long weekend, you won’t want to waste hours of your time waiting in queues, but unfortunately in Paris there are long winding queues at almost all of the big-name attractions. Don’t worry though, we’ve got some great tips to help you avoid the queues, giving you more time to enjoy your holiday.
While this isn’t in the city centre, Disneyland Paris is one of the city’s main tourist attractions, with around 14.8 million visitors last year alone! If you want to make your visit magical, there’s nothing like the magic of Disney. Pre-booking gate ready tickets means you don’t have to spend time queuing at the kiosks, simply scan your ticket when you arrive and go straight in. By booking in advance you’ll also save money. Tickets at the gate cost around €88 pp, but if you book in advance, you can purchase tickets from just €41! This means there’s more money to spend on Disney goodies and tasty treats inside the park.
For most people visiting Paris, the Eiffel Tower is at the very top of the list of things to see. With so many people having the same idea, it makes sense that there are always going to be queues outside. If you want to see this iconic monument in all its glory, but don’t want to wait around in long lines, we’d recommend pre-booking to have lunch or dinner at the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant. This restaurant is actually inside the tower, and allows you fast access to the first floor where the restaurant is located.
You can enjoy a delicious 3-course picnic style lunch with a basket of incredible dishes (like creamy mushroom soup and chicken drizzled in a rich chorizo sauce) delivered to your table. Lunch starts from €44 pp, and a champagne dinner from €90, with both sittings offering breath-taking panoramic views of the city. Not many people can say they’ve dined inside the Eiffel Tower, so if you want to experience something truly unforgettable and avoid the queues, this is perfect!
Another top tip is to take the stairs- if you can! There are always crowds at the lifts, so if you fancy a challenge, make your way up on foot.
The stunning Notre Dame cathedral is one of the main tourist spots in Paris, attracting around 13 million visitors each year. Unfortunately, this means there are always queues. If you’re planning a visit, it’s worth knowing that the queues tend to move fairly quickly, so don’t be put off straight away. However, if you want to climb the towers to go to the top (like most people do), you could be queueing for a lot longer. Entrance to the towers is from 10am every day, and while it might seem like a lot of effort, if this is something at the top of your list, we really would recommend arriving as early as 8:30am. Leaving it any later could more than double your waiting time! Grab a cup of coffee and a pastry from the local café to keep you entertained while you wait. The incredible views of the city and the famous gargoyles are worth the wait.
Everybody recognises the famous glass pyramid of the Louvre. This pyramid marks the entrance to the museum and the place where you can often find long winding queues, but did you know that this isn’t the only entrance? There are two more ‘secret’ entrances to the Louvre, which lots of people seem to be unaware of. Save the pyramid until after your visit (you can take plenty of photos then!) and save time waiting around in queues.
The Carrousel du Louvre entrance can be accessed from the metro stop ‘Palais Royale- Musee du Louvre’. This will bring you out into an underground shopping centre with shops like the Apple store, Jo Malone, L’Occitane, Pandora and Lacoste to name just a few. The centre also happens to have a ‘secret’ entrance to the Louvre which always has much shorter queues than the main entrance.
Top Tip: We’ve actually tried this entrance ourselves when the museum is open later (at around 5pm on a Friday) and there wasn’t a single person in front of us! We can’t promise anything, but if you don’t want to wait, try this entrance in the evening.
Porte des Lions is another lesser-known entrance. It’s recently been changed to admit groups only, so if there’s a few of you and you want to cut down your waiting time, you should definitely give it a try.
While entrance to the museum is free on the first Sunday of every month, we’d suggest staying away on this day if you want to avoid the queues. It’s worth knowing that if you’re under 25 and a resident of the EU you’re entitled to free admission any day of the week!
Our top tip for avoiding queues at the beautiful Sacré-Coeur is to arrive early. It might sound simple, but so many visitors don’t do it, and instead arrive later in the day to find a long queue and crowds of people. The church opens at 6am every day, and if you can handle the early start, this is a great way to start the day. If you time it carefully, arriving early also means you can admire the Sacré-Coeur as the sun rises- a truly breath-taking sight. The most important mass of the week is held on a Sunday morning and is one of the busiest times you can visit. Unless you want to attend a service, it might be worth avoiding this time if you want to skip the queues.
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