When we decided Paris was going to be one of our stops on our European Summer Vacation, I knew there were two things I wanted to do for certain —
— visit the Louvre and visit the top of the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic structures in the world. In fact, it’s so iconic, if you’re walking to the Eiffel Tower, you’re going to run into street vendors shaking miniature Eiffel Towers at you, trying to get your attention. (If you’re blonde, like my daughter and I, they may even call you Lady Gaga. If you’re brunette, like our friend who traveled with us, you may be called Shakira. It was quite amusing!)
Let”s look at some tips to make the most of your visit to one of the most recognizable structures in the world!
- Tip #1 – If you want to go to the very top (the 3rd level or summit), and the electronic signage above the ticket booth says they are full, ask anyway! We were originally disappointed that the summit of the Eiffel Tower was full, when we wanted to go up to the top. However, when we got to the ticket booth enough people had left that they were selling summit tickets!
- Tip #2 – Save time and buy your tickets online IF you know exactly when you want to go. You’ll have to pick the exact day and time you want to visit. Don’t pay extra to tour companies – go directly to http://www.toureiffel.paris/ – the official Eiffel Tower page.
- Tip #3 – The best photo spot is from the Trocadero, across the street from the Eiffel Tower. The Palais de Chaillot is at a higher elevation and there’s a great half-wall you can stand in front of and get the full Eiffel Tower in the shot! For this reason, if you’re taking the Metro, get off at the Trocadero stop, instead of the closer Bir-Hakeim stop.
- Tip #4 – Visit the Eiffel Tower in the daytime and the evening, for two different experiences. In the daytime, you’ll really be able to appreciate the unique architecture of the Eiffel Tower, plus on a clear day, the view is spectacular! In the evening, the City of Light becomes a glittering wonderland from the Tower’s viewing platform! Even if you’re not ascending in the evening, be sure to at least visit the Eiffel Tower, to see the light show at the top of every hour, after sunset.
- Tip #5 – Save time, enjoy the view and walk down! Despite being in Paris during the Euro Cup – and getting a spectacular view of thousands of folks watching Wales win their match on a giant screen – we really didn’t have a long wait to ride up to the second floor, or to take the next elevator up to the summit. However, coming down was really crowded! After waiting for about 20 minutes, we decided we’d try walking down. And, despite there being 1,710 steps, since it was all going down, it wasn’t bad at all!
- Tip #6 – Eat at Restaurant 58 (1st level) or Jules Verne (2nd level), if you are ready to pay a steep price, or (as we did) enjoy dinner at one of the many more reasonably-priced restaurants with a view of the Eiffel Tower instead!
- Tip #7 – In the daytime, don’t skimp on your time on level 2. It’s a great view, and still low enough to the ground to recognize many of the cities other iconic architecture.
- Tip #8 – When going up in the elevator, try to get near a window and take video as you ascend. It’s really a cool experience! Even if you’re in the middle (like I was) take video.
Elevator ride to the second stage:
Elevator ride to the summit: