Our Best Insiders Secret: Skip-the-Line Eiffel Tower Tours

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 — as many as 9 million people a year go up the tower. 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.

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 tower. We particularly like the sunset tour (when it's available) for an unparalleled view of the City of Light. All of the tours we recommend include tickets to the very top, the third level.

Eiffel Tower Skip-the-Lines Tour

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Eiffel Tower Tours

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.

NEW! Eiffel Tower Illuminations Tour

A Paris Insiders Guide Favourite

Eiffel Tower Illuminations Tour

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.

Visit the Tower & Cruise the Seine

Paris Super Saver

This skip-the-line option is called Paris Super Saver and provides you with the same tour of the Eiffel Tower as well as a river cruise, both at a reduced cost.

Meet your guide at the base of the tower and spend an hour and a half exploring the first two levels. Then use your included ticket to go up to the very tippy-top for as long as you like. Whenever you're ready, descend the tower and stroll over to the nearby banks of the Seine to hop aboard a bateaux for a one-hour cruise on the most romantic city in the world.

Even Better! VIP Tour + Champagne Cruise

Likely to Sell Out!

VIP Tour + Champagne Cruise

Imagine yourself as sunset, on a Seine River cruise, sitting in reserved seats at the front of the bateaux, sipping champagne, watching the magical lights of Paris glide by.

Then you disembark near the foot of the Eiffel Tower for a guided skip-the-line VIP tour of the first two levels. Use your included ticket to finish the evening at the third level, viewing the lights of Paris from the top of the tower for as long as you like.

Eiffel Tower Tours – How To Get There

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.

The Eiffel Tower Arrondissement

Eiffel Tower Arrondissement

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 restaurant empire along Rue St Dominique, with Les Cocottes, fresh food simply cooked; the bistro-style Café Constant; and Le Violon d'Ingres, Michelin one-star 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.

le Petit Journal

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