Paris Travels: Guide to Visiting the Eiffel Tower

This summer I took a short trip to Paris and went to the Eiffel Tower (on my sister's request), here is everything you need to know to plan your trip.

Visiting The Eiffel Tower: Key Planning Points

Location: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France.
The closest tube station is Bir-Hakeim which is an 8 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower.

Opening Time: Year round lift access = 9.30am - 11pm (last entry by lift for the summit is 10.30pm and last entry by stairs is 6pm). Summer lift access (June - September) = 9am - 12pm (last entry by lift for the summit is 11pm).

Entry Cost: Access to the grounds surrounding the Eiffel Tower are free. Tickets for ascending the Eiffel Tower cost between €10 - €25 for adults, €2.50 - €6.30 for children aged 4-11, and if you're 24 or under you also get reduced tickets between €5 - €12.50. Cheaper tickets are for stair access. You can book tickets here

How to Book Tickets: You need to book tickets in advance as they often sell out online. However, you can also purchase tickets on the day at the Eiffel Tower even if they aren't available online. On a weekend, the wait is between 1-2 hours. On a weekday it ranges from 30-45 minutes. You can check the peak queuing times for your visit here.

What to Wear: Trainers and jeans, especially if you are taking the stairs.

Best Time to Visit: During the day. The views are better from the top in daylight and the night is better for looking at the Eiffel Tower from afar when the lights are turned on.

How Long You Need: Excluding queuing time, give yourself 3 hours to explore all three floors and the grounds.

Why Visit: Visit for the great views from the top and the structure is much more impressive in real life.

Key Tips: Make sure you bring ID with you if you are eligible for a child, or young person ticket. ID is sometimes requested.

Visiting The Eiffel Tower

When you think of Paris you naturally think of the Eiffel tower. So did I - looking at it from afar ideally, twinkling at night. I wasn't originally planning to go to the top, mostly because of my extreme hate for heights, but my sister was determined. So, after squirming around, assessing all my escape roots and freaking out, while my mum reassured me she would stick by me (you are never too old to be a big baby), I decided to go for it.

The first thing that strikes you about the Eiffel tower is how huge it is. Postcards are not doing it justice. It's the tallest building in Paris and is roughly the height of an 81 storey building. There are three floors to the Eiffel tower. You can buy tickets to access up to level 2, or for the summit which gives you access to all three levels. 

It's huge. That's just one of its legs.
If you want to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower you are generally advised to book tickets in advance. I travelled to Paris in September and tried to book tickets two days before travel but they were sold out. So it's best to book as early as possible.

Having said that, even if tickets are sold out online, you can queue on the day. Of course, no one wants to wait for tickets for hours. I was there on a weekday and queued at 10.30am. I ended up having to wait for around half an hour in line. Not too bad.

View as you begin accent by lift.
You can go up to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower by stairs or up to all three levels by lift. Be warned though, the stairs are not for the faint-hearted. There are 700 steps up to the second floor and they are exposed metal steps, so if you don't like heights, this might not be for you.

Eiffel Tower Second Floor

View from the Second Floor of the Eiffel Tower
On the way up, you stop off at the second floor first, which is at the top of the Tower's large sloping legs. Imagine my shock, when I agreed to drag my butt up to the first floor and the elevator speeds past it to the second. On top of it, the elevator is mostly glass, so you get a good view as you ascend.

From the second floor people planning to go to the summit change lifts to continue to the top, and everyone else enjoys the views.

Anyone going to the top floor can also enjoy the second floor on their way up to the top, or pause on their way back down. So you won't miss out if you buy a ticket for the summit.

View from the second floor of the Eiffel Tower

The views are fantastic. Many people decided to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night. Cities are beautiful at night with all the lights, but Paris isn't a glitzy lights kinda city, and so, I think you can enjoy the views better in the daylight.

There is a small gift shop on the Second Floor and some benches here and there, so you can sit back and enjoy the view. Also, don't worry, there are public toilets on the second floor.

Eiffel Tower Summit 

View of Eiffel Tower from the Second Floor - Not as flattering from this angle.
To get to the top floor you take a vertical lift from the Eiffel Tower's second floor, travelling up the centre of the Tower. 
View from the summit

Unlike levels 1 and 2, the summit is actually small and enclosed because of how high it is.

Eiffel Tower First Floor

View from the first floor.
The first floor has a restaurant. You need to book this well in advance and it's on the pricey side. It's definitely a romantic gesture spot rather than a "let's pop in for some pizza" pit stop. So if you decide to go, book well in advance and get your fancy on.

My nervous and tentative foot venturing onto the see-through floor.
The first floor also has a see-through floor! When I wandered out of the lift onto the first floor I didn't register that it was see-through and for a split second I just thought I was about to fall off the edge of the Eiffel Tower!

Made it, Wayhay!

But after watching loads of kids hurtle themselves across the floor, I decided to stop being chicken and face the music.

And after all of that, you can relax and enjoy the view from the grounds around the Eiffel Tower. You don't need to pay to get into the grounds. Tickets are only for ascending the Tower, so if you don't fancy venturing up, you can still enjoy visiting. 


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