7 Surprising Tips You’ll Want To Know Before Visiting The Eiffel Tower
Finding the hidden gems is a big fun part of visiting the Eiffel Tower or any tourist attraction for that matter. So how do you get all this important information so you can have the best Eiffel Tower visit possible, you ask? To help, we’ve put together seven bits of information you must know before you start your ascent up the tower for a view of the City of Lights that is “tres magnifique.”
Did you know that the original plans for the Eiffel Tower weren’t drawn up by Gustave Eiffel at all? They may have been created at his Parisienne firm but they were created by two other civil engineers named Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier.
The look was designed by architect Stephen Sauvestre. And there are many other behind-the-scenes stories you wouldn’t expect but would love to know. Like how Monsieur Eiffel built a secret apartment on the tower or how there are 108 stories and two elevators.
Read our tips to learn the ins and outs of a great visit to the Tour Eiffel and then get going on your bon voyage up the tower.
It’s a Good Idea to Book Your Tickets Before You Arrive
Close to 7 million people visit the Eiffel Tower each year. That’s a lot. And the throngs are the biggest in the summer and on holidays and weekends.
If you just show up without a ticket, you will likely stand in very long lines. Expect to be in that line for a couple of hours during busy times.
But if you book ahead of time, no waiting, or at least significantly less. Book online or over the phone. There are a few ticket options, including general ticketing and “skip the line.” To get to the top, you’ll need a special ticket. Once, you grab the right type of ticket, they’ll ask you for an entrance time. Be sure to pick a time that you can make with your schedule.
If you go during summer or any other holidays, be sure to book months in advance. If it’s too late to book, you will have to wait in line. You can also go with a tour that will have tickets secured for you.
Note that there is no re-entry once you leave the tower with your general.
You Need a Special Ticket to Go All the Way to the Top
General admission does not include the Eiffel Tower top floor, also called the “summit.” If you want to go to the top, you can purchase a second admission ticket. Here’s what it’s called: “Lift entrance ticket with access to the summit.” Lift is the British word for elevator, by the way.
Insider tip: If you don’t get the summit pass, the views on the second floor are spectacular too.
Also, you can get a special skip-the-line pass that lets you cut to the front of the elevator line.
You Can Take a Tour to Make Your Adventure Easy and More Complete
Visiting the Eiffel Tower with a planned tour is a great way to make sure you get up there because the tour company will have secured the tickets. It’s also a great way to make sure you get the full history of this architectural marvel. For example, you’ll learn why the Eiffel Tower was built in the first place.
Plus, you’ll be sure to see everything there is to see or at least be informed what’s there so you can visit it during or after the tour if possible. For example, they’ll show you where to find the hidden apartment of Eiffel. Also, tours do fun add-ons to round off your visit with more Parisienne flair. One example is a Seine boat tour with champagne followed by a climb of the Eiffel Tower at night. Anything around the sunset is particularly brilliant.
You Can Take the Stairs and You’ll Get Up There Faster and Back Down Too
Remember we mentioned the “skip the line” ticket? That’s great on the way up to the second floor. You can go to the front of the up-elevator line with the other people with the special pass.
On the way down, you still skip the line but your wait is long because there’s only one down-elevator and a lot of visitors. But you can take the stairs.
The stairs will save you elevator-wait time whether you have a “skip the line” pass or not. The way up is a trek but a great workout and can be much faster than the elevator.
The stairs go up and down between the first and second floors. There are 775 steps. Everyone has to take elevators to and from the top.
The walk down from the second story is actually quite pleasant and give you a good view of the engineering feat that this is.
You Can Bypass the Line if You Eat at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant
Make a reservation at the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant on the first floor and skip the lines to get in. It’s more casual than the other Eiffel Tower resto and costs just under 50 Euros a meal.
You can also reserve a table at the more elegant and pricey Jules Verne on the second.
There are other snacks there too. Also, there are shops where you can buy souvenirs. Did you know that souvenir is French for the verb to remember?
And “tour, as in Tour Eiffel, means tower in French.
Plan to Be There a While So You Can Enjoy It Thoroughly
There is so much to do and see at the Eiffel Tower in addition to gazing out over the gorgeous city of Paris. Be sure that you have enough time to see it all and relax.
You don’t want to have to rush. For example, on the first floor, there is the see-through bottom floor. There is also a gallery to peruse and the gift shops.
Know When It’s Open and Think About the Gorgeous Sunset
If you want those serene Tower-only photos that you see in magazines and on prize social media accounts, get there before 9:00 a.m. when the hordes of tourists have not yet arrived. It’s just the gorgeous Tower and you. We also absolutely adore the sunset visits and night visits. Eiffel Tower night festivities include fireworks every hour for five minutes.
Summer hours from the start of July to end of August are 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. The final elevator leaves at 11:00 p.m. That’s 23.00 in military time which is what they use in Europe. That’d be 23h.
The non-summer hours go from 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. (23:45) with the elevator’s final ride at 10:30 p.m. (22:30).
Stair hours mimic the elevator in the summertime but close as early as 6:30 p.m. (18:30) during non-summer days. The Tower is open every day.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower Your Way
Now that you know how to make visiting the Eiffel Tower convenient, fun, and the totally amazing experience that it can be, you’re ready to start climbing. Take advantage of these simple travel tidbits and enjoy!
And keep reading our blog for more wicked good travel tips on how to navigate your world and even simply the Eiffel Tower.