Our Very Good Guide to Visiting the Eiffel Tower
It's one of Paris' most famous attractions, but here's everything you need to know ahead of visiting the iconic Eiffel Tower.
Positioned regally on the Champ de Mars is the crown jewel of Paris - the Eiffel Tower. Named after the engineer, Gustave Eiffel and constructed between 1887 and 1889 for the World Fair, the Eiffel Tower stands at an impressive 324m and weighs 7300 tons. Created to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, the historic landmark still operates as a radio tower today - attracting millions of visitors each year. It's no wonder that tickets to the attraction are usually sold out in minutes and that planning your trip takes some prior thought. Fear not though, because we here at Plum Guide have put together this list of tips and tricks to make sure visiting the Eiffel Tower is as seamless and enjoyable as possible for you.
Getting to the Eiffel Tower
You’ve made it to Paris, but you need to know how to get to the Eiffel Tower. This is one of the icons and, even if it's somewhat of a tourist trap, it's a must for first-time visitors to Paris. There are several different ways of getting there. If you opt to take the metro, take Line 9 (Trocadéro metro), Line 8 (École militaire metro), or Line 6 (Bir-Hakeim metro). On the RER, you'll need to take Line C (Champ de mars – Tour Eiffel). Take the scenic route instead and go by Bus. You'll need Line 82 (Eiffel Tower) or Line 42 (Tour Eiffel). Feeling a little more active? Vélib is the city's 24-hour bike service and it's one of the best ways to get around Paris if you're looking to stay fit. Head to 2 Av. Octave Gérard station. If you're one of those brave (read: crazy) tourists attempting to drive around Paris, car parking is available nearby. Or, you could opt for a far more relaxing time and go by boat along the Seine, called the Batobus Tour Eiffel, instead.
Getting your tickets
So, you've arrived, but you’re unsure of how and where to go about purchasing some tickets. Firstly, don’t get scammed – there are a number of online resellers looking to make some quick money by scalping tickets at up to three times the official price. But you're far too clever to fall for that. Prices are dependent on whether you would like to climb to the very top or just the second floor. You can check the official prices via the Eiffel Tower's official website.
Make sure you're au fait with the times for last entry – especially if you plan on visiting the Eiffel Tower during the evening to watch the spectacular light show. During summer months, the Eiffel Tower opens at 9:00AM and closes at 12:45AM, with last entry at 11PM. For the rest of the year it opens at 9:30AM and closes at 23:45PM, with last entry at 10:30PM. Opening times do vary depending on the season, so be sure to check you're up to date before you set out.
Key Zones Around the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower area is split up into 5 key zones – the gardens, the esplanade, first floor, second floor and the top. The Jardins du Trocadéro (Gardens of the Trocadero) are situated opposite the Eiffel Tower, on the banks of the River Seine. From here you can make your way to the Esplanade, where breath-taking views of the Trocadéro and Ecole Militare can be seen. The Esplanade is home to 1899 lift machinery, a sculpture of Gustave Eiffel and the information desk. As you make your way up the Tower, you will arrive at the oblique, transparent architecture of the First floor. The First floor is home to the CinEiffel, featuring 7 immersive projectors displaying high resolution videos of the Eiffel Tower and the surrounding area. For the little ones to enjoy the Tower, the First floor offers 'Follow Gus', an interactive and bilingual character designed around Gustave Eiffel, who is happy to help the kids learn all about the Eiffel Tower.
Moving further up the Tower you will arrive at the Second floor, home to The Jules Verne Restaurant. This well-received eatery is open from noon to 1:30pm and from 7pm to 9:30pm. Given the high calibre of the restaurant, no T-shirts, shorts or sports clothes are permitted. Finally, as you ascend the beautiful lattice-style structure, you will reach The Top. With all of Paris stretched out below you, it's quite a sight. Highlights at the top include: Gustave Eiffel’s office, a model of the top floor, panoramic maps of the region and of course, a splendid champagne bar.
If you haven't booked tickets already for visiting the Eiffel Tower, consider Isango, who feature guided tours with or without summit access. These guided tours will take you on a journey from 1889 when the Eiffel Tower was first opened and transport you to modern day uses and art installations of the Tower, and finally the future of the beautiful building. If you require package tours that include the Eiffel Tower, we recommend Paris City Vision, who offer a Night City Tour, with cruise, and skip the line Eiffel Tower. Viewing Paris at night is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with a beautiful cruise across the Seine and ending the day at the Top of the Tower.
Where to stay near the Eiffel Tower
Of course, if you'd prefer to take in the wonders of the Eiffel Tower from the comfort of home, we've got an amazing collection of places offering equally amazing Eiffel Tower views and homes just a short walk away from this legendary landmark. A Feng Shui Cocoon is less than a mile away, and is a homely place to rest your head after climbing to the top of the tower. Or, if you're not quite up to that challenge – you're on holiday, after all – you could just watch people climb to the top from the luxury of your amazing apartment overlooking the monument instead.
So there we have it, our guide to visiting the Eiffel Tower. Want to keep reading? Take a look at our guide to the best tourist passes in Paris next.