Company Logo - Home Link

This post is a review of the many options to visit the Eiffel tower, from standard and combo tickets to dining at the top.

It also provides a lengthy comparison of all the different types of tours and tickets available.

" player-type="static"]


You will need a ticket to get into the Eiffel Tower, and there are 4 different types of tickets available for the Eiffel Tower, each with an adult, child, and reduced prices.

EIFFEL TOWER TICKETS AdultsChildren (12-24)Reduced Rate (4-11)
Stairs Entrance (2nd Floor)10,50€5,20€2,60€
Elevator Entrance (2nd Floor)16,70€8,40€4,20€
Stairs Entrance (2nd Floor) w/ Elevator Entrance (Top)19,90€9,90€ 5,00€
Elevator Entrance (Top)26,10€13,10€ 6,60€

Ticket Options Explained

Priority Tickets

But, before we get into the 4 options, it's important to understand what a priority ticket is.

These tickets (what the Eiffel Tower calls e-tickets) are only for the two ticket options that involve the elevator from the ground floor and are not available (nor usually needed) for tickets with stairs entrance.

E-Ticket Eiffel Tower - Paris

There are no additional fees for these tickets.

It is highly recommended that you purchase them in advance if you want or need to take the elevators.

These are timed tickets, so wait times for the elevators to the 1st and 2nd floors of the Eiffel Tower for those with reservations (e-tickets) are minimal. 

The queues for those without reservations (therefore, those who need to wait in the ticket line) have been reported to stretch over 2 hours at peak season (just watch this video).

Elevator Lines Eiffel Tower

There are a limited number of priority tickets each day and they can sell out a month in advance, sometimes even longer.

Priority tickets are purchased on the Eiffel Tower ticket website or as part of some guided tours.

Stairs Entrance (to the 1st and 2nd floors)

This is the cheapest ticket option.

While many people will queue up to take the elevator from the ground floor to the second floor, there is also the option of climbing the stairs.

Eiffel Tower Stairs Ticket

The stairs can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes on average to climb, but that will all depend on your own level of fitness.

This ticket does not grant you access to the top of the Eiffel Tower and you must also take the stairs back down.

There is no way to buy this ticket in advance unless you purchase a guided tour from a 3rd party.

Eiffel Tour Stairs -Paris

This means you will have to wait in the ticket line when you arrive, but the stairs aren’t usually as popular as an option as the elevator, and thus their ticket lines usually move very quickly. 

Check out our section about climbing the stairs for more details. 

Elevator Entrance (to 1st and 2nd Floors)

This ticket allows you to bypass the stairs and take the elevator from the ground floor to the 1st and 2nd floors.

This ticket also does not grant you access to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Elevator Eiffel Tower

Order this ticket in advance (e-ticket) on their website so that you can skip the ticket queue, which can be very long. 

If priority e-tickets are sold out, consider going on a tour. Some of the companies that offer tours of the Eiffel Tower will include priority e-tickets for the elevator. 

Stairs Entrance (2nd Floor) w/ Elevator Entrance (Top)

This ticket option is the 3rd most expensive. With this ticket, you will have stairs access to the 1st and 2nd floors.

From there, you can queue up to take the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower Stairs Entrance

There is no way to buy this ticket in advance unless you purchase a guided tour from a 3rd party, and as we previously mentioned, the ticket line is usually very short compared to the elevator line. 

Elevator Entrance to the Top

This is the most expensive option. You get access to both elevators. You won’t need to take any stairs, up or down, with this option.

Order this ticket in advance so that you can skip the ticket queue. You will still need to wait in both elevator lines.

If priority e-tickets are sold out, consider going on a tour.

Some of the companies that offer tours of the Eiffel Tower will include priority e-tickets for the elevator to the 1st and 2nd floors. 


Technically, Eiffel Tower tickets never sell out.

What actually gets sold out are the priority e-tickets for the elevators that one can purchase on the main website.

