Richard Nahem, an ex-New Yorker living in Paris, leads private insider tours showing visitors the Paris most of them never see on their own (www.eyepreferparistours.com), and also writes a popular insider's blog www.eyepreferparis.com.
Visiting the museums and monuments are usually on the top of the list of things people want to see in Paris. Here are 10 insider tips to maximize your visits so they are most enjoyable and sometimes less expensive.
1. Go at Night
Some of the larger museums are open at night.
* The Louvre- Wednesday & Friday till 10 p.m. (but they start chasing you out by 9:30 p.m.) Also, tickets are about $8 instead of about $12 after 6 p.m.
* Eiffel Tower –Open till 11 p.m., September to mid June, 12 p.m., mid-June to end of August.
* D’Orsay- Open Thursday till 9:45 p.m.
* Quai de Branly- Thursday till 9:30 p.m.
* Palais de Tokyo- 11:30 p.m. every night except Monday
* Pompidou Center- Open till 9 p.m. (last entrance 8 p.m.) nightly except Tuesday
2. Go Early
The Louvre opens at 9 a.m., so be an early bird and catch Mona’s smile first
3. Buy Advance Tickets or a Museum Pass
You can buy advanced tickets on the internet for most big museums and monuments including Versailles, Eiffel Tower, Louvre, D’orsay, and Pompidou Center.
Museum Pass- If you plan on going to at least two museums a day, than a pass is a no-brainer and you cut through the lines. Passes are good at over 50 museums and monuments in Paris and surrounding areas:
* Two-day pass: About $48
* Four-day pass: About $63
* Six-day pass: About $83.
You can also order in advance and have passes delivered to your home or hotel for an additional cost.
4. Fast Louvre Tickets
Inside the Carrousel de Louvre (the shopping mall in the Louvre) there is machine and a Tabac that sells tickets. Closed on Tuesdays.
|The glass pyramid at the Louvre|
5. Metro Stop for the Louvre
The metro stop is Palais Royal-Musee de Louvre off the 1 and 7 lines, not the Louvre-Rivoli stop.
6. Free Admission
Many Paris museums are free on the first Sunday of the month.
7. Small Museums with Free Admission
Some of the best Paris museums are small gems with free admission http://parisnotes.com/museums/parismuseums.html
8. Don’t Buy Museum Tickets or Passes for Children Under 18
They are admitted free.
9. Guided Tours of Louvre, D’Orsay, & Versailles
The most informative and efficient way to see The Louvre, D’Orsay, & Versailles is to go on a private or group tour.
Museum Louvre- Tours are in English and last 90 minutes. Times: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. everyday except Sundays and Tuesdays.
Cost: About $11.75 in addition to entry fee.
Musee D’Orsay- Tours are in English and last 90 minutes.
Cost: About $8 in addition to entry fee.
Versailles- Tours of private rooms are in English and last 90 minutes. Times: 9:15 a.m.—3 p.m. everyday except Monday, subject to availability.
Cost: About $9 in addition to entry fee.
We highly advise tours with a private guide and can recommend some excellent, very experienced ones. Email [email protected] for more information.
10. Best View of Paris without Long Lines
The Pompidou Centre has magnificent views of the city including Sacre Coeur. Have lunch, dinner, or a drink at the rooftop restaurant Georges.