7 Smart Ways To Get Eiffel Tower Tickets And Skip The Lines

Getting Eiffel Tower tickets is easy! Follow my guide to find the way that best suits you.

You have finally arrived in Paris, the Ville Lumiere. You’ve seen it in so many movies, you read about it in so many books, and you can’t wait to explore it. You’ve had a first peek of the Eiffel Tower from a distance, and from the banks of the River Seine. It looks imposing, beautiful and shiny at the same time.

It’s now finally time to go up the tower – but the minute you get to the entrance of this incredible monument, you face the harsh truth: the line to get Eiffel Tower tickets is almost as long as the height of the tower. It looks like you’ll be standing there for two hours at least. You are ready to give up and settle to take photos of it from a distance.

Don’t give up though! There are ways to get Eiffel Tower tickets without having to wait in line for hours and I promise you will love every moment of your visit.

In this post, I will tell you how to get tickets to the Eiffel Tower so that you don’t have to queue for hours. But first, let me provide some information on what you can expect when visiting.

Eiffel Tower tickets
The Eiffel Tower as seen during a Seine River cruise

Table of Contents

Why You Must Visit The Eiffel Tower When In Paris

A city as beautiful as Paris well deserves a visit – in fact, I believe that repeat visits are not only advisable but actually necessary in this case. The city is huge, with so many interesting places to visit for any taste and interest. Parks, art galleries, many a monument, quaint neighborhoods: Paris really has it all.

There’s more than a reason why Paris attracts millions of visitors each year. This is one of the World’s most visited cities, second only to Bangkok. What this inevitably means is that Paris and the Ile-de-France region are crowded. A city that already is so populated ends up feeling all the more packed because there are so many tourists, and each and every one of them is visiting the same attractions.

Rightly considered the symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower likely is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about the French capital, to the point that many (including myself) think that going to Paris without visiting it would be a bit like going to Rome and not visit the Colosseum or to New York and skipping the Statue of Liberty. Senseless, if I may say.

In case this isn’t clear, let me stress it one more time: you simply can’t go to Paris and skip the Eiffel Tower. It is – quite simply – a must – no matter how much of a hassle getting Eiffel Tower tickets may be.

Some background information 

Shooting into the sky with its 324 meters, the Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron lattice tower that was built in 22 months between 1 July 1887 and 1898 to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution in 1889, during the World Expo. It didn’t really have any specific purpose, other than that of impressing visitors to the fair.

Named after Gustave Eiffel, the tower wasn’t actually designed by Eiffel himself, but by Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, who worked in the same company as he did. Eiffel was, however, the person who invested most of the money in the construction and he later on bought the right to the patent.

At the time of the construction, it attracted a lot of criticism – mostly by the community of Parisian artists who defined it “monstrous” and who petitioned for the construction to be stopped. In fact, the tower was meant to be dismantled 1909 – but the fact that an antenna was placed in its summit to conduct wireless signals (it is still used as a communication tower for both radio and digital television) and the fact that it progressively became more and more famous saved it from being demolished.

For four decades after its construction, the tower remained the tallest building in the world. It was only in 1930, with the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York, that it lost its title.

Affectionately named “The Iron Lady,” the monument was initially a reddish-brown color. Ten years after its construction, it was painted in yellow. Its current color, known as “Eiffel Tower Brown,” was first painted in 1968 and is reapplied every seven years, manually.

CURIOUS FACT: Gustave Eiffel had his very own apartment at the top of the building. It’s been fully restored and it is now open for visits to those who also go to the summit.

Eiffel Tower skip the line
A lovely vintage carousel below the tower

Why is the Eiffel Tower always packed?

To put it simply, this is one of the most iconic buildings in the world, not to mention the world’s most visited attraction. First of all, the controversy over its construction inevitably attracted a lot of interest and with time the tower became more and more recognized, to the point that it became the place where celebrations such as those for Bastille Day – commemorating the beginning of the French Revolution on 14 July – or those for New Year’s take place.

Nowadays, around 7 million people visit each year. That means an average of more than 19000 visitors every day. Put this together with the increased security checks to get in and climb it, and you can see why it gets easily packed and there often is an endless queue to get tickets.

What this means is that you really have to plan your visit carefully, and that you are better off getting Eiffel Tower tickets in advance to avoid the long lines.

IN SHORT: These are the best skip the line tickets to the Eiffel Tower:

PLEASE NOTE: Regardless of the kind of ticket they hold, all visitors much go through a couple of security checks (one for the perimeter barrier and one for either the elevator or the stairs) and have their bags scanned when visiting the Eiffel Tower, so be prepared for those lines. The good news is that this line is much shorter and much faster than that for the tickets.