If those are sold out, you can still queue up for the elevator, but these lines can take over two hours in the high season.

If you don't want to use the stairs and there are no elevator tickets available during the time of your visit from the official ticket site, then you will need to consider using a 3rd party seller.

This will almost certainly mean higher prices but will mean you have a better chance of getting tickets.

However, with the higher prices come both priority e-tickets as well as on-site concierge services and guided tours.

Additionally, you can also add on a number of other amenities such as a dining experience, or have your visit to the Eiffel Tower combined with a number of other activities such as a river cruise for a discounted rate.

Our Picks

Second Floor Priority E-ticket Elevator Access with a Guided Tour 

Meet your tour guide at the base of the Eiffel Tower and get priority access to the elevator plus a tour of the 2nd floor.

Keep in mind that you can purchase a ticket to the summit onsite, so there's no need to pre-book.

There is also an evening version.


Lots of private tour options come with mixed reviews, so this option is a stand out (read the reviews).

Second Floor Stairs Access with a Guided Tour (with optional summit access)

Rather than wait in line for the elevator, take the stairs and enjoy a guided tour to the 2nd floor.

There is also an evening version.


Lots of private tour options come with mixed reviews, so this option is a stand out (read the reviews).


In this section, we cover the best times to visit, how much time to devote, and how to get here, as well as food and shopping options.

Best Times to Visit

The Eiffel Tower is one of the most popular destinations in Paris, so you can expect a crowd no matter when you come.

That being said, there are times when things are a bit quieter at this famous landmark.

June 21 - September 2nd

  • 09:00 am - 00:46 (12:45 am)
  • 23:00 (11 pm) - last elevator to the top

Rest of the Year

  • 09:30 am - 23:46 (11:45 pm)
  • 22:30 (10:30 pm) - last elevator to the top

As with most popular attractions in the world, you can rely on a few golden rules when it comes to the Eiffel Tower.

The first thing to keep in mind is that it will always be busier over the weekend when compared to most weekdays.

Weekend Crowds at Eiffel Tower

The second thing to note is that crowd sizes are at their smallest during the early morning and after dark. 

If you’re trying to avoid the busiest hours, plan on a weekday visit between the hours of 9:00 am - 11:00 am in the morning or 22:00 (10 pm) - 00:00 (12 am) in the evening.

Considering that the tower is lit up once the sun goes down, you may want to go later rather than earlier. 

Many visitors try to get tickets for the Eiffel Tower at sunset hoping to get to the top and see the city as the sun goes down, but it’s not as easy as you might think.

This is a pretty popular time of day to visit the landmark, so you can expect a large crowd.

Best Times to Visit the Eiffel Tower on Weekdays

Lift tickets (whether you purchase them online or when you arrive) require you to wait in line for the elevator to the 1st & 2nd floors as well as the line for the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

If you don’t want to miss the sunset, we recommend getting a priority ticket so that you can at least skip the ticket line.

Priority tickets (purchased before arriving) allow you to skip the elevator ticket line at the bottom of the Eiffel Tower. 

You’ll still have to wait in a shorter line for the elevator, but you’ll be saving time by avoiding the ticket line, sometimes hours.

If you want to come at sunset, make sure to get one of these tickets and show up a little early just in case and use this service to find out when you can expect the sun to set in Paris.

Several tourists note that weather can also play a factor in picking the best time to visit.

If you come at a time when it is windy, rainy, or foggy, chances are that you won’t enjoy the experience as much.

At times the wind and rain can get bad enough that they will actually close off the top of the tower.

Keep this in mind when purchasing tickets and use this forecast service to pick the best time for your trip. 


If you don’t intend to go to the very top, you probably won’t spend very much time here.

As a result, visitors who only intend to get a ticket for stairs entrance to the 1st and 2nd floors should plan on spending at least 1 - 1 ½ hours at the Eiffel Tower.

