The Eiffel Tower, standing an impressive 1,063 feet tall, is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. This impressive structure sits in the heart of Paris, France located in the 7th Arrondissement and can be seen towering above the horizon from many viewpoints around the city. A common question that visitors have before jet setting off to the City of Love is, can you climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris?
Well, keep reading to find out the answer to that question plus everything you need to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower!
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History of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
The intricate wrought iron structure was originally built as an entrance arch to the 1889 Exposition Universelle or World’s Fair which was hosted in France to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. It was built by Gustave Eiffel, took just over 2 years to complete and is an example of exceptional architectural engineering at the end of the 19th century.
Weighing in at 7,300 tons, the Eiffel Tower requires a lot of upkeep to retain is current beauty. It is repainted every seven years by hand with 60 tons of paint to prevent rusting. Due to its substantial height, the painters have to paint the structure lighter at the bottom and gradually get darker towards the top to give the Eiffel Tower the appearance of uniform color.
The tower’s lattice design gives it the wind resistance needed so that visitors can feel confident knowing that it won’t ever blow over even though it is so high in the sky.
Don’t miss the Eiffel Tower’s spectacular light show at night. Activated once the sun goes down, the 20,000 light bulbs illuminate the tower and put on a sparkling show. The light show can be seen daily, lasting for 5 minutes and begins at the start of each hour at nightfall.
Can You Climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris?
Yes, you can!
While seeing the Eiffel Tower from below is impressive, it is also fun to make your way to the top to get those panoramic views of Paris. There are two options to reach the top: taking the elevator (or lift) all the way or climbing the stairs to the second level and then taking the lift to the top! Before you decide which way you’ll want to reach the second level you may want to know how many stairs are in the Eiffel Tower. There are exactly 720 stairs from the base of the Eiffel Tower to the second level so keep that in mind when choosing the elevator or the stairs.
Make sure to take some time walking around each of the levels as the views are stunning and the perspectives are unique as you make your way higher and higher!
Where to Buy Tickets for the Eiffel Tower
You can either purchase your tickets to climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris online or in person. There are four different lines to purchase tickets and enter the Eiffel Tower, conveniently labeled after their compass points: nord, sud, est and ouest.
There will be a separate line to enter if you have pre-purchased your tickets online. For all people entering the Eiffel Tower you will need to pass through a security checkpoint and have your items scanned through the machine.
Ticket Prices as of Spring 2020:
- Ticket with access lift (elevator) to the 2nd floor: €16,60Adult, €8,30 Youth (12-24 yrs)
- Ticket with access lift (elevator) to the top floor: €25,90 Adult, €13,00 Youth (12-24 yrs)
- Ticket with stairs access to the 2nd floor: €10,40 Adult, €5,20 Youth (12-24 yrs)
- Ticket with stairs access to the 2nd floor + elevator to the top: €19,70 Adult, €9,80 Youth (12-24 yrs)
Head to the official Eiffel Tower website to pre-purchase tickets online or check the current ticket prices. Keep in mind that the ticket counters are open everyday but if you don’t have a reserved time you may be waiting in a longer line. Additionally, the line to climb the stairs is usually shorter than the line to ride the elevator the whole way up.
Hours of Operation as of Spring 2020:
Daily from 13 June to 29 August:
- From 9 AM to 12:45 AM with the last lift to the top at 11pm for the elevator
- From 9 AM to 12:30 AM for the stairs
Daily for the rest of the year:
- From 9:30 AM to 11:45 PM with the last lift to the top at 10:30 PM for the elevator (lift)
- From 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM for the stairs
How to Get to the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Using Public Transportation to Reach the Eiffel Tower
Paris has a very elaborate and thorough network of metro lines that run throughout the city. It is easy to navigate and cost effective for locals and visitors alike. There is also the option of taking a bus, the RER, renting a bike, walking or driving a car.
If you are taking the Metro you can arrive at one of three closest stations.
- The Trocadéro Metro- Line 9 + 25 minute walk
- The Bir-Hakeim Metro- Line 6 + 10 minute walk
- The Ecole Militaire Metro- Line 8 + 15 minute walk
If you are riding the RER you will need to take line C to the Champ de Mars- Tour Eiffel stop. From there it will be about a 10 minute walk.
