Eiffel Tower tickets & prices: How to make the most of your visit
A visit to the Eiffel Tower is one of the highlights of every Paris trip. The symbol of France is an absolute tourist magnet. However, a visit to the Eiffel Tower can be tricky business and often involves long waiting times. Our Paris expert Meike will tell you everything you need to know for a smooth visit to the Eiffel Tower.
If you’re planning a visit to the iconic French landmark, you might find the ticketing system pretty confusing at first.
There are several different floors, and different tickets for each floor.
Before you enter the Eiffel Tower, you’ll have to undergo a security check with several entrances where your bag will be screened.
The hustle and bustle of 20,000 people visiting the Eiffel Tower every single day is enough to make any visit a bit of a hassle.
But it’s more than worth the effort – I sincerely believe that everyone should try to visit the Eiffel Tower at least once in their life. And I want to use this post to help you make the most of your visit.
Tickets for the Eiffel Tower are available both on-site and online.
This post will tell you what to expect in each case, which tickets are valid for what, and which ones are best for you.
I’ll also tell you which entrances to look for so you don’t waste time in waiting in line.
Do you also want to know what else to see in Paris? Check out my 22 favorite sights in Paris or my 3 day itinerary.
My personal Eiffel Tower ticket recommendation
There are so many tickets and options for visiting the Eiffel Tower that it can be difficult to make sense of them all.
In this post, I’ll help you wade through all the different ticket and tour options. But if you just want some quick information on the most common options, here are my personal recommendations.
My personal tip: If you’ve decided to visit the Eiffel Tower, it would be a shame not to go all the way to the top. But that means you’ll have to book a ticket that includes summit access. Make sure to book your tickets online before your visit, otherwise you’ll have to stand in line for a very, very long time. Unless of course you’ll be visiting Paris in the middle of winter, then the lines should be significantly shorter.
I’d recommend the following offer for 49 euros, where you take the stairs to the 2nd floor (which is generally faster than taking the elevator) and take the elevator to the 3rd floor from there:
My recommendation for going on the Eiffel Tower on a budget
Without a guide and on the official website of the Eiffel Tower you will get the cheapest tickets for your climb. Here are your options:
#1 The stair ticket to the second floor
You don’t have to go all the way up and the 2nd floor is enough for you? With a height of 115 meters, the view is already pretty nice.
On the official website of the Eiffel Tower you’ll get a ticket for the 2nd floor for 10.40 euros.
Of course you can also go to the top, but you’ll have to inevitably take the elevator. The stairs to the 2nd floor plus the ride to the top cost 19.70 euros.
#2 To the top of the Eiffel Tower with an elevator
If the 704-step climb to the second floor sounds exhausting, you can always take the elevator. I recommend purchasing your ticket in advance to avoid the long lines. You won’t be able to avoid standing in line altogether, but it’s much faster overall.
An online elevator ticket from the first floor to the top cost 25.90 euros.
Attention: Make sure to book the tickets on the official websites 2 – 3 weeks in advance because online tickets sell out fast.
The website is only available in English and French.
Those were my quick tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower. If you want to delve even deeper into the topic, then carry on reading.
If not, then I bid you ‘adieu’ and hope you have a great time on the Parisian landmark!
What does it actually mean to ‘visit the Eiffel Tower’?
You can see the Eiffel Tower wherever you go in Paris. It sticks up from the otherwise very flat city like a needle.
The Eiffel Tower opened to public in 1889 at the start of the World’s Fair. It’s made entirely of steel and was assembled from over 18,000 individual parts. Its four feet rest firmly on concrete slabs.
The Eiffel Tower is located right by the River Seine. Unfortunately, it’s no longer possible to just go for a stroll underneath the structure. Nowadays, you have to pass through a security check to get near the Tower.
The Eiffel Tower has three floors, all of which you can visit. The lower floors are so spacious that – among other things – they even feature two restaurants.
The third floor is at the top of the Tower. You can’t get any higher than that. Of course there’s less space up there, but still enough that hundreds of visitors can enjoy the view over the city at a time. The third floor has an altitude of 276 meters.
When purchasing your ticket, you have to choose from the following options:
- Ticket to the second floor via the stairs
- Ticket to the second floor by elevator
- Ticket to the summit, all the way by elevator
- Ticket to the summit, stairs and elevator combination (not available online!)
Important: You have to decide whether you want to go to the second floor or the summit on the third floor before purchasing your ticket. In the past, you used to be able to buy a ticket to the top on the second floor. Unfortunately, this is no longer possible!
Also important: If you purchase your tickets online before your visit, your visit will be much smoother. These tickets are often advertised as ‘skip the line’, but that isn’t entirely true. Even if you buy your tickets in advance, you’ll still have to wait in line for a little while. Even so, the waiting time really is considerably shorter than if you purchase your tickets on the day of your visit.
