I’ve been to Paris almost a dozen times now, and the sight of the Eiffel Tower still doesn’t get old, especially when it shimmers at night.

Like most tourists, visiting the top of the tower on my first trip to Paris was at the top of my itinerary.

Even though it was almost a decade ago, I can still remember that day and those views so vividly.

My dad and I were in town for 24 hours and we both agreed the Eiffel Tower was the best place to start our day in Paris.

We got to the top and promptly used the vantage point to figure out which direction to walk to find the gelato a family member told us we had to try—don’t worry; we took time to enjoy the stunning views as well.

In fact, when I went back to visit the Eiffel Tower again last October, that memory made me smile.

So much has changed since then, including the lengthy security line to get into the tower (arrive early).

Luckily, some things, like the iconic views, remain the same.

So, whether it’s your first time visiting or your tenth, I’ve got all the latest below, to help you plan the perfect visit to the Eiffel Tower.

Planning Your Visit

Tickets and Pricing

Eiffel Tower ticket office

When your planning your visit to the Eiffel Tower, you’ve got a few options for entry.

You can do what I did, and spontaneously go, wait in line at security, and then hope to have availability to purchase a ticket at the kiosk.

Or, if you’re planning your Paris itinerary ahead of time, you can book online.

Tickets will become available online starting 60 days out.

When choosing which ticket to get, you’ve got a couple options to decide between.

There’s standard entry or priority access, which let’s you skip lines for a fee.

You’ve also got to decide if you want to go to the general viewpoint (great if you’re tad anxious with heights), or if you’ll go all the way to the very top.

The views are marvelous with both, though the summit has the added bonus of Gustave Eiffel’s famous apartment on display, and a few other cool items and plaques.

Plus, if you go up to the top, you can also splurge for a ticket that comes with a glass of Champagne to enjoy with the view.

Check the Eiffel Tower’s official website for the latest pricing and availability.

Best Time to Visit

Ally at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris 2023

The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the crowds and school groups.

Bonus points if you’re planning your visit on a weekday or during off-peak seasons.

When I went with my friend in October, we met there about 5pm and spent a few hours hanging out until dark.

For anyone wondering if it’s worth visiting on a foggy day, the answer is it depends.

Most of the time if visibility is bad, they won’t have the summit open.

You can see from the photo above that when I went it was quite foggy and starting to get worse. We were one of the last groups allowed up that day because of it.

Getting There

Paris view of the Eiffel Tower from the Love Lock bridge

There are lots of different ways to make your way to the Eiffel Tower.

Depending on where you’re staying, you might walk, take the metro, a bus, a cab, or if you’re feeling adventurous, bike.

If you’re taking the Paris Metro, the nearest stops to the Eiffel Tower are:

  • Bir-Hakeim (line 6)
  • École Militaire (line 8)

Should you find yourself riding the RER, you’ll want to take line C to Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel station.

If you’re hopping on the bus, look for Buses 82, 42, 87, and 69.

And if you’re walking, which is my favorite way to travel in Paris, just use your phone for walking directions.

Depending on where I’m coming from, I’ll purposely route myself along the Seine. Not only is it a gorgeous view, but it’s also a very direct walk.

Access and Navigation

Entry Points and Elevators

Tour Eiffel Entry area

You can either take the elevator or go stairs on the esplanade to reach the first floor.

There are two main elevators (East Pillar and West Pillar).

If you’ve purchased a ticket to the summit, you’ll see a line to take a separate elevator from the second floor.

The day I went, it wasn’t super busy, but I still waited almost 45 minutes to take the elevator up, so be ready to wait in line.

Also, be aware that if the fog is too much, they may not let people up to the summit because of low visibility.

Accessibility and Mobility

Line to the summit of the eiffel tower in Paris

The Eiffel Tower is accessible if you have reduced mobility.

If you’re wheelchair user, or have very limited mobility, your access will be limited to the first and second floors only via elevators.

Unfortunately, because of structural limitations, the summit access isn’t wheelchair accessible.

The tower does offer disability pricing with the right documentation. Head here for all the most up-to-date information.

On-Site Experiences

Dining at the Tower

Pierre Herme Macarons inside the Eiffel Tower in Paris

If you’ve seen Emily in Paris, then you know Le Jules Verne is the iconic Michelin-starred restaurant inside the Eiffel Tower.

