If this is your first trip to Paris, you may want to get the most out of the City of Light. Because this is your first time in Paris, you want to visit the main tourist attractions or at least some of them. After many years of dreaming of Paris, finally, you have the opportunity to see the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, or Versailles with your own eyes!
But maybe you forgot that Paris is one of the most visited cities on this planet, so you won’t be alone. Actually, right now, there are thousands of people planning their very first time in Paris on the same dates. And probably they also want to visit the most famous Paris landmarks and the most iconic buildings in Paris, which means that the waiting lines can get long. Very long.
Sounds scary? It can be . . .
Despite enjoying talking about the more local side of Paris, we are not here to tell you to avoid the main tourist places in Paris, just avoid the longest lines! And how to skip the line in Paris? How to avoid the lines in Paris’ top tourist attractions? Keep on reading for our best Paris skip-the-line tips
Most Popular Paris Tourist Attractions
This is the list of the seven most popular attractions in Paris (by the number of visitors) and in the Parisian Region:
- Louvre Museum (10.2M visitors)
- Château de Versailles (10M visitors)
- Eiffel Tower (7M visitors)
- Musée d Orsay (3.2M visitors)
- Disneyland Paris (1.92M visitors)
- Arc de Triomphe (1.5M visitors)
- Catacombs of Paris (0,55M visitors)
For each of these tourist places, we will give you the best local tips to avoid the lines (or at least to avoid the longest lines) during the high season and low season in Paris.
Skip the Line Paris Tips & Tricks
Our tried and tested skip-the-line Paris tricks can’t eliminate the lines entirely, but they will cut the waiting time significantly. Spend your time in Paris eating croissants or drinking a glass of wine instead of waiting in line!
1. Buy a Paris Skip-the-line Pass
A Paris Skip-the-line Pass (or Paris Tourist Pass) allows visitors to save time and money thanks to its Paris skip-the-line tickets and many discounts. The Paris Museum Pass skip-the-line is the most popular Paris pass skip-the-line.
The Paris Museum Pass offers visitors direct access to 60+ top attractions and museums in Paris and Ile-de France region. This skip-the-line Paris pass is available for 2, 4 or 6 consecutive days – Click here to buy your Paris Museum Pass
The Paris Pass Lib‘ is the city’s official pass and offers visitors a more personalised experience, as they can choose their 5 favourite experiences among the 54 options offered. This skip-the-line Pass Paris has a validity of one year, and its users can skip the line through a separate entrance – Click here to buy your Paris Pass’ Lib
Apart from the Paris Museum Pass and the Paris Pass Lib’, there are other skip-the-line Paris passes that might suit you better. Check out our Paris Pass Comparison for all the tourist pass options in Paris.
2. Buy Paris Skip the Line Tickets or Tours
If you want to visit only a few Paris tourist places but still you hate the idea of wasting your time waiting in line, the best option for you is to buy separate skip-the-line Paris tickets or tours.
Most popular skip-the-line tickets and tours in Paris
- Arc de Triomphe skip the line ticket
- Orsay Museum skip the line ticket
- Sainte Chapelle skip the line ticket
- Skip the line Louvre Highlights tour
- Skip the line Eiffel Tower tour to the summit
Most popular Paris Combo tickets
2x skip-the-line guided tours
Louvre Museum + Orsay Museum
2x skip-the-line tickets
Orsay ticket is valid up to 7 days after visiting the Orangerie
Orsay Museum + Orangerie Museum
2x skip-the-line tickets
Sainte Chapelle + Conciergerie
2x skip the line tickets + 1 river cruise
Eiffel Tower guided visit, Louvre Museum + Seine Cruise
3. Know the Best Time to Avoid Crowds
Then, for each tourist attraction, there are days and time slots when there are lesser crowds, according to statistics.
Below, you will find the best time to avoid crowds for each of the most popular Paris attractions. For the most visited attractions, we also have dedicated posts with more travel tips. The colours on the tables correspond to the estimated waiting time by time slot: green means less waiting time, while red means very long lines.
Skip the Line Paris-Eiffel Tower
5 Avenue Anatole France, Paris 7
The Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris and France, and it is located in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris (often nicknamed ‘the Eiffel Tower district’). If you are visiting Paris for the first time, you cannot miss going up the Eiffel Tower!
Best Time to Visit the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower never rests; it opens every day!
» During the high season, there is no best time to visit Eiffel Tower, and the Eiffel Tower waiting time can be up to 2 hours within the time slots marked as “very strong.”
