The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic structures on this planet. After all, if you don’t take a picture with the Eiffel Tower, did you really visit Paris, France? Here are five things you should know before visiting the Eiffel Tower:
1. Multiple Lines/Queues
There are two lines that you’ll end up waiting in for the Eiffel Tower: the security line and the elevator line. The security line is simply to get into the “base” of the Eiffel Tower. After you get through this line, you have two options: wait in line for the elevator or take the stairs.
2. Four Viewing Levels
There are really four different levels you can access on the Eiffel Tower. The first level is the ground floor, which I’ll call the base. This area is only accessible after you’ve gone through security and is also where you’ll buy your access tickets.
The second and third level are often combined, but it’s worth noting that there are two separate viewing levels that you can walk around on. The Eiffel Tower website calls these two levels the “2nd Floor”. We found the second level (closer to the ground) to be significantly less crowded. This is due to the fact that the elevators from the base take you straight up to the third level. We stumbled upon the second level since we took the stairs up and there were very few people here.
The fourth level is the very top of the Eiffel Tower. This observation deck can get quite crowded since it’s a lot smaller than the other viewing areas.
3. Take The Stairs
If you’re fit enough, you should consider taking the stairs. We’ve climbed the stairs up to the crown of the Statue of Liberty so we figured why not climb the stairs of the Eiffel Tower too!
Taking the stairs costs significantly less money than the elevator. Stair tickets only cost 10 euro per person compared to the 16 euro you’ll pay to take the elevator.
It also means you won’t have to wait in some of the long lines that form for the elevator. When you arrive at the base of the Eiffel Tower you’ll notice, three of the four legs of the Eiffel Tower function as elevators and the other leg features the staircase. You’ll want to buy your stair tickets at this leg.
4. Only One Way to the Top
Keep in mind, there are no stairs to the very top of the Eiffel Tower (4th level). You have to take an elevator. This elevator from the third level to the top costs 9 euros no matter if you took the stairs up or took the elevator up from the base.
There’s a small room with a ticket vending machine on the third level that will allow you to purchase tickets specifically for the elevator to the top. These kiosks are helpful if you were like us and forgot to purchase them down at ground level.
5. What Goes Up Must Come Down
Good news is riding the elevator down is free! After climbing up via the stairs, we were able to ride the elevator down from the third level to the ground level without paying anything extra.
These are just a few things to keep in mind during your first visit to the Eiffel Tower.