You can’t purchase tickets for stairs access ahead of time unless you obtain them by taking a tour or buy a more expensive elevator access ticket.

However, there is no indication from online reviews of long waits for tickets for the stairs. 

For more information about this option, make sure to read our elevator vs stairs section.

Priority tickets for the 1st & 2nd-floor elevator will allow you to save some time that you might have otherwise spent in the ticket line, and you won’t need to climb up the stairs.

The line for visitors without priority elevator tickets.

Elevator Lines Eiffel Tower

Many visitors indicate that it can take an additional hour or more to get on the elevator from the 1st and 2nd floors to the very top, and you should keep that in mind if you want to get to the top in time for sunset.

There are no priority tickets for this elevator.

As a result, if you want to see everything and take the elevator to the very top floor, you should set aside at least 2 - 2 ½ hours.

This timeframe assumes that you have purchased priority access to the ground floor elevator or choose to take the stairs to the 1st & 2nd floor.

If you take the elevator from the ground floor without a reservation (priority e-ticket), you may need more than 3 hours total depending on the time of day and year. 

If you want to reach the top of the Eiffel Tower at a specific time, and you don’t want to walk up any stairs, make sure to purchase a priority ticket (skip-the-line) for entry at least 1 ½ - 2 hours in advance of your desired time.

There is no time limit on your tickets, so you are free to stay as long as you wish.

For more information on skip-the-line tickets, check our ticket information section.

You can also learn more about the various levels of the Eiffel Tower in our levels explained section.

Where Is the Eiffel Tower?

There are several different ways to get to the Eiffel Tower, which is centrally located and right along the River Seine.

Regardless of how you choose to get here, we recommend using this Google Maps link for directions.

How to Get to the Eiffel Tower

By Metro:

There are 3 different metro stations that are a short distance from the Eiffel Tower.

 Trocadéro (9) and École Militaire (8) are approximately a 5-minute walk. Bir-Hakeim (6) is 3 minutes away by foot.


Champs de Mars (C) is a 1-minute walk away.

By Bike:

There are several bike tours that visit the Eiffel Tower.

Alternatively, there are also many bike rental companies operating nearby as well. Check out our post on the Best Bike Tours and Rentals in Pars.

By Boat: 

Located along the Seine, the Eiffel Tower is also easily accessible by boat. Consider pairing a visit to this iconic landmark with either before or after!

Check out our post on Best Boat Tours and Cruises in Paris to help you decide which company to choose.

By car:

Parking is limited around the Eiffel Tower, so we recommend that you park in an underground carpark instead.

The Quai Branly car park is the closest, just 300 meters away!

Shopping/Dining and Amenities

One of the easiest ways to get priority access to the Eiffel Tower is by reserving a table at one of the restaurants on either the first or second floor.

Guests having a meal at one of these locations will be given access to a private lift which will take them to the floor in question.

Even if you don’t feel like going to a fancy restaurant, there are a few other places where you can grab a bite.

There are buffets located on the Esplanade and the 1st & 2nd floors. You will also find a macaroon bar on the second floor and a champagne bar at the top of the Eiffel Tower.

In addition to all of these dining options, there are also gift shops on the Esplanade and the 1st & 2nd floors.

There are restrooms with baby changing facilities on each floor of the tower – including the summit.


If you’re trying to decide whether to take the elevator or climb the stairs, there are a few things to consider.

Many visitors get frustrated by the amount of time it takes to wait for the elevator, particularly if a visitor doesn't have a reservation (a priority e-ticket).

Eiffel Tower

Without a reservation, it can take an hour or more just to get in the lift from the ground and reach the 1st & 2nd floors – not to mention the 60-90 minute wait you can expect to get on the elevator to the top floor.

Unfortunately, tickets for stairs access are only available at the Eiffel Tower, so you won’t be able to purchase them in advance.

However, lines for stairs access are usually non-existent or very short, especially when compared to the ticket lines for the elevators.

