Advice for paris in 2 1/2 days please!

May 23rd, 2019, 02:08 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 31
caze17 Wow. Thank you so much. I saw that information on the Tour Eiffel website. But maybe it's not up to date. Is there a long line to climb up to the second floor? Do the lines die down in the evening?
Also, if I do have the museum pass, how long would the line to get into the Louvre be? My older kids definitely want to see the Mona Lisa! Though we could make it a short visit and try to make it to the Musee D'Orsay and Atelier! Of course I realize these would be short visits!.
And I'm staying in the 9th arr. Where is the best quickest place to buy the Museum Pass. And I am taking it that you are confirming that if I buy the museum pass, my kids can enter with me and also "skip the lines" (other than security). Correct?
And yes, I suppose I have PTSD re returning !!!! I grew up going to Paris regularly and then have not been in THIRTY YEARS!!!!! Not sure how that happened!!! So I'm obviously paranoid I won't be returning any time soon nor my kids! Though clearly they have a far better shot of returning than I do given my track record!!!
I DO understand everybody's comments and nobody should worry about me, my kids and my aspirations! I like to have lots of things planned and scheduled and OBVIOUSLY will be flexible and do as much as is enjoyable. Impossible to plan WHILE on the vacation so trying to have everything planned out BEFORE.
And if I have to skip many of my site then so be it!
StCirq: Thank you! Are you sure? That would be amazing. Then I wouldn't have to order anything in advance.
shifrap is offline  
May 23rd, 2019, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 4,810
You have been seduced by the phrase "Skip the line." There always is a security line, with bag checks and metal detection wands at the most secure sites, such as those you are planning to visit. There will be two admission lines, one for buying tickets and one for ticket holders. Whether or not your kids can use the ticket holder line depends upon whether or not each one needs a ticket. If all have passes or have the right to free entry, it will be OK. But it will be impossible to actually skip all lines.

As for buying the museum pass(es), purchase at the first museum you visit (obviously not using the ticket holder line). However, if you find yourself near a small museum covered by the pass first, you can take advantage of the short lines at small museums even if you aren't actually going in and thereby avoid a long no ticket line at a big site.
AJPeabody is offline  
May 23rd, 2019, 05:11 PM
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 247
I think I misunderstood what you were saying on Eiffel Tower tickets. Yes, you can still buy tickets at the base for walking to the 2nd level and then taking the elevator to the top. They no longer allow you to buy tickets to the top once on the 2nd level, after taking the elevator to the 2nd, if that makes sense. So you can't pre-book elevator tickets to the 2nd level, with plans to wait in line for tickets to the top once on the 2nd.

I can't remember how long it takes to walk to the 2nd level, but probably 15-20 minutes for a fit adult. It might be too much for kids, and I say that as someone whose kids waltzed to the top of the Notre Dame tower and Arc de Triomphe. But you could certainly try! The line at the base should be much shorter than the line for taking the stairs.

Yes, kids get to skip the line with you at most places, though there are a few where they make you wait in line to get kids' tickets (like to climb the Arc de Triomphe).

To buy the museum pass, I would find a small museum included on the pass near your hotel, even if you don't plan to visit that particular museum. Just run out to grab it while everyone else settles in.

Last edited by caze17; May 23rd, 2019 at 05:22 PM.
caze17 is offline  
May 23rd, 2019, 05:22 PM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 64,594
I really think going up the Eiffel tower will be a HUGE time waster. Did you look at the info re the tethered balloon??

And re the Mona Lisa -- good luck with that.

Disappointing Holiday, Mona Lisa, Paris, France, Louvre Museum crowded day
janisj is online now  
May 24th, 2019, 03:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 46,591
You don't actually get to "skip the lines." That's a marketing ploy, pure and simple. Everyone, bar none, has to go through security these days for every single site in Paris.

