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Eiffel Tower and Catacombs tickets

I'm looking into booking tickets for both the Eiffel Tower and the Catacombs for the the beginning of July (super busy time of year for traveling, I know, but that is when our vacation is and I've never been to Paris in the summer before. I actually only have been there in winter so I'm excited for a summertime experience in Paris). I've seen info about huge lines for both of these sites so I'm interested in purchasing tickets ahead of time. I've seen that the tickets open 3 months ahead of time. I have a few questions about tickets...
1. Should I book directly from their websites or from other sources? (I don't mind paying a little extra to get "skip the line tickets" and I want to make sure I'm getting the correct tickets. In particular, I'm finding the Catacombs website a little confusing.)
2. Has anyone used the ticket company "Headout"? They get pretty decent reviews of TripAdvisor.

3. Do online tickets for summer sell out really fast? (In minutes? Or in days???)
4. Also, if anyone has other tips for tickets, I'm eager to hear suggestions. I'm thinking of doing these two experiences first thing in the morning to hopefully minimize wait times as much as possible.

Posted by Donna
Cleveland, OH
1357 posts

Hi Julie, for the Eiffel Tower tickets - book directly through the official website. Tickets go on sale 90 days in advance at 8:30 a.m. (Paris time). In my experience, they sell out very quickly (less than 30 minutes). If you miss the deadline, try a behind the scenes tour with Get Your Guide tours. There are other companies that offer this type of tour but that's the one we've used (twice) with good results. One way or the other, get advance tickets for the Eiffel Tower. We like to go near sunset to see the city illuminated.

Regarding the Catacombs, I wouldn't bother with advance tickets. We arrived an hour before opening time and were among the first in line. It took about 2 minutes to purchase tickets on site. When the gates opened, they took a few from our regular line and a few from the pre-purchased tickets line. I didn't see much benefit to buying in advance. Get there early. By the time the gates opened, there were about 600 people in line behind us. They let 200 people in at a time then the next group waits about 45 minutes to enter.

Haven't used Headout. Hope you have a wonderful time in Paris!

Posted by janettravels44
Chicago
4365 posts

Why are the Catacombs so crazy popular now. We went a few years ago and there was zero line and a handful of people underground. We had trouble finding it because we expected to use the line to zero in on the entrance.
https://janettravels.wordpress.com/2013/01/12/catacombs-a-creepy-paris-stroll/
It was in November, but we walked by there last November and the line was blocks long. Why the tremendous increase in interest in just a few years?

Posted by Harold
New York, NY, USA
9644 posts

Thanks - never heard of the movie or anyone in it, so I guess I move in different circles.

Posted by Holly
Salem, MA
68 posts

I visited the Catacombs during my trip to Paris last August. I think the online tickets do sell out (there are a certain number allotted for each entrance time), but there were still several options available about a week before I visited. They are more expensive than showing up and purchasing tickets on site, but it was worth it to me when my friend and I showed up for our scheduled day and time and walked right in, while folks at the back of the long line were waiting a few hours for their turn.

Yes, the Catacombs website is a bit confusing! I do suggest buying and printing your tickets at home if you buy them online, so you don't have to worry about doing that at your hotel (my mistake- live and learn!- though it all worked out thanks to fantastic hotel staff at Tres Pouissins). And the online tickets include the audio guide, which is a separate charge if you buy tickets at the entrance.

Have a wonderful time!

Posted by Tania
Halton, Ontario, Canada
201 posts

We are visiting the Catacombs this summer and will be pre-purchasing our tickets via 'Headout'. They are not on sale as of yet, but we are watching every week to see when we can purchase.

The advantage as well is as states on the Headout.com website:
**Bypass tediously long queues with your skip-the-line ticket and head straight into a mysterious network of tunnels, 20 meters below the streets of Paris. Wander through a labyrinth of walls lined with skulls and bones as your audio guide reveals stories and legends from the Catacombs of Paris. Your ticket includes priority access to parts of the Catacombs not open to the general public.

We will be going to the Eiffel tower as well, and instead of pre-booking tickets and waiting in the lines, we do the stairs. Cost is about $10 Euros pp, and virtually no line ups and you still can take the lift back down.

Posted by sharon
1032 posts

We pre-purchased our tickets for our catacombs visit his past summer and I highly recommend doing so. Saved us SO much time. We purchased right from the Catacombs site.

I speak French so if you need help navigating he site, dm me and I would be happy to help you buy the tickets online. No need to go through a tour operator at all

Posted by wookiemom
Norfolk, VA
8 posts

Definitely get tickets on the official websites for both the Eiffel Tower and the Catacombs. We were able to walk right up to entrances at both places while bypassing incredibly long lines. (We were in Paris in mid-July, so height of the tourist season).

Posted by keith
Eagle, CO
246 posts

We purchased both at the official websites. Both allowed us to walk right in. The catacombs line was around the block and we went in right at our appointed time. There was still security at the Eiffel that took a bit of time.