How to avoid the crowds and skip the queues at tourist attractions

Pay the money and go to a special event.  It’s not an earth-shattering revelation but if you’re lucky enough to have the money then just cough it up and go.  That’s my best piece of advice, in fact that’s my only piece of advice which makes this a short blog post.  There are other tips like researching the least busy days and time of days etc. and they have varying degrees of success but this one works and you get to have a memorable experience as well.

Just to give you a brief example of why this is a good advice – I recently decided to show myself that I am not past it and go to a gig.  Following my own advice above, it was a concert of Gregorian chants at Notre Dame and it rocked.  If anyone tries to tell me otherwise, frankly I will Notre give a Dame.  The average queue time to get into the cathedral that day was two hours but that evening for €20 there was no wait and there was only about 150 people inside with me.  I have a hunch that most of them were Parisians as after the concert they were in groups greeting and catching up with each other leaving the cathedral mainly empty, it seemed like an almost private visit and it was bliss.

As for the concert itself – we were sat in a building which is over 800 years old listening to songs which were first sung in the 9th and 10th century, that in itself was stunning enough.  Add to it the resonance of the sounds and the beautiful harmony of the singers inside a glorious cathedral – well, like I said it rocked.  And if all of that was not enough then nature provided a little bonus because the sun set during the concert meaning that the dazzling stained glass windows at the start of the concert slowly faded to be replaced by a gentle glow of interior cathedral lights at the end.  The whole experience was tranquil, poignantly peaceful and I felt so very lucky.

Unsurprisingly, I have mainly been listening to Gregorian chants whilst writing this post here’s a link to a concert from Notre Dame in 2013.

Notre Dame at night







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