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© Kenneth Lu
© Kenneth Lu

How to skip the queue at top Paris attractions

Don't like waiting in line? Us neither...

By Alice White Walker

Queuing sucks. Full stop. And as one of the world's most touristic cities, Paris comes with a fair amount of queuing. While the crowds are often unavoidable, there are lots of Paris attractions where you don't have to line up. 

Voilà - here are our best museums and sight-seeing musts where you can skip the queue! Waiting is a thing of the past. 

Paris attractions with queue-jumping tickets

1. Eiffel Tower

Attractions Tour Eiffel

No building better symbolises Paris than the Tour Eiffel. Maupassant claimed he left Paris because of it, William Morris visited daily to avoid having to see it from afar - and it was originally meant to be a temporary structure. The radical cast-iron tower was built for the 1889 World Fair and the centenary of the 1789 Revolution by engineer Gustave Eiffel...

2. La Conciergerie

Attractions Ile de la Cité

The Conciergerie looks every inch the forbidding medieval fortress. The visit takes you through the Salle des Gardes, the medieval kitchens with their four huge chimneys, and the Salle des Gens d'Armes, an impressive vaulted Gothic hall built between 1301 and 1315 for Philippe 'le Bel'. After the royals moved to the Louvre, the fortress became a prison under the watch of the Concierge. You'll see Marie-Antoinette's cell, the Chapelle des Girondins, are her crucifix, some portraits and a guillotine blade...

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
Time Out

3. Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

Attractions Ile de la Cité

Notre-Dame was constructed between 1163 and 1334, and the amount of time and money spent on it reflected the city's growing prestige. The west front remains a high point of Gothic art for the balanced proportions of its twin towers and rose window, and the three doorways with their rows of saints and sculpted tympanums: the Last Judgement...

4. Musée Picasso

Museums Le Marais

Finally, after many years of building works, the Musée Picasso re-opened its doors on October 25 2014 – once again, the people of Paris can enjoy masterpieces such as La Celestina, The Suppliant or Portrait of Marie-Thérèse Walter. Set in the great 17th century Hôtel Salé in the heart of the historic Marais area, Picasso’s masterpieces hang on the walls of bright, spacious exhibition rooms...


5. Château de Vincennes

Attractions Paris et sa banlieue

An imposing curtain wall punctuated by towers encloses this glorious medieval fortress, which is still home to an army garrison. The square keep was begun by Philippe VI and completed in the 14th century by Charles V, who added the curtain wall.Henry V died here in 1422, and Louis XIII used the château for hunting expeditions and had the Pavillon du Roi and Pavillon de la Reine built by Louis Le Vau...

Musée d'Orsay visuel
© Kiev.Victor

6. Musée d'Orsay

Museums Art and design 7e arrondissement

In 1973, the Musée d’Orsay’s days were numbered; they were planning to demolish Victor Laloux’s 1900 former train station and its giant clocks to erect an ultra modern luxury hotel on the banks of the Seine. Fortunately, its history and importance prevailed and the newly redesigned Musée d'Orsay was unveiled on December 1, 1986...

Louvre at Night
Heloise Bergman / Time Out

7. The Louvre

Museums Art and design Louvre

The world's largest museum is also its most visited, with an incredible 8.8 million visitors in 2011. It is a city within the city, a vast, multi-level maze of galleries, passageways, staircases and escalators. It's famous for the artistic glories it contains within, but...

Le Panthéon
© Heloise Bergman / Time Out

8. Le Panthéon

Attractions Quartier latin

Soufflot's neo-classical megastructure was the architectural grand projet of its day, commissioned by a grateful Louis XV to thank Sainte Geneviève for his recovery from illness. But by the time it was ready in 1790, a lot had changed; during the Revolution, the Panthéon was rededicated as a 'temple of reason' and the resting place of the nation's great men. The austere barrel-vaulted crypt now houses Voltaire, Rousseau, Hugo and Zola. New heroes are installed but rarely: Pierre and Marie Curie's remains were transferred here in 1995; Alexandre Dumas in 2002. Inside are Greek columns and domes, and 19th-century murals of Geneviève's life by Symbolist painter Puvis de Chavannes, a formative influence on Picasso during the latter's blue period. Mount the steep spiral stairs to the colonnade encircling the dome for superb views. A replica of Foucault's Pendulum hangs here; the original proved that the earth does indeed spin on its axis, via a universal joint that lets the direction of the pendulum's swing rotate as the earth revolves.

