Almost every traveler wants to visit the iconic Eiffel Tower as part of their Paris travel plans. So it stands to reason that you’ll be fighting the crowds with the millions of other visitors who have come to enjoy it too.
No one wants to be herded like cattle or waste the better part of a day standing in line, no matter how awesome the view. Your vacation time is precious isn’t it?
But for those who must travel during peak season, here are a few simple Eiffel Tower tips which might get back half your day by avoiding waiting in line for hours.
Time your visit just right
The best time of day to visit is either very early morning or very late at night. It really depends on the view you want. So either get up early and get in line or wait until just before closing. Opening and closing times vary by season, so make sure you check before you go and then plan accordingly.
Take to the stairs
After waiting in line for tickets, if going up by elevator, you’ll wait in another line. There are four elevators – Nord, Sud, Ouest, Est, but there will only be one or two running at a given time – and it’s random. But did you know you can actually walk up as far as the second level?
It’s about 670 steps, but it can be done and the line for the stairs is much shorter. You can take your time climbing, stop to admire the views and snap photos others wouldn’t have access to. And let’s face it – it’s a great way to walk off all that delicious, rich French food you’ll be devouring. Go ahead and have that extra pain au raisin, you’ve earned it!
Maybe you don’t want to stop at just the second level and you really want to go to the top. Well, you can still walk up to the second level and then buy a ticket for the elevator to the top level. You’ll still skip the longer ground level elevator line, and be able to make it all the way up.
Dine in style
Another way to avoid the long lines of the tower is to reserve lunch or dinner at Le Jules Verne . They have their own dedicated lift, which of course would have practically no line. Just queue up for your reservation time and voila, you’ll be wisked up to the second floor. If you didn’t get enough of the lovely views during your one-of-a-kind dining experience, you can still get to the top by purchasing a ticket without having to go back to ground level and start over.
Prebook your tickets
The Eiffel Tower now allows you to buy tickets online. You select an assigned date and time, print your tickets and head right for the dedicated prebooked ticket line, thereby bypassing all other lines. Tickets are limited (and occassionally non-existent for certain days/times), so make sure you buy well in advance. The only downside to this is once you buy, you’re committed to the date and time, even if the weather isn’t optimal.
For opening and closing times, online tickets and more info visit the Official Eiffel Tower website.
Need help with your Paris vacation plans? Perhaps a travel consult would be a perfect fit.