It’s perfect if you want a stunning contemporary French meal, with beautiful views.

Not surprisingly, it’s a popular engagement spot.

I’ve never dined here, but as a total foodie, I’m absolutely dying to.

A few friends of mine have had the privilege, and say it’s truly a unique and memorable experience.

If you can’t snag a reservation at Le Jules Verne, another option to look into is Madame Brasserie on the tower’s first floor.

If you’re seated by a window, you’ll enjoy a panoramic view over the Seine and Trocadero while you eat.

It features local, seasonal products, showcased by Michelin-star chef Thierry Marx.

If you’re operating on a more cheap and chic scale, do what I did on my last visit, and go straight to Pierre Hermes for dessert (available on the summit and on the 1st floor).

This iconic French house makes some of the best macarons in Paris, and this location features to signature flavors only available inside the Eiffel Tower (mint and chocolate, and a raspberry with chocolate – both amazing!)

Once you get them, head to the lower level and grab a drink at the outdoor lounge to enjoy with your snack.

You’ll also get some really cool views of the Eiffel Tower, especially as it glimmers at night.

Or, splurge at the summit’s Champagne Bar for a glass of bubbly with either macarons or caviar.

Viewing Platforms and Best Views

View from the 1st level of the Eiffel Tower

There’s nothing like the view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower.

The main viewing platforms are a must, with beautiful views of the city, including the Seine, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe.

There’s also a glass floor on the 1st level that will let you see below. It’s not something you’ll want to do if you’re afraid of heights.

If you’re feeling daring, the summit is incredible on a clear day (it was even good on a somewhat foggy day when I went).

The only annoying thing about going to the summit was the length of the slow-moving line the day I visited. It took about an hour to get to the elevator to the top.

But boy, was it worth it! Besides the view, I also got to have a glass of champagne and see Gustave Eiffel’s small apartment.

Guided Tours and Audioguide

view from the top of the eiffel tower

If you want to enhance your visit to learn more about the Tower, consider booking a guided tour where local experts share the tower’s secrets and history.

Or, opt for an audio guide (available in multiple languages) to explore at your own pace. It’ll fill you in on fascinating details about the iconic structure as you ascend its levels.

Things to Do Nearby

Champ de Mars and Trocadéro Gardens

Ally Travels in Trocodero in front of the Eiffel Tower

The Champ de Mars is a sprawling green, perfect for a picnic with the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop.

On a nice day, this place gets busy, especially at night, as the tower gets ready to shimmer.

Before you go, hit up a local Marche to pick up picnic supplies, or at the very least, some wine or bubbles to enjoy on the lawn.

Whatever you do, don’t buy the overpriced stuff they hawk to tourists.

On the opposite side, Trocadéro Gardens offer stunning views of the skyline and the tower itself.

It’s a lovely leisurely walk or capturing that quintessential Parisian photo.

Though fair warning, over the last few years, there’s been lots of construction around here leading up to the Olympics.

You should also note that the Champ de Mar is currently a hot mess of bleachers as they prepare for the fencing events to take place this summer.

Seine River Cruises and Activities


One of my favorite things I’ve ever done is taking a Seine river cruise at night.

They’re available during the day as well, but there’s something truly magical about sailing past the iconic landmarks of Paris all lit up at night, especially the Eiffel Tower shimming as you pass by.

There are lots of options for booking a boat. You can even get one that includes a meal with your tour.

There’s also the popular Bateaux-Mouches and even the hop-on hop-off service of Batobus, allowing you to explore at your leisure.

Off the boat, the riverside paths invite you to enjoy a scenic jog, romantic evening walk, or, my favorite, a picnic.

Practical Tips and Tricks

Skip the Line and Save Time

view from top of eiffel tower on a cloudy day in pari

To streamline your time at the Eiffel Tower, book tickets in advance.

Online reservations can significantly reduce wait times, as dedicated entrance times allow for quicker access.

Prioritize visiting early in the morning or later in the evening to encounter fewer crowds.

Either way, even with a skip-the-line ticket, be early enough to wait in the security line to enter the main area under the tower where the entrance is.

