If you didn’t found the answer to your question on the website, I invite you to read the FAQ. You will find questions frequently asked by visitors as well as several tips to prepare your stay in Paris.
You can also contact me to ask me directly your question. I am always happy to help you plan your stay in Paris.
When to visit the Louvre museum to avoid the crowds?
Let’s be clear: the Louvre is the most visited museum in the world! You will not be alone in the Louvre, no matter when you visit. There is no magic bullet, but here are some tips that may be useful:
- Avoid Monday and Wednesday mornings: Tuesday is the closing day of the Louvre museum, so Mondays and Wednesdays are always very busy days
- Try the evening openings: on Wednesday evenings and Friday evenings, the Louvre Museum is opened until 9.45 pm (instead of 6pm), there are generally fewer people and the atmosphere is really nice!
- Explore lesser-known sections of the museum: the Louvre Museum displays priceless treasures. If you follow me on a tour, I will help you discover rooms where there are lesser-known artworks and therefore less people in the room.
How to avoid the crowds in Versailles?
8 million visitors at Versailles in 2018: a record! But then, when to visit the Palace of Versailles to avoid the crowds?
- Avoid Tuesdays: it is the closing day of the Louvre Museum and many Parisian museums, so many tourists choose to visit Versailles on Tuesdays, which makes it one of the busiest days at Versailles.
- Choose a guided tour: this is the only way to skip the line and get into the Versailles Palace with a timed ticket. This will save you from queuing for 2 hours in full sunlight (or under pouring rain) as it is sometimes the case!
- Get away from the Palace: instead, you can stroll in the gardens, visit the Grand Trianon, the Petit Trianon and the Estate of Marie-Antoinette, or discover the Coaches Gallery.
- Treat yourself to a guided tour of the Royal Private apartments: privileged skip-the-line entrance, and the chance of being alone in the rooms (nevertheless, this privilege has a price: the entry fee is 450 euros per group)
- Stroll around the gardens to discover the statues, fountains, perspectives and groves of Versailles. This is even better on the days of “Musical Fountains Show”: every Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from April to October.
What is the difference between a group tour and a private tour?
During a private tour, your guide will only be available for you, as a couple, with friends or as a family. It is also possible to organize a private group tour: the group will then be composed of your school class, members of your association, or employees of your company… In a private tour, you define the composition of the group.
On the other hand, during a public group tour for individuals travelers gathered together, the guide organizes a guided tour following a schedule set in advance and published (for example on its website). Then, each participant comes to join the guide and other visitors at the meeting point. On a “public” tour, you don’t know the other participants.
The rate of a private tour is usually higher than a “public” tour because you choose the date, the timing and you can define exactly what you want, to adapt the tour with your private guide.
As for me, I only organize private tours.
How to visit Paris if I am in a wheelchair, or if I have walking issues?
It is not always easy to visit a big city when you cannot walk a lot or you have difficulty getting around. Here is some information that may be useful to you.
About transportation, please note that most metro stations in Paris are not wheelchair accessible (except for the metro line #14, the most recent one). On the other hand, most of the bus lines are accessible and will allow you to move (a little) more easily in Paris. To visit Paris without too much walking, the ideal solution remains to hire a driver with a minivan (up to 6-7 people).
In some major public museums such as the Louvre Museum or the Versailles Palace, it is possible to borrow a wheelchair, free of charge (an ID will be required) during your visit.
Please be aware that those ancient monuments are not always suitable for a full wheelchair tour. Sometimes the walking time towards the elevator will be longer than climbing a few steps on foot. This will depend on your ability or not to climb a few steps.
If some people in your group cannot or do not want to walk for too long, there are some tours where it is easier to sit regularly (the Orsay Museum for example). I also recommend to visit some “human-size” monuments, such as the Basilica of Saint-Denis or the Garnier Opera House.
In any case, do not hesitate to book a private tour to visit museums and monuments in Paris, while warning your guide about your needs: your guide will adapt the route to help you, and will know the “secret passages” and the location of the lifts.
Do you do guided tours in temporary exhibitions?
For now, I do not organize guided tours in the temporary exhibitions in Paris. Nevertheless, I can use my network to recommend you some excellent trustworthy tour guides I regularly work with. Some of them organize guided tours in temporary exhibitions in Paris.
These thematic temporary exhibitions are a very good way to (re)discover Paris if you have already visited the main monuments and museums. It is also an opportunity to discover works of art that are rarely exhibited in France or in Europe (like the great Leonardo da Vinci exhibition in the Louvre museum, for example).
Why should I choose a certified tour guide to visit Paris?
Firstly, because the official license of professional tour guide, issued by the Ministries of Culture and Tourism, is the only one that allows us to “lead guided tours in the museums and listed historical monuments” throughout France.
This license can be obtained after passing the Professional Tour Guide Degree, which I personally obtained at the University of Angers, in the heart of the Châteaux of the Loire Valley. This degree includes theoretical training at the University, many trips to France and several months of internships. It is therefore the guarantee that your guide is trained to be a professional guide and that he or she will adapt to your requests.
The professional license is therefore a guarantee of quality, and this is also why I am committed to respecting the quality charter of the National Federation of Certified tourist guides.
But the professional license doesn’t do everything, and in this job, we must always update and deepen our knowledge! That’s why I’m a member of the GUID’Z Association, which organizes guided tours and lectures given by experienced teachers and expert guides. This association is intended only for professional tour guides, as part of our continuing education.
Moreover, as the secretary of the Guid’Z Association, I am involved in the promotion of the tour guide profession through actions for the general public and partnerships with the institutions. And, as I do not know everything and I am not always available, the Guid’Z Association is also a large network of certified and trustworthy tour guides that will allow me to recommend you a colleague if I cannot do the tour you want.
What to do when there are no more tickets to go up the Eiffel Tower?
The Eiffel Tower is probably the most famous Parisian monument, but it is managed by a private company. I have no possibility of finding skip-the-line tickets (with a fixed date and time) when the tickets are sold out on the official website of the Eiffel Tower (www.toureiffel.paris).
If there is no more ticket available on the date you want, here are several alternatives:
- Waiting in line and coming early in the morning or late in the evening: the Eiffel Tower is opened from 9.30am to 11:45pm, and from 9am to 00:45pm in summer.
- Visit the Arc de Triomphe: I can provide you with skip-the-line tickets, the entrance is free for children, and in addition, you will have a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower from the Arch of Triumph!
- Go up to the top of the Montparnasse tower: you can buy your tickets easily on their website and go up in seconds to the 56th floor of the Montparnasse tower, using a very quick elevator. I recommend you to go there at sunset to enjoy one of the most beautiful views of Paris
- Admire the roofs of Paris from the Galeries Lafayette terrace: completely free, access to the top floor of Galeries Lafayette offers you a beautiful view of the Opera house Garnier and the rooftops of Paris