10 Famous Places You Can (Pay to) Cut in Line

10 Famous Places You Can (Pay to) Cut in Line

Last updated: July 09, 2014Perry Kuklin

If you’re one of the many people who can’t stomach the thought of spending the majority of your vacation standing in line, you’re in luck – there are plenty of well-known spots where you can pay to skip the waiting line (or get fast-tracked to the front of the line).  If you’re prepared to pay for convenience – especially in the heat of summer – and don’t mind a guided tour in some cases, you may want to plan a trip around one of these 10 destinations and buy your ticket to not queue before you pull out your passport or plane tickets.

1. The Vatican

Vatican City might not be all that big, but there is plenty to see, including the Vatican itself, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the famed Sistine Chapel. With a skip-the-line ticket, visitors can have a privately guided tour of the must-see museums, artwork, and architecture. It’s even possible to schedule an early tour to get ahead of the crowds, or book a tour to see the goods after closing time.

2. Versailles

Let the ghost of Marie Antoinette escort you to the front of the line at the Palace of Versailles for a guided full-day standard tour (or more intimate tour with a max of 10 people) of the palace and the Versailles Gardens.

3. Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower beckons to every Paris visitor, which is why the lines can be so incredibly long. If you’d rather watch the snaking queue from your vantage point on the Tower, skip the line by booking advance tickets online.

4. The Louvre

The world’s largest museum, made famous by I.M. Pei’s triangular architectural feat and Dan Brown’s book The Da Vinci Code, is on the must-see list of many Paris visitors. Avoid waiting in line by booking tickets online in advance and picking them up at a designated location (not the Louvre itself) so you can make your date with the Mona Lisa.

5. Leaning Tower of Pisa

You may find yourself keeling over like the Leaning Tower of Pisa if you have to spend hours in the sun waiting for your turn to see this famous landmark. A fast-track entrance ticket will get you into the building ahead of the crowds – you’re on your own getting up the spiral staircase to the top of the tower.

6. Universal Studios Hollywood

Buy your way to celeb treatment by pre-purchasing an all-access pass to Universal Studios Hollywood. When you have young kids, a one-time priority access to rides, shows, attractions, and behind-the-scenes privileges can truly be worth the money.

7. The Empire State Building

Made famous by Sleepless in Seattle and An Affair to Remember, the Empire State Building is a popular tourist destination, making its lines long and daunting. If the panoramic views of Manhattan are worth it to you, express pass admission tickets are only a credit card purchase away.

8. Uffizi Gallery and Vasari Corridor

Thanks again to author Dan Brown for putting another set of global attractions on the map. The Uffizi Gallery and Vasari Corridor in Florence feature prominently in his book Inferno. It’s possible to skip the lines and take a private or small group tour of these landmarks when they’re closed to the general public

9. London Eye

Across the River Thames from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben, the London Eye is the world’s highest observation wheel. It’s a panoramic flight worth paying for ahead of time to skip the lengthy lines at the wheel’s base.

10. Amsterdam and Holland Pass

A city pass offers free and reduced fast-track entrance tickets to attractions, museums, and public transportation in Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, and other Dutch cities. That means no waiting at tourist attractions like the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum.


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