Visit the Eiffel Tower – everything you need to know!
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Visiting the Eiffel Tower is clearly the number 1 activity when spending a few days in Paris. No matter if you decide to get up the tower, just wandering along, or are happy with seeing it from far (check here for the best Eiffel Tower views!), you can’t avoid it. The Eiffel Tower is omnipresent in Paris – you’re catching a glimpse randomly on it when walking through the city and I promise it’s breathtaking – each and every time. I am living in Paris for more than 12 years and still comes like a little shock when the Eiffel Tower randomly crosses my sight. It’s a landmark that can’t be unseen and that possibly will never merge into the cityscape, no matter how often you’ve seen it already.
Eiffel Tower – facts and numbers
The Eiffel Tower got built and designed by the company of engineer Gustave Eiffel as the entrance to the 1889 World Fair. The monument is made of 7,300 tons of wrought iron and its construction took 2 years. More than 300 construction workers were involved – however, thanks to Eiffel’s strict safety measures, only one worker died.
How high is the Eiffel Tower?
Hight: 324m (1,063ft)
The height of the Eiffel Tower can be compared to an 81- story building and is to this day the tallest structure of Paris. Until 1930 the tower was even the highest man-made structure in the world until the Chrysler Building in New York was finished.
Fun Fact: Gustave Eiffel built also the Statue of Liberty. The different pieces got created in France and shipped over to the USA where the statue got assembled.
The Tour Eiffel became a great success during the World Fair. Even though it was not entirely finished – the lifts entered service only 9 days after opening – almost 2 million visitors were counted at the end of the exhibition. Today the Eiffel Tower is the most visited (paid) monument in the world with more than 6.9 million visitors. Know that this number represents only visitors that actually ascended the tower!
How many steps has the Eiffel tower?
It takes 1710 steps to climb up to the Eiffel Tower summit of the Eiffel Tower and believe it or not; many find it harder to get down than up! But you don’t need to worry about it too much, the summit s only accessible by lift anyway. The first and second floor however can be reached by feet, and after easy peasy 704 steps, you’re up! But you don’t need to fear that only super-jocks are picking up that challenge. It is in fact doable for the average human being: apart from the pause you can take on the first floor, there are plateaus in the staircases for you to rest without blocking the way for everyone behind you.
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What else do you need to know when visiting?
depending on the weather conditions, the view might not be great and you risk being disappointed, especially if you want to visit the summit. If you see the summit being in the clouds, the view will be obviously very limited. Check carefully the weather forecast before preparing your trip to enjoy the best view from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
► ticket admission and waiting times
the queues at the Eiffel tower can be huge – up to hours at peak times. If you don’t pre-purchase your billet, you will queue twice (or thrice including the security check; at the ticket counter and the lifts. You can save some time by either buy your ticket in advance, purchase a skip the line ticket or take the stairs. If you pick the stairs, you still have to queue to buy them as you can’t purchase them in advance.
Tip: make sure you are queuing in the correct line!
► Getting there by Métro – special tip!
even though the Métro station Bir-Hakeim is the closest one to the Tour Eiffel, it’s a way better experience to get out at Trocadéro. You’ll approach the tower from the front and get the classic postcard picture opportunity. It’s a view you really don’t wanna miss. Also, if you are coming from direction Montparnasse, you’ll have a priceless view of the Eiffel Tower. The Metro crosses the Seine just next to the Tower. Line 6 is one of few Metro lines that partially aren’t running underground.
You find restrooms on both, the 2nd floor and the summit.
► Don’t miss the first floor!
The lift does not take hold on the first floor. Make sure you visit it on your way down by taking the stairs for not to miss the souvenir store, the immersion gallery, and the see-through floor (!!)top tip
► bring some water
Don’t forget to bring some water, especially if you chose to walk up! Depending on the security measures, you might not be able to bring one from outside but have to purchase one there though. That being said, get prepared as well to get really warm: dress in layers, no matter how cold it might be.
