There’s nothing worse than traveling somewhere to see an attraction that you waste half the day queueing for. Whether its a museum, gallery, or monument, if it’s popular, it’s going to have a seemingly endless queue. However, if you don’t fancy wasting three hours of your day queueing in the rain just for an elevator up the Eiffel Tower, then there are some tips and tricks to get you past the excessive lines.
Pick your time of day
Tourists usually want to visit attractions from around 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and so you’re left standing in an enormous queue. However, one of the best times of day to visit any spot – unless it has specific opening hours – is sunrise. There’s no need to wait for sunset to get artistic photos, when dawn is just as beautiful, with the added bonus of being pretty empty. The vast majority of travelers will not be up and out that early, so you’ll have the area practically to yourself. Equally, with some attractions that are open late at night, those times are also likely to be less crowded. So, in general, go super early or late, and you’ll avoid most of the crowds and waiting in line.
Believe it or not, one of the best ways to avoid queues is to take the stairs rather than escalators or elevators. In places where the view is the main attraction, elevators become overly busy, with people waiting in line for several hours to get in one, while the stairs remain empty enough for you to bypass everyone who is still waiting to be taken up the building without exerting any energy.
Book in advance
By booking a slot in advance, you can dramatically reduce your waiting times. If you arrive just before your slot, you should only be waiting a matter of minutes, rather than hours. The only problem is that you have to be organized and stick to your plan, but, if this doesn’t bother you, then a pre-booked entry time or tour can save you masses of time.
Don’t go for the popular day
If you want to see a famous attraction, avoid doing it when you know its likely to be busy. If you’re in another country, research their holidays, because you don’t want to visit an attraction, only to find out that the entire country has the day off and wants to see it, too. Another way to minimize waiting times is to pick a day which doesn’t appeal to other people. Choose an overcast or rainy day to view an outdoor attraction, and you’ll have the place almost to yourself. You might even witness some views which are uniquely beautiful, like fog hanging over the city.
Just because you want to visit a famous attraction, doesn’t mean you should settle for excessive queueing. You’ll waste your day and be bored by the time you get to the front. Make some plans in advance and look for the least popular times and you can wait in line for a significantly shorter amount of time.