Eiffel Tower Tickets, Tours and Guide

This post is a review of the many options to visit the Eiffel tower, from standard and combo tickets to dining at the top.  This guide details everything you need to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower, including a lengthy comparison of all the different types of tours and tickets available.

 

 


EIFFEL TOWER TICKETS

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 adult, children and reduced prices. 

 

EIFFEL TOWER TICKETS  Adults Children (12-24) Reduced Rate (4-11)
Stairs Entrance (2nd Floor) 10,00€ 5,00€ 2,50€
Elevator Entrance (2nd Floor) 16,00€ 8,00€ 4,00€
Stairs Entrance (2nd Floor) w/ Elevator Entrance (Top) 19,00€ 9,50€  4,80€
Elevator Entrance (Top) 25,00€ 12,50€  6,30€


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. 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 time 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). 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.

The stairs can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes on average, 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. This means you will have to wait in the ticket line when you arrive, but the stairs aren’t usually as popular of an option as the elevator, and thus the ticket line is usually very quick. 

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 tickets also does not grant you access to the top of the 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 very top of the Eiffel Tower.

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. 

 


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SOLD-OUT TICKETS AND GUIDED TOURS

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, which will almost certainly mean higher prices.

However, with the higher prices come both priority e-tickets as well as 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 prebook.

There is also an evening version.

Reviews:

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. 

Prices with Summit Access

There is also an evening version.

Reviews:

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


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PLAN YOUR VISIT

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. Click on the links to jump to either section. 


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.

 

Best Times to Visit the Eiffel Tower on Weekdays

 

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

 


HOW MUCH TIME TO PLAN FOR

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.

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 hoursThis 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 walkBir-Hakeim (6) is 3 minutes away by foot. 

By RER:

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.

 


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STAIRS VS. ELEVATOR

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).

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.

For more details, make sure to read both our tickets section and our tours section.

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. 
 


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THE LEVELS EXPLAINED

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.

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.
 


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COMBINATION TICKETS 

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! 


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. 

Reviews:

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.

Reviews:

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 & Hotel Transfer

This combination package includes a half-day visit to Versailles, followed by a visit to the 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower. Your guide will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and then take you to Versailles, where you will be able to skip the cue and see the Palace and Gardens. Afterward, you will be driven to the Eiffel Tower so that you can enjoy the spectacular view of the city. 

Reviews: Most people seem very happy with this package, as it allowed them to visit 2 of the biggest attractions in France in just one day (read the reviews). People are especially pleased with the convenience of having a door-to-door service with each of these activities from their hotel. 


Priority Access to Eiffel Tower and Catacombs

With this packaged ticket, you gain skip-the-line entrance to the summit of the Eiffel Tower, followed by a visit to Paris’ famous Catacombs where you will also enjoy priority access. Though the latter activity is not guided, you will receive a free audio guide upon arrival. Lines tend to be extremely long at the Catacombs due to their popularity, so this is a great way to save time! 

Reviews: Though some reviewers initially bought this combo package because they couldn’t find tickets to the Eiffel Tower elsewhere, many write about how their visit to the Catacombs turned out to be the highlight of their trip! Others also note the long lines at this attraction and thus their thankfulness at having a skip-the-line pass.

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

Click here to see all the other combinations also available!

 


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