I would also recommend passing up the Eiffel Tower. It will eat precious time from your VERY limited schedule, and it's just not "all that." Same for the Mona Lisa. If you and your kids put your minds to it, you can find loads of more worthy pastimes in Paris.
StCirq is online now  
May 24th, 2019, 10:31 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 78,157
Louvre and La Jaconde can be skipped - but to skip the Eiffel Tower - I'd put that at top of my list with kids those ages - and book a slot (if possible) and not much time waiting - but taking lifts up to third floor is great and something kids would remember forever - can't say that about many of the other things mentioned.
PalenQ is offline  
May 24th, 2019, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 226
Originally Posted by Envierges View Post
Some posts seem unnecessarily mean. Weren't some Fodorites complaining/commenting on the lessened use of this forum over the years? Shouldn't responders stick to answering the question OP asked?
I agree. It's been a while since I've been on this forum and I've noticed quite a few mean comments - in this thread and others. The occasional snarky comment is one thing, but there really is no reason to be rude or mean. It's a real turn off.
wayfinder45 is offline  
May 24th, 2019, 11:44 PM
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 56
Second floor or third floor of Eiffel doesn't make such difference. I actually prefer the second. The third floor is surrounded by a fence that blocks the view. The second is open wide. I agree that Eiffel is a must but if you don't want to waste time queuing than you can enjoy a beautiful view from the Arc de Trimph, the Montparnasse tower, the towers of Sacre Coeur in the Montmartre or the Grand Arch of La Defence which I understand still open to visitors.

Last edited by Zvi; May 24th, 2019 at 11:50 PM.
Zvi is offline  
May 26th, 2019, 04:54 AM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 2,143
So, just so you know...

My husband and I observed at XMAS at the Musee d'Orsay* that our Museum Pass line was longer than the buying tickets line. We thought it was a one-off. And yeah, we got in. Thank goodness, we knew the territory inside well and were able to bop around to get to places we wanted, but we saw "clogs" inside, too. We returned there a couple of times because we wanted to revisit one of the exhibits, bagged out, but stayed to watch the lines--Buying Tickest vs Museum Pass. Yep, the Buying Tickets line moved faster.

We did fine at the Louvre because we know from our past zillion visits EVERY POSSIBLE entry, and the Museum Pass lines did move faster there. We were still waiting in line there, but it was far less excruciating. And we knew to get there either before opening or much later in the day. However, we saw SMALL GROUP TOUR people getting in ahead of us. Hence...

I believe that if you engage a good professional tour guide--and with your posse, that probably is financially wise--you can "skin the cat". I truly would find the best possible personal Paris guide. Please enter a separate post with a request for that.

I have never used one in Paris, but I did engage a few in other locations. Our Vatican guide in Rome, for example, got us around corners and through secret doors and God Bless Him, he made up for the fact that on the previous day's touring when my husband was "in charge", we went two miles in the wrong direction. My little one--seven years old--earnestly looked up at the guide at the end, proffered her hand, and said, "Thank you, sir, for not getting us lost."

So as to the Eiffel Tower...
Hmm. If your kids are saying it's a must, it's a must. I'd show them all the statements of people who are telling you it's not a priority and that it will eat into your time BIG TIME. Let them make up their own minds. Whether you book a timed entry or not, the line is a line. Security is security. And your timed ticket is worth nothing if a terrorist threat wipes out all entries for a day.

Personally, viewing it from the base or from afar actually provides more "Yeah, this is what it is" than going up it. To each his own. We've gone up it many times for relatives who have needed that experience it, but the lines were short then. On our last trip this Xmas, we told our relatives that they could skip our farewell dinner because that was what would happen (yep--that is what happened).

But we do need our "Eiffel Fix". We always get it at night walking into its view along Rue St Dominque. Others get it from Trocadero.

So as I'm writing this and saying, "Going up the Eiffel never did it for me", we totally loved taking a side trip to Pisa for the cheesy person-holding-up-tower photos.

I'm with you in heart. It's a shame that the Paris you want the kids to see is so packed now. Paris is still Paris, though, no matter what.

Good luck. I wish I could do it all all over again.
AlessandraZoe is offline  

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