Top Tourist Sights in Europe Require Online Reservation Tickets

Top sights in Europe such as the Louvre, Colosseum, Sagrada Familia, Reichstag, Van Gogh Museum, and The Last Supper require advance online reservation tickets while booking timeslots early is sensible whenever possible, especially at popular sites such as the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Vatican Museum, and Alhambra that sell out in the high season.

Book time-slot reservations tickets to whatever sight in Europe allows it to save time and skip-the-lines for priority admission.

Queuing for tickets is a thing of the past at several of Europe’s top tourist sights. An increasing number of sites allow, or even require, visitors to buy time-slot reservation tickets in advance. Many museums, including the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, and Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, no longer sell tickets at all onsite. Booking tickets to see The Last Supper in Milan is essential. Others such as the Uffizi and Accademia in Florence, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, and the Vatican Museum in Rome claim that online time-slot reservations are optional but these sites are almost impossible to visit even in the low season when turning up without tickets in hand.

Buy Online Reservation Tickets in Europe to See Top Sights

Buy tickets online to see Michelangelo’s David in the Accademia in Florence -- time-slot reservations give fast-track priority admission.
Certainly not the most interesting street in Florence for queuing…

The tourist high season is long in the top cities and at the most popular tourist sights in Europe. Online time-slot reservations and advance purchase tickets are increasingly possible and at some sites absolutely essential.

At some top European attractions, including the Anne Frank Huis and Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, The Last Supper in Milan, the Reichstag in Berlin, and the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona tickets are no longer sold on-site and advance online time-slot reservations are essential.

At many other popular sights, time-slot and skip-the-line tickets are the only sensible way to visit during busy periods but even in the off-season advance tickets are worth getting for the certainty of access and not having to queue for hours. Popular sights with advance purchase tickets include amongst others the Louvre Museum and Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Vatican Museum and Colosseum in Rome, the archaeological excavation sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum near Naples, the Uffizi Gallery and Accademia in Florence, the Alhambra and Nasrid Palace complex in Granada, and the Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Even the Pantheon in Rome now requires time-slot tickets.

Some sights still add a small advance reservation fee to ticket prices even though advance reservations are now the only way to acquire a ticket! Visitors with free admission must usually also book a timeslot in advance – and pay the reservation fee if applicable. Paying for advance time-slot ticket reservations to top sights is money well spent. 

Even with time-slot reservations, the old adage of visiting early in the morning or late afternoon remains the best advice when visiting popular attractions in Europe. Guided tours are also an option to enter popular sights without delays.

Skip-the-Line Reservation Tickets for Top Sights in Holland

Visiting Vermeer Exhibition in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam 2023 to see The Milkmaid

Tickets for the Anne Frank House, Van Gogh Museum, and Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam are only sold online and cannot be bought at the museum in person. All tickets for these popular tourist sights in Amsterdam now have specific time-slot admission reservations and long queues outside are no longer the norm.

Bearers of the Dutch Museum Card (Museumkaart) and any visitor with free admission must also make online timeslot reservations to enter the Anne Frank Huis, Van Gogh, and Rijksmuseum.

Even venues as large as Keukenhof sold out on some days in recent years. Buying tickets in advance is sensible although it is often possible to buy Keukenhof same-day tickets if transportation from Amsterdam is included, or by taking a guided tour.

See also Online Skip-the-Line Ticket Reservations for Top Sights in Amsterdam for more information.

Skip-the-Line Tickets for Top Sights in Italy

Queuing up for tickets used to be the cheapest way to see the Colosseum

Italy is blessed with seemingly endless historical, cultural, and art sights but the queues for getting into the most famous sites can be unbearably long. For some, such as Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper in Milan advance reservations are essential, but it is sensible to buy skip-the-line and time-slot tickets for all other popular sights if available. 

Leonardo da Vinci’s The Last Supper may only be seen on advance reservation tickets. Groups of 35 get a maximum of 15 minutes with the painting. Tickets are released in three-month batches and sell out very fast. In what seems to be a bit of a legal racket, guided tours are often available when regular time-slot tickets have sold out. 

Although the Vatican Museum (with Sistine Chapel) and the Colosseum in Rome may still be seen on regular tickets, advance purchase skip-the-line timeslot admission tickets are the only sensible way to see these popular sites even during the low season. The very small surcharge is absolutely worth it to avoid queuing in line for hours. For the Colosseum, even last-minute immediate-use tickets must be bought online. The Pantheon in Rome is no longer free and time-slot tickets are essential to see this impressive Roman building.

