Nine Ways To Skip The Lines At Paris Monuments & Museums

You're in Paris to have fun — to take in the incredible sights and museums the city has to offer. You're not in Paris to wait in line. Since we also hate standing in long lineups we always find ways to skip the lines wherever we can. With the priority-access guided tours we've selected you, too, can bypass those long queues and go directly to the Mona Lisa, the Picassos, the Monets, and the top of the Eiffel Tower.


Visit Versailles Without Lineups

Versailles Half-Day Small-Group Tour

Versailles is a don't-miss destination when you're in Paris. It's a little way outside the city, but that doesn't stop throngs of tourists heading there… and then waiting in long lines to get it. But here are popular options that a smart visitor can use to avoid the lineup that snakes its way across the grounds. Honestly, a guided tour is the only way to do it.


#1. Chateau de Versailles & Marie Antoinette

Your driver spirits you from Paris to the royal estate, where priority access lets you skip the long lines and head directly inside to experience the grandeur of the chateau on a guided tour that includes the state apartments, the Hall of Mirrors and the Queen's Chambers. Afterwards, stroll through the stunning gardens at your leisure. A guided visit to Marie Antoinette's fantasy farm is also included.


#2. The Best of Versailles Full-Day Tour

Visitors love this priority-access tour, and for good reason. It's a full-day, 8-hour, small-group tour that picks you up and returns you to your Paris hotel. You spend your time at the estate exploring (with the help of your guide) the Royal Apartments, the Hall of Mirrors, and other majestic rooms. You also visit the Grand Trianon, Louis XIV's private palace and there's plenty of time to spend exploring the amazing gardens.


#3. Half-Day, Priority-Access Tour of Versailles

Don't have a full day? You still skip the Versailles lineups with this half-day guided tour. Led by an expert guide this activity includes transportation right from your hotel. It's (usually) available in the morning and in the afternoon.


#4. Visit Versailles + Monet's Gardens in One Day

This 2-in-1 activity takes you to two essential landmarks in one day — the chateau and gardens of the royal estate at Versailles, plus the famous gardens of Impressionist master Claude Monet at nearby Giverny. Save time with skip-the-line entrance to the Château de Versailles and its elegant garden. This small-group tour (no more than 8 people, to ensure personal attention) includes transportation from central Paris and lunch.

Lose the Louvre Lineup


The Louvre is definitely a place you want to do your best to lose the lineup. What does ten million visitors a year mean? That's right — long lines. Since avoiding the queues is our life's mission, we've delved deep and found some ways to go directly to the Mona Lisa.


#5. Masterpieces of the Louvre Tour

Don't just wander around the world's biggest museum. Skip the lineups and go straight to the Louvre's greatest masterpieces. In the time you'd spend in line, you will be admiring the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, and of course, the Mona Lisa. This small-group tour is led by an expert museum guide. After the tour ends you're free to explore the museum on your own. Also available as a private tour.

#6. Eiffel Without the Effort

Skip the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

This iconic symbol of Paris is tall, thin & popular, with long lineups any time of year. Happily, you can sign up for guided priority-access tours that get you up the tower quickly. Some skip-the-line tours take you to Level Two; while others get up all the way to the summit, Level Three.

The most important planning advice for the Eiffel Tower is to remember that everybody wants to visit, so Eiffel Tower activities sell out quickly. This means you may have to do a bit of searching to find an available skip-the-line tour on your dates. We've made the search a bit easier by providing the links below

#7. Modern Art at Centre Pompidou

Centre Pompidou tour

Europe's greatest collection of modern art can be seen at Centre Pompidou, the huge modern art museum located in the Marais. The collection is vast and the ticket lines are long, but we recommend you save time, avoid the line-ups, and have the best expense by signing up for this private tour. An art expert guides helps you appreciate works by Picasso, Dix, Haring, even Andy Warhol. Well worth it!

Skip the Line at Musée d'Orsay

Private Guided Tour of Musee d'Orsay, photo by Mark Craft

Musée d'Orsay is second in importance only to the Louvre. Its collections of Impressionism and other masterpieces of 19th-century art are unsurpassed. We love visiting here again and agin, especially since there are always temporary exhibitions tempting us to come back. And the building by itself is worth the visit — a Belle Epoque former train station.

But being in second place doesn't often translate into shorter lines. So, this is another place where we search for skip-the-line ideas. We recommended this well-liked private tour that enters the museum at Door B, exclusively reserved for tours with a booked time-slot, so there's no waiting.


#8. Musée d'Orsay Impressionism Tour

As we mentioned, the Musée d'Orsay is a very busy place. This small-group tour just might be the best way to see the highlights of the collection and beat the crowds. You skip the long line and follow your guide directly to the masterpieces of Manet, Monet, Degas, and Van Gogh, all the while learning all about the Impressionists and the story of the magnificent museum that was once a train station.

#9. Louvre + Musée d'Orsay In One Day

Private Tour of the Louvre Museum + d'Orsay

For the whole enchilada (to use the appropriate French term) choose this skip-the-lines museum activity that takes you to both the Louvre and Musée d'Orsay on tours led by an experienced guide. What we love about this combo tour is the efficiency. In a few hours you are able to see more art at the two most popular Paris museums than you would in days on your own.

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