Everything you want to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Tripoto
5th Nov 2016
Photo of Everything you want to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris 1/7 by Shahzad Siddiqui
The Eiffel Tower lit up at dusk

If you have already decided to visit one of the most photographed monuments in the world, I would assume you know enough about it; so I'll skip the background about the tower.

Right off the bat, the answer is YES! If you're in the 'city of love' Paris, visiting the Eiffel Tower is highly recommended.

I must warn you that during peak season (summers) the experience could be a pain in the you know what (plus a pain in the legs as well).

So here are a few tips to make it easier for you:

1) Best time to visit

The best time to visit Paris is obviously summer (May to September) which is why the top attractions of Paris like the Eiffel and Louvre are bursting at their seems during this season. So, if you're not a big fan of crowded tourists attractions, you may want to rethink.

The winters are dull, dark and cold with extremely short days and very little sunshine around, so I wouldn't recommend that either.

Photo of Everything you want to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris 2/7 by Shahzad Siddiqui
Paris in Fall

You may want to consider October/Mid-November or March/April. The weather is not perfect however it is better than the peak winter/summer season and the tourist crowd is comparatively less. I personally recommend October to Mid November as you can enjoy the many hues of Paris during fall season and still be out and about in temperatures ranging from 15 degrees to 5 degree Celsius.

Photo of Everything you want to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris 3/7 by Shahzad Siddiqui
The many hues of Autumn

2) Approaching Eiffel

Bir-Hakeim maybe the closest metro station, but I recommend getting of at Trocadero metro station and walk it from there. Even if you take a cab, I recommend you ask to be dropped off at Trocadero. I promise you wont regret this!

Photo of Everything you want to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris 4/7 by Shahzad Siddiqui
View of the Eiffel Tower from Trocadero

Once you turn on the curb from the Trocadero metro station exit, you'll first lay eyes on the magnificent Eiffel and you will walk towards it facing it all the time whilst crossing the Palais de Chaillot (which houses museums now) followed by manicured gardens, a pond, fountains and a bridge over the River Sienne to the Eiffel Tower ticket booking queues.

3) Best way to book Eiffel tickets

You can choose to pre-book the Eiffel tickets online but bear in mind if you do, you are committed to a date and a time slot which is not transferable. It could be raining or foggy at the time you've pre-booked your ticket for.

I recommend buying the Eiffel summit ticket onsite if you're going during the season I recommended. Although you'll still have to queue for the tickets, it should not be more than 30 to 60 mins and with your travelling companions and the general festive atmosphere around the Eiffel, time passes quickly.

4) Lift or stairs

Once you've purchased your tickets to the summit you have the option of taking the stairs or the lift. Taking one of the three available lifts will involve waiting in a queue again.

Basics first- You can reach Level 1 and 2 via the lifts or the stairs. From Level 2 to the summit, there is a separate elevator and no stairs. So even if you're taking the lift from the ground up, you have to change elevators at level 2.

Now I assume once you're in Paris, Eiffel is not the only thing on your agenda and you don't want to be sore the next couple of days. So if you're extremely fit and sure that climbing 704 steps to level 2 is a breeze then take the stairs or otherwise just queue for the lift which does not take as long as the ticket queue.

Photo of Everything you want to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris 5/7 by Shahzad Siddiqui
The view of Trocadero from the Eiffel Summit

While coming down from Level 2, I recommend you take the stairs and enjoy the architecture of the tower all around and make a pit stop on Level 1 for some refreshments.

Photo of Everything you want to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris 6/7 by Shahzad Siddiqui
View of Level 1 of the Eiffel Tower

5) Best time of the day to visit

The Eiffel Tower illuminated at night is a sight to behold. However the sparkling lights made up of 20,000 light bulbs (5,000 per side), that twinkle to life for 5 minutes every hour on the hour once the Tower has been lit up until 1 am is a must see.

Photo of Everything you want to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower in Paris 7/7 by Shahzad Siddiqui
Illuminated at dusk

I recommend reaching the tower around 3 pm to start your experience and you should be done with your summit visit in plenty of time to go back to Trocadero and wait for the illumination show after dusk.

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