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Make the most of your time in Paris — don't spend it standing in line. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world, with some of the longest lineups. But there's a way around spending hours in a queue. We recommend a skip-the-line tour to help you make the most of your time at Gustave Eiffel's iron-knit wonder that dominates the Paris city skyline.
The Eiffel Tower is majestic, romantic and downright inspirational. And we're not the only ones who think so. More than seven million people a year go up the tower — 250,000,000 visitors since it was built.
That's a lot of people, and lot of lineups.
That's why recommend you book a tour before you leave home, so you don't get frustrated when you get to Champ de Mars and see the crowds of people waiting in line, usually for two hours or more.
On these small-group tours, you breeze past the line as your guide entertains you with anecdotes, history and details about the making of the tower and the World's Fair of 1889 where it opened.
The tours are small (20 person max) with up to eight daily departures, making it easy to book to suit your Paris schedule. We particularly like the sunset tour (when it's available) for an unparalleled view of the City of Light.
Imagine this —You meet your guide at the base of the tower, walk right past the long line, and catch the elevator to Level One on the Eiffel Tower.
There you have plenty of time to take great photos of the breathtaking cityscapes from this vantage point. You also visit the Tower theater to watch a short video about the 120-year history. You'll see the brand-new renovations of the first floor, completed only in late 2014.
At the end of the tour you'll be on Level Two, where you'll grab the elevator to Level Three, the top of the tower. (The elevator-ride ticket to the top is included in the tour package.) You'll be able to spend as much time at the top as you like.
Then you can take in the view and admire our favorite city while sipping on a glass of champagne. That's right, there's a champagne bar at the top of the Eiffel Tower! No wonder Paris is our favorite city.
We like this new tour even better. Here's how it goes:
Step 1: meet your guide at the base of the Eiffel Tower at dusk.
Step 2: with your pre-booked tickets you skip the line as your guide takes you to the first level while telling you Insider stories about the 125-year-old tower.
Step 3: take in the magnificent view of Paris from the second level.
The final stage takes you to the tippy-top where you'll have time to explore on your own and take in the lights of The City Of Lights spread out beneath you.
This option is called Paris Super Saver and provides you with the same skip-the-line tour of the Eiffel Tower as well as a river cruise.
Start with a sunset Seine River cruise, sipping champagne. Disembark at the foot of the Eiffel Tower for a guided-skip-the-line VIP tour, then finish the evening by viewing the lights of Paris from the top of the tower.
Boat, bus, bike or Metro — there are many ways to get to the Eiffel Tower. Here are a few Metro tips:
• Metro: Bir-Hakeim. This line runs above ground so you'll get another view of the tower as you cross the Seine.
• Metro: Alma-Marceau. You'll arrive on the Right Bank by Princess Diana's de facto memorial flame and cross the Seine on the Pont d'Alma. It's a short but breathtaking stroll along the Seine to the Tour Eiffel — especially at night when the tower is lit up.
• Metro: Trocadero. Arrive across the river at the Trocadero plaza where you get the best view of the Eiffel Tower. Then cross the bridge and you're there.
• Skip-the-Line Tour Details and Booking Information »
Nothing beats the 7th Arrondissement of Paris for human-scale, for walkability, for markets and for great restaurants.
It's the quartier the Eiffel Tower calls home — a pleasant family neighborhood with kids in strollers and playing in parks in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. So, before or after your visit to the Gustave's creation, take some time to wander through this delightful quartier.
Rue Cler, found in the 7th, is a food lover's paradise — a pedestrian street filled with delicacies only found in France.
One of France's most famous chefs, Christian Constant, has a virtual empire along Rue St Dominique, with at least four delicious restaurants — Les Cocottes, fresh food simply cooked, Les Fables de La Fontaine, his seafood restaurant, the bistro-style Café Constant, and Le Violon d'Ingres, higher-end with fabulous food. Pop into one of Christian's restaurants and you may well find us dining there.
After sunset, the Eiffel Tower is bathed in golden light. And every hour on the hour a light show ignites on the tower.
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