The Top 10 Ways To Skip The Lines In Paris – Eiffel Without Effort!

Paris is a very popular place, and rightly so. The museums and monuments and the just-plain-charm of the city make it attractive to millions of visitors every year. And that's where a difficulty can arise — millions of visitors and glorious attractions usually mean long line-ups waiting to get in. Who doesn't want to get inside the Louvre or to the top of the Eiffel Tower or visit private rooms at Versailles? That's why you come here.

As you know by now, we hate standing in line and do whatever we can to avoid it. Luckily, we've discovered that's often relatively easy to do in Paris in the form of guided, skip-the-line tours. All these guided tours include priority access so that your guide can lead you right past the long lines. Let's take a look at the top ways to avoid waiting in line in Paris.

Visit Versailles Without Lineups

The Best of Versailles Full-Day Tour

Versailles is one of the don't-miss destination when you're in Paris. It's a little ways outside the city, but that doesn't stop throngs of tourists heading there… and then waiting in long lines to get it. But there are popular options that a smart visitor can use to avoid the lineups. When you join up with these tours you enter the royal estate by a side gate reserved for special-access activities, avoiding the queue that snakes its way across the grounds and right out the main entry into the parking area. Honestly, a guided tour is the only way to do it.


1. 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. There's time to spend exploring the amazing gardens. You also visit the Grand Trianon, Louis XIV's private palace. Add to this lunch at the Grand Canal and you have a full and satisfying day.

Even better, this is also available as a private tour, for just you and your party, with an even better lunch menu !


2. Skip-the-Line, Morning Tour of Versailles

Our pal Lorde tells us that we may never be royal, but we sure felt like it on this priority-access tour of Versailles. This popular morning tour starts out right from your Paris address; your driver/guide then whisks you out to the royal estate. The number of participants is limited to a maximum of eight to allow you to enjoy a tailor-made excursion. Included is a priority-access ticket with a guided tour of the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Apartments, plus free time to explore the gardens.

Lose the Louvre Lineup


We know — we're stretching it a bit with that title alliteration, but the Louvre is definitely one of the main Paris attractions where 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.


3. Skip-the-Line Guided Tour of the Louvre Museum

This the #1 most popular Louvre activity and it means just what it says. Priority access tickets allow you to follow the guide straight into the world's largest museum — and that's true for every room in the Louvre, including temporary exhibitions. The tour is two-and-a-half hours and gets you to some of the very best art in the world. And after the tour, you're free to stay in the museum and explore your other areas of interest.

We'll say it once again, this is really the only way to do the Louvre. The Louvre tours tend to sell out, so try to book early.


4. Masterpieces of the Louvre Private Tour

Skip the long lines and revel in a personalized experience at the world's most famous museum. On this highly-rated art tour your expert guide leads you past the lineups directly to the iconic treasures of the Louvre. Whether this is your first visit to the museum or your sixth you're going to be surprised and delighted. This is our top Louvre recommendation.

Eiffel Without the Effort

Skip the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

This iconic symbol of Paris is both popular and busy, with long lineups at almost any time of year. Happily, you can sign up for guided priority-access tours that get you up the tower quickly.

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when planning your Eiffel Tower visit. First off, tickets (even for guides) are only available three months in advance. So for instance, to book a May 1 tour you have to wait until February 1. Second, many of the skip-the-lines tours only get you the Level Two, not to Level Three, which is the summit. The view from Level Two is glorious, in some ways maybe even better than at the top because you can distinguish buildings and places better. But then again, getting to the top of the tower (and being able to say you did) is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

The most important planning advice for the Eiffel Tower is to remember that everybody wants to visit, so tours and other 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


5. Eiffel Tower Level Two Priority Access

You meet your escort at the base of the tower for priority access to the Tower. This activity can also be combined with a Seine River cruise — which we recommend as a great option.


6. Eiffel Tower Tour + Summit Access

This is the way to go if you want the complete Eiffel Tower experience. Meet up with an expert guide at the base of the tower, then follow her through the priority-access entrance and up the elevator. For 90 minutes you'll view the city below while learning facts, history, and anecdotes about the tower.

At the end of the guided part of the tour you use your included tickets to ride all the way to the top, where you can spend as long as you want gazing at Paris from 900 feet, sipping champagne. Because, of course, there's a champagne bar at the top of the tower !


7. Level Two Eiffel Tower Priority Access

Once again you meet your guide at the base and walk past the lineups for priority access . After a tour where you learn history and anecdotes, you're free to spend as much time as you like taking in the views. Group size is limited.


8. VIP Eiffel Tower Tour + Evening Champagne Cruise

This kicks off with a guided, nighttime, champagne-fueled cruise along the famous Seine River. Your guide pours the bubbly while telling you all about the iconic landmarks you are gliding past. By the time your boat docks the Tower is all aglow and waiting for your VIP, priority-access tour that takes you to the first two levels. Finish the evening viewing the lights of Paris for as long as you like. Choose from champagne cruises start at 7:30, 8:20, or 9:20 Pm.


9. Seine River Dinner Cruise + Eiffel Tower + Moulin Rouge

This 3-in-1 tour certainly create a night to remember. It starts with a driver whisking you to the Seine River where you board your bateau. Sip champagne and dine on French classics while you admire the illuminated monuments and buildings of Paris as they drift by your window table. Then it's a short after-dinner stroll to the Eiffel Tower for a birds-eye view of the city. Finally, you're delivered to the legendary Moulin Rouge to experience the top musical cabaret in Europe.

Skip the Line at Musée d'Orsay

Private Guided Tour of Musée 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.


10. Small-Group Guided Tour of Musée d'Orsay

It makes great sense that an art historian would be the perfect guide to Musée d'Orsay, and that's what you get with this activity. You learn all about the history of the building and, of course, the pertinent details of the most famous of the works of art. For us, our best museum experience have been with an expert guide, we learn so much more than on our own.

Bonus – Private Tour of the Louvre Museum + Musée d'Orsay

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 guides. It's another private tour for just you and your party, ensuring lots of personal attention.

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