You can enjoy the Eiffel Tower in many ways, 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 splendor, 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 completing the experience with the explanations of an expert guide.
Regardless of whether you go up by stairs or elevator and whether or not you get to the top, the added value of the Eiffel Tower entrance with a specialized guide is that they will tell you the history of the monument (in fact, it has quite an interesting one) and 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 climb includes an elevator ride to the second floor and the option to climb to the top separately. I recommend using the stairs, even if it's just to go down, as part of the experience; they'll give you plenty of time to do it at your own pace.
Throughout the tour, you are accompanied by a specialized guide who, when you get to the top, orients you to the view of the city and describes interesting details about all the monuments that make it up.
Why I like this option: in a nutshell, the guided tour shows you Paris from above, soaking in the views of the most iconic landmarks of the city while learning about their historic importance.
Your ticket to climb the Eiffel Tower at night with an expert guide
Paris illuminated 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 (7:45 pm) so you can enjoy the sunset and the lights in the city. You can buy tickets in advance, skip the queues and visit the monument at your own pace, but without missing the explanations of an English audio guide about everything you can see from the top.
For a higher price than the previous option, Paris lit up at night will be at your feet so you can fall in love (even more) with the city. You will see the sunset from above and you will contemplate how, little by little, the lights of the main monuments and the streets of the city will turn 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 audio guide 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 also without taking a romantic stroll along the Seine soaking in the best views of the city.
As an emblematic monument of Paris, it is easy to find tourist offers that combine the guided tour of the Eiffel Tower with any other typical activity in the city. One of the most interesting options is the one that includes the entrance to the Eiffel Tower without queues and a cruise along the banks of the Seine from which you will enjoy the views of the Louvre or the Notre Dame Cathedral.
During this tour you will be accompanied at all times by a specialized 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 want to make the most of your trip to the city of light. A recommended option to visit two of the main tourist attractions of the city 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 is also a 'must' in Paris. With this combo, you can enjoy a super complete experience.
How to buy a ticket to the Eiffel Tower
You can buy it by standing in line at the ticket office or at the official website in advance. Remember that depending on the elevator sections you choose will have a price or another and account that the elevators can be queued since not everyone can go up at the same time.
Children under four years old do not pay and there are discounts for children and young people up to 25 years on the price of tickets. People with reduced mobility can also access the tower. Paris Pass holders, however, will have to buy their tickets ordinarily 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 second floor and the elevator to the top for the most economical entrance and to enjoy all the views.
How much do tickets to the Eiffel Tower cost?
The price of tickets to the Eiffel Tower depends on whether or not you choose a guided tour and whether you choose to walk up the stairs or take the elevator. Access to the second floor is included in all tickets, but from there the views are not fully appreciated; to see them you will have to go up to the second floor (on foot or by elevator depending on the ticket you buy) or to the dome (only accessible by elevator).
Climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower
The accesses to the Eiffel Tower are the four legs that compose it and in each of them, queues of tourists are formed to buy tickets. That is why the best option is to book the tickets in advance; this way you will only have to wait in the access queue (essential so that the tower is not saturated with visitors and you can enjoy the views) and not also at the ticket offices which are the longest.
My advice is that it is worth paying the price difference (about 10 dollars) to go all the way up. An intermediate option, which for me is the best, is to get the stairs to the second floor and the elevator to the top.
Schedules and best time to go to the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year; from 9 am to midnight in summer and from 9:30 am to 11 pm in winter. Unlike many museums in Paris, the monument is not closed on any day of the week, but access may be occasionally suspended due to repairs, weather conditions, or crowds.
In my opinion, it is worth seeing the views both day and night, and for that to go up before sunset is the best time if you do not 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 few people, the best time is at dusk and early morning if there is no fog (something that is common in Paris and can sort of spoil the views).
The night illumination of the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower's illumination schedule begins when night falls. At sharp hours the tower launches 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. Also, on certain days the lighting of the Eiffel Tower changes, so it is good to check the calendar during your trip in case you have the opportunity to see a different type of lighting.
Organize your visit to the Eiffel Tower
How to get there
The Eiffel Tower is the most central and well-known monument in Paris and can be seen from almost everywhere in the city. You will have no problem getting there by walking from any point in the center looking at a map and by public transport it is also excellently communicated. You can get there by metro line 6 Bir-Hakeim stop although I recommend you to walk from the Trocadero stop, on the same line.
Duration of the visit
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 elevators. Most people usually spend one hour on average on the visit, but guided tours usually last about two hours as they go into much more detail and leave the traveler free time to enjoy the tower at their leisure.
