How to Skip the Line at Europe's Biggest Tourist Attractions

Stairs descending from the Vatican | © Vicente Villamon/Flickr
Stairs descending from the Vatican | © Vicente Villamon/Flickr

Europe is a continent filled with high culture, beautiful buildings and so many art galleries you won’t know where to begin. But with popular attractions like the Eiffel Tower and the Vatican come exceptionally long queues, meaning time in some of Europe’s most beautiful cities can often be spent waiting in line rather than experiencing the city. Say goodbye to boring lines by joining these ‘skip the line’ tours in some of Europe’s top destinations.

Skip the line in Rome

Rome is positively bursting with things to do and places to see, and with some of the world’s most beautiful and ancient attractions, it attracts enormous crowds. Avoid wasting time on holiday in this beautiful Italian city and go past the queues with exclusive tours and tickets.

The Colosseum, Rome | © Kosala Bandara

The Vatican

The city-state is a popular destination when visiting Rome, and with some of the world’s most famous art in the world contained within – not to mention maybe the best views in the whole city from the very top – it’s easy to see why queues are often hours long. Give yourself more time to enjoy Rome beyond and book a skip-the-line tour – you can either purchase tickets to wander by yourself, or a tour which will give you all the inside info too. Buy one that allows skip-the-line access to the Sistine Chapel too and you’re onto a winning day.

The Colosseum

When in Rome, do as the tourists do and visit the Colosseum. This monumental ruin is probably the best-known site in the city, and so you’ll join the hordes queuing up to get inside. By skipping the line with one of many available tours, you not only get to enjoy Roman history quicker, but you’ll get private tour guides and information, as well as the option to combine a visit to the Colosseum with wine tasting and walking tours of the rest of the city.

Borghese Gallery and Gardens

Join a small group and a guide to take a walking tour of the beautiful and popular Borghese Gallery and Gardens. Not only will this give you the opportunity to jump the queues, but you will gain information about the art and gardens which would not be available to you without the help of an expert. Tickets to the gallery often sell out a month in advance, so it’s worth booking well ahead of time!

Skip the line in Paris

Paris is one of Europe’s most popular cities; therefore it’s almost impossible to go anywhere without waiting. Join one of these tours to make the most of your time in the City of Love.

A couple kissing by the Louvre, Paris | © Pug Girl/Flickr

Eiffel Tower

As Paris’s premier landmark, the Eiffel Tower is almost always busy, but there are skip-the-line options available. You can self-guide up this giant iron pinnacle, hire someone to tell you about the history while you walk around the top, or even choose to jump the queue as the city lights up as the sun sets.


Ah, the Louvre – another of Paris’s most favourable tourist attractions, with queues to match its popularity. Visit the Mona Lisa with a guided tour allowing you to walk right past those waiting to buy tickets, or you can choose to wander at your own pace without a guide. Alternatively, include a visit to the Louvre with a combo tour of the city.

Notre Dame

Take a walking tour of Paris and enjoy an exclusive and personal tour through the iconic Notre Dame. With a guide, you will soar past the people waiting outside and learn all about the history of this beautiful cathedral. Head up into the eaves and sit among the famous gargoyles for unrivalled views of the city.


Discover the darker side of Paris and join a small walking tour of the underground catacombs. These passageways, filled with the bones of thousands of people who once lived in the city, are part of an eerie Parisian history attracting many visitors. Waiting times for this popular attraction often reach two hours or more, so booking ahead is advisable.

Skip the line in Barcelona

Barcelona is a city that has it all: great beach life, fun cafe culture and some of the best architecture in the world. Take the boredom out of waiting in line with one of these tours of Barca’s best places to visit.

View from Park Guell, Barcelona | © Kristoffer Trolle/Flickr

Sagrada Familia

Antoni Gaudi rules the roost in Barcelona, but the Sagrada Familia is his unfinished masterpiece. Queues to get inside are some of the longest for any tourist attraction in the whole of Europe, so with a fast-pass through the crowds, you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty and architecture of this majestic cathedral, rather than waiting in the sun for hours. There are several options for access, and you can choose to skip the line with a guide, with or without access to the tower, or can include a visit as part of a whole city tour of this Catalonian city.

Park Guell

The UNESCO-listed Park Guell in Barcelona is one of the finest places in the city. Not only does it boast sweeping views of the city, but this fairy-tale garden is an escape from city life like no other. Guides can be hired to show you around the park, or you can visit Guell on a combo tour of the city; both options allow you to skip the line and enjoy Gaudi’s exceptional work.

Skip the line in Venice

Venice is a town that oozes charm and romance, so it’s not surprising that it’s almost always busy. From beautiful St Mark’s Square to riding a gondola through the narrow canals, everyone wants a piece of the action in Venice. Stop wasting your precious time, with one of these skip-the-line tours.

View down the Grand Canal, Venice | © Pedro Szekely/Flickr

Doge’s Palace

The Doge’s Palace once housed the rulers of Venice, and today it is one of the most visited buildings in the entire city. Instead of waiting in line with the masses in St Mark’s Square, book yourself onto a guided tour of the city where an expert can hurry you past the lines, and give you all the inside info you need.

St Mark’s Basilica

Impossible to miss and perched in a prominent position in St Mark’s Square, the Basilica is one of Venice’s most prestigious and notorious attractions. Over five million visitors come to this magnificent cathedral every year, so it comes as no surprise that a significant amount of your time in Venice can be spent waiting to go inside. Your options to skip the lines come in varied forms, whether you want a guide to show you around the square, a full walking tour of Venice, or someone with in-depth knowledge to take you around the Basilica – the choice is yours.

Skip the line in the rest of Europe

Of course, Europe isn’t just limited to these few cities, and there are many other attractions worthy of a skip-the-line tour or ticket. Here are just a few of our favourites:

See Amsterdam by canal boat | © BriYYZ/Flickr

London Eye, London

Enjoy priority access to a bird’s-eye view of London with an exclusive pass to the London Eye. See London’s landmarks from the sky as you fly above the Thames. All you need to do is turn up 15 minutes before your flight and show your pre-paid ticket to the ticket desk. Simple!

Alhambra and Generalife Gardens, Granada

Take a three-hour walking tour of these beautiful gardens and Alhambra without queuing to enjoy the Moorish architecture. Wander at your own pace and learn about the fascinating history and decadent lives of the sultans who once lived here. Don’t forget to admire the panoramic views from this hilltop perch.

Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, Milan

As one of Leonardo’s most famous pieces, The Last Supper often sells out of tickets months ahead of time as there is a time limit for each visit. You can take a guided art tour of the city, taking you to every one of the city’s treasures, have a private tour of The Last Supper itself, or combine it with a visit to almost any other of Milan’s attractions.

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Amsterdam is full of treasures, and one of the most popular is the Van Gogh Museum. This homage to the impressionist artist attracts almost two million visitors per year, so beating the crowds is definitely worth planning. You can skip the line as a combo with any tour of Amsterdam, including full city tours and canal boat tours with private guides.

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