» During the low season, the Eiffel Tower lines are shorter, especially during the weekdays. The best time to visit Eiffel Tower during the low season is early in the morning and late afternoon (except on Friday afternoon, when weekenders arrive).
Buy Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Tickets or Tours
When buying an Eiffel Tower ticket online, you need to choose a specific date and time slot. Time slots are every 30 minutes, so you are sure to get in within that period (perhaps a bit longer if ticket controls are slow).
Only guided tours proposed by companies like Get Your Guide offer skip-the-line access, plus most of them offer the option to cancel up to 24 hrs in advance and receive a full refund (see conditions in the tour description).
Best Get Your Guide Eiffel Tower tickets and tours which are fully refundable:
- Tour outside the Eiffel Tower and skip the line ticket to the summit – free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
- Eiffel Tower direct access tour to the summit by elevator – free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
- Eiffel Tower priority access summit & audio guide – free cancellation up to 72 hours in advance
It is possible to buy tickets to the Eiffel Tower three months in advance. Tickets purchased from the Eiffel Tower website sell out very fast. If there’s nothing left for your dates in Paris, check out companies like Get Your Guide or Tiqets. These Eiffel Tower tickets, however, often come with guided tours or an escort.
TIP: During the low season, the last access to the Eiffel Tower by stairs is at 6 pm, while the last access by lift is at 11 pm!
Skip the Line Paris-Louvre Museum
Rue de Rivoli, Paris 1
The Louvre Museum in the 1st Arrondissement is, with 10.2M yearly visitors, the most popular attraction in Paris. The Louvre Palace was home to the Kings of France in medieval times until King Louis XIV moved the court to Versailles. In August 1793, the National Assembly opened the Louvre as a museum with a collection of 537 paintings. Check out our dedicated post with the best skip-the-line Louvre tips
TIP: if your time in Paris is limited, but you still don’t want to miss the world’s best museum, check out how to visit the Louvre in 2 hours or less
Best Time to Visit the Louvre Museum
The best time to visit the Louvre depends on the season. Generally speaking, it is a good idea to go during the week, maybe arriving half an hour before the opening time.
Because the Louvre is closed on Tuesdays, the previous day and the day after (Mondays and Wednesdays) are more packed than Thursdays. Thursday is our suggestion for visiting the Louvre.
On Wednesday and on Friday, the museum also has a night session from 6 pm to 9.45 pm. Wednesday night is a good time to visit the Louvre, but Friday night is more crowded with weekenders. Wednesday is not available at this moment, but we hope this night visit will be back soon!
The tables below do not consider the free night session on the first Friday of the month, when the Louvre is free to visit for everybody. The free night session is the worst time slot if you want to avoid crowds.
Buy Skip the Line Louvre Tickets or Tours
The Louvre shows the “sold out today” panel quite often (picture above). Only online tickets bought in advance can guarantee entry to the museum, especially during the high season.
You can buy skip-the-line tickets alone or combine them with an audio guide or a guided tour. The truth is that a skip-the-line Louvre guided tour is a temptation difficult to resist in one of the most interesting museums in the world!
TIP: keep your travel plans flexible – Louvre skip-the-line tours with Get Your Guide are refundable. With Get Your Guide, you can cancel for up to 24 hours and get a full refund!
Skip the Line Versailles
Place d’Armes, Versailles
The Versailles Estate consists of different buildings, surrounded by the beautiful Versailles Gardens and forest: Château de Versailles, Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon, and the Queen’s Hamlet. Have a look at this Versailles Quick Guide to plan your day trip to Versailles from Paris.
Best Time to Visit Versailles
The best days to visit Versailles are Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Generally speaking, try to visit the Palace early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Remember that the Trianons and the Queen’s Hamlet open at noon. If you want to visit everything in the Versailles Estate, prioritize the visit to the Château early in the morning.
Buy Skip the Line Versailles Tickets or Tours
Skip the line through a separate entrance and save time! You can decide to visit all of the Domain or just the Palace, independently or with a guided tour.
We recommend, however, booking a skip-the-line guided tour with a small group. Guided tours access the Château through a special entrance, plus it is a more interesting and interactive experience. Some guided tours include transportation from Paris.
Get Your Guide proposes well-rated skip-the-line Versailles tours and tickets. With Get Your Guide, you can cancel for up to 24 hours and get a full refund!
