This is a list of all the places where I buy tickets online so I can skip the line. I still have to go through the security line, but everybody has to do that. Please note that the lines for timed ticket holders are always the shortest other than visiting with a guide-conférencier such as Elyse on our tours.
So here’s my advice: bite the bullet and either buy timed advance tickets OR get the Museum Pass. Timed advance tickets force you to plan your days out, whereas the Museum Pass affords more flexibility, you’ll get in quickly no matter when you go.
Also, check out how long the wait is likely to be. Search for the monument you’re thinking of visiting on J’aime Attendre. You may also want to install the free app Hurikat.
Paris: Skipping the Line in Paris
There are two ways to skip the lines in Paris. Either get the Museum Pass when you arrive in Paris, or buy timed tickets for various attractions.
By the way, Join Us in France has no commercial relationship with these sites, I recommend them because I use them and love them.
How the Paris Museum Pass Works
We love the Museum Pass, we buy it for our customers and use it personally as well. It gives you fast access to most Museums in Paris. You can get it at the “Visitor Information” booth once you get to the airport in Paris. You can also buy it at the first museum you’ll be visiting. Or you could order it online if you like to waste money on shipping. You don’t have to start using the Museum Pass the day you buy it, you will date it when you do your first visit. The Museum Pass does NOT include the Eiffel Tower or the Catacombs.
With the Museum Pass you can enter museums quickly and as often as you’d like. It seemed expensive to me at first, but the first time I used it I realized how easy it made my visits, and I’ve been a fan ever since. You can get one for 2, 4 or 6 consecutive days. All the details are here.
Best Sites to Get You Paris Tickets
To climb the Tower at Notre Dame de Paris <== Be sure to read, this has completely changed recently!
This is where you can get tickets to visit the Sainte Chapelle.
Fancy attending a concert at the Sainte-Chapelle? This is where I get my tickets for classical music in Paris.
Going to the Catacombs? Get your tickets before you go or you may meet with you own natural death while standing in line!
Tickets to visit the Louvre, unless of course you get the Museum Pass where both Louvre and Orsay are included.
Tickets to visit the Orsay Museum.
Tickets to the Eiffel Tower.
Elsewhere in France
If you’re coming to France but not to Paris (I commend you, there is more to France than Paris!) you should check out events in other areas of France.
Look at France Billet, the site is only partially translated into English, but it’s such a good resource.
In the same vein, you can also use FNAC, either online or in person when you get to France.
Note that all major French supermarkets sell tickets both online and at the physical store. Look for the word “billeterie” in conjunction with the names Auchan or Leclerc or Carrefour, etc.
Keep in mind that getting the ticket is only one part of the equation. Many venues must also implement crowd control measures. They can’t let 1000 people go down the stairs at the Catacombs all at once because that would be dangerous. So, if a place has lots of stairs, narrow passages, or are very small, they will only let so many people in per hour.
And, of course, everybody has to go through security. Typically in France, you go through security first, then you line up for tickets if you didn’t follow my advice and get them in advance. Book your tickets, make it real!
Learn More: First Time in Paris