My tip for the cheapest possible visit: The cheapest ticket is the stair ticket to the second floor, which you can purchase on-site or online. It grants you access to the 2nd floor by stairs. The cheapest summit option – taking the stairs to the 2nd floor and the elevator to the top – isn’t available online.
My tip to get to the top as quickly as possible: You can purchase online tickets that include a guide who will accompany you to the ticket scan. You meet your guide outside the security check and they’ll show you to the fast-track line. The quickest way to get to the third floor!
Eiffel Tower tickets and options
#1 Purchasing tickets at the Eiffel Tower
Of course you can just walk up to the Eiffel Tower and purchase your ticket at the counter. But you’ll have to be prepared to wait a long time, especially during peak travel season.
To get to the Eiffel Tower, you have to pass through the security check first. There are three separate entrances to this check:
- Visitors without a ticket (the line is usually the longest here)
- Visitors with a ticket (this line should be a bit shorter)
- Visitors with a reservation at one of the restaurants on the Tower (waiting times are very short here)
Since the ticket offices are located behind the security check, you’ll have to wait in the ‘no ticket’ line.
Once you complete the security check, you’ll be standing under the Tower. Now look for the ticket offices – there’s one for the stairs (Escalier) and one for the elevator (Ascenseur).
When you purchase tickets at the Eiffel Tower, you can choose between four options:
#1 Stairs to the second floor – at the ‘Escalier’ ticket office:
If you’re undaunted by the 704 steps taking you up 116 meters, you can take the stairs to the second floor. It can be a bit exhausting, but the waiting time at the stairs is considerably shorter.
#2 Elevator to the second floor – at the ‘Ascenseur’ ticket office:
Of course, taking the elevator to the second floor is easier than taking the stairs. But the line is usually longer.
#3 Elevator to the third floor – at the ‘Ascenseur’ ticket office:
First you go to the second floor where you have to switch to the elevator to the top. There is no direct elevator to the third floor.
#4 Stairs to the second floor, elevator to the top – at the ‘Escalier’ ticket office:
When you choose this option, you can take the stairs the second floor and then continue to the top by elevator.
If you’d rather save some time and are able to plan your visit to thFine dining on thee Eiffel Tower in advance, I highly recommend that you purchase your ticket online as soon as possible.
#2 Purchasing Eiffel Tower tickets online
Online tickets have the advantage that you can head to the faster ‘ticket holder’ security check. What’s more, you don’t have to wait in line at one of the ticket offices after the check, but can proceed directly to the elevator.
That means the first line is much shorter and you can skip the second line altogether.
There are two options to purchase your online tickets for the Eiffel Tower:
The cheapest tickets are available on the Eiffel Tower website, but this option has some drawbacks:
- Online tickets are only available in limited numbers and sell out very quickly.
- The ticket shop is confusing and difficult to use.
- You have to pay via credit card.
Booking with GetYourGuide is the most stress-free option, even if it’s a bit more expensive.
Please note: Online tickets are only available and valid for a fixed time slot. If you miss your time slot, your ticket will expire. You have to be at the elevator at the specified time! That means that you’ll have to have already passed through security. To be on the safe side, make sure you arrive at the Eiffel Tower one hour before your time slot and pass through security as soon as possible. If you have to kill some time afterwards: Take some photos, because you’ll be standing right underneath the Eiffel Tower.
When you book online you have the choice between a ticket to the 2nd floor by stairs or elevator, or an elevator ticket to the top (Summit).
Unfortunately, you can’t purchase tickets for the stairs to the 2nd floor combined with an elevator ride to the top on the Eiffel Tower website. That option is only available at the ticket office by the Tower.
Offers to visit the Eiffel Tower as part of a guided tour are somewhat more expensive, but also more convenient and oftentimes faster. Since there’s an almost endless range of offers on the Internet, I’d like to share some of the best offers here.
My favorite: Take the stairs to the second floor and optionally take the elevator to the top
There is a guided tour where you meet your guide at the foot of the Eiffel Tower and then climb the stairs with them to the second floor.
The guided tour ends on the second floor and you can stay there for as long as you like. If you book the summit option, you can take the elevator to the top on your own.
To the second floor: Stairs
Second to third floor: Elevator (optional)
Price: 34 euros for the second floor / 49 euros to the top
My tip: For an authentic Eiffel Tower experience, you should really take the stairs. Don’t worry, nobody’s going to rush you up the stairs on this tour. It’s a leisurely climb, bit by bit, with shorter or longer breaks as required.
If you’re not so keen on climbing the stairs, I’d recommend this option:
Take the elevator to the second floor and optionally take the elevator to the top
This guided tour takes you to the second floor by elevator with a guide. Once there, you’re free to explore the rest of the Tower on your own. If you book the summit option, you can also take the elevator to the top.