For the bus you can take multiple lines and then from the bus stop will be a short walk
- Take bus line 82 or 30 to the Tour Eiffel stop
- Take bus line 42 to the Monttessuy stop
- Take bus line 86 to the Champ de Mars stop
- Take bus line 72 to the Pont d’lena stop
For more information regarding metro times, bus schedules, RER train and more head over to the official RATP website.
How to Get to the Esplanade, Ticket Offices and Entrances to the Eiffel Tower
In recent years, Paris has amped up its security surrounding the Eiffel Tower. In the past you were able to freely walk along the esplanade and stand underneath the tower without having to purchase a ticket to climb. These days it seems like they have completely blocked off the area except for two entrances and exits.
There are now two entrances in the gardens around the Eiffel Tower, one in the East and one in the South. You will have to pass through a security checkpoint here before even entering the area to purchase your tickets or climb the tower.
How to Get to the Top of the Eiffel Tower
There are two options for reaching the three platforms of the Eiffel Tower.
One of these options is that visitors can climb the stairs to platforms one and two, then take the elevator to the tippy top. The other option is that you can solely take the elevator to each of the levels.
During each of my visits I chose to climb the stairs for a few reasons. The line to purchase tickets at the ticket office is shorter, the price is cheaper and I really needed the extra exercise after eating all the delicious food in Paris!
- If you have already purchased your tickets online you will need to head to the East or West pillars of the towers and queue in the line with the GREEN FLAG.
- If you wish to take the elevator and do not have a ticket already then you will need to queue in the line with the YELLOW FLAG.
- For visitors who want to take the stairs to the 2nd level or want to do the stairs + combo lift to the top should purchase tickets and queue at the BLUE FLAG at the South pillar.
Once you purchase your ticket, or enter with your online ticket, you will first head through the security checkpoint. Immediately after that you will either begin your ascent up to the first platform via the stairs or head to the lift.
The three platforms are at 187 feet, 377 feet and 906 feet at the top. If you choose to take the stairs, wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to climb the 720 stairs to the second level.
View from the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
While climbing to the top, the intricate details of the wrought iron design can be admired and displays the amount of hard labor that went into the construction of the tower.
Your first stop inside the Eiffel Tower will be to level one. After reaching the main platform, stop and walk around to capture the views of the Champ de Mars, Trocadéro and the Seine river.
Climbing higher (or taking the elevator), you’ll eventually reach the second level where you’ll be able to easily spot many more of Paris’ famous landmarks. The second level has the majority of souvenir shops, a restroom and a cafe. Once you are done exploring the second level you will wait in the long line for the elevator to ascend to the summit.
The elevators are large and can hold a decent sized group so the line tends to move quickly. Upon exiting the elevators and walking out onto the third level (Le Sommet) you’ll probably be blasted by the strong winds that blow from being up so high. Making your way around the tiny platform and be amazed by the stunning panoramic views of Paris.
On a clear day, visitors can see Paris’ skyline for more than 40 miles. From this vantage point you can spot the Lourve, Orsay Museum, Notre-Dame Cathedral and so much more!
The Eiffel Tower is also incredibly impressive from the ground level, where visitors can stand underneath the base of this four-legged structure, imagining what it would have been like in 1889 as they passed through to reach the fairgrounds.
Services at the Viewing Decks of the Eiffel Tower
There are many restaurants, bars and shops located on each of the viewing decks of the Eiffel Tower. Most of the shops and restaurants will be on levels 1 and 2 with toilets available as well.
On the top floor you will find The Champagne Bar. This is the perfect spot to enjoy an alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage while soaking up the incredible panoramic views of Paris. The Champagne Bar is open daily from 10:15 AM to 10:15 PM.
In addition to eating or drinking inside the Eiffel Tower, you can also pack a picnic to enjoy while sitting in front of the Eiffel Tower at the Champ de Mars. I’ve done this many times while in Paris and it is one of my favorite things to do in the city.
Best Time to Visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris
The Eiffel Tower in Paris is an incredible place to visit year round. However, there are a few factors to consider before selecting when you visit. Weather plays a huge role in determining how much you will enjoy your time climbing the tower.
If it is rainy or too cold you probably won’t have the most pleasant experience up on the platforms. Something else to consider is that if the weather conditions are too harsh they will close the top viewing deck and you will only be allowed on platforms one and two.
Additionally, the hours of opening are dependent on the season so check those times prior to your visit. You can also decide to visit during the day or at night. I have only visited during the day but it would be beautiful to see the city of love lit up at night too!
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