TIP: Certain items such as glass bottles, bulky luggage, pocket knives, baby strollers can’t be taken to the Eiffel Tower so you should leave them in your room to avoid wasting precious time when going through security.

Continue reading for more tips on how to fully enjoy your time at the Eiffel Tower and on how to skip the lines!

Visiting the Eiffel Tower more in depth

The basic Eiffel Tower ticket only allows you to access the second level, from where you can clearly see Montmartre with the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, and (more clearly) the Arc de Triomphe. You can opt to use the lift or, for a more budget friendly option, take the stairs. If you want a more in depth experience, one that gives you more information about the tower, I wholeheartedly recommend opting for a guided tour – whether a group one or a semi-private one – which includes skip the line Eiffel Tower tickets as well as access to the summit.

GOOD TO KNOW: You need to purchase your summit tickets in advance, because you can’t buy them once you are already in the tower – you would have to get out and get back in line at the ticket office to get tickets to the summit.

Needless to say, the views from the top of the Eiffel Tower are spectacular – if only a bit vertigo-inducing. I wholeheartedly recommend you opt to visit. The summit is also where you’ll get to see Gustave Eiffel’s secret apartment. I wouldn’t want to miss out on that.

If you care to have a more in depth experience, consider investing in a guided tour. Here are some excellent options:

Continue reading to discover how to get Eiffel Tower tickets and skip the lines.

Eiffel Tower and Pont Alexandre
A beautiful view

7 Smart Ways To Get Eiffel Tower Tickets And Skip The Lines

There are several ways to get Eiffel Tower tickets and skip the lines. Below, I will mention the various solutions, pointing out their main characteristics and indicating for which kind of traveler and budget they are most suitable.

In general, e-tickets to the Eiffel Tower are the only reliable way to avoid standing in line at the ticket counter. There are several kinds of e-tickets, some including a more in depth visit with access to all levels, or even a guided tour, others being very basic.

Of all the ways to get Eiffel Tower tickets, my favorite is the summit tour. It is the most expensive one – but it really is the most inclusive one and if you are not afraid of heights, you definitely should opt for this.

Finally, without any further ado, here are all the best ways to get Eiffel Tower tickets.

Way N. 1: Buy your Eiffel Tower tickets on the official website

Perfect for: no frills travelers.

Advantages: It is very budget friendly.

Disadvantages: It really is bare bones. Tickets to the summit sell out fast.

This is the official website to get Eiffel Tower tickets. Booking the tickets is extremely easy – you pick the floor you want, you pick a time, and you don’t even need to print the tickets. This really is the most budget friendly option with tickets starting at €10,40 for stairs access to the second floor, and going to €25,90 for the lift to the summit.

GOOD TO KNOW: Tickets to the Eiffel Tower via the official website can be bought up to 60 days in advance.

TIP: Make sure to buy your ticket well in advance, especially if you want the summit ones, as they are the first ones to get sold out.

There used to be an official app that visitors could download for a small price (in the range of €3) to get an audioguide and tour the tower for just around one hour, but this has unfortunately been discontinued.

Trocadero and La Defense
Trocadero and La Defense as seen from the summit

Way N. 2: Buy Eiffel Tower tickets via a third party site

Perfect for: Travelers who aren’t flexible about their timing

Advantages: There are a lot of third party sites such as GetYourGuide that you can use to get attraction tickets and you are bound to find a ticket. You can purchase your tickets months in advance (perfect if you need to plan your trip well beforehand). Tickets usually allow free cancellation up to 24 hours before the visit.

Disadvantages: They are slightly more expensive than on the official tickets.

If tickets to the Eiffel Tower via the official website are sold out, or even if they aren’t on sale yet (ie 60 days before your planned visit), you can buy them via a third party site. Tickets will inevitably be more expensive, but you will have various sites to pick your tickets from which means that unless you are trying to get tickets at the very last minute, you will be able to find something.

These are the best Eiffel Tower tickets which include skip the line access (but no guide):

Continue reading to discover other Eiffel Tower tickets that allow you to skip the line but include a guided visit.

Way N. 3: Take a guided tour

Perfect for: Learning more about the Eiffel Tower

Advantages: You have an English-speaking guide that shares interesting facts about the building.

Disadvantages: You will be in a group of up to 20 visitors, so you can’t really go on your own pace.

