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Ticket Tips for Versailles, the Louvre, and the Eiffel Tower

Louvre in the rain

If you’re coming to Paris this summer or fall, here are some things to make sure you know before visiting three of the most popular sites.

Versailles

If you visit Versailles with a museum pass, it does NOT include access to the gardens on the days of the Musical Fountains Show (weekends through October 27th) or the Musical Gardens (Tuesday and Fridays through October 29th). Anyone over the age of 5 will need to purchase garden tickets, and I recommend you do this in advance on the official website so you don’t have to stand in line under the hot sun with everyone else who didn’t realize their museums passes don’t include the gardens.

Note: The Versailles Passport DOES include entrance to all areas of the château and domain.

Versailles Fountain
A fountain in the gardens of Versailles.

The Louvre

If you’re planning on visiting the Louvre, be aware that there are massive renovations going on inside. That means the Mona Lisa has been moved to Room 801, the Apollo Gallery (pictured) is closed, and many paintings from Girodet, Titien, and David are not on display (ie Wedding at Cana, Napoléon’s Coronation).

Also a reminder that timed entry tickets are now required for all visitors (even if you have a Museum Pass), available at the Louvre’s official website.

Apollo Gallery at the Louvre.

Eiffel Tower

In addition to raising its prices by 50% last year, the Eiffel Tower has also changed which tickets are available online and on-site.

On their official website: you can purchase timed-entry tickets to the 2nd level (via stairs or lift) and tickets to the top via lift, up to two months in advance.

Note: ALL Eiffel Tower tickets purchased on their website are “skip the line” tickets because you have a specific time that you can access the lift without waiting. Avoid the overpriced tour operator tickets.

On-site: You have additional options at the Eiffel Tower to purchase tickets to the 2nd level by stairs, or to the top via stairs + lift. These tickets are first come, first served. Going after 9pm will greatly reduce the chances of standing in line.

Note: You can NO LONGER purchase a summit lift ticket from the 2nd floor: “The choice of destination is made when purchasing the ticket. If you have opted to visit the 2nd floor you will not be given the possibility of buying an additional ticket for the top.” A lot of websites still incorrectly state this can be done, don’t be fooled.

All tickets include access to the 1st level terrace: “The Spring/Summer terrace celebrates 2019, the 130th birthday of the Eiffel Tower, whose construction was completed in 1889: inaugurated on March 31st, then opened to the public on May 15th for the Universal Exposition. In a verdant, tree-filled setting, set against a golden ‘little sister’ version of the Tower, a monumental sculpture 2.5 meters high, you can enjoy ample seating and low or high tables to take a break and savor a snack or refreshment offered at the adjoining bars.”

Read Heather’s article: How to Skip the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

Under the Eiffel Tower

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  • Hi Megeshni, usually the reservations aren't open more than two months in advance, so try booking for your trip in a week or two when progressive dates are added.

  • Hi there, thank you for article.I am travelling to Paris at the end of October 2019, I have tried to purchase tickets for the Louvre on their official website however there are no available dates from the 23rd October on wards, do you happen to know where else I can purchase there timed tickets.Thank you!

  • Thanks, Heather. I have been reading a few forums every day and apparently it has gotten impossible to enter the Louvre this week, even with a PMP – from any entrance. This was posted this morning (July 24) on TripAdvisor: “We were at the carousel entrance at opening time this morning with passes and were directed to the main entrance (at the pyramid) where a huge line had formed. After a few minutes security guards walked the line telling everyone that it was closed for the day and they were allowing timed tickets only.” I’ve read other similar posts all week.I understand the crowds are off the hook this summer, and I am *hoping* this will not be the case in October. All I can say is thank goodness cruise ships cannot access Paris! Honestly, if the Louvre is that crowded, I probably don't want to be in there anyway. As this is my 10th trip to Paris, I could skip the Louvre, but I am traveling with a friend who has never been, so she may feel differently.

  • Hi Heather – Thanks for this article. In regards to the Louvre…. In the past, I have always bought the Paris Museum Pass (PMP) entered via the Carrousel entrance (to avoid the huge line elsewhere). I have read some conflicting things recently on a couple forums. Is it true that you can be turned away even with a PMP rather than a timed ticket purchased on their website…? I am returning to Paris in mid October and am hoping this is not the case (I hate having have-to-be-somewhere reservations). Merci in advance ~ BJ