There are many ways to enjoy the Eiffel Tower, but you have to go up to see the whole city from the top. You can climb the Eiffel Tower during the day, to see Paris in all its splendour, or at night, with all its lights on.
You can also combine the climb with a cruise on the Seine or a tour that takes you to discover the city. Here are the best options:
Your ticket to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, with an expert guide
Perfect if you want to enjoy the best views of the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower and complete the experience with the explanations of an expert guide.
Regardless of whether you go up the stairs or the lift and whether or not you get to the top, the added value of the Eiffel Tower entrance with a specialised guide is that they will tell you the history of the monument (because it has one) and that when you get to the top they will show you the different areas and monuments of Paris telling you about the history of the city and everything you need to know to enjoy it to the fullest.
This guided tour includes a lift to the first floor and the option to hire a separate lift to the top. If you're fit, I recommend taking the stairs, even if you're just going down, as part of the experience; it will give you plenty of time to do it at your own pace.
Throughout the tour you are accompanied by a specialised guide who, when you get to the top, guides you through the view of the city and describes interesting details about all the monuments that make up the city.
Why I like this option: in a nutshell, the guided tour describes Paris and all its emblems and there is no better place to do that than from the heights of what is the most representative place in the city.
Your ticket to climb the Eiffel Tower by night with an expert guide
Paris lit up is a spectacle and if you enjoy it from the top of the Eiffel Tower, the experience is unparalleled.
With this ticket you will have the option to go up the Eiffel Tower at any time you want, but it is recommended that you choose the evening time, 19:45, so you can enjoy the sunset and the lights of the city. You can buy tickets in advance, save queues and visit the monument at your own pace, but without missing the explanations of an audio guide in Spanish with everything you can see from the top.
For a higher price than the previous option, Paris illuminated will surrender to your feet so you can fall in love (even more) with the city. You'll see the sunset from above and gradually watch the lights of the city's main monuments and streets come on. Not to be missed!
Why I like this option: if you don't feel like joining a guided tour but still want to enjoy the explanations of what you can see from the top of the Tower, the auidoguide will be your best ally.
Climb the Eiffel Tower, take a guided tour of the city and enjoy a cruise on the Seine.
You can't leave Paris without climbing the Eiffel Tower, but you also can't leave Paris without taking a stroll along the Seine and enjoying the romantic views of the city.
As an emblematic monument of Paris, it is easy to find tourist offers that combine a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower with any other activity characteristic of the city. One of the most relevant options is the one that includes the entrance to the Eiffel Tower without queues and a cruise along the banks of the Seine from where you will enjoy the views of the Louvre or the Notre Dame Cathedral.
During this excursion you will be accompanied at all times by a specialised guide who will not only show you details of the city of Paris, but will also be at your disposal to give you the advice and recommendations you need to make the most of your trip to the city of light. A recommended option to visit two of the city's main tourist attractions without stress or waiting time, while saving money.
Why I like this option: if you are planning a trip to Paris, the idea of taking a guided tour has probably crossed your mind. But climbing the Eiffel Tower and enjoying a cruise on the Seine are also a must in Paris. With this combo, you'll be able to enjoy a super complete experience.
How to buy a ticket to the Eiffel Tower
You can buy it by queuing at the ticket office or on the official website in advance. Remember that depending on the lift sections you choose, the price will vary and that there may be a queue in the lifts as not everyone can get on at the same time.
Children under the age of four are free, and there are discounts for children and young people up to the age of 25 on ticket prices. People with reduced mobility can also access the tower. Paris Pass holders, however, will have to buy their tickets in the normal way as this is one of the very few monuments that are not included in the Paris travel cards.
Ana's Traveller Tip
To visit the Eiffel Tower on your own, combine the walk up to the first floor and the lift to the top for the cheapest entry and to enjoy all the views.
How much do tickets to the Eiffel Tower cost?
Ticket prices for the Eiffel Tower depend on whether or not you choose a guided tour and whether you choose to walk up the stairs or take the lift. Access to the first floor is included in all tickets, but from there the views are not at their best; to see them you will have to go up to the first floor (on foot or by lift depending on which ticket you buy) or to the dome (only accessible by lift).
Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower
The entrances to the Eiffel Tower are the four legs that make up the tower, and at each of them there are queues of tourists queuing to buy tickets. That's why the best option is to book your tickets in advance; this way you'll only have to wait in the entrance queue (essential so that the tower doesn't get overcrowded with visitors and you can enjoy the views) and not at the ticket offices, which are the longest.
My advice is that it is worth paying the difference in price (about 9 euros) to go all the way up. An intermediate option, which for me is the best, is to take the stairs to the first floor and the lift to the top.
Times and best time to go to the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year, from 9am to midnight in summer and from 9.30am to 11pm in winter. Unlike many museums in Paris, the monument is not closed on any day of the week, but access may be suspended from time to time due to repairs, weather conditions or crowds.
In my opinion, the views are worth seeing both day and night, and for that, going up before sunset is the best time if you don't want to do it twice. However, it is also one of the most crowded times of the day. If you want to enjoy the views with a small crowd, the best time is at dusk and early morning if there is no fog (something that is common in Paris and can "spoil" the views).
Eiffel Tower illumination at night
The Eiffel Tower's lighting schedule begins at nightfall. At the stroke of midnight the tower flashes for five minutes until one o'clock in the morning; these flashes were implemented to celebrate the arrival of the year 2000 and are still active today. Also, on certain dates or days the Eiffel Tower's lighting changes, so it's a good idea to check the calendar during your trip in case you get the chance to see a different type of illumination.
Organise your visit to the Eiffel Tower
How to get to the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the most central and well-known monument in Paris and can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. You'll have no trouble walking to it from anywhere in the centre if you look at a map, and it's also very well connected by public transport. If you use metro line 6, the stop is Bir-Hakeim, although if you have time, I recommend walking from the Trocadero stop on the same line.
How long does it take to visit the Eiffel Tower?
You can spend as much time as you want on your visit to the Eiffel Tower depending on how many photos you want to take and how much time you spend climbing stairs or waiting for the lifts. Most people spend about an hour and a half on the tour, but guided tours usually last about two hours as they go into much more detail and leave you free to enjoy the tower at your leisure.
Where to eat nearby
At the Eiffel Tower there are two bars where you can buy some food to take away, a Parisian macaron shop and two restaurants with views where you can make reservations and enjoy seasonal French cuisine. If you want to enjoy the experience and indulge in a luxurious treat, I recommend the restaurants; the food in the bars is expensive and is only for snacks.
If you want to eat in the area you'll have to go a bit further afield to find restaurants, but I recommend ordering a fabulous crepe from the street stall between the Champs de Mars and Trocadero as they make them on the spot and sitting in the area and enjoying the view gives you a more authentic experience than the average restaurant.
Climbing the Eiffel Tower with children
Can you go up the Eiffel Tower with children? Of course you can! The Eiffel Tower has sufficient safety measures to allow you to visit it with children with complete peace of mind. All areas are protected by a safety fence and, as long as you are careful with the stairs, children are not at risk.
Ana's Traveller Tip
Before planning your visit, check the weather and make sure there is no fog; early mornings are often foggy in Paris and you won't be able to enjoy the views as much.
The surroundings of the Eiffel Tower
Just as important as climbing the Eiffel Tower is the view from below. The tower is located between the Champs de Mars and the gardens of the Trocadero Palace, and the area is ideal, especially in warm weather, for a leisurely stroll with a crêpe in hand. In summer, you are allowed to lie on the lawns of the Champs de Mars, and many groups gather there in the evening for picnics and to watch the illumination of the tower.
Lying there, unhurried and simply looking up and seeing the tower is a unique experience in Paris. If I may give you a piece of advice, be careful with bags, backpacks, purses, etc. This area tends to be quite crowded and, especially after dark, pickpockets often try to make a killing at the expense of absent-minded tourists who leave their belongings unattended while taking pictures of the Iron Lady.
The best pictures of the Eiffel Tower
Besides being one of the most visited monuments in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is also one of the most photographed, but where to take the best photos of the Eiffel Tower? To suit all tastes, I suggest several places.
