Who doesn't long to be tall, thin & oh-so popular? When you think of Paris the first thing that comes to mind is the Eiffel Tower. You can't help yourself! Quintessential symbol of the City of Lights, it's the most visited monument in the world, and in history. As Madeline, Ludwig Bemelmans' famous children's book character sings, "What would Paris be without the Eiffel Tower?"
It's difficult to imagine that this monument, built in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle, celebrating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, was only supposed to stand for twenty years. Thank goodness that by 1909 the tower proved valuable for radio communication and so was allowed to stand. Let's look at the history of the tower, the best ways to visit, and most importantly to us, how to skip the long lines.
The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world — up to 9 million adoring visitors each year — and that means the line-ups are daunting — 2 or 3 hours or more. When we're in Paris we do everything we can to avoid standing in line. Luckily, that's easy to do at the Eiffel Tower, if you plan in advance.
You can skip-the-lines at the Eiffel Tower by booking a guided tour. You meet your guide at the base of the tower and he whisks you past the crowds, into the elevator and up the tower. We strongly recommend that you arrange your tour as soon as you start planning for your trip. Don't put it off, because these activities sell out far in advance.
To start your planning, be sure to read our reviews of our four favourite Eiffel Tower skip-the-line tours. Or, if you prefer, go directly to booking…
A great monument like the Eiffel Tower in Paris is going to have a great history. We were amazed to discover that the award for the first-place design was only $800. Learn about the 1887 protests by leading authors and writers trying to stop the tower from being built. Marvel at the bungee jumps, parachute jumps, radio signals, and balloon launching!
250 workers. 2,500,000 rivets. 2 years 2 months 5 days. 220,000,000 visitors. 300 meters…
In addition to an interesting history a great monument must have fascinating stories, amazing facts, intricate details and more information than you probably ever need to know — but are secretly dying to find out.
Three different colors of paint?
The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year, so you can visit at your leisure.
Just remember, though, that a lot of other people will have the same leisure and the line-ups will be long. That's the reason we recommended the skip-the-line guided tours — avoiding all hassles of ticket lines and entrance lineups. This is particularly important during the peak summer months and during the Christmas season, the times when most people visit Paris.
Adult ticket prices for the elevators are about 11€ for the elevator to the 1st and 2nd Levels, or about 17€ to get you all the way to the top, to Level Three. Young people and children save a couple of Euros.
Stair tickets, which only get you to Level Two, are listed as around 7€. However, we've been there in the off-season and found that it was free to climb the stairs. You might get lucky! That is, if you're the type of person who considers climbing 704 steps a lucky thing.
Climbing the stairs is not only a great workout, but a chance to see the tower in a unique way. You get a real feeling for the construction of the tower and even what it must have been like to work on it. And the views are fantastic!
You can now buy Eiffel Tower tickets in advance on the official website. You can't always get the time and date you'd like, but it's a good option. Note that holding tickets only lets you skip the ticket line, not the line waiting to get up the elevators.
The best times to go to Paris to visit the tower, when there are the smallest crowds and the waiting period is only about 30 minutes, are November to early December and January to early February, but avoiding the holiday season and Saturdays.
Check with Booking.com to find today's sale prices on hotel rooms in every arrondissement of Paris. Save 20% to 30%… or even more!
Put these things together and what do you get?
We think the answer might well be "bliss". There is now a champagne bar at the very top of the Eiffel Tower where you can take a glass of brut or rosé while gazing over the City of Light, the City of Love, and the City of Champagne.
The Eiffel Tower
• Skip-the Line Tours…
• History of the Eiffel Tower…
• All the Facts About the Tower…
• The Eiffel Tower in Pictures…
Discover What's On When You're There
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