How To Use Jetlag To Your Advantage in Paris
If I learned anything from the critically acclaimed motion picture entitled “Euro Trip” tourist attractions in Paris are notorious for long waits for admission to attractions. Like most people I assumed it a foregone conclusion that if I wanted to visit the Louvre that I’d basically waste my day standing in a line. However, as I sat in an empty café having breakfast and then walking the barren streets of the Bastille to my satellite office I realized something. Parisians sleep in. I, on the other hand, had been up all night trying to convince my body that it was in fact time for bed.
After deciding to embrace my Pacific Time jetlag rather than fight it, I found myself in a unique position; I could get work done throughout the night and at sunrise, I basically had the whole city to myself! So on a Friday morning, to test my theory I set out to do it all on foot…in record time.
I definitely wanted to see Notre Dame and check out the Louvre, so those were my main goals and sure enough, there was hardly any wait to get into either attraction. When I was leaving both locations, the lines were considerably longer, especially at the Louvre. Buying tickets to the Louvre in advance can speed up the process, but even getting there early with no ticket, I was able to get into the museum within 10 minutes of arrival. After walking through Champs-Elysees I was able to get over to the Eiffel Tower and relax in Champ de Mars with a nice cup of coffee by the early afternoon.
All in all, no matter what you want to do or see, you can save a lot of time by getting out early and beating the crowds. This not really an earth-shattering revelation, but I was surprised at just how quiet everything is before noon. The best part is that by American standards you don’t even have to get out that early. Check out my itinerary below and happy travels!
07:15 – Breakfast at the hotel
07:40 – Leave Bastille: walking to Cathedral of Notre Dame via River Seine.
08:00 – Arrive at Notre Dame, no line, free admission
08:35 – Leave Notre Dame: walking to Musee du Louvre
09:00 – Arrive at Louvre, small line to get through security approximately 10 minutes.
09:10 – Purchase admission ticket to Louvre from the self-serve kiosk and enter the museum.
12:15 – Leave Louvre: Walking to Champs-Elysees/Arc de Triomphe
12:40 – Arrive at Champs-Elysees, strolling the avenue, shopping traffic is increasing
13:05 – Leave for Eiffel Tower/Champ de Mars
13:35 – Arrive at Eiffel Tower, elevator line is getting long, however, the line to take the stairs is very short and tickets are much cheaper. By this point, my feet don’t want to climb stairs so I decided to grab a coffee and a nice grassy spot in Champ de Mars to do some people watching in the shadow of the tower.
14:00 – Begin heading back to Bastille, walking left bank of Seine
15:00 – Arrive at hotel in Bastille
Traveling to Paris for the first time? Check out my blog “Don’t Get Robbed in Paris” for some safety tips for first timers.