While you're in the area, maybe it's a good time to take one of the Seine River cruises (in fact, there are packages that sell the entrance to the Tower and the Seine River cruise, so you can save money by buying them together). I explain it all in my article on: Seine River Cruises in Paris.
You will easily identify the spot because it is the one where all the tourists gather to take the "typical photo" with the Eiffel Tower in the background. It used to be allowed to climb the curb of the stairs, but in recent years it has been fenced off to protect the area and prevent falls; even so, it's easy to miss the fence if you use the right perspective.
From the nearby lawn
The first thing you will realise when you see the Eiffel Tower for the first time is that, no matter how many photos you have seen, you cannot get an idea of its size. Photographing it in its entirety from up close and without a wide-angle lens is virtually impossible, but I personally like the image of the top peeking through the trees.
From the Peace Wall
At the end of the Champs de Mars, the "Peace Wall" offers a nice vantage point to photograph the Eiffel Tower. The monument consists of two glass walls on which the word "Peace" can be read in 32 languages and 18 different alphabets.
From the Pont Alexandre III
The railing of this bridge and the ornamentation of the bridge also allow for beautiful photos of the Eiffel Tower with the river in the background. Be sure to take a stroll across this bridge of the Third French Republic that crosses the Seine and leads to Les Invalides.
From the rest of Paris
You don't have to take the perfect, framed, close-up photo of the Eiffel Tower; you can easily snap it from different parts of Paris due to its sheer size. Try climbing the Arc de Triomphe and taking your photo from there or explore the back of the Sacre Coeur to get a perspective of the Eiffel Tower illuminating Paris. If you've got the observation skills, you'll have a whole album at your disposal when you return from your trip.
Ana's Traveller Tip
Don't miss the view of the Eiffel Tower from the Peace Wall of the Champ de Mars, where you can also photograph it without the crowds.
Attractions with similar views to the Eiffel Tower in Paris
The views from the top of the Eiffel Tower are breathtaking and the highest in Paris. Does that mean they're the best? Not necessarily; although climbing the Eiffel Tower is a must, there are many other places in the city from which you can enjoy aerial views of Paris and in many of them with more detail than from the top of the Eiffel Tower for the simple reason that a lower height allows you to better appreciate the details.
I personally recommend three of them:
The gargoyles of the Paris cathedral give a special air to the views of the city. It really looks like the gargoyles are watching over the city and the cathedral's location in the centre of Paris allows you to see many of the city's monuments. This spot is currently closed after the fire in 2019, but it is sure to be available again sooner or later.
Personally, I think this is one of the few elements of Paris that breaks the aesthetics of the city. Why go up then? Because, precisely, from the top of the tower, located in the south of the city, you can't see the tower itself and you can see the rest of the great monuments of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower.
Perhaps it is because of the atmosphere of the Montmartre district, but the truth is that the experience of contemplating the whole of Paris from the top of the Sacre-Coeur stairs is an impressive experience that unites you even more with a city that grabs you even before you set foot in it for the first time. The Montmartre district, in general, is a must-see attraction that you can't miss on your visit to the city. I've written a guide about Paris Tours in which I tell you how to visit this neighbourhood and the places you shouldn't miss.
Whether you choose one or more of the attractions in Paris, the distances between them are not short, so don't underestimate them. A good way to get around the city between the main points of interest while taking a break from the inevitable walking on your trip is the sightseeing bus. Here's a handy guide to everything you need to know before you get your ticket: Paris Hop on Hop off Bus Tours.
Frequently asked questions
Is it possible to enter the Eiffel Tower with a backpack or luggage?
Small bags and backpacks are allowed in the Eiffel Tower, but it is likely that your bag will be checked at the security checkpoint before you enter.
How long does it take to climb the Eiffel Tower?
It takes about 20 minutes to reach the first floor, if you take the staircase of more than 700 steps. The third floor can only be reached by lift. The best advice is to take the lift as you can skip the line if you pre-book your tickets, and then descend the stairs while enjoying the most breathtaking views of the city.
What time is the Eiffel Tower light show?
It starts in the evening and runs for five minutes once every hour until 01:00 (02:00 during the summer season).