Where to Stay

Ally and her dad in front of the eiffel tower at night in paris

If you want to stay near the Eiffel Tower, book something in the 7th arrondissement.

I’ve got a guide below that outlines some of the best hotels that offer Eiffel Tower views that will help narrow down spots quickly.

Just book early. These places fill up quick, especially during the summer.

History and Culture

The Design and Construction

Eiffel Tower in Paris lit up at night

Everyone knows Gustave Eiffel thanks to his namesake tower, but he actually wasn’t the one who designed the tower.

His name just went on the tower because he founded the company who specialized in metal structure work, and you guessed it, their crowning achievement was building the iconic Eiffel Tower.

It was his chief engineers, Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, who dreamed up this iconic Paris landmark for the World Fair.

In fact, it’s lace-like iron was a technical marvel, and the centerpiece for the 1889 Exposition Universelle, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.

Fun fact, despite skepticism, they constructed it in just over two years, from January 1887 to March 1889, demonstrating exceptional French engineering prowess.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, the Eiffel Tower stands at 324 meters (about 1063 feet), and has three levels for visitors to take in the views of Paris.

The Eiffel Tower in Parisian Context

Eiffel Tower

Did you know that the Eiffel Tower isn’t just a French monument, but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site?

It’s come a long way from the old days, when it was originally criticized by some Parisian artists and intellectuals.

Despite only being meant to stand for 20 years, some people found it to be a threat to the city’s skyline, with some saying it looked like a chimney.

Well, it’s safe to say, Eiffel and his company triumphed in the end, as today, people consider it one of Paris’ most beloved sites, and it has gained universal recognition as an architectural wonder and a symbol of French innovation.

It’s now affectionately known as “the Iron Lady,” it’s the heart of Paris, also nicknamed the City of Lights.

The Eiffel Tower also only made it through WWII after Adolf Hitler commanded his generals to level the city because Allied troops swept in to save the day.

The tower has survived criticism and World Wars, emerging as an endearing landmark not just for Parisians but for people across Europe and the globe, symbolizing the blend of art and architecture that defines French culture.


What are the ticket prices for visiting the Eiffel Tower?

pricing chart at the eiffel tower

Ticket prices for the Eiffel Tower vary depending on age groups and which sections of the tower you plan to visit. You can find specific pricing details here.

How can I purchase skip-the-line tickets for the Eiffel Tower?

View from the Eiffel Tower with seine

You can purchase skip-the-line tickets from authorized sellers that allow you to bypass the regular queue. These tickets can be more expensive than standard entry but can save you time.

But remember, you’ll still need to wait in the security line, so arrive at least 20 minutes prior to your reservation time.

What is the best time of day to visit the Eiffel Tower?

Eiffel Tower in Paris France

Early morning or late evening visits tend to have fewer crowds. Visiting during twilight offers the opportunity to see Paris transform from day to night.

Are there any dining options available at the Eiffel Tower?

La Tour Eiffel Macarons pierre herme in Paris

Yes, there are several dining options at the Eiffel Tower, ranging from snack bars to formal restaurants like the prestigious Le Jules Verne.

How long should I plan to spend during my visit to the Eiffel Tower?

Ally in front of the Eiffel Tower in winter

Plan to spend at least 1-2 hours to explore the tower and its surrounding areas. If you’re dining or visiting multiple levels, allocate more time.

When I went in October we spent about 4 hours wandering around the tower checking out the views, taking photos, and eating.

Is there an option to buy Eiffel Tower visitation tickets on the same day?

Security line at the Eiffel Tower

Same-day tickets are available but can involve long wait times, so it’s a bit of a gamble.

When I went without a ticket in October, I was lucky and was able to go straight to the top afterwards.

However, I know not everyone will be so lucky, especially during busier times of the year.

If you can, it’s best to buy your tickets online in advance for the most convenience.

Wrapping It Up

Ally at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on a foggy day

Between recently editing my YouTube video about visiting the Eiffel Tower and writing this article, it’s safe to say I’ve got Paris on the brain.

If only the Olympics weren’t driving up prices this summer!

I guess I’ll have to live vicariously through all of you.

Let me know in the comments below if you’re visiting Paris this year, and what you’re most looking forward to!


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