You can also purchase tickets for some tours online which provide tickets for stairs access, allowing you to buy them in advance.

There are a total of 328 stairs to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. To reach the second floor, you will need to climb another 341 steps.

In total, there are 669 steps to climb. For details on how high each floor is, make sure to read our levels explained section.

As you slowly head to the first and second floors of the Eiffel Tower, you’ll also have the opportunity to look around and see the city below at various heights. 

Some guests recommend taking the elevator up and walking back down on the stairs for both experiences. 


There are four levels to the Eiffel Tower and you will need to purchase tickets to reach at least three of them.

Here is a breakdown of what you can expect on each level.

Eiffel Tower Levels

The Esplanade (Ground Level)

This is where you will enter the Eiffel Tower. You can also purchase tickets here and there are buffets & gift shops in the area as well.

Make sure to stop by the bust of Gustave Eiffel before heading up the tower!

1st Floor (57m/187ft)

You will require tickets to get to this level and these tickets will also grant you access to the next level as well.

Eiffel Tower 1st Floor Glass Floor

This section has a transparent floor that will allow you to look down and see everyone walking underneath.

There are also relaxation areas and exhibits at various locations on this floor.

2nd Floor (116m/380ft) 

Although there aren’t as many activities on this floor, you will have one of the greatest views of the city from this level.

There are telescopes at regular intervals to give you an even better look at Paris.

This is the last leg of the journey before heading to the top.

The Top (276m/905ft) 

Also referred to as the summit, this is the highest point that anyone is allowed to visit on the Eiffel Tower. An additional ticket will be required to see this level.

There is a champagne bar and a fully restored representation of Gustave Eiffel’s office on this level.

You will find a few other exhibits on the top floor, but the main attraction is definitely the unforgettable view of Paris.

We have a post that explains in more detail how to get to the summit and if it's worth the effort and money.


One of the best ways to save during your visit to Paris is to purchase packaged tours, which combine several different popular attractions for a reduced rate.

This also allows you to save time, as you will be able to skip the line at each of these places.

Some of our favorite combination tours include a cruise on the Seine, a visit to the Louvre, and a trip to Versailles, amongst many others!

The Paris Pass

This is one of the more popular tourist passes in Paris, and it's an all-inclusive pass. That means you'll have access to every attraction and activity included on the pass for the entire length of the service.

You can purchase this pass for 2, 3, 4, or 6 days at a time. In addition to covering the cost of an Eiffel Tower visit, it also includes the following attractions:

  • The Louvre Museum
  • Palace of Versailles
  • Picasso Museum
  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Seine River Cruise
  • Musée d'Orsay
  • And more!

Learn more about this option on our post covering Paris tourist passes.

Go City Paris Explorer Pass

If you'd rather not pay for a lot of different activities with one pass, this option allows you to select as few as two attractions from a list of dozens of popular things to see and do in Paris.

One of the most popular attractions included is the Eiffel Tower, but they also offer the following options:

  • The Louvre Museum
  • Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour
  • Aquarium de Paris
  • Grevin Paris Wax Museum
  • Parc Asterix
  • And more!

For more information about this service and how to use it, please read our post covering Paris tourist passes.

Paris City Card

The Eiffel Tower usually isn't included on any tourist passes, but this attraction was recently added to the new Paris City Card. This is a prepackaged pass which covers the cost of several specific attractions. In a way, it's a lot like a combo package.

Here are the activities included with this pass:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre Museum
  • Cruise on the Seine
  • City Tour of Paris
  • 10% discount on other attractions

At just €63, this is actually cheaper than most of the other combo tickets on our list, and it includes more things to see and do.

The addition of a 10% off coupon allows you to save even more money on other activities in Paris, so if you're planning to visit sites like Versailles, Musée d'Orsay, and many other popular locations.

Purchase the Paris City Card or learn more.