Various companies offer guided tours of the Eiffel Tower that include skip the line tickets, and they are super easy to book and usually allow free cancellation. You just pick a date and time, and that’s all done – they will be the ones booking the slot directly and all you have to do is show up at the place and time suggested in your voucher (which you don’t even have to print).

I find this is the best option to visit – personally, I like having a guide that takes me around, that tells me exactly what I have to do and when I have to do it, so that I can completely switch off and stop worrying and actually just enjoy the visit.

There are various options for guided tours – some including access to the second floor only, others going to the summit. I think you already know that my recommendation is to go all the way to the summit!

These are the best guided tours that include Eiffel Tower tickets:

  • Eiffel Tower summit guided visit – this tour costs €69.90 and includes skip the line access to the second floor, and access to the summit. You also get access to security check shortcuts. Keep in mind that there is no priority access to the elevator to the summit.
  • Guided Eiffel Tower tour- a less expensive option that costs €45 but does not include tickets to the summit – which can however be purchased on site.
  • Eiffel Tower second floor fast-track entrance with audio-guide – this is a fantastic option if you don’t care to join a group with a live guide. It costs €69,90 so it’s not overall convenient and you may want to opt for the options with a live guide that also go to the summit.
  • Eiffel Tower small group tour with optional summit – this tour costs €49 and it’s an excellent option if you’d rather be in a smaller group. Keep in mind that the summit is an add on.
one of the best views of the tower
Perhaps the best view!

Way N. 4: Get a combo ticket for the Eiffel Tower and a Seine River Cruise

Perfect for: Getting the absolute best views of the city

Advantages: You get to cruise the Seine River for fabulous views of many other sites in Paris such as Notre-Dame, and get skip the line access to the Eiffel Tower.

Disadvantages: Access to the summit is an add-on.

If cruising along the Seine River if on your list of things to do while in Paris, you may be happy to know that you can purchase a tour that includes a River Seine cruise and Eiffel Tower tickets. This really is a wonderful way to experience the most famous attraction in Paris, and to get splendid views – of the city, and of the tower itself – from the river.

The cruise normally lasts about one hour, and after that you’ll get priority access to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower, where you can spend as much time as you want. You can also add the summit if you want.

These are the best combo River Seine and Eiffel Tower ticket options:

Way N. 5: Take a guided tour of Paris

Perfect for: Those who have very little time to visit Paris.

Advantages: You get to visit Paris’ most famous attractions, including the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum, in one day, without having to worry about making separate reservations for each of them.

Disadvantages: The tour can be a bit rushed and it may be more expensive than you’d wish.

If you have limited time in Paris but still want to make the most of your time there, opting for a guided tour of the city may be a good idea. Tours generally go to all the most famous attractions, and include skip the line Eiffel Tower tickets. They generally have a guide (some just an audio-guide) and can be more or less budget friendly.

These are some good guided tours of Paris that include tickets to the Eiffel Tower:

On top of the Eiffel Tower
Posing for a photo on the Eiffel Tower

Way N. 6: Get the Paris Pass

Perfect for: Those planning to see more attractions in Paris

Advantages: You get skip the line tickets to many attractions.

Disadvantages: You have to book entrances to the attractions separately. It’s not a real money saver.

Contrary to the Roma Pass that gives you access to the Colosseum, most Paris Passes don’t include Eiffel Tower tickets and if you have the pass chances are you’ll have to buy your skip the line tickets to the Eiffel Tower separately.

Having said so, the Paris PassLib is the one pass you can get if you want an option that includes access to the Eiffel Tower (second floor). It starts at €109 for the 2-day pass and getting to €159 for the 5-day one. You can get it here.

Way N. 7: Make lunch or dinner reservations for one of the two restaurants

Perfect for: Romantic couples.

Advantages: You get to dine while having one of the most impressive views in the world.

Disadvantages: Restaurants at the Eiffel Tower are certainly not cheap.

There are two main restaurants at the Eiffel Tower, as well as a champagne bar (for which no reservations are taken), a snack bar, a macaroon parlor and a couple of cheaper (so to say) eateries.

If you can’t get Eiffel Tower tickets in any other way, you may want to make reservations for one of the restaurants.The experience is certainly unique, but keep in mind that dining at the Eiffel Tower isn’t exactly cheap. If you want to splurge, however, this is definitely a good option.

Both restaurants have their own private elevators and if you have reservations you can just directly go there.

58 Tour Eiffel is located on the first floor. You don’t need to have a reservation to get there but it is certainly recommended. The house specialty is a picnic style basket at lunch, but dinner is more formal.

