Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” ~ Jim Rohn.

If you’re anything like me, you absolutely HATE queues. Sometimes I think travellers must enjoy lining up. Maybe they’re the same people who camp out for days on end before the launch of the newest iPhone… Is it so they can brag about it on social media afterwards? Whatever the reason, for European attractions I don’t think I’ll ever understand why anyone would waste most of their day lining up to get in. Do they not know (or care) that it’s possible to buy tickets in advance that significantly reduce waiting time?

Many attractions give you the chance to buy tickets in advance online, which is usually a good idea. Here you’ll find more info on where you can pre-purchase tickets for 7 of the top European sights (I will add to this list over time). I’ve also included pricing, tips and things to keep in mind to help you make the most of your visit.

What Attractions in Europe Do I Need to Buy Tickets in Advance?

In order to survive the chaos that can sometimes be European attractions I recommend buying tickets in advance for the following, listed in alphabetical order:

Anne Frank Huis (Anne Frank House) // Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Anne Frank Huis | The Invisible Tourist
Anne Frank Huis on Prinsengracht, Amsterdam

Why Visit Anne Frank Huis?

Anne Frank’s diary became famous post WWII for its detailed accounts of her two years spent hiding from the Nazi’s in the building’s secret annex. Now converted to a museum, The Huis is very sobering and respectful to Anne’s memory by only allowing a small number of people to visit at a time.

Keep in Mind:

I’ve seen the queue waiting to get into this museum literally a kilometre long. No joke. When I was able to walk straight in with my pre-purchased ticket I caught a few people looking at me as though I was a magical unicorn✨. No need to be envious, anyone can do it!

TIP: You can book a time slot two months in advance. Why waste all afternoon lining up?

Cost: Adult €9.50

More Info: Anne Frank Organisation 

Château de Versailles (Palace of Versailles) // Versailles, France

Château de Versailles | The Invisible Tourist
Hall of Mirrors, Château de Versailles

Why visit Château de Versailles?

This elaborate palace was the seat of political power in the Kingdom of France from 1682 when Louis XIV moved the royal court from Paris. The French Royal Family resided here until the 1789 French Revolution when Louis XVI was ousted from power. Marie Antoinette also called the Palace her home. The opulence needs to be seen to be believed. It’s no wonder they chopped off Louis XVI’s head!

Keep in Mind:

Be warned there’s still a lengthy queue upon arrival even if your tickets are pre-purchased. Although, the line for pre-purchase is significantly shorter than those who have not bought tickets in advance. There are also no limits imposed on visitor numbers. The King’s Rooms and Hall of Mirrors can become so cramped you may be reduced to gradual shuffling without much chance to fully absorb or take photos of the ornate details. During my visit I heard people accusing others of pickpocketing them. Just be aware!

TIP: If you can, visit on a weekday during the off-season.

Cost: Adult €20. Tickets are for the day only and cannot be refunded.

More Info: Château de Versailles

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Eiffel Tower // Paris, France

Eiffel Tower | The Invisible Tourist
Eiffel Tower in Summer

Why Visit the Eiffel Tower?

No visit to Paris is complete if you haven’t checked out France’s 300m flagpole! It was a revolutionary piece of architecture for its time when it opened in 1889 and the icon of Paris today.

Keep in Mind:

Booking online means you can visit the observation deck any day within one year.

TIP: If your trip is a few months in advance, you can make a reservation at restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel (58 metres up) and dine with a view – apparently this allows you to skip the queue altogether.

Cost: Adult €17

More Info: Tour Montparnasse and 58 Tour Eiffel

 Foundation Claude Monet (Monet’s Garden// Giverny, France

Why Visit Monet’s Garden?

Claude Monet’s private residence is a fascinating little time capsule of the early 20th century. With his magnificent property bursting with colourful flowers beside his renowned lily pond, you’ll completely understand why he poured so much inspiration from here into his paintings!

Keep in Mind:

Giverny is 45 minutes from central Paris by RER (train). Alight at Vernon station and take the 10min shuttle bus (€8 round trip) through the picturesque French countryside to stunning Giverny village. The Foundation is closed over the winter months from November – March.

TIP: Go early morning. The famous Water Lily bridges always have people standing on them, making it difficult to get a decent shot. You can visit Giverny in the morning and admire Monet’s paintings on display at Musée d’Orsay (below) in the afternoon for the full experience!

Cost: Adult €9.50

More Info: Foundation Claude Monet

🔵🔵 RELATED: Need more Europe travel advice and inspiration? Find it here!

La Sagrada Familia Basilica // Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona | The Invisible Tourist
Stunning interior of La Sagrada Familia Basilica

Why visit La Sagrada Familia?