Paris in a Day: Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, & Seine River Cruise

This full-day tour from the company Take Walks includes several different activities including skip-the-line access to the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre.

Guests can also expect a free cruise on the Seine River, as well as tours of Montmartre and the Latin Quarter.

Each location will be visited during the same 9-hour outing, and a tour guide will provide historic details and information at all of the landmarks included.

  • €165/Adults | €163/Students | €155/Children
  • Winter Availability: Fri-Mon, Wed at 9 am
  • Summer Availability: Wed-Mon at 9 am
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Includes admission to the Louvre.
  • Includes admission to the Eiffel Tower.
  • Includes Seine River Cruise.
  • NOTE: This service will next be available in April 2022.


This company typically receives excellent reviews and ratings, as customers report that their guides are both friendly and informative.

Guests indicate that this is a great way to see everything you'd want to see in Paris in just one day.

Two-in-One: Eiffel Tower and Seine Cruise 

A popular combination package that visitors opt for is the Two-in-One: Eiffel Tower and Seine Cruise.

A trip to the Eiffel Tower and a boat ride along the Seine are two of the most well-liked tourist activities in Paris.

By purchasing these as a package, you save money and hassle - especially because both tend to sell out months in advance during the high season!

Your visit to the Eiffel Tower includes priority e-tickets to the 2nd floor.


This combo package is one of the most popular and highly rated one available (read the reviews).

People seem especially thankful that allowed them to see and do so many things in a short amount of time... and with just one purchase!

Guests also write repeatedly about the benefit of gaining skip-the-line access with a ticket like this.

Three-in-One: Eiffel Tower, Louvre, and Seine Cruise Tickets 

Similar to the ticket listed above, this Three-in-One offer gets you access to the Eiffel Tower, a Seine Cruise, and the Louvre.

You receive skip-the-line access to both the Eiffel Tower and Louvre, which are two of the most popular (and therefore crowded) attractions in the city.

Your Seine Cruise brings you along the river for an hour to enjoy the view from the water.


The Three-in-One combination package is even more popular than the Two-in-One (read the reviews)!

Reviewers rave about the ease at which this ticket allowed them to participate in 3 of the most famous attractions in the city.

With skip-the-line access at each, you can save a lot of time and stress.

Skip-the-Line Eiffel Tower, Hop-on Hop-off Bus & Cruise 

If you're considering taking a bus tour around Paris, why not combine it with a river cruise and a visit to the Eiffel Tower.

Once again you'll have skip-the-line access to the 2nd floor of the latter.

Choose between either 1 or 2-day access to the hop-on-hop-off bus service.

Like most boat tours on the Seine, the cruise lasts approximately 1 hour.

Reviews: Most people seem very pleased with their decision to purchase this packaged deal (read the reviews).

Though there are a handful of reviews that are fairly critical of the hop-on, hop-off bus tour service (largely due to heavy traffic).

However, others acknowledge that, though they were concerned because of other reviews that they had read, they were pleasantly surprised by the high quality of each of the activities.

Skip-the-Line: Versailles, Eiffel Tower & Arc de Triomphe

This combination package includes admission to Versailles, the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe.

Transportation is not included, but admission to each location is covered, including the museum of the Arc de Triomphe and the Summit of the Eiffel Tower.

Reviews: Most people seem very happy with this package, as it allowed them to visit 3 of the biggest attractions in France in just one day (read the reviews).

***These are just a few of our favorite combo tour packages.***

Click here to see all the other combinations also available!


About The Author

Stephen Pickhardt

Stephen is the CEO of Free Tours by Foot and has overseen the transformation of a local walking tour company into a global tour community and traveler’s advice platform. He has personally led thousands of group tours in the US and Europe, and is an expert in trip planning and sightseeing, with a focus on budget travelers. Stephen has been published and featured in dozens of publications including The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Yahoo,, and more.
Updated: October 13th, 2022
Back to Top