I know that some visitors are worried to travel to Paris. Recent events and the presence of armed military soldiers has an intimidating effect on many. But rest assured, soldiers have been patrolling the Eiffel Tower long before the terror at the Bataclan or Charlie Hebdo. I have been in 2005 for the first time at the Eiffel Tower and they have been there already back then. It’s just a general security measure. However, you do have to expect to go through a security check. Since recently a bullet-proof glass wall is surrounding the waiting area.
► Light show
From sunset on, the Eiffel Tower will offer you a special sparkling light show – at every full hour for 5 minutes.
► the secret apartment of Gustave Eiffel
When building the Eiffel Tower, Gustave Eiffel reserved himself a spot for his own: an apartment on the 3rd floor. A tiny one though, but size doesn’t matter with this view! Many tried to book a night or even to buy his apartment – but without success. The place remained unsalable, every offer is declined. However, when visiting the 3rd floor of the Eiffel Tower, you can take a peek into it; most furniture and items are still originals.
visit the Eiffel Tower!
The most obvious is probably to simply get up! You have different options here: Either you get a ticket on the ticket counter, you buy a ticket in advance or you reserve a table at one of the Restaurants on the Eiffel tower. Depending on your choice, the Eiffel Tower ticket price may vary.
Yes, there are restaurants! They do not only serve you excellent cuisine, they even let you enjoy their treats with a stunning view over Paris. Also, a reservation at one of the restaurants grants you priority access to the lifts! Check here to see all dining options on the Eiffel Tower
My best advice when it comes to purchasing a ticket for the Eiffel Tower: Buy your Eiffel Tower Tickets in advance. The queues are huge, basically all the time. If you have already a regular ticket, you can skip at least the ticket purchase queue and can head straight over to the lift-queue. Just note that tickets for climbing up the stairs are only sold on the day at the tower. Presale is not available.
Important: If you wonder if you can buy Eiffel Tower tickets on the day.. theoretically, you can but demand is very high and normally tickets are sold out weeks – if not months – ahead. If you plan to purchase Eiffel Tower tickets on the day, you most likely won’t get any.
Eiffel Tower tickets: Skip the Line and Fast Pass tickets
If you want to know one sight where it’s worth buying a skip the line ticket – it’s the Eiffel Tower. As I mentioned above, queues can be just insanely huge and you easily spend half your day waiting and wasting precious time during your maybe already too short vacation in Paris.
Important: Skip the Line tickets for the Eiffel Tower are only available in advance and with a tour operator, you can’t purchase them on site.
You can choose between a Skip the Line ticket for the 2nd floor (click here for more info and bookings) or class up your priority access with an additional visit to the summit (you can purchase Eiffel tower summit tickets here)
Eiffel Tower Opening Hours
The Eiffel Tower hours are depending on when in the year you are visiting and also if you plan to go up until the top or just visiting the 2nd floor.
7th July – 1st of September: 09:00 – 0:45 (last entry for the 2nd floor is at midnight, 23:00 for the top)
Rest of the year: the opening times are heavily depending on if you want to climb up the stairs or if you’d comfy take the lift:
Stairs: 9:30 – 18:30 – last entry at 18:00
Lift: 9:30 – 23:45 (last entry for the 2nd floor at 23:00 and 22.30 for the summit)
Have lunch or diner on the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower hosts two restaurants: The very much upper-class restaurant Jules Verne serves their Michelin Star menu on the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower. Dining in this exclusive ambiance is probably a memory that one keeps for life and that only a few can actually experience – check here if this exceptional restaurant is something within your budget!
But don’t worry if this is out of your range (you are certainly not alone). The more affordable Eiffel Tower restaurant is the 58 Tour Eiffel on the first floor and is also a great place for making memories for life. The view is not less impressive and even without a Michelin Star, the food at the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant is very enjoyable – it’s an excellent place to have lunch at Eiffel Tower!
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