By traveling independently, you will be free to enter crowd-avoidance mode, moving against the crowds, not with them. When a tour group swarms in, traveling in its “crowd bubble,” use your flexibility to go somewhere else for now. Then return later when the crowds thin out.
Use the “magic” of the Paris Museum Pass to skip past the lines at the museums in Paris. The Paris Pass will allow you skip-the-line entry to most museums in Paris including the Louvre and d’Orsay where the lines are otherwise impossible. Purchase your pass in the small souvenir shop across from Saint-Chapelle, NOT at the Orsay where the ticket lines are daunting. Once you have your pass in hand, you are good to go at most museums, free to glide past the line and in the door. And you will find that you enjoy more experiences since you will not need to go round and round about whether or not you want to spend money for entry when you have limited time.
Think strategically about where the crowds are NOT and go there. If you are heading for a venue that is generally crowded, pick a time when the masses will be doing something else.
Book ahead for Eiffel Tower restaurant reservations or lift tickets. Then walk past the daunting lines and enter the elevator smoothly.
Make restaurant reservations in advance so you will be certain to have a table. If there’s an outdoor dining area, book a table there. And always go for the best possible view.