Climbing the Eiffel Tower is a dream come true. However, you have to take into account the prices and the crowds you will encounter. That's why you should be mentally prepared to enjoy this unique experience to the full and join the 250 million people who have made the Eiffel Tower one of the most visited monuments in the world.
Knowing how the lifts work, how to get there, the Eiffel Tower ticket prices and taking into account some of the tips I'll give you in this article will help you to enjoy the incredible views of the Iron Lady to the full.
1. Book your tickets in advance
Those who simply turn up without pre-booked tickets are likely to lose a lot of time at the entrance. In summer, waits of one to two hours are very common (weekends and public holidays can be worse). It's a shame, especially because if you book in advance it is very easy and quick to book online and buy your ticket to the Eiffel Tower from the official Hellotickets website.
In addition, you have different types of tickets: single, with lift access, with access to the top for those who want to see it from all points of view, without queues and with cruise on the Seine for those looking for a combined experience, night tickets for those who want to see the Eiffel Tower under the light of the tickets or you can even choose to take a guided tour. Here's the list, which one do you choose?
- Tickets for the Eiffel Tower in Paris - From £37
- Eiffel Tower lift tickets - From £56.
- Priority tickets to the top of the Eiffel Tower - From £77.
- EiffelTower skip-the-line tickets and Seine River cruise - From £84.
- Guided tour of the Eiffel Tower - From £35.
- Night tickets to the Eiffel Tower in Paris - From £34.
2. If tickets sell out, don't despair!
And if you're already late, with less advance notice but at an added cost, you can take a last-minute gamble by booking a table at any of the Eiffel Tower's elegant restaurants, so you can enjoy some great views and a good meal. This way, you'll be able to enjoy a more than marvellous view and a good meal.
Remember, however, that the restaurants in the Eiffel Tower are a little more expensive. So if this option is not in your plans, here are some suggestions for restaurants near the Eiffel Tower.
Lunch at Madame Brasserie at the Eiffel Tower
With your lunch reservation at the Madame Brasserie at the Eiffel Tower, you will enjoy a gastronomic experience in one of the most important monuments in the world. You will have priority access and take the lift up to the restaurant, which serves classic French cuisine.
Dinner at Madame Brasserie at the Eiffel Tower
And if you prefer to dine at Madame Brasserie, that's also possible. At a higher price, though. But it is a dream experience to enjoy French gastronomy from the Eiffel Tower.
3. Best time to climb the tower
I recommend arriving around sun set to see the spectacular views, then stay as it gets dark in Paris to see the lights.
At the top every five minutes thousands of bright lights flash across the tower in bursts of light (actually best seen from a Seine river cruise or from the Champs Elysées).
As impressive as it is to climb the tower during the day, you'll definitely enjoy it more at twilight, when darkness completely envelops the city, and the tower glows with its spectacular light show. Plus, you'll be seeing all the lights of the city.
4. Keep your items safely stowed away
Street thieves plunder astonished visitors gawking beneath the tower and tourists in crowded lifts. For pickpockets these are the best occasions to steal.
Wear an anti-theft belt or some other means of keeping your cash and credit cards well hidden under your clothes and, above all, be careful where you keep your mobile phone, as without it you will be a needle in a haystack.
5. Visit every floor of the Eiffel Tower
The tower has three levels with observation decks (57, 115 and 276 metres), all connected by lifts and stairs. But there is no single lift directly to the top (le sommet).
To get to the top, you must first choose between using the lift or climbing 775 steps to the second level. Once on the second level, don't waste time and line up immediately for the next lift, the same one that takes you to the top. (Look for the fastest line, there are several lifts and feeder queues).
Being able to enjoy each floor separately is what makes this magnificent tower so meaningful as, thanks to the remarkable difference in height from one floor to the next, the views seem to change dramatically.
6. Keep an eye out for the secret flat!
Few people realise that Gustave Eiffel built a small hidden flat on the top level of the tower. It is just above the platform where the observatory is located, and has an area of 90 square metres.
Eiffel used the luxurious space to meditate deeply and invite a few people in particular (including the inventor Thomas Edison), and he resisted all offers to rent it.
Best of all, you can look inside the space, which is still furnished! For more information on this flat visit the following link.
7. The ultimate experience awaits you halfway up the tower!
As much as you want to reach the highest point, I would recommend enjoying the first and first floors first and foremost; indeed, if your schedule is tight I would advise you to abort your desire to climb to the top and enjoy these wonderful two floors.
To begin with, the best views from the Eiffel Tower are from the first floor: high enough to see the whole of Paris, but low enough to make out landmarks. Remember that at 276 metres it's hard to make out the details of monuments and landmarks, let alone if it's raining or foggy.
The first level is not to be skipped either, as from here you can explore shops and exhibitions of great interest, then you can also get up close to the glass area and feel what it's like to be 18 storeys above the ground.
8. Save time by taking the stairs down
The tower is known for its lift lines, both up and down. To some extent it makes sense to endure the long queues to take the lift up, but going down, I don't think it's worth it.
It is true that you can take the lift from the top to the second level, but you can use the stairs from there. It takes as little as five minutes walking between each level, much faster than the lift line and a much more memorable way to get back to earth. Once back on the ground, you'll appreciate the engineering of the tower even more, as you'll have been descending step by step.
And for a look to remember, I recommend strolling along the Seine River to the Place du Trocadéro and looking back for great views of the symbol of Paris.
9. Go twice so you can see it both in daylight and at night
There are advantages to enjoying the view of the Iron Lady in daylight and at night. By day you can better appreciate the details of the buildings, squares and monuments. Besides, the best way to appreciate the contrast between the green (the parks), the blue (the Seine River), and the big buildings is in the morning.
You don't need to climb the Tower twice, but you'll definitely want to see it at 10pm when the lights are bright, and Paris seems to be sleepwalking. However, if you don't have the chance to go twice, a good time to climb the Tower is shortly before dusk, so you can experience the sunset and also, shortly after, the sunset. Another ideal option is to go up if you're in Paris in summer.
10. The best way to get to the Tower
The closest Paris metro station to the Eiffel Tower is Champ de Mars / Tour Eiffel on the RER C line. Other metro stations close to the Eiffel Tower include École Militaire on line 8 and Bir-Hakeim on line 6.
If you want a pleasant ride to the Eiffel Tower you'll need to go on the opposite side of the river Seine, which is accessible via Trocadero station on line 9 and metro line 6. Anyway, if you have any doubts, check out this post on how to get to the Eiffel Tower. In addition, I recommend that you also check out the article Eiffel Tower ticket prices to help you organise your travel expenses.