What To Know About Traveling To the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is by far Paris’ most-recognized icon, and it has a rich history that draws in millions of people each year. Some people might think it cliche, but few can deny that when the tower bursts into a shower of scintillating light every hour each evening, it’s truly a sight to behold.
If you’re considering a trip yourself to see the nearly 1,000-foot-high structure, there are a few things that you should know.
Why the Eiffel Tower Is So Iconic
Back in 1889, Gustave Eiffel’s company built Paris’ most recognizable monument, The Eiffel Tower, for the World’s Fair. While many initially regarded the massive iron structure with skepticism, today it’s considered an architectural wonder and attracts more visitors than any other paid tourist attraction in the world — an estimated 7 million people per year.
The Best Way To Sightsee the Eiffel Tower
The tower has three levels with observation platforms — located at about 200, 400, and 900 feet — all joined by elevators and stairs. However, there’s no one elevator that will take you straight to the top (aka le sommet). To get there, take an elevator or climb 775 steps to the second level. Once you reach the second level, immediately line up for the next elevator, which will take you to the top.
And while seeing things from the top is spectacular, make sure that you take the time to explore the second level. Here you’ll be high enough for great aerial views, but low enough that you can recognize the city’s monuments and take in certain architectural details and feats of urban planning. As for the first level, it offers up a great chance to explore its shops and exhibits, not to mention a vertigo-inducing glass floor that lets you experience what it’s like to stand atop an 18-story building.
The Best Time to Visit the Eiffel Tower
The busiest time for tourists that will have you waiting more than two hours is from mid-July through late August, despite the sweltering summer heat. During weekdays in January, February, the early part of March, and again November through mid-December, you will only have to wait about 30 minutes or less.
When it comes to what time to visit, regular hours of operation from early July through late August are 9:00 a.m. to 12:45 a.m., with the last elevator ride to the top departing at 11:00 p.m. For the rest of the year, the tower is open from 9:30 a.m. until 11:45 p.m., with the last elevator running at 10:30 p.m.
A great time to ascend the Tower is shortly before twilight, so you can experience it at sunset and also after dark. If possible, you’ll definitely want to see it at night when the 20,000 light bulbs sparkle at the top of the tower in a five-minute luminous spectacle every hour on the hour.
How To Get Your Tickets for the Eiffel Tower
During the busy peak season, ticket lines can be several hours long. Those who just show up with no pre-booked ticket are likely to waste lots of time in the initial entry line — it can be upwards of two hours or more in the summer, on weekends, or on holidays.
One way to avoid this is to skip the ticket line and reserve an entry day/time by prepaying for your ticket. The downside is that you’re locked into a day and specific time, but it can save you hours of waiting in line.
Ticket options vary depending on what you’re planning on doing — riding the elevators to the very top, riding only as far as the second level, or climbing the stairs to the first or second level (the top can only be reached by elevator). Because of these options, prices will also vary greatly depending on age and how many levels you’re going to see.
Why You Should Take the Stairs
The Eiffel Tower is known for the lines you’ll stand in as you wait for an elevator. To avoid wasting hours in line, consider taking the stairs — at least going down, which is a much less physical feat. You’ll need to take the elevator from the top down to the second level, but can use the stairs down from there, stopping as you please to take in the views.
It only takes a few minutes to walk between each level, leaving you more time to explore even more of the great Tower and the city itself.
Are You Planning a Trip to the Eiffel Tower?
If visiting this spectacular destination is on your European bucket list, let Sunset Travel & Cruise take care of all the details for you. Simply contact us today and we’ll plan your trip from beginning to end ensuring an unforgettable experience.