As with any place that millions of people visit every year, you can expect to wait in line at most attractions in Paris. Even in the lower season, this has been the case. To try to improve our odds of seeing the highlights with the fewest people possible, we usually apply our Disney rules: get there early, head straight for the main attraction, circle back later for what we missed. This has worked out great for the most part, having won us one-on-one time with the Mona Lisa and Versailles’ Hall of Mirrors, among other things. There were 3 places, however, where the wait caught us. We spent over an hour each waiting on the Catacombs, the Eiffel Tower, and Sainte-Chapelle. They were all worth the wait, and even made some of our “tops” lists (Anna really liked the tower, and Sainte-Chapelle was K’s fav church), but if you ever plan to make this trip yourself, make sure you have some water and a pastry or two to help pass the time while you wait.
Our “lowest” day was when we decided to embrace our darker sides and explore the Catacombs. Paris is a beautiful city, full of amazing stone buildings. A conveniently close natural resource is the huge amount of limestone 70 feet below the city. Hundreds of miles of tunnels were created as they quarried the stone. At some point, demand for land got high enough that they needed to generate more supply. Someone noticed all of that prime land being wasted as cemeteries, so they exhumed the bodies and placed the bones in the tunnels. About 6 million skeletons made their way down, unfortunately marked only by the name of the cemetery that they formerly occupied. You can only walk about a mile due to the instability of some of the tunnels, and I think the bones in this area were arranged much more carefully than elsewhere (for the tourist $’s), but it is still quite a sight.