Skip-the-line tickets are also highly advisable when visiting the archaeological excavations of Pompeii and Herculaneum near Naples. Similarly, getting into the Uffizi Gallery or Accademia in Florence without a time-slot reservation may be very difficult on an average day, often impossible on a busy day.

Time-slot reservations are surprisingly rarely used in Venice, except in summer for St Mark’s Basilica. Skip-the-line tickets are available for most top sights, many are also covered by Venice museum passes.

See also Top Sights in Italy Requiring Reservations and Skip-the-Line Tickets to Top Sights in Rome and the Vatican and Online Skip-the-Line Tickets in Venice for more tips and details.

Buy Online Skip-the-Line Tickets for Top Sights in Spain

Queues at the Lion Gate

Skip-the-line time-slot tickets are increasingly necessary to see some of the top attractions in Spain.

Admission to Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia in Barcelona is only on time-slot tickets. Although it is possible to line up at the Sagrada Familia to buy tickets, there is no guarantee that tickets will be available. During the high season, the church often sells out for days at end.

Similarly, buy tickets for the Alhambra in Granada in advance, as the total number of visitors per day is strictly controlled. Admission to the magnificent Nasrid Palace complex inside the Alhambra is by time-slot ticket only.

Skip-the-line tickets are the only sensible way to see the Real Alcazar in Seville and the Seville Cathedral – the largest Gothic church in the world.

In Cordoba, time-slot reservations are possible for the Mezquita Cathedral. Consider taking a tour if time is pressing, or visit early morning when admission is free. Seeing the Mezquita on day trips or stopovers is also a good option.

Buy Advance Online Tickets for Top Sights in Paris

Sculptures in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris

Two top sights in Paris for which advance purchase skip-the-line tickets are almost essential are the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum. Also, buy time-slot tickets for the Palace of Versailles.

Tickets for the Eiffel Tower are best bought well in advance of a visit. Despite the high price, ascending the symbol of Paris remains a top priority for many tourists. If turning up without tickets, consider climbing the stairs – it is cheaper than the elevator ride and tickets are more readily available without advance reservations.

The Louvre recently introduced actual time-slot tickets in addition to regular advance purchase tickets. Admission to the security queues at the Louvre is currently in the following order: time-slot tickets (including the Paris Museum Pass — make free reservations), other tickets, and lastly visitors without or not requiring tickets.

The security line queues at the Palace of Versailles are often very long and slow-moving but time-slot reservations are essential (even if bought at the palace itself). Visitors taking a guided tour also use a faster group entrance. Inside the palace is often unpleasantly full – try visiting early in the morning or late afternoon. The gardens – free except on music and fountain days – are always pleasant and large enough to distribute the crowds.

See also: Paris – Buy Skip-the-Line Tickets for the Eiffel Tower, Louvre and Versailles.

Free Time-Slot Reservations at Top Berlin Sights

Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon

A few top sights in Berlin require time-slot admission reservations and these reservations are somewhat uncharacteristically free: the Reichstag dome, the Pergamon Museum (closed from 23 October 2023 for several years), the Neues Museum, the Neue Nationalgalerie, and major temporary exhibitions.

Admission to the German parliament – or more specifically the dome on top of the parliament plenary hall – is still free but advance online reservations are essential and close a few days prior to a planned visit. See Visiting the Reichstag Dome in Berlin for details.

The only major museums in Berlin’s Museum Island for which time-slot reservations are absolutely required are the Pergamon (closed until 2027!) and the Neues Museum. These time-slot reservations are free and made at the Berlin State Museums’ website or when buying tickets – also book free time-slot for bearers of the cheap Museum Pass Berlin, a Museum Island Ticket, or children under 18.

Time-slot reservations are also required at the Neue National Galerie and the Gemäldegalerie but except on busy days these are often possible to get for immediate admission. Reservations are free so worth making.

Make separate time-slot reservations if planning to see the Pergamonmuseum Das Panorama exhibition – it is not physically connected to the Pergamon Museum itself and will remain open when the main Pergamon Museum is closed from October 2023 to at least 2027.

Henk Bekker in armor

About the author:

Henk Bekker

Henk Bekker is a freelance travel writer with over 20 years of experience writing online. He is particularly interested in history, art, and culture. He has lived most of his adult life in Germany, Switzerland, and Denmark. In addition to, he also owns a travel website on the Lake Geneva region of Switzerland and maintains statistical websites on car sales and classic car auction prices. Henk holds an MBA from Edinburgh Business School and an MSc in Development Finance from the University of London.

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