It’s not a trip to Paris without visiting what is arguably its most famous landmark: the Eiffel Tower.
Designed by Gustave Eiffel and built between 1887 and 1889 for the 1889 World’s Fair, it’s a star of the Paris skyline and offers the best aerial view of the City of Love.
But as one of Paris’ most popular attractions, it can also get extremely crowded. These tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower will help you have the best experience possible at the iconic monument.
The best tips and advice for visiting the Eiffel Tower
From the best times to visit for avoiding the crowds to getting your steps in—and skipping the line—by climbing the stairs instead of taking the elevator, here are our top tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk all the way up.)
1. Book a group tour
Booking your Eiffel Tower visit as part of a guided tour has many benefits, from letting you skip long lines to having an expert guide share more information and background about the tower’s history during your visit.
Some tours, like our Paris in a Day tour, also include visits to other top attractions, like the Louvre, Notre Dame, Montmartre, and a Seine River cruise, all with skip-the-line privileges and priority access.
2. Purchase your Eiffel Tower ticket online in advance
There’s often a long line to buy tickets at the ticket office to the Eiffel Tower. But you can purchase your Eiffel Tower tickets online up to two months in advance, letting you skip the ticket line the day of your visit.
With pre-booked tickets, you are committing to visiting at a specific date and time, but it helps you avoid the hassle of buying tickets at the ticket offices.
3. Check the weather
Bad weather can completely obscure the tower, cutting off the famous views everyone wants to see from the top floor. So before you visit the Eiffel Tower, be sure to check the weather for the day you want to go so you’re not staring at clouds instead of the city.
4. Skip the line by taking the stairs
Even with pre-booked tickets, there’s nearly always a line for the summit elevator, as most visitors opt to take the elevator for convenience and ease. But did you know that you purchase cheaper tickets to walk up to the second floor? It’s just more than 700 steps and allows you to marvel at the view spreading out below.
Then you can take the elevator all the way to the top from the second floor, avoiding the lengthy elevator-ticket line at the base of the tower.
5. If you’re short on a time, avoid peak hours or days
With so much to see and do around Paris, you don’t want to waste your time waiting in lines, so knowing when the queues will be longer helps you know when to plan your visit.
The Eiffel Tower is at its busiest from 11am to 5pm during the day, with weekends being the busiest days of the week. It’s also good to be aware of the Eiffel Tower’s busiest season, which is usually in June, July, and August.
6. There is no bad time of day for views
Wondering when you’ll have the best views of Paris at the Eiffel Tower? As long as the weather is good, you’re in for a show no matter the time of day. Sunset is especially spectacular, though.
7. Treat yourself to a restaurant reservation
Another way to save time and bypass the line at the Eiffel Tower entrance is by getting a reservation to either of the Eiffel Tower’s two restaurants, located on the first and second floors. Not only do the restaurants have designated entrances, but dining at the Eiffel Tower is a bucket-list Paris experience.
There’s also a champagne bar on the top floor of the Eiffel Tower, where you can enjoy a glass of bubbly while soaking up the view.
8. Visit at night
It’s worth visiting the Eiffel Tower once during the day and once at night. At night, you can either see the entire city lit up or watch from the base as the Eiffel Tower light beacon swings across the city. Plus, the entire tower lights up, with a 5-minute magical sparkling display every hour on the hour.
9. If you’re not going with a guide, use the Eiffel Tower smartphone site
The official Eiffel Tower website has a comprehensive mobile tour guide that provides detailed information about the tower’s history, directions, points of interest, and much more.
To access it, all you need to do is connect to the tower’s free Wi-Fi and go to guide.toureiffel.paris to find the complete visitors guide.
10. Don’t neglect the lower levels
The summit floor gets all the glory, but it’s well worth spending time on the first floor and the second too. Not only are there restaurants and souvenir shops, but you can better identify and see famous viewpoints like the Champ de Mars.
Make the most of your Eiffel Tower visit with City Experiences
During your Paris visit, Eiffel Tower tips like these will help you have the best time possible at this famous attraction. Once you’re done there, check out our range of tours and activities to round out your Paris itinerary, from going on the ultimate food tour to exploring the historic catacombs.