Arc De Triomphe
Time Out

9. Arc de Triomphe

Attractions Ternes

The Arc de Triomphe is the city's second most iconic monument after the Eiffel Tower - older, shorter, but far more symbolically important: indeed, the island on which it stands, in the centre of the vast traffic junction of l'Etoile, is the nearest thing to sacred ground in all of secular France, indelibly associated as it is with two of French history's greatest men...

10. Musée Grévin

Museums Grands Boulevards

This kitsch version of Madame Tussauds is a hit with kids, who can have their photo taken alongside waxworks of showbiz stars and personalities like football star Zinédine Zidane, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, the Queen and Barack Obama.Great historical moments, such as Neil Armstrong walking on the moon, are re-created in the 'snapshots of the 20th century' area....


11. Les Catacombes

Things to do Walks and tours Denfert-Rochereau

This is the official entrance to the 3,000km (1,864-mile) tunnel network that runs under much of the city. With public burial pits overflowing in the era of the Revolutionary Terror, the bones of six million people were transferred to the catacombes.The bones of Marat, Robespierre and their cronies are packed in with wall upon wall of their fellow citizens...

© Ricky Durrance

12. Or... One pass to skip them all!


If you’re visiting Paris and planning on cramming in as many museums and monuments as possible, the Paris Museum Pass is a good way to save both money and time. The pass offers direct access to 60 of Paris's most iconic sights, and allows you to skip past the long ticket queues. There are three available options: 2, 4 or 6-day passes...

Read next: Our Review of the Paris Museum Pass

Top attractions outside Paris with no waiting

Château de Versailles

1. Château de Versailles

Attractions Historic buildings and sites Paris et sa banlieue

Centuries of makeovers have made Versailles the most sumptuously clad château in the world – a brilliant, unmissable cocktail of extravagance. Architect Louis Le Vau first embellished the original building – a hunting lodge built during Louis XIII's reign – after Louis XIV saw Vaux-Le-Vicomte, the impressive residence of his finance minister Nicolas Fouquet. André Le Nôtre turned the boggy marshland into terraces, parterres, lush groves and a spectacular series of fountains...

2. Disneyland Paris

Attractions Theme parks

With two parks to explore (Parc Disneyland and the special effects-oriented Parc Walt Disney Studios), as well as the Disney Entertainment Village (restaurants, bars and nightclubs), numerous hotels, and restaurants, the whole adventure can seem daunting. Here, we pick out some of the best bits for kids of all ages, as well as rides, restaurants and hotels for the whole family...

Fondation Le Corbusier
Jean-Christophe Godet / Time Out

3. Fondation Le Corbusier

Attractions Historic buildings and sites 16e arrondissement

Designed by Le Corbusier in 1923 for a Swiss art collector, this house shows the architect's ideas in practice, with its stilts, strip windows, roof terraces and balconies, built-in furniture and an unsuspected use of colour inside: sludge green, blue and pinky beige...

4. Château de Fontainebleau

5 out of 5 stars

The Château de Fontainebleau, a former hunting lodge, is a real mix of styles. In 1528, François brought in Italian artists and craftsmen to help architect Gilles Le Breton transform a neglected lodge into the finest Italian Mannerist palace in France...


5. Fondation Claude Monet - Giverny


It's no secret that painter Claude Monet was a gardener extraordinaire: The luxurious gardens surrounding the artist's pink house in Giverny (where he lived for 40 years) are an ode to the painter's green fingers, with lines of rose bushes, willow trees hanging over Japanese bridges, and lily pads floating on the ponds as if waiting for the father of Impressionism to return home...

Withlocals Universal Widget Paris


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