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 just plain charm 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 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.

Skip the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

Skip the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

This iconic symbol of Paris is super popular and super busy, at almost any time of year. This means that you can expect lineups often to be something like two hours long. Happily, you can sign up for guided priority-access tours that get you up the tower quickly. (Advance tickets don't get you priority access, but they do let you skip the first line — the ticket line.)

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.

Another way to book an Eiffel Tower skip-the-line tour is when it is part of a combination package that includes other Paris activities, like a cruise or a show at Moulin Rouge. Or, you might consider a very memorably evening dining at the Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Jules Verne, up on Level Two.

Here are our top choices for skipping the lines at the Eiffel Tower, and we'll indicate what level they go up to. If you can't find your dates in any of our recommendations, check the Big List of Eiffel Tower Tours.


1. 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 !


2. Level Two Priority Eiffel Tower Access with Host

Once again you meet your guide at the base and walk past the lineups for priority access , this time for only the the first and second levels of the Eiffel Tower. After a tour where you learn history and anecdotes, you're free to spend as much time as you like taking in the views. This small group activity is limited to 20 people.


3. VIP Eiffel Tower Tour + Evening Champagne Cruise

This kicks off with a guided, nighttime, champagne-fuelled 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 (but not the summit). Finish the evening viewing the lights of Paris for as long as you like.


4. Dinner at Michelin-Starred Le Jules Verne

This may be the ultimate dinner-in-Paris experience. Le Jules Verne is Alain Ducasse's Michelin restaurant on the second level of the Eiffel Tower. (We love how Paris puts its iconic monuments to other uses.) Here you dine in one-star splendor 400 feet above the city, and the food is on par with the spectacular food. We'll give you the VIP link that ensures you get a window seat (for the best views) and a few extra perks like like a glass of champagne to start, a six-glass wine pairing at dinner, and a plateful of delicious bite-sized desserts.

You can be sure this is going to sell out, so book as early as you can.

Visit Versailles Without Lineups

The Best of Versailles Full-Day Tour

Versailles is another 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 two very 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.


5. 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 have 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 !


6. VIP Versailles Tour with Private Viewing of the Royal Quarters

As our pal Lorde keeps telling us, we may never be royal, but we sure felt like it on this priority-access tour of Versailles that gets you into parts of Versailles that most visitors will never see, including the magnificent Royal Opera House. If you choose the morning tour you'll have access to the Hall of Mirrors before the crowds arrive. There's time left over to explore the gardens and even to have lunch (at your expense this time). Available in the warmer months. Highly recommended by us.

Lose the Louvre Lineup


We know — we're stretching it a bit with that title, 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.


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

The is 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.

Again, this is really the only way to do the Louvre. The Louvre tours tend to sell out, so try to book early.


8. Evening Tour Of The Louvre + Wine Tasting

Are you surprised to learn that this is our personal favorite Louvre tour? Probably not since it combines three of our most-loved activities — being in Paris, viewing world-famous art with an expert guide, and wine tasting with a trained sommelier. We recommend the 6:30 PM tour for a nighttime visit of the Louvre when the crowds are lighter. Of course you also get to skip the lines. After the tour, walk to the nearby wine bar for a guided tasting of French wines. Á votre santé !

Skip the Line at Musée d'Orsay

Private Guided Tour of Musée d'Orsay

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 really translate into shorter lines. So, this is another place where we search for skip-the-line ideas. We have two solutions for you — both enter the museum at Door B, exclusively reserved for tours with a booked time-slot, so there's no waiting.


9. Musée d'Orsay Skip-the-Line Guided Tour

You meet up with your guide in front of d'Orsay and walk through Door B, ignoring as best you can the envious looks from people in the ticket line. This is a small-group tour, ensuring individual attention, that takes you directly to d'Orsay's greatest hits, like Van Gogh's Starry Night. After a two-our tour, you're free to spend as much time in the museum as you like.


10. Private 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 and Musée 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 and expert guide. It's another private tour for just you and your party, ensuring lots of personal attention.

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