This article may contain compensated links. Please read disclaimer for more info.
“Is it worth going up the Eiffel Tower?” is something we are asked over and over again.
Cliché as it might be, I’d have to say it is, especially if you are visiting Paris for the first time.
Haters will tell you to skip the Eiffel Tower because it has nothing to do with the real Paris. They will also tell you that it’s expensive and the lines are long, that it’s a tourist trap. But the seven million people who pay for climbing up the Eiffel Tower every year are no fools, carried along by clichés.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic monuments of Paris and France and being at the top of the famous tower is a lifetime experience.
It’s not only about the views. The Eiffel Tower is part of the history of Paris and the history of its design and construction is also very interesting, with many anecdotes. Just like in any other museum in Paris, there’s an exhibition in the external passageways of the 1st floor to learn more about this monument with information panels, monitors, tactile screens, display cases, and copies of objects. There’s also is an immersive experience where the visitor is plunged into the universe of the Eiffel Tower by 7 projectors projecting images onto 3 walls of the Pavillon Ferrié, 1st floor.
My last visit to the Eiffel Tower was in 2019, for her 130 anniversary. Apart from the views, I also enjoyed wandering around the exhibition area and I have to say that I learned many interesting things about this monument!
You can also have a special lunch or a romantic dinner in the Eiffel Tower.
There are ways, we have listed 5 Eiffel Tower hacks, to organize your visit to make the most of this iconic monument so at the end of your Paris trip you can say it was well worth going up the Eiffel Tower.
Best Eiffel Tower Hacks
GO UP WITH A GUIDE
Ok, this is not the cheapest option to visit the Eiffel Tower but well worth the extra money if they can guarantee the best experience.
Usually, the guides are very competent and provide relevant and interesting information. Plus they can make it save time waiting in line.
There are a few private tour operators that get you straight to the front of the line with a local expert. Amongst them, the ‘tour up to the second floor at sunset’ by Flat Tire Tours gets the best reviews. If you prefer the full program, this guided tour by City Wonders is consistently rated 4- 5 stars.
FIND THE BEST TIME TO VISIT THE EIFFEL TOWER
If you prefer to visit the Eiffel Tower on your own, try to do it when the lines are shorter. The diagram below shows the days and time slots with lesser crowds during low season and high season. Of course, this may change a bit depending on the weather conditions or during special weeks so take these diagrams with a grain of salt.
BOOK YOUR TICKETS ONLINE AND WELL IN ADVANCE
One of the best tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower is to book your tickets online and in advance. The Eiffel Tower is so popular that booking online and in advance is recommended if you want to be sure to visit on a specific day. The Eiffel Tower tickets sold out very fast, especially during occasions like winter holidays, or Saint Valentine’s day.
There is no such thing as a “skip the line” ticket for the Eiffel Tower. The only way to avoid waiting in line at the ticket office is to purchase it online and in advance.
It is possible to buy most of the tickets online in advance directly from the Eiffel Tower’s website. You can buy these tickets up to 60 days before your visit and you will have to choose a specific date and time slot. Be aware that if you’re more than 30 minutes late, you may be denied entry.
Tickets sold as “skip the line” on other websites do not offer any further benefits unless they come with interesting extras like an audio guide, a tour host, or a tour guide.
TAKE THE STAIRS
Even if you purchase your tickets in advance, waiting in line for a little while for the elevators is inevitable. The stair ticket is a surprisingly unused option and you’ll never normally wait more than a few minutes. This, if you are fit enough for climbing the 704 steps up to the second floor!
In any event, consider walking down for the chance to enjoy some peace and interesting views from the pillars.
MAKE A RESTAURANT RESERVATION
The Eiffel Tower restaurants have a separate entrance up to the Eiffel Tower so if you make a restaurant reservation you will have immediate access to the Tower.
A restaurant reservation, however, does not include the visit to the Eiffel Tower but you will have the views plus a memorable lunch or dinner.
