Your Ultimate Guide to Planning the Perfect Eiffel Tower Visit

Eiffel Tower Visit

Standing 324 meters tall, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognizable monuments in the world. Constructed in 1889 as the entrance arch to the World's Fair, the tower was designed to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution and to show off France’s industrial might. Built by famous engineer Gustave Eiffel, and co-designed by architect Stephen Sauvestre, the tower was originally only meant to last 20 years. Fortunately, it played an important role in the the First World War as a wireless telegraph transmitter, saving it from the wrecking ball.

Today the Eiffel Tower shines bright as the architectural icon of France's esteemed capital, landing it a spot on pretty much everyone’s bucket list. With over seven million visitors each year, it’s the most visited paid-for monument in the world. Here are our tips to make sure you make the most of your Eiffel Tower visit.

Visiting the Eiffel Tower - What to Expect

It’s only when you’re standing under the Eiffel Tower - its impressive, square base sprawling out 125 metres (410 ft) on all sides - that you truly understand it’s sheer magnitude. Sure, we’ve seen it in pictures and in movies, but until you actually visit the tower, the Iron Lady is something that only exists as an image of our imagination.

Made up of 18,000 metal elements and 2.5 million rivets, ascending this architectural feat is an adrenaline inducing experience. With exhilarating observation decks at each of the tower’s three levels - the first floor, second floor, and the summit - you can pick and choose where you go and how you get there. From the ground floor, you can access the first floor and the second floor by stairs (669 steps total), or by elevator. To reach the summit, your only option is to take an elevator from either the ground floor or the second floor.

Regardless of whether you decide to summit, or stay at the second floor, any visit to the Eiffel Tower is bound to be an unforgettable experience. On the second level, admire stunning views of city’s most popular monuments including the Arc de Triomphe, the Trocadero gardens, the Louvre Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Paris’ most famous basilica, the Sacre Coeur. On the summit, enjoy 360-degree views from the highest vantage point the city has to offer. Cheers with a glass of bubbly from the champagne bar as you soak up the thrilling atmosphere.

Planning Your Eiffel Tower Visit


Understanding the Eiffel Tower -
2nd Floor vs Summit Explained

Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is made up of three levels: first floor, second floor, and summit. When purchasing your ticket, you’ll need to decide whether or not you want to summit - the later option being the more expensive. Furthermore, you’ll also need to decide whether you want to make your way up by foot using the stairs, or opt for the tower’s lifts - again, the later option being more expensive. You can also do a combo - take the stairs to the second floor, then switch to a lift for the summit. (There are no stairs from the second floor to the summit.) Regardless of what you decide, any trip to the tower is bound to be incredible. Each level has its own perks and the viewpoints all offer a chance to take in stunning views of Paris. In addition to the observation decks, the structure also offers cafes, restaurants, exhibitions, children’s activities, and more. Make sure you make the most of your experience with our complete guide to understanding your Eiffel Tower 2nd floor and summit tickets.

Suggested Experiences

Make the Most of Your Time -
Skip the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower gets an average of 32,000 visitors a day, so it’s pretty safe to say you’ll always have company. However, with that being said, there are certainly a few things you can do to help minimize your run-in with the crowds. First and foremost, It’s highly recommended to book Eiffel Tower tickets online in advance. Dates open up about two months in advance, and often sell out within hours. Not only does this secure your preferred date - it also saves you from several tedious hours of waiting in line. Those with pre-purchased tickets get priority access to the Eiffel Tower’s sought-after lifts (or stairs, if you prefer). If you show up without a pre-booked ticket, you’ll have to stand in the (very long) ticketing line before you can make your way to the entrance. It's fast, easy, and free to book a reservation online, so there’s really no reason not to! Get more details and tips on how to beat the crowds with our in-depth article on skipping the Eiffel Tower lines.

Suggested Experiences

Eiffel Tower Restaurants-
Are They Worth it?

Eiffel Tower

With two on-site restaurants - Le 58 Tour Eiffel and Le Jules Verne - the Eiffel Tower offers guests the opportunity to enjoy a traditional French meal, with an unbeatable view. Located on the tower’s first level, 58 meters high, Le 58 Tour Eiffel is the less formal option of the two. Enjoy a chic, picnic-style lunch or opt for a more traditional dinner. For a fancier evening, elevate your dining experience at the Eiffel Tower’s Michelin star Le Jules Verne restaurant, located on the second floor. Sophisticated and classy, a meal here offers, arguably, the best view in the city - but it does come at a price. With that being said, there are other perks of pairing your Eiffel visit with a meal. Each restaurant has its own elevator. This means that a dinner reservation guarantees skip-the-line access. For more details about Le 58 Tour Eiffel and Le Jules Verne, pros and cons of booking a meal at each, and a breakdown of reservation prices, check out our in-depth guide to the Eiffel Tower restaurants.

Suggested Experience

Your Eiffel Tower Handy Guide


1. Eiffel Tower hours

The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year. Timings change depending on the season as follows:

January 1st to June 14

  • Tower: 9:30 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Elevator: 9:30 AM to 11:45 PM (Final ascension 11:00 PM/10:30 PM top floor)
  • Stairs: 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM (Final admission at 6:00 PM)

June 15th to September 1st:

  • Tower: 9:00 AM to midnight
  • Elevator: 9:00 AM to 12:45 AM (Final ascension at midnight/11:00 PM top floor)
  • Stairs: 9:00 AM to 12:30 AM (Final admission at midnight)

September 2nd to December 31st:

  • Tower: 9:30 AM to 11:00 PM
  • Elevator: 9:30 AM to 11:45 PM (Final ascension 11:00 PM/10:30 PM top floor)
  • Stairs: 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM (Final admission 6:00 PM

2. Best time to visit

Generally, peak hours span between 11 AM and 5 PM on weekdays and from open to 7 PM on weekends. In order to avoid long lines and an overcrowded tour, try arriving during meal times, especially lunch; lines tend to be shorter then. In addition, visiting during the winter, on a foggy day, or around 9 PM will also help reduce tedious queues. In terms of timing your visit for the best views, arrive a little before sunset. This will allow you get the best of both worlds - Paris by day, and Paris by night!

3. Getting there

The Eiffel Tower is situated on the south bank of the River Seine, west of the city center. It’s accessible from various public transport lines, all of which drop you off just a few minutes walk from the tower.

By Metro:

  • Line 6 to Bir-Hakeim stop
  • This is the closest station to the Eiffel Tower; the walk takes you along the banks of the Seine River.
  • Line 6 or 9 to Trocadéro stop
  • A slightly longer walk than from Bir-Hakeim, the extra distance pays off with a lovely view of the Eiffel Tower from the steps of the Palais de Chaillot. Follow the path down through gardens as you make your way to the tower’s entrance.
  • Line 8 to Ecole Militaire stop

By RER:

Line C to Champs de Mars - Eiffel Tower

By Bus:

  • Bus 82 to Eiffel Tower or Champ de Mars
  • Bus 42 to Eiffel Tower
  • Bus 87 to Champ de Mars
  • Bus 69 to Champ de Mars