To the second floor: Elevator
Second to third floor: Elevator (optional)
Price: 59 euros for the second floor / 69 euros to the top
Finally, all prices and options at a glance:
The restaurants on the Eiffel Tower
As I mentioned earlier in the post, there are two restaurants on the Eiffel Tower. They offer multi-course lunch and dinner menus at fixed times.
You need to have a reservation to visit both restaurants. There is a fast-track entrance at the security check and a separate elevator for the restaurants. That means waiting times are minimal.
Nevertheless, you still need to make sure to be there on time. You won’t be able to take an elevator to your restaurant outside the scheduled time slots.
The ‘58 Tour Eiffel’ restaurant is located on the first floor and is relatively affordable, even on a regular budget. The lunch menu here starts at 47 euros. However, the 58 Tour Eiffel is closed at the moment and will reopen in spring 2020.
The Jules Verne restaurant is located on the second floor and currently holds several Michelin stars. The lunch menu here starts at 105 euros.
Unfortunately, you can’t explore the Eiffel Tower on your own before or after a visit to the restaurant.
Reservations for both restaurants fill up very, very early on, so you should book a table as soon as possible.
To make a reservation for the Jules Verne restaurant on the second floor, you have to visit the restaurant’s website:
General tips for your Eiffel Tower visit
Which items can you take to the Eiffel Tower and what is prohibited?
Be careful what you have in your pockets. The security checks are strict.
If you have a forbidden item on your person, you will not be allowed in unless you surrender it.
Please note: Surrendered items will be thrown in the trash, you won’t get them back!
You definitely won’t be allowed anywhere near the Eiffel Tower with a pocket knife or other items that could potentially be used as a weapon.
Anything that might suggest that you want to scale the Tower or plunge off of it is forbidden.
These items are not allowed when you visit the Eiffel Tower:
- Explosives or flammable material (one lighter per person is okay)
- Cans, glass bottles, or glasses
- Large quantities of food or beverages (food and beverages for personal consumption are permitted)
- Nail scissors and file
- Knife or pocket knife
- Pyrotechnics and fireworks
- Climbing gear
- Bungee rope
- Packages, suitcases, or large bags (day packs and handbags are okay)
- Non-collapsible strollers
- Weapons and ammunition
- Pamphlets or other advertising material
- Animals (except for licensed guide dogs)
Conversely, that means: A plastic bottle of water and a sandwich or baguette in your bag are no problem. So there’s nothing to stop you from having a nice little picnic on the Tower.
If you’re in doubt about any of your personal items, I’d recommend leaving them behind. Unless you don’t mind them ending up in the trash if worst comes to worst.
How much time should I plan for the Eiffel Tower?
Take your time! If you don’t have a tight schedule that requires you to whiz through the Tower in an hour or two, then you should allow half a day for your visit.
About four hours should give you enough time to explore each floor in detail. Not only will you be rewarded with a breathtaking view, but there are also plenty of interesting things to see on each floor.
When should I visit the Eiffel Tower?
In the morning, when the Eiffel Tower opens, you have a good chance of short waiting times. After 11 a.m. it gets crowded pretty much all day until closing time.
It’s almost twice as busy on the weekends as it is during the week.
My favorite time to visit is right before sunset. You can enjoy a view of Paris from above in daylight, at sunset, and at night. If you go during the week, the lines shouldn’t be all that long – it’s about as crowded on a Tuesday evening as it is on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Most tourists visit Paris in July and August, so those are the months with the longest waiting times.
It’s least busy in winter. But you should keep in mind: Sub-zero temperatures at an altitude of over 300 meters feel like Siberia! But on cloudless winter days, you’ll be rewarded with the most beautiful view.
My recommendation: Wednesday (unless it’s a public holiday!), 9 a.m. or 4:30 p.m.
When does the Eiffel Tower open?
The Eiffel Tower is generally open 365 days a year. However, it may have to close for safety reasons in case of severe storms or bad weather.
The Tower may even have to close due to snow because it’s too slippery on the stairs and floors.
Of course your ticket will be refunded in these cases.
Opening hours: daily, 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m. (last admission: 10:30 p.m.)
Late June to early September: 9 a.m. to 12:45 a.m. (last admission: 11 p.m.)
Champagne on the Eiffel Tower
There’s a champagne bar upstairs on the third floor. Starting at 13 euros, you can take an elegant sip at a height of 276 meters.
Since you can’t take any glass bottles with you, you’ll have to go to the champagne bar for the obligatory bottle to celebrate your engagement on the Eiffel Tower.
On average, people pop the question five times a day on or near the Eiffel Tower. So if you want to be original, you might want to go back to the drawing board.
Are there toilets on the Eiffel Tower?
There are pay toilets before the security check, next to the East pillar of the Eiffel Tower.