Where to eat in the surroundings
At the Eiffel Tower, there are two bars where you can buy some food to take away, a Parisian "macarons" store, 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 will have to go a little far to find restaurants, but I recommend you order a fabulous crêpe at the street stall between the Champs de Mars and Trocadero as they make them on the spot and sitting in the area to enjoy the view gives you a more authentic experience than any ordinary restaurant.
Climbing the Eiffel Tower with children
Can you climb the Eiffel Tower with children? Of course you can! The Eiffel Tower has safety measures in place so that you can visit it with children with complete peace of mind. All areas are protected by a safety fence and, as long as they 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 in the morning it is common 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 observing it from below. The tower is located between the Champs de Mars and the gardens of the Trocadero Palace and the area is ideal, especially with good temperatures, to walk around it quietly and with a crepe in hand. In summer, moreover, it is allowed to lie on the lawn of the Champs de Mars and in the evening many groups gather there to picnic and watch the illumination of the tower.
Lying there, unhurried, and just looking up and seeing the tower is a unique experience in Paris. If I may give you a tip, be careful with bags, backpacks, purses, etc. This area is usually quite crowded and especially at nightfall, there are often pickpockets trying to turn a profit at the expense of clueless tourists who neglect their belongings while taking pictures of the Iron Lady.
The best pictures of the Eiffel Tower
On the other hand, besides being one of the most visited monuments in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is also one of the most photographed, but from where to take the best pictures of the Eiffel Tower? To suit all tastes, I suggest several places.
Taking advantage of the fact that you are in the area, maybe it is a good time to embark on one of the Seine cruises (in fact, some packages sell the entrance to the Tower and the Seine cruise, so you can save by buying it together). I explain everything in my article at: Seine River Cruises.
You will easily identify this point 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 on the curb of the stairs, but in recent years it was fenced to protect the area and prevent falls; even so, it is easy to not include the fence in your picture if you use the right perspective.
From the nearby lawn
The first thing you're going to realize when you see the Eiffel Tower for the first time is that, no matter how many photos you've seen, you can't get an idea of its size. Photographing it in its entirety from up close and without a wide-angle lens is practically impossible, but I like the image of the summit peeking out between trees.
From the Peace Wall
At the end of the Champs de Mars, the "Wall for Peace" offers a nice perspective 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 Alexander III Bridge
The railing of this bridge and the ornamentation of the bridge, also allow beautiful photos of the Eiffel Tower with the river in the background. Be sure to stroll along this bridge of the Third French Republic that crosses the Seine and leads to Les Invalides.
From the rest of Paris
No need to take the perfect, framed, close-up photo of the Eiffel Tower; from different places in Paris you will be able to photograph it easily due to its large size. Try climbing the Arc de Triomphe and taking the photo from there or explore the back of the Sacre Coeur to get a perspective of the Eiffel Tower illuminating Paris. If you have observational 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 crowds of people.
Attractions with similar views to the Eiffel Tower in Paris
The views you'll see 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.
Personally, I recommend three:
The gargoyles of the cathedral of Paris 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 center of Paris allows you to appreciate several of the city's monuments. This spot right now is closed after the fire in 2019, but for sure sooner or later, it will be available again.
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 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 all of Paris from the top of the stairs of the Sacre-Coeur is an impressive experience that binds you even more with a city that catches you even before stepping on it for the first time. The Montmartre district, in general, is an unmissable point of interest that you can't miss on your visit to the city. I have written a guide on Paris Tours in which I tell you how to visit this neighborhood and the places you should not miss.
Whether you decide on one or several of the attractions that Paris has, you should know that the distances between them are not short, so do not underestimate them. A good way to move around the city between the main points of interest while taking a break from the inevitable walking of your trip, is the tourist bus. Here's a handy guide on everything you need to know before getting your ticket: Hop on Hop off Bus Tours.
Frequently asked questions
Are bags allowed in Eiffel Tower?
Handbags and small backpacks are allowed in the Eiffel Tower, but security will probably check any luggage that you bring with you.
How long does it take to go up the Eiffel Tower?
It takes about 20 minutes to reach the 2nd floor if you walk the more than 700 steps. The 3rd floor can only be reached by elevator. Best advice is to take the elevator up since you can skip the line if you prebook your tickets, then walk down for the most stunning views of the city.
At what time is the Eiffel Tower Light Show?
It starts at night and takes place for five minutes once every hour until 1:00 (2:00 during the summer season).