Paris, the capital of France, City of lights and love and peoples hearts. But it can also be an expensive place and you have the potential to spend a lot of your time waiting in long ques for attractions. Here is how to skip some of these ques!
Travel tip: Paris is the perfect place to visit when you are under 25. The city is safe and the transport is easy to understand. But to encourage young people to visit the museums and sites a number of attractions are free or discounted. This applies to all EU nationals (not sure what will happen after Brexit) so bring your ID everywhere!
Free: Muse D’Orsay, Orange Museum, Arch De Truimphe, Climbing Notre Dame, Versailles and the Louvre.
Discounted: The Eiffel Tower.
This is the home of the Mona Lisa and the Venus demilo. The Louvre has over fourteen kilometres of galleries which you can walk and see the largest museum collection of art work in the old royal palace. The gallery only displays 8% of their total collection. It is the largest collection of artworks in the world. It also has some of the longest queues. In the summer even if you book tickets in advance then you may still have to wait four hours and wait in the hot sun.
Little did you know there is a second entrance below the ground. If you descend to the pyramid’s metro stop and shopping centre there is an alternative entrance to the Louvre and you can purchase your tickets inside. This will save you a lot of time and you can save yourself a long wait.
The Eiffel Tower
This is Paris most popular attraction so as you expect the ques are long. The best option is to book your ticket online and ensure that you arrive at least an hour before but this is not always possible. The weekends and holiday times have extra ticket offices open and have shaded areas. The best time to go up is an hour before sunset to get the best of both views. Early in the morning and later on in the evening will have the shortest queues. If you are under 24 that price to the top is half price!
The entrance is on the north side! You will be subject to bag inspections and not allowed in with glass bottled alcohol. So, bring it in a plastic bottle or buy on site. Give it plenty of time and you can always pose outside away from the crowds. You can’t beat a picnic on the grass outside of the enclosure to enjoy the view. But be prepared to be harassed by gypises.
Musee D’Orsay and Musee Orange
These museums are situated on either side of the Seine across the iconic Ponte de Alexander. Orange has its iconic glass roof and D’Orsay has its large clocks that look out over Paris. D’Orsay have the impressionist such as Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh. Orange holds a range of different exhibits each year. These can have long ques but if you book in advance the queue is only a bout a fifth of the time. It is often quester after lunch or an hour before closing if you only want to skin the paintings.
This is one of the most exquisite palaces, the making of a Disney castle. This place lies about an hour out of the main city which is easily accessed on the C RER but make sure you purchase your return ticket when you get to the station or be prepared to queue for machines that rarely work. Versailles is one of the attractions which houses tour buses of tourist which fly through the museum and palace in no time at all. It should take you a full day to see all of Versailles. If you cannot book in advance try going first thing or after lunch. Get someone to stand in the queue while you get your tickets. Even if you have them it can be a long wait so be prepared. It takes longer now as they do bag checks. Ensure you get an audio guide to get a description of the history. You can rent a buggy to drive round the gardens for 34 euros for 4 people but you have to be over 24 for insurance reasons.
Climbing Notre Dame and Arche De Truimphe
These locations are normally a good photo stop but it is not readily known that you can climb them. Notre dame is the best for a Disney fan who can pretend that they are quasimodo with a wide staircase and open roof. The queue is round to the left of the front of Notre dame and you will have a short queue as only about 30 people can go up a time. Get there first thing and it will be worth it. Try and book.
Arche De Truimphe you can get a ticket at the entrance beneath the underpass from the Champs Elysees. It is a tight winding stair case up but there is a different one for going up and down. There are no windows so if you are unfit and claustrophobic takes some moral support but the view will be worth it.