Here’s an interesting fact for you: The Eiffel Tower attracts more visitors than any other paid tourist attraction in the world. So, needless to say, when you plan to visit Paris, it is incredibly important to be well aware of different tips and tricks for visiting the Eiffel Tower and getting Eiffel Tower Tickets ! Standing about 81 stories tall, the Eiffel Tower was originally built as a temporary structure to serve as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair. It has now become one of the most recognizable structures in the world, so it’s understandable why it is such a popular tourist attraction. Depending on when you visit Paris, Eiffel Tower tickets can be difficult to come by, and visiting the Eiffel Tower can be a bit overwhelming. Here are my top tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower and buying Eiffel Tower tickets to hopefully make your visit to this iconic structure less stressful and more fun!
Buying Eiffel Tower Tickets in Advance
Eiffel Tower tickets are available up to three months in advance and they sell out FAST, especially tickets to the top! Unfortunately, most tickets are snatched up by re-sellers and are hard to come-by online on the official Eiffel Tower ticketing site. We knew the dates we would be in Paris two months in advance and the tickets were long gone by then.
The lines at the Eiffel Tower can be incredibly long…like hours long, just to buy tickets! Once you purchase your tickets you then get to go stand in the security line, and then the line for the elevator, which can be another few hours. It can be painful, especially if you are visiting during the popular summer months when temperatures can often reach into the 90’s. Buying Eiffel Tower tickets in advance is THE best option to make sure you get a chance to climb the tower with a minimal time in line. By purchasing in advance, you get to skip the ever long ticket line, which is like having a great fast-pass at Disneyland. The downside to purchasing in advance…you have to select a date and time in advance and you are tied to visiting at that time. If you are only in Paris for a short time, then it is probably worth committing to a day and time and getting those tickets in advance. As SOON as you know your dates, book your tickets! Booking directly through the Eiffel Tower Ticket site is much less expensive than purchasing through a re-seller. Current 2016 ticket prices are:
17 € for an adult
14.50 € for youth 12-24
8 € for children
These prices are for riding the elevator all the way to the top. If you are only going to the second floor, or if you are taking the stairs, prices are less expensive.
When planning your date/time for visiting, the Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year with the following schedule: (current as of July 2016)
- from 9 a.m. to midnight from mid-June to early September
- from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the rest of the year
- At Easter weekend and during the Spring holidays : extended opening hours to midnight.
- From mid-June to early September
ELEVATOR 9 a.m. to 12:45 a.m
- Last lift midnight (11p.m. for the top)
STAIRS 9 a.m. to 12:45 a.m.
- Last admission : midnight*
THE REST OF THE YEAR:
ELEVATOR 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
- Last lift 11 p.m. (10:30* p.m. for the top)
STAIRS 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
- Last admission : 6 p.m.*
If you can’t purchase online, or don’t want to commit to a date/time there are other options to minimize your time in line and make your visit easier:
Take the Stairs: If you aren’t afraid of climbing the 330 stairs to the first floor of the tower, this is the way to do it. Tickets for climbing the stairs only are not sold online, but don’t worry. There is a separate ticket line just for stair tickets and it is usually quite short. Climbing the stairs is less expensive and there is no long line for tickets, and no 2 hour wait for the lift. You can continue to climb up to the second level once you are there, another 300 stairs or so, and then, if you are interested in riding to the top of the tower, you can purchase a supplementary lift ticket on the second floor and ride the lift to the top. There are usually no lift or ticket lines on the second floor, so you get to cruise right up to the top once you have enjoyed your walk up to the second floor. Awesome!
Purchase a Tour Ticket: Tour companies like Viator are the big re-sellers that buy most of the Eiffel Tower tickets. Yes, the ticket prices are going to be much higher through a tour company (from $65 US dollars per person as of July 2016) as opposed to the 17 € price when purchased directly through the Eiffel Tower ticket office, but, these tours come with a skip the line pass, and a guide and guarantee you access to the top. Just make sure that the ticket you purchase is a summit access pass, otherwise it will only allow you to access the second level. The biggest benefit of these passes that I see, is that you are buying flexibility with the added cost. When I checked as of writing this post, I could purchase a ticket for any day/time this week that I wanted. Even during the peak travel season in July. If you are not sure you want to commit to a day or time so that you can be a bit more flexible with your plans, then this is probably your best bet.
Book a Restaurant Reservation at one of the Tower’s two restaurants:
Le 58 Tour Eiffel offers a more casual, picnic style fare for lunch and a nice dinner option. It is located on the first floor of the tower and you cannot access the other floors with this reservation. Prices start at about 41 € per person for lunch. There is a kiosk at the base of the tower strictly for those that have restaurant reservations to pick up their tickets. You are then escorted to a special spot to ride the elevator up and skip the lines. These rules change regularly, so be sure to check with the restaurant about procedures at the time you book your reservation. You can find out more about Le 58 Tour Eiffel here.
If you are ready to spend big for a truly unique Eiffel Tower experience, then book a reservation at Le Jules Verne. Enjoy contemporary French cuisine overlooking the most spectacular
view of the City of Lights, while sampling the chef created 5 course “tasting” menu. Le Jules Verne reservations for dinner start at 190 € per person. It is located on the second floor of the tower with no access to the top deck. Reservations include your ticket up the tower and a special elevator, so you skip the lines. You can find more information about Le Jules Verne here.
A few other top tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower:
-Go late at night for shorter lines. Don’t get me wrong, there will still be lines, but most of the tour groups and many travelers arrive early in the day for this experience. Because of that, the lines are often shorter at night..and as an added bonus, it’s often a little bit cooler than waiting in line with the sun beating down on you.
-Don’t be afraid of the rain. In our experience, we were too late to get advanced tickets and decided one day while we were there to check it out on a stormy day before we bought expensive tour tickets. Because the forecast was for rain, there were hardly any people there! We purchased tickets in a matter of minutes and were through security and on a lift in about 20 minutes. We had the tower and the views practically to ourselves and still had clear views of the city. It was amazing! If you are lucky enough to be there when the forecast calls for rain, it might be worth a try to see if you can avoid the crowds. An added bonus of going on a rainy, crowd-free day is that the usual pick pockets and petty thieves that are well known for preying on unsuspecting tourists in the large crowds both in lines and up on the tower, were no where to be found.
-If you are riding the metro to the tower, get off at the Trocadéro stop. It’s a little further away from the more commonly used Bir-Hakeim stop, but you will never get a view of the tower quite like the view from this spot. This is also the BEST place to watch the twinkling lights of the tower at night.
-Even if you don’t want to walk UP the stairs, take the opportunity to walk down one level using the stairs. It is a fun experience and you get unique views of both the tower and the city.
-Note that even if you buy a ticket that allows you to visit the tower’s summit, the summit is not always open due to high winds and other various weather conditions.
I hope that you enjoy your trip to the Eiffel Tower and that these tips for buying Eiffel Tower tickets will make your trip even easier and more fun! The views from the tower are beautiful, but if you want to see what I consider to be the most beautiful views of the Parisian skyline that INCLUDE the Eiffel Tower, don’t miss this post! 🙂
Do you have a favorite travel tip? I’d love to know about it! Let me know about it in the comments! You can join me on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest for more fun ideas about food, design, travel and entertaining. Don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter (at the bottom of the post) so you don’t miss a thing!