There are no more downstairs toilets after the security check. But you’ll find toilets on all three floors of the Tower, even at the top on the third floor.
Around the Eiffel Tower
Around the Eiffel Tower you’ll be confronted with a lot of hawkers selling miniature Eiffel Towers as key chains or to put on your shelf at home.
Baseline for bargaining: Seven key rings for one euro. Medium-sized flashing towers should cost less than 10 euros. Seasoned hagglers should be able to get one of the larger flashing towers for 15 euros.
Please beware: If someone asks for a donation or wants you to sign a piece of cardboard: Move along quickly! These people aren’t actually affiliated with any charity. They’re scam artists: While you’re distracted, a second person will try to reach into your pocket and rob you.
Getting to the Eiffel Tower
As is usually the case in Paris, the fastest way to get to the Tower is via the Métro. If you have more time and would like to see some of the city on the way, you can also take a bus.
You have a choice of three Métro stations to get to the Eiffel Tower. None of them are right next to the Tower, so you’ll have to walk for a few minutes. Which is fine, because each route to the Tower provides you with different photo opportunities.
There’s no way you can miss the Tower, it’s the most visible landmark for miles around.
Métro station: Trocadéro
Distance to the Eiffel Tower: 1 km
The most popular and most frequently chosen route to the Tower with the best view.
Métro station: Bir-Hakeim
Distance to the Eiffel Tower: 700 m
My favorite route to the Tower! Stop at the bridge before you continue to the Eiffel Tower. You can take great photos from Pont de Bir-Hakeim.
Métro station: École Militaire
Distance to the Eiffel Tower: 1.3 km
Head towards the Tower via the Champs de Mars, a huge park area.
Buses nos. 42, 69, 72, 82, and 87 all stop a stone’s throw away from the Tower.
And of course all hop-on / hop-off buses stop at the Eiffel Tower. The hop-on / hop-off boat (Batobus) also has a jetty by the Tower.
The best view of the Eiffel Tower
There are a few particularly beautiful photo spots where you can take great pictures of the Eiffel Tower. Here are some of my favorites:
The famous, slightly elevated platform offers a fantastic view of the Tower. If the view seems strangely familiar, you’ve probably seen it on the evening news: Foreign correspondents often film reports from Paris on this spot using the Eiffel Tower as a backdrop.
Métro station: Trocadéro
Pont de Bir-Hakeim
Bir-Hakeim Bridge, as seen in “Last Tango in Paris” starring Marlon Brando, is a sight in its own right. Together with the beautiful bridge, you can take great pictures of the Eiffel Tower. Métro stations: Passy or Bir-Hakeim
Musée du Quai Branly
The rooftop restaurant of the nearby Musée du Quai Branly offers a great view of the Tower. Métro station: Alma-Marceau
Arc de Triomphe
A little further away, but much further up, you can view the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe. From the 50-meter-high viewing plattform you can see the steel colossus towering over Paris. Métro station: Charles de Gaulle – Étoile
22 facts about the Eiffel Tower
If you’re still hungry for more information and tips for your visit to the Eiffel Tower, I have 22 interesting and/or surprising facts about the Eiffel Tower for you:
- The Eiffel Tower is 324 meters high, including the antenna.
- There are 2.5 million rivets connecting the 18,038 individual parts.
- The Eiffel Tower weighs 10,100 metric tons (about as much as 1,800 elephants).
- In 2012, the value of the Eiffel Tower was estimated at 435 billion euros.
- You can walk on glass floor on the first floor (at a height of 57 meters).
- The foundation goes 14 meters deep into the ground.
- The Eiffel Tower shrinks up to 8 cm in winter.
- It expands up to 15 cm in summer.
- Thanks to its sophisticated structural design, the Tower only sways up to a maximum of 18 cm, even during storms.
- There are over 200 fire extinguishers on the Eiffel Tower.
- It was built in just over two years by 300 construction workers and 50 engineers.
- For 41 years, it was the world’s tallest building.
- Nothing and nobody in the world has been photographed more than the Eiffel Tower.
- 20,000 light bulbs illuminate the Eiffel Tower at night.
- The lighting of the Eiffel Tower is protected by copyright. That’s why you won’t see any photos of the Eiffel Tower at night in this post.
- 620 employees work in and around the Tower.
- In the 1920s and 30s, the Tower was used as an advertising space for Citroën.
- The Eiffel Tower welcomes almost 8 million visitors per year – an average of 20,000 per day.
- The 300 millionth visitor was was registered in 2017.
- Every seven years, 60 tons of fresh paint are applied to the Eiffel Tower.
- Gustave Eiffel’s office can still be found on the third floor.
- The Tokyo Tower in Japan’s capital is an exact copy of the Eiffel Tower, only 8 meters taller.
Those were all my tips and all the most important information for your visit to the Eiffel Tower. Do you have a question or comment? Then I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.