Ahh, the Eiffel Tower. Easily the most iconic Paris attraction and a definite must-see for any first time Paris visitor. When I was making plans for my Paris trip one of the top priorities was fitting a visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower in somewhere. Luckily my experience visiting the tower was a fantastic one and I’m so thankful for such a smooth experience!
Tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower:
+ Pre-purchase a ticket and skip the ticket line
There are two kinds of lines at the tower – one for purchasing tickets and one for entering the tower. Technically there is usually also a separate lines for using the stairs versus using the elevators but the point is that you want to avoid needing to wait in the ticket line. Have your ticket in hand and skip the long ticket line altogether!
This was the line to purchase tickets about 15 minutes before everything opened (I couldn’t get the entire line in one picture):
+ Purchase your ticket BEFORE you leave for your trip
They only sell so many tickets for each time slot so be sure to book them early. If you’re looking far in the future and no tickets are available continue to check the website occasionally until you go on your trip. I found that there were more tickets available shortly before my trip and that’s when I snagged the time slot I wanted.
+ Visit early
I booked my ticket for the earliest time slot available and made sure to get there at least a half an hour early to queue up in line. I ended up in the second elevator up to the top and was able to enjoy a few minutes with less people at the top. More and more people continued to pour in and I was thankful for the little bit of time I had with less crowds.
+ OR visit late afternoon
Something that I didn’t do but will probably do next time is book a late afternoon time slot. Ideally to be timed so that I’ll be at the top of the tower around sunset and can stay long enough to enjoy both a day time and night time view.
+ Taking the stairs can save time
If you’re up for taking the stairs it can save a lot of time. The line to take the stairs is usually short and the trek up isn’t too grueling. You’ll only be able to go to level 2 and then you have to take the elevator to the top. But since people can only come out onto level 2 as fast as the elevators can get them up there so there’s usually not a terribly long wait on the second level.
+ Skip the lines by eating at the restaurant
If you’re willing to pay the price to make a reservation at the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower you can score a quick entrance to the tower. More details on their website here.
+ Don’t forget to explore the lower levels
I recommend going straight to the top (especially if you got there early) to enjoy it while there are less people up there. I literally had no wait time between when I got off at level 2 and when I got in an elevator to go to the top. But then make sure to stop at the lower levels and enjoy what they have to offer on your way back down!
+ Enjoy the tower at night!
I didn’t go back up to the top at night (although I’m sure it’s a cool experience) but I greatly enjoyed seeing the tower from afar when it was all lit up. If you’re only going to be in Paris for a short time be sure to get a glance of the tower in all it’s glory at the top of an hour when the lights do their thing!
This is the sign you want to look for if you already have tickets and are trying to make sure you get in the right line. “Visiteurs avec ticket” = Visitors with ticket.
And now here are some pictures of my visit to the Eiffel Tower in November…
For those of you who have been to the Eiffel Tower – what was your favorite part? And can you think of any tips I missed?