The Eiffel Tower is one of the world’s most recognizable landmarks. A visit to France is incomplete without at least seeing the Eiffel Tower. But if you want a great view of Paris, you’ll want to head up the tower and see the city. Despite the copy-cat Eiffel Towers that spot the globe, like the one in Las Vegas, the one in Paris stands proudly as “La Dame de Fer” (the Iron Lady).
Here’s what you need to know if you plan to visit the Eiffel Tower from the ground up.
Explore the Esplanade Under the Eiffel Tower
Ground level is where it all begins. Park Champ de Mars stretches southeast from the Eiffel Tower, making it a fabulous place to grab a selfie at the iconic landmark. As you approach the Eiffel Tower, you’ll see the four legs towering out of the ground. Under the west pillar, you’ll find information and tickets to head up into the tower. You’ll also find a little souvenir shop if you want to grab something to show off to all your friends back home.
You can purchase your tickets online in advance if you’re planning to take the elevator. When you purchase your tickets online, they will be for a specific window of time during the day. If your plans are to use the stairs to access the 1st and 2nd floor, you must purchase those tickets same day. The tickets are valid for a single entry, meaning you can’t come and go throughout the day.
If you want to avoid waiting in long lines, avoid peak times. That means weekdays instead of weekends and before 11 or after 5 p.m. If you don’t like waiting in lines, the stairs are less popular than the elevators – but the top level is only accessible via an elevator.
Access to the First Level
The first floor of the Eiffel Tower has a few popular attractions. If you’re afraid of heights, you may want to avoid standing on the glass floor. It stands 187 feet above the ground, so it may take some real courage to step out onto the floor.
Visitors can also learn about the history of the Eiffel Tower through numerous interactive displays and touch screens. It was built for the World’s Fair in 1889. It was intended to be torn down a few years later. The Parisians felt it was an eyesore. In fact, the Eiffel Tower was sold twice for scrap metal. But eventually it became one of the most photographed icons on the Internet.
After exploring the first level, take the stairs (or the elevator) to the second level for a great view of Paris.
Climb to the Second Level
The views from the second level are breathtaking. If the skies are clear, you can see all of the major monuments in the city below: Notre Dame, The Louvre, Montmartre and more. Take the time to enjoy the view while you are standing nearly 400 feet above the city streets below.
Aside from the view, the second level of the Eiffel Tour features gift shops and restaurants. The Jules Verne is a Michelin-star rated restaurant, offering visitors a taste of the French cuisine. There’s even a macaroon bar so you can enjoy a little treat.
If your tickets only take you to this level, you’re good to start your journey back to the Esplanade. If you plan to continue up to the top, find the line for the elevator to the top and get ready for a spectacular view – and hopefully you aren’t afraid of heights.
View from the Top
The Eiffel Tower’s top level used to be an office for Gustav Eiffel, the tower’s creator. His office has been restored and wax figures give visitors a better sense of what it was like back in the day.
At the top, the only thing above you is the antenna – which means your standing more than 900 feet above the streets of Paris. The views are unprecedented. The sounds of the street below can’t quite reach the top of the tower. But the winds may be enough to get your heart pumping.
The top level also features a champagne bar offering visitors a flue of champaign or a fruit drink.
Address: Located in the Champ de Mars Park in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris (Midwest part of the city). It’s accessible via bus, metro, train and taxi.
Cost: Admission ranges from 10 to 25 Euro for an adult ($12-30 USD), depending on whether you want to take the stairs or the elevator.
- Elevator ticket with access to the 2nd floor: 16 Euro (Adult), 8 Euro (Ages 12-24), 4 Euro (Ages 4-11). Kids under 4 are free.
- Elevator ticket with access to the top: 25 Euro (Adult), 12.5 Euro (Ages 12-24), 6.3 Euro (Ages 4-11). Kids under 4 are free.
- Stairs ticket with access to the 2nd floor: 10 Euro (Adult), 5 Euro (Ages 12-24), 2.5 Euro (Ages 4-11). Kids under 4 are free. (Can only be purchased onsite)
- Stairs ticket with access to the 2nd floor, + Elevator to the Top: 19 Euro (Adult), 9.5 Euro (Ages 12-24), 4.8 Euro (Ages 4-11). Kids under 4 are free. (Can only be purchased onsite)
Hours: June 21 to September 2, access to the Eiffel Tower via stairs and/or elevator is 9 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. every day of the week. The rest of the year, elevator access is from 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. Stairs access is from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
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