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 illumination lit up.
You can also combine the climb with a cruise on the Seine or a tour that takes you to discover the city. I tell you what are the best options:
Climb the Eiffel Tower, take a guided tour of the city and enjoy a night cruise on the Seine.
You can't leave Paris without climbing the Eiffel Tower, but also without taking a stroll along the Seine 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 which 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 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 and without waiting, 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 can enjoy a super complete experience.
Ticket to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, with 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 entrance to the Eiffel Tower with a specialized guide is that they will tell you the history of the monument (because it has one) and when you get to the top they will show you the different areas and monuments of Paris talking about the history of the city and everything you need to know to enjoy it to the fullest.
This guided tour includes an elevator to the second floor and the option to hire the climb to the top separately. If you are in shape, I recommend using the stairs, even if it's just to go 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 specialized guide who, when you get to the top, orients you in the view of the city and describes interesting details about all the monuments that compose it.
Entrance to the Eiffel Tower+Louvre Museum+Guided tour with cruise on the Seine River
If you only have a few days in Paris and you do not want to miss the highlights of this wonderful city, you can take advantage of this tour of Paris with tickets to the Eiffel Tower, visit to the Louvre Museum and cruise on the Seine. Undoubtedly, a very complete experience because in the same day (in about 8 hours approximately) you will have known two of the essential monuments of the French capital, the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower, of course with tickets without queues and with an expert guide who will give you all the explanations.
With the help of the specialized guide, you will get to know the historical works of one of the best museums in the world, such as the 'Mona Lisa'. But you will also climb the famous Eiffel Tower where the views will honor the spectacular city of light. The history of this incredible tower and its construction will not leave you indifferent.
But also, as in the previous option, you can also enjoy a cruise on the Seine discovering the city from a unique perspective. Your pictures will be authentic postcards.
How to buy the ticket for the Eiffel Tower
You can buy it by standing in line at the ticket office or on the official website in advance. Remember that depending on the elevator sections you choose will have a price or another and account that in the elevators can be queued as not everyone can go up at once.
Children under four years old do not pay and there are discounts for children and young people up to 25 years in the price of tickets. People with reduced mobility can also access the tower. Paris Pass holders, however, will have to buy their tickets in the ordinary way as this is one of the very few monuments that are not included in the Paris travel cards.
How much do tickets to the Eiffel Tower cost?
The price of tickets for 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 appreciated in all their splendor; 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).
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 a more economical ticket to enjoy the views.
Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower
Access to the Eiffel Tower
The entrances to the Eiffel Tower are the four legs that compose it and at each one of them there are queues of tourists to buy tickets. That's why the best option is to book 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 difference in price (about 9 euros) to go all the way up. An intermediate option, which for me is the best, is to hire 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 it is possible that access is 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 "spoil" the views).
The Eiffel Tower illumination at night
The lighting schedule of the Eiffel Tower begins when night falls. At the hour on the hour 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. In addition, on certain dates or 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.
Plan 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 will have no problem to walk from anywhere in the center looking at a map and public transport is also excellently communicated. If you use the metro line 6 the stop is Bir-Hakeim although, if you have time, 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 the photos you want to take and the time you spend climbing stairs or waiting for the elevators. 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 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 bit further to find restaurants, but I recommend you order a fabulous crepe 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 sufficient security measures in place so that you can visit 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 in danger.
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 will not 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 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 simply 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, it is common to find pickpockets trying to make a killing 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 where to take the best pictures of the Eiffel Tower? To suit all tastes, I suggest several places.
Taking advantage that you are in the area, maybe it is a good time to embark on one of the cruises on the Seine (in fact, there are packages that sell the entrance to the Tower and the cruise on the Seine, so you can save by buying it together). I explain everything in my article on: Seine River Cruises in Paris.
You will easily identify the spot because it is the one where all the tourists coincide 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 miss the fence if you use the right perspective.
From the nearby lawn
The first thing you will realize when you see the Eiffel Tower for the first time is that, no matter how many photos you have 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 personally I really 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 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 Pont Alexandre III
The railing of this bridge and the ornamentation of it, 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 can easily photograph it 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 from the top of the Eiffel Tower are breathtaking and the highest in Paris. Does that mean they are 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 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 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 I'm 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 climb 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 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 about 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 resting from the inevitable walks of your trip, is the tourist bus. Here's a handy guide to everything you need to know before getting 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 at the security checkpoint they will check your bag before you enter.
How long does it take to climb the Eiffel Tower?
It takes about 20 minutes to reach the second floor, if you take the staircase of more than 700 steps. The third floor can only be reached by elevator. The best advice is to take the elevator 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).