Tips for Visiting the Eiffel Tower (when to do, duration of the visit, etc.)
Climbing the Eiffel Tower and seeing the city of Paris from one of the most famous monuments in the world is an experience to be enjoyed. So: heed these tips!
Climbing the Eiffel Tower is a dream come true. Of course, of course, it also stands out for the prices to be paid and the crowds that can be found.
Therefore, it is advisable to be mentally prepared to fully enjoy this unique experience and belong to the elite of the 250 million people who have made the Eiffel Tower one of the most visited monuments in the world.
Knowing about the elevators, how to get to the Eiffel Tower, the Eiffel Tower ticket prices and taking into account some of the tips that I will dedicate in this article will serve you wonderfully to fully enjoy the incredible views of the Iron Lady.
1. Book tickets in advance
Those who simply show up without pre-booked tickets are likely to lose a lot of time in the initial entry line: In summer in Paris, waits of one to two hours are very common (weekends and holidays can be worse). It's a shame, especially since it's quick, easy and free to book online.
Be sure to book well in advance and keep an eye out for opening hours. Dates usually span 60 days (from 8:30 Paris time), so don't leave it to the last minute. What's more, in some extreme cases, they can sell out in a matter of hours.
You will need to take a few minutes to create an account using your cell phone number and select your ticket according to what you want to see and how high you want to go.
Ticket options include: riding the elevators to the top (I recommend this option), riding only to the second level, or taking the stairs to the first or second level (you can only get to the top by elevator).
Just be very careful when choosing your date, as reservations are non-refundable. After paying with a credit card, you should print your ticket (carefully following the printing specifications) or save the ticket barcode on your cell phone.
Remember that a ticket confirmation itself is not very valid, you must show the barcode, either printed or saved on your phone in order for it to be scanned.
2. If tickets are sold out, don't despair
If you are undecided about going all the way to the top of the tower, try selecting the "Elevator ticket with 2nd floor access" option. The advantage of these tickets is that they may still be available when the tickets to the top are sold out.
With less advance notice, but at an added cost, you can take a gamble at the last minute by reserving a table at any of the Eiffel Tower's elegant restaurants.
This way you can avoid some entrance lines that require tickets to go up and enjoy (as far as possible) with a more than wonderful views along with a good meal (remember that the restaurants in the tower are somewhat more expensive).
You can also eat in restaurants near the Eiffel Tower if your budget does not allow it. In the worst case scenario, and if getting to the top is something very important to you, I recommend you to book your ticket about a week in advance, as it is very common for tickets to becomeavailable at the last minute.
3. Best time to climb the tower
I recommend arriving near sunset 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 as bursts of light (actually best seen from a Seine River cruise or from the Champs Elysees).
As impressive as it is to climb the tower during the day, you will surely enjoy it more at twilight, when darkness completely envelops the city, and the tower shines with its spectacular light show. Plus you'll be seeing all the lights of the city.
4. Keep your objects well guarded
Street thieves plunder astonished visitors gawking beneath the tower and tourists in crowded elevators. For pickpockets these are the best occasions to steal.
Use an anti-theft belt or some other means to keep your cash and credit cards well hidden under your clothes and, above all, be careful where you keep your cell phone, as without it you will be a needle in a haystack.
5. Visit each floor of the Eiffel Tower
The tower has three levels with observation decks (57, 115 and 276 meters), all connected by elevators and stairs. But there is no single elevator directly to the top (le sommet).
To get to the top, you must first choose between using the elevator or climbing 775 steps to the second level. Once on the second level, don't waste time and get in line immediately for the next elevator, the same one that leads to the top (look for the fastest line, there are several elevators and feeder queues).
Being able to enjoy each floor separately is what gives meaning to this magnificent tower 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 apartment!
Few people realize that Gustave Eiffel built a small apartment hidden on the top level of the tower. It is located just above the platform where the observatory is located, and has an area of 90 square meters.
Eiffel used the luxurious space to meditate deeply and invite a few people in particular (including inventor Thomas Edison), and resisted all offers to rent it.
Best of all, you can look inside the space, which is still furnished! For more information on this apartment visit the following link.
7. The ultimate experience awaits you halfway up the tower
As much as you want to get to the highest point, I would recommend you to enjoy the first and second floors mainly; moreover, if your schedule is tight I would advise you to abort that urge to climb to the top and enjoy these wonderful two floors.
For starters, the best views from the Eiffel Tower are from the second floor: high enough to see all of Paris, but low enough to make out landmarks. Remember that at 276 meters above sea level it is difficult to distinguish accurately the details of the most emblematic monuments and areas, let alone if it is raining or foggy.
The first level should not be skipped either, since from here you can explore stores and exhibits of great interest, then you can also approach the glass area and feel what it's like to be 18 floors above the ground.
8. Save time going down the stairs
The tower is known for its elevator lines, both up and down. To some extent it makes sense to endure the long lines to go up the elevator, but going down, I don't think it's worth it.
True, you will be able to take the elevator 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 elevator line and a much more memorable way to get back down 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 to enjoy the excellent views of the symbol of Paris.
9. Go twice so you can see it both in daylight and at night
Enjoying the view in broad daylight and at night has its advantages. By day you can better appreciate the details of the buildings, squares and monuments. In addition, the best way to appreciate the contrast between the green (the parks), the blue (the Seine River), and the large buildings is in the morning.
You don't need to climb the Tower twice, but you'll definitely want to see it at 10 p.m. when the lights are bright, and Paris seems to turn into a sleepwalking city.
Of course, 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.
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 near the Eiffel Tower include Ecole Militaire on line 8 and Bir-Hakeim on line 6.
If you want to enjoy a pleasant walk to the Eiffel Tower you will have to go on the opposite side of the Seine River, which is accessed by the Trocadéro station on line 9 and line 6 of the metro. Anyway, if you have doubts visit this post on how to get to the Eiffel Tower.