Work began on Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece in 1882 and it’s due to be completed in 2026. Making good use of the stunning natural light, the stained-glass windows splash vibrant colours throughout the interior and over its giant tree-like pillars. With astonishing attention to detail wherever your eyes wander, it becomes obvious why this UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts 3 million visitors per year!

Keep in Mind:

Each Barcelona city block is 300m long, and the queues at the height of summer easily wind around at least 3 of them. If you don’t buy tickets in advance you’ll have to line up in the scorching sun around 2 hours to get your ticket. This then allocates you a time slot that could be several hours away to prevent overcrowding inside… So you double-wait 😖

TIP: Opt for the guided tour. The guides are very knowledgeable and go into detail about each area of the basilica as they escort you around. Very interesting and informative! They’ll also answer any questions you have. Don’t miss the museum downstairs, either.

Cost: Adult €24 including tour guide.

More Info: La Sagrada Familia.

BONUS TIP: You can also buy your tickets from many La Caixa ATM’s a few days in advance. So convenient!

🔵🔵 RELATED: Learn Language for Travel Fast with these 6 Essential Resources

Musée du Louvre (The Louvre) // Paris, France

Musée du Louvre, Paris | The Invisible Tourist
Musée du Louvre from inside

Why visit the Musée du Louvre?

The world’s largest museum, The Louvre is home to an impressive 403 rooms and 14.5km of corridors displaying priceless collections of artworks and sculptures.no expense was spared creating the building and it was opened in 1793. The ceilings could be artworks within themselves! Mysterious Mona Lisa lives here, too.

TIP: Enter from the underground via the Carrousel du Louvre shopping mall (off Rue de Rivoli and Palais Royale Musée du Louvre Metro station). This allows you to skip the massive crowd of people lining up at the iconic Pyramid Entrance on the ground level.

Cost: Adult €17 and valid for day of booking only.

More Info: Musée du Louvre and choose English from top right language dropdown.

Musée d’Orsay // Paris, France

Musée d'Orsay, Paris | The Invisible Tourist
Clock on the top floor of Musée d’Orsay

Why visit Musée d’Orsay?

Built as a railway station in 1900 along the River Seine and converted into a museum in 1986, Musée d’Orsay is home to many artworks of France’s great impressionists. If you love art history you’ll appreciate timeless paintings and sculptures by Monet, Cézanne, Degas, Manet, and Renoir gracing the walls and hallways.

Keep in Mind: 

As mentioned previously, see Monet’s private residence in Giverny before you go to fully appreciate his masterpieces.

TIP: Use Entrance C to enter with your pre-purchased ticket and avoid the queue.

Cost: Adult €17

More Info: Musée d’Orsay

One final (and important) TIP:

If your attraction has a free entry day, AVOID it like the plague! Every man and his dog decides to save money doing it this way but in turn spend much of their time lining up to get in. Your crucial travel time worth much more than that. You’ll get more out of your trip travelling The Invisible Tourist way… It’s a much more enjoyable experience if you just pay the money for a regular day and enjoy the attraction to its full potential. What are you waiting for? Go get those tickets in advance!

Have you visited any of these attractions without a pre-purchased ticket? What was your experience like? Comment below! If you found this article helpful, please share it over on Facebook, follow me on Instagram or don’t forget to Pin It on Pinterest 📌

Until next time,

The Invisible Tourist






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Buy Tickets in Advance? Your Survival Guide to Europe's Top Attractions | The Invisible Tourist


Alyse has spent 9 years travelling "The Invisible Tourist Way" and hopes to encourage fellow travellers to do so, too. A professional language hoarder, she can usually be found burying herself in travel books and Wikipedia articles. Her dreams? Always about the next destination and how to make the most of the experience.


  1. Chue Shen Min Reply

    Very interesting and informative article.

    Just returned from a Europe trip which involved a visit to the Anne Frank Huis and I couldn’t agree more on the sentiment expressed here.

    Perhaps I may suggest adding two more attractions to the list whereby tickets are notoriously difficult to obtain and pre-planning / booking is essential

    1. The Alhambra palace complex in Granada, Spain

    2. Leonardo Da Vinci’s great masterpiece ‘”The Last Supper” at the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, Italy

    • Alyse
      Alyse Reply

      Good on you for buying tickets in advance for Anne Frank Huis, Chue! The queue for those who wait is many, many hours long. And yes I totally agree with your suggestions, thank you! I for one missed out on seeing “The Last Supper” in Milan years ago as I didn’t buy tickets in advance. The wait time was 4 days and I was only in Milan for 3 so it’s definitely a good idea to pre-purchase before your trip. I will add your suggestions to this list soon 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

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