How to Beat the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

When travelling to Paris, if there is one thing that you absolutely must do, its climb the Eiffel Tower.

Unfortunately with every other tourist in Paris wanting to do the same thing, the competition for tickets is huge and the lines at the landmark itself are crazy.

How to Beat the Lines at the Eiffel Tower

The Line for the Elevator Up the Eiffel Tower

Fortunately there are a couple of ways that you can skip the lines and beat the crowds to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

The First Way

The first way is to book your tickets online well in advance. The official ticket website for the Eiffel Tower can be found here http://www.tour-eiffel.fr/en/preparing-your-visit/buying-your-tickets.html

These tickets however tend to sell out very quickly and if you book your trip at short notice it is unlikely that you will be able to find any availability on the dates you require.

The Second Way

The second way would be to book a tour. There are a number of websites online that you can book a variety of tours through. These usually come with extras such as a River cruise or a dinner package and also come with a much higher price tag.

The good thing about booking your visit this way is that these tickets to do not generally sell out and therefore you can book your visit to the Tower in advance just a couple of days before your trip. However you may find yourself paying out for the extra activities that you didn’t want in the first place.

The Third Way

How to Beat the Lines at the Eiffel Tower (1)The third way, and the way I did it on my recent trip to Paris, would be to not book any tickets in advance and just go directly to the Eiffel Tower.

When reaching the tower you will see that at one of its four feet is where you take the elevator to the second floor and at the opposite foot will be where you take the stairs to the second floor.

Here is where I recommend you take the stairs to the second floor. The line for the elevators would have taken around 2 hours to get through but by taking the stairs we were able to walk straight on up.

The cost to take the stairs to the second floor is €12 per adult and if you are in relatively good shape you will find the stairs mildly challenging and it will take around 10 minutes to reach the first level and then another 10 minutes to reach the second level.

After you reach the second level, take some time to appreciate the incredible landmark and stunning views of Paris, and then locate in one of the corners another ticket booth that sells additional tickets to the very top of the tower.

How to Beat the Lines at the Eiffel Tower (2)

Ticket Booth on the 2nd Floor

The tickets to the very top of the tower cost an additional €14 per adult and it can only be reached by elevator. Walk towards the centre of the tower and you will see another line to wait in.

Waiting in this line only took around 15 minutes before we was crammed into one of the lifts and ascended to the very top.

After walking up the hundreds of steps to the second level, I was surprised by how much further you actually go in the elevator up to the very top. The Eiffel tower felt a whole lot bigger when you were on it, than viewing it from a distance.

At the very top of the tower the view across the city are breath-taking and on the perfect clear day we were lucky enough to have meant that we could see for miles.

How to Beat the Lines at the Eiffel Tower (3)

With the Eiffel tower successfully conquered we took the elevator back down to the second level preparing our tired legs for the stairs back down.

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8 comments


    1. Author
      Jason

      Hi Eva, have fun in Paris. I’m sure you will love it. Have you pre-booked your Eiffel Tower tickets or are you going to get them when you are there?

  1. Tim

    What tour group(s) have you used? Can you recommend one? The tour option will work best for me. I will be in Paris for two weeks from the end of April to the 2nd week of May, and I’ve been trying the Eiffel Tower website for over two months, but no tickets have been available for any date of our stay. We don’t mind queuing up, but we will be there during a French holiday long weekend (May day), and have been warned most popular sights will be much more crowded than normally so.


    1. Author
      Jason

      Hi Tim,

      Getting tickets through the official website is a pain, I know. I never actually booked a tour, I went straight to the tower and if you don’t mind walking up to the second floor the line wasn’t bad. The line for the elevator to the 2nd floor however would’ve taken hours. Not sure how it will be during the French Holiday but you could try heading to the tower early and looking for the entrance to the stairs up.

      One tour I was considering was this one http://www.viator.com/tours/Paris/Skip-the-Line-Eiffel-Tower-Tickets-and-Small-Group-Tour/d479-3588EIFFELTOWER the price is good as no additional activities are thrown in.

  2. Marsha

    Great tips. I am so glad I booked a tour when I visited Paris a few years ago. One of the elevators was down when I was there and the line was even longer; over three hour wait. The tour went straight to the front. Happy happy! What an amazing view!!!
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    1. Author
      Jason

      Hi Marsha,

      By the time I booked my trip to Paris the official site was sold out of tickets and as we only had one full day in Paris we didn’t want to spend to much time on a tour. I was so glad when we figured out how to get straight to to top with very little waiting.

      What was your tour like? Did it include anything else other than a visit to the tower?


    1. Author
      Jason

      The queues were crazy, it took me a while to work out what they were all queuing for. So glad I noticed you could take the stairs to the second floor. My legs were burning when I made it though.

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