Insider’s tips for Museums in Paris

Since we’re planning a trip to Paris this summer I’ve been trolling the blogs to research insiders tips. We’ve done all the guidebook, touristy museums and things, but I’m looking for some other tips. Found a great blog…EyePreferParis…which is written by a former New Yorker living in Paris. The following is his post about museums, which I tried to make a link to but was unable to figure it out (haven’t had my advanced blogging lessons yet), so here it is in it’s entirety.

April 07, 2008
Best of EPP:Ten Insider Tips for Paris Museums & Monuments

Visiting Paris museums and monuments are the things you most want to do here. However, they can be crowded, overwhelming, and expensive. Here are 10 insider tips to make it smooth,efficient, and sometimes cheaper.

1. Go at Night
Some of the larger museums are open at night.
• The Louvre- Wednesday & Friday till 10PM( but they start chasing you out by 9:30PM)
• D’Orsay- Thursday till 9:45
• Quai de Branly- Thursday till 9:30PM
• Palais de Tokio- 11:30PM every night except Monday

2. Go Early
The Louvre opens at 9AM, so be an early bird and catch the Mona Lisa first

3. Buy Advance Tickets or a Museum Pass
You can buy advanced tickets in person or on the internet for most museums, monuments, and exhibits at Fnac

Museum Pass-If you plan on going to at least 2 museums a day, than a pass is a no-brainer and you cut through the lines.
Passes are good at over 50 museums & monuments in Paris & surrounding areas.
2 day Pass- 30 euros
4 Day Pass-45 euros
6 day Pass-60 euros
Available at most museums
Click here for official site

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 a Tabac that sells tickets.Closed on Tuesdays.

5.Metro Stop for the Louvre
The metro stop is Palais Royal-Musee de Louvre off the 1 & 9 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.
Click here for list-

8.Fastest Entry to Eiffel Tower
The fastest way to get into the Eiffel Tower and bypass the lines, is to make reservations at Altitude 95 restaurant on the first floor.
• Call Altitude 95 @ 01 45 55 20 04 and make reservations as far in advance as possible .Ask for window seats. Average price per meal :50 euros per person.
• When you arrive, go to kiosk on the left between the legs of the tower, when you are facing the front.

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.

Group Tours Given by the Museum
Louvre- Tours are in English and last 90 minutes.
Times: 11AM, 2PM, & 3:45PM everyday except Sundays & Tuesdays.
Cost: 5 euros in addition to entry fee.

Musee D’Orsay- Tours are in English and last 90 minutes.
Times: 11:30AM &2:30PM everyday except Monday.
Cost: 7.50 euros in addition to entry fee.

Versailles- Tours of private rooms are in English and last 90 minutes.
Times: 11AM, 1PM, 2PM, & 3:45PM everyday.
Cost: 7.50 euros in addition to entry fee.

I highly advise tours with a private guide and can recommend some excellent, very experienced ones. Email me and I will send you their information.

10. Best View of Paris-Bell Tower at Notre Dame
Climb 250 steps up the bell tower and see where Quasimodo rang those bells. Most experts and historians say this is the best view of Paris, showing mostly the older part of the city.

I’m adding this to my other favorite Paris blogs: Pollyvousfrancais, the Paris Blog, and La Belle Saison