"Queuing a.k.a. standing in lines" Top 5 Page for this destination Long Lines - Queues Tip by Nemorino
Long Lines - Queues, Paris: 25 reviews and 41 photos
Most of what I do in Paris involves little or no queuing, so I can't speak from personal experience, but I have recently come to realize that for some people the queuing situation in Paris can be a huge problem.
Imagine an unprepared tourist coming to Paris in the summer for a two-day visit in hopes of visiting five or six of the most popular tourist attractions. That person could easily spend five or six hours (or more?) doing nothing but standing in lines to get into the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the towers of Notre Dame, the Sainte-Chapelle, the Orsay Museum, the Orangerie and a boat ride on the Seine.
Of course there may people who enjoy queuing. If you are one of these, please don't let me spoil your fun. But if you are a queuephobe* like me, I do suggest that you take precautions to reduce queuing time, so as not to completely spoil your Paris visit.
If you are an early riser, you might try arriving at some of these places first thing in the morning. I have never tried this (not being an early riser) but I'm told it can help.
For the Eiffel Tower you might want to try their new option of buying advance tickets online. (I haven't tried this yet.)
For the Sainte-Chapelle you could go to an evening concert instead of lining up for a long wait during the day.
For the museums you might consider getting a two-, four- or six-day Museum Pass. In August 2008 I went to the fnac store at Forum Les Halles and bought a four-day Museum Pass which I used from Wednesday through Saturday. It didn't save me much money, because I also had other things on my agenda besides museums, but it did save me hours of queuing time, so I can highly recommend it.
Since a lot of museums (for instance the Louvre) are closed on Tuesdays, a six-day Museum Pass would only make sense if you could use it from Wednesday through Monday. On the other hand, some museums are open on Tuesdays but closed on Mondays, so it depends on which ones you want to visit.
Also, please remember that the museums belonging to the City of Paris, such as the Petit Palais and the Musée Carnavalet, are free for the permanent exhibitions, so you don’t need a Museum Pass to visit them.
For more details on the Museum Passes, please have a look at breughel's tip about them, or tiabunna's.
*Queuephobe I think is a word I made up myself, but I haven't quite decided on the spelling. Queuephobe or Queuophobe? But not Queueophobe, that looks silly.
Second and third photos: With my Museum Pass I didn't have to join the long queue at Door A of the Orsay Museum, but walked right in through Door C, Reserved Access.
Fourth photo: Waiting in line at Sainte-Chapelle.
Fifth photo: As of 2013, a Paris Museum Pass looks like this and costs 39 Euros for a two-day pass, 54 Euros for a four-day pass or 69 Euros for a six-day pass. I bought a four-day pass in June 2012 which I used from Thursday through Sunday, and this time it saved me money as well as time, because the weather was cool and rainy so I went to more museums than usual. Also I used my pass to go up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, which is open till 23:00 (eleven p.m.) during the summer months, so you can go there after the museums have closed.
If you only want to visit one or two museums, check their websites on how to get advance tickets, as these are sometimes more economical than the Paris Museum Pass and they also allow you to avoid the long lines. (You still have to go through security, but that is usually a much shorter line.)
Above all, do not let anyone talk you into buying the so-called "Paris Pass", which is merely the Paris Museum Pass packaged with some expensive extras that you won't have time for, and sold at a huge mark-up.
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