I love feeling like a local when I travel. But when it’s my first time somewhere, I have to do the “touristy stuff”. There’s a reason people go to these attractions. Landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe simply become more and more special with time and I love experiencing what a city is famous for 🙂
The downside is that tourist attractions are a headache and a half. You have to wait in long lines and stand really close to a bunch of other people. The worst! Luckily for my boyfriend and I, we got help tackling these from my favourite Parisian start-up. Presenting 4 tips to conquering Parisian attractions with ease.
Eiffel Tower (17€)
Buy advance tickets for the Iron Lady online. It will save you some time in line. Try purchasing at least two weeks in advance to avoid a sellout, too. If you miss this window, you can always purchase them “at the door”. You just have to stand in line with the other procrastinators 😉 Hopefully not in the rain…
Two types of tickets are also available. Make sure you buy the ticket that takes you all the way to the summit if you want to see the view from the top. The other ticket only takes you to the 2nd floor.
Additionally, try going at night when the crowds have dwindled a bit. Visiting extremely early works too.
The Louvre (15€)
There’s a “secret” entrance by the gardens. It’s called Port Lyon. Enter here instead of trying to enter from the crowded main entrance. I got this tip from a local photographer, whose work I will be revealing later! 😉
We actually weren’t able to visit the museum. On the first attempt, we arrived too close to closing so I only took pictures. Thankfully, it was golden hour. On the last attempt, Port Lyon was closed – as it sometimes is!
Like the Eiffel Tower, tickets can be purchased online.
Notre Dame (0€)
Cathedral admission is free. Just keep your voice down. Usually, tourists are let in during public masses so you really have to respect the space, mass, priest, and people 👿
It’s also dark in here so be mindful of your flash and shutter sound when it comes to taking pictures.
Sacre Coeur (< 10€)
In my opinion, this view is even better than the Eiffel Tower’s. It takes 300 steps to get up to the dome so be ready. My cardio is really shit so I took my time going up the stairs. It hurt but the view was worth it.
You do have to pass a line of scammers before you get to this view, though. They stand in a line on the hill to block your path and pounce on you when you pass them. They’ll grab your arm to put a bracelet on you while wishing you good luck and saying, “Hakuna Matata”. Here’s the kicker, though. After they make you a bracelet by latching onto your arm, they will pressure you into giving them money. Don’t give in!
Watch out for the women with a petition for the deaf and blind, too. The petition might have been real but I’m not comfortable signing a paper that I don’t fully understand the contents of. Also, it’s sketchy 🙁
It’s free to visit this attraction but there is a fee to climb the stairs to the dome. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the entrance fee but I’m sure it was less than 10€ per person.
Of these 4 major attractions, I would visit the Louvre many more times on return visits to Paris. I can’t describe the feeling I get when I walk into that square and see the pyramid surrounded by equally stunning architecture. It takes my breath away. I could take pictures and people-watch all day here 🙂
Do you like seeing tourist attractions when you travel? Let me know in the comments why or why not.
Photography by @dressupchowdown