Things to Know Before Visiting the Eiffel Tower
Below, we have listed some interesting things to know to help you plan your Eiffel Tower visit.
EIFFEL TOWER HOURS OF OPERATION (2020)
The Eiffel Tower never rests! The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year from 9: 00 am to 12:45 am (13 June until 29 August) and from 9:30 am until 11:45 pm for the rest of the year.
EIFFEL TOWER PRICES (2020)
The Eiffel Tower proposes different tickets, with access to different parts of the tower by stairs or lift so ticket costs vary wildly.
The cheapest ticket costs 10.40€. This ticket does not include the summit – it gives access to the second floor only by stairs – and it is not available to purchase online.
The most expensive ticket costs 25.90€ (ticket with lift) and it gives access to the summit. Other tickets may include audio-guide, guided tour, or escort may be interested to consider.
IT IS POSSIBLE TO VISIT THE EIFFEL HOUR DURING A LAYOVER IN PARIS
With a layover in Paris of 4 hours or more and good planning, it is possible to visit the Eiffel Tower from both airports in Paris. Learn the best ways to visit the Eiffel Tower from Charles de Gaulle Airport or from Orly Airport and get the best view and selfie.
During a layover in Paris, however, we don’t recommend buying tickets in advance: if your flight is delayed and you’re more than 30 minutes late, you may be denied entry.
THERE ARE PUBLIC RESTROOMS
No need to panic! There are public restrooms on all floors. At ground level, restrooms can be found on the east and west pillars. Toilets are free to use and they have dedicated places for changing babies.
THERE’S A KIND OF HIDDEN ROOM
On the top of the tower there is a reproduction of Gustave Eiffel’s office. There you can see wax models of Gustave Eiffel and his daughter Claire welcoming the famous American inventor Thomas Edison. It is not possible to enter this room, you can look into this office from the outside.
THE VIEWS FROM THE TOWER ARE AMAZING
Despite Paris is quite flat, the views of the city from the Eiffel Tower are amazing. Visitors can see Champ de Mars and Les Invalides with its gilded cupola, the Grande Arche and the skyscrapers of La Défense, the Seine River, Quai de Branly, an interesting point of view of the spectacular architecture of Fondation Louis Vuitton and much more!
RE-ENTRY ISN’T AN OPTION
You can stay at the Eiffel Tower an indefinite amount of time until closing hour. Take your time and enjoy the view because re-entry isn’t allowed.
THE EIFFEL TOWER IS NOT PROPOSED BY ANY TOURIST PASS
Unfortunately, there are no discounts for holders of these kinds of passes. However, tour operators like Viator or Get Your Guide propose interesting combo tickets that include the Eiffel Tower + other top sights. If you are planning to visit also these top sights, these combo tickets will make you save money and time!
These are the best-rated combo tickets that include the Eiffel Tower:
- Eiffel Tower direct access, Louvre, and River Cruise
- Eiffel Tower Summit Access, and Seine Cruise
- Eiffel Tower direct access, Seine Cruise, and City Tour
EIFFEL TOWER DINNER AND EATING OPTIONS
There are two Buffet Tour Eiffel snack bars located on the first and second floors.
The 58 Tour Eiffel on the first floor offers a “chic picnic” lunch menu from 41.50 euros and dinner from 85 euros. Reservations are advised but not compulsory.
The Jules Verne requires reservations and proper attire. It is located on the second floor, perched at 125m and with amazing views of Champ de Mars, Trocadéro and Quai Branly.
There is a Champagne Bar located at the summit. Are you celebrating a special occasion at the top of the Eiffel Tower? Then add a glass of champagne and toast for this special day!
Those in need of a sweet bite after the climbing can head to the particular Macarons Bar for some colorful and yummy macarons. You can eat them on-site or take away.
NIGHTTIME LIGHT SHOW
Nighttime visitors to the Eiffel Tower get a five-minute luminous spectacle every hour on the hour. The Eiffel Tower sparkle is operated by 20,000 lightbulbs and these light shows start at dusk.