Best Get Your Guide Versailles tickets and tours are fully refundable:
- Versailles skip-the-line tour of the Palace with Gardens access – free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
- Skip the line Versailles full-day tour with lunch – free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
- Skip the line Palace and Gardens half-day tour with transportation – free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Catacombs of Paris Skip the Line
1 avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy, Paris 14
The Catacombs of Paris are former underground quarries that were reused for stocking the bones of disappeared cemeteries in Paris.
Paris Catacombs tours and visits have become very popular among tourists, probably because of its original, spooky character. For this reason, the lines to visit the Catacombs are always long, very long. Check out our review about this Paris Catacombs skip-the-line tour with special access to restricted areas, the best way to visit the Catacombs of Paris.
Best Time to Visit the Catacombs of Paris
The Paris Catacombs are open from Tuesday to Sunday. As you can see in the graphic below, the best time to visit the Catacombs of Paris is early in the morning.
Buy Catacombs of Paris Skip the Line Tickets or Tours
The Paris Catacombs are not included in any Paris Skip-the-line Pass, so we recommend buying skip-the-line tickets or guided tours to avoid the lines. Here are the most popular:
Skip the Line Paris-Arc de Triomphe
Place Charles de Gaulle, Paris 8
Many visitors to Paris want to climb up to the Arc de Triomphe because of its great views of the Champs Elysées and the Eiffel Tower. Apart from getting one of the best views of Paris, there is a small exhibition space about the Arc’s architecture and sculptures.
Best Time to Visit Arc de Triomphe
Obviously, the best time to visit Arc de Triomphe to avoid the lines is when the weather is bad. However, as you can see in the picture above, Arc de Triomphe’s wait time is not that long, except for the weekends.
Buy Arc de Triomphe Skip the Line Tickets
If you plan to visit Arc de Triomphe during the most crowded time slots in the high season, it might be good to buy a skip-the-line ticket online for a couple of euros more. With your skip-the-line ticket in hand, ignore the long line and go straight to the main entrance at the foot of the monument – Click here to buy your skip-the-line Arc de Triomphe ticket
Skip the Line Paris-Orsay Museum
1 rue de la Légion d’Honneur, Paris 7
The Orsay Museum, located in a former train station in the 7th Arrondissement, is internationally renowned for its rich collection of Impressionist art, with important collections of Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Paul Gauguin.
The Orsay Museum is one of the most visited museums in Paris after the Louvre, and it usually sees long lines.
Best Time to Visit the Orsay Museum
The best day to visit Musée d’Orsay is on Wednesday and also on Friday. Try to avoid Tuesdays, when the Louvre is closed, so everybody flocks to Musée d’Orsay.
Few people know that on Thursday, the museum is open until 9.45 pm. From 6 pm to 9.45 pm, Musée d’Orsay’s wait time is shorter (10 minutes maximum), and tickets are cheaper.
Orsay Museum Skip the Line Tickets or Tours
Musée d’Orsay waiting times can be super long. Your best option to avoid the line at Orsay Museum is to book an Orsay Museum skip-the-line ticket.
If you want to get the most out of this wonderful museum, this Orsay Museum Guided Tour by a professional guide is always top-rated and has excellent reviews.
Skip the Line Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris is a popular destination in Europe, thanks to its magical atmosphere, fun rides and shows, and its excellent location near Paris. Disneyland Paris is located in Marne-la-Vallée, a town 40 km east of Paris. Marne-la-Vallée is home to the two Disneyland Paris parks, all the Disneyland Paris hotels, and a shopping mall.
With more than 1.92M of visitors per year, Disneyland Paris is one of the most popular day trips from Paris, but it is also a destination for itself. Check out our Disneyland Paris Guide with all the information and travel tips to plan your visit to Disneyland Paris.
Best Time to Visit Disneyland Paris
The best time to visit Disneyland Paris depends on many factors, such as the day of the week, local or school holidays, and Disneyland Paris events.
Generally speaking, the colder months see lesser crowds, except for Halloween and the Christmas holidays. Check out our Disneyland Paris Crowd Calendar to avoid the busiest days and how to skip the longest lines once you are there!
And there you have it, our skip-the-line Paris guide with the best Paris skip-the-line tickets, tourist passes, and travel tips.
Some interesting articles in the blog
- Useful tips to avoid madness in Paris
- Read about eating in Paris here
- Our Districts of Paris Quick Guide is here
- Read why Paris is Always a good idea here
Pin it now & read it later
Cover Picture: Tour Eiffel picture via Flikr CC @Mohamed Yahya