Jules Verne is a fine restaurant located on the second floor. After going through some major renovation works, it reopened in July 2019. Its menu was created by Michelin-star chef Frederic Anton, so rest assured you are in for a treat. Make sure to reserve in advance and expect to pay no less than €200 per person for a multi-course meal.

TIP: Try to be at the Eiffel Tower well before your reservation time, as there may be a line at the elevator and you still have to go through security.

the views from Trocadero
The Eiffel Tower as seen from the Trocadero

Other Useful Information For Visiting The Eiffel Tower

Book in advance

I can’t stress this enough. If you don’t want to get stuck in the line at the ticket counter, make sure to book your Eiffel Tower tickets well in advance. Even if your trip to Paris is very last minute, make sure to check online for availability of tickets and tours before going all the way to the Eiffel Tower and discovering it’s sold out.

What to do if Eiffel Tower tickets are sold out 

First of all, do not panic. Even if Eiffel Tower tickets are sold out online, chances are you can still get in.

Here are your options:

Get tickets for the stairs in person

Tickets for the stairs are not sold online, not even on the official website – you can only buy them in person at the ticket counter, on the day of your visit. So, if you are in good shape and don’t mind a bit of exercise, this is a great option. Tickets cost €10,20 for stair access to the second floor, and €19,40 for stair access to the second floor and elevator to the summit.

Buy elevator tickets in person at the Eiffel Tower ticket counter

This is obviously the least pleasing option, as chances are you’ll have to wait in line for a long time to get your elevator tickets.

Book a guided tour with stair access (and upgrade to include summit access later)

Alternatively, you can book a guided tour that allows you to climb the stairs to the second floor and to get an upgrade on the spot to get to the summit. These tours are obviously a bit less popular as they require a work out, so chances are that you’ll be able to book for the day after (for example, I have just checked today and there is availability for tomorrow). You can book it here.

How to get to the Eiffel Tower

You will find the Eiffel Tower on the north end of the Champ de Mars, one of Paris’ most famous parks. Getting there is fairly easy and you have several options.

By metro

There are various metro stations close to the Eiffel Tower. You can get line 6 (stopping at Bir Hakeim), 8 (stopping at Trocadéro) or 9 (stopping at Ecole Militaire) and even RER commuter rail line C, stopping at Champs de Mars.

By bus

Alternatively, you can count on the excellent bus system. Buses 69 and 87 both stop at Champs de Mars. You can also use buses 42 or 82, which stop at Tour Eiffel.

By hop on hop of bus

This is a good option if you want to go on a tourist round of Paris. You will have to stop at either Champs de Mars or Eiffel Tower. You can get your hop on hop off bus ticket here.

By Batobus

Similar to a hop on hop off bus service, but this one is by boat so the added bonus is that you get to see the Eiffel Tower from this perspective. You can get a one or a two day pass and hop on and off at one of the various stops along the Seine. You can buy your Batobus ticket here.

Sacre Coeur as seen from the second floor
Sacre Coeur as seen from the Eiffel Tower

Opening times

The Eiffel Tower is open daily from 9:30 am to 11:45 pm. Last access with the elevator is at 11:00 pm and last access with the stairs is at 6:00 pm.

Eiffel Tower tickets price

As of October 2019, these are the prices of Eiffel Tower tickets via the official website:

Ticket with access lift to the second floor: adults €16,60; visitors aged 12 to 24 €8,30; disabled €4,10; visitors aged 5 to 11 €2.

Ticket with access lift to the summit: adults €25,90; visitors aged 12 to 24 €13; disabled €6,50; visitors aged 5 to 11 €3,20

Ticket with stair access to the second floor: adults €10,40; visitors aged 12 to 24 €5,20; disabled €2,60; visitors aged 5 to 11 €1,30

Ticket with stair access to the second floor and lift to the summit: adults €19,70; visitors aged 12 to 24 €9,80; disabled €5; visitors aged 5 to 11 €2,50.

Please note that children aged 4 or under can enter for free but they still have to get a (free) ticket. Discounted rates are only available for youth, children under the age of 12 and disabled.

Money saving tips

If you are on a tight budget, your best bet to save a bit when visiting the Eiffel Tower is to opt for the stairs access and to limit yourself to the second floor (many believe that the views are better from the second floor than from the third floor, anyways). Keep in mind that there are there are 674 steps from the entry point to the 2nd floor, so this option is only recommended for those who are keen on some exercise.

Remember that stairs tickets can only be bought in person!

Security checks

There is no way to avoid security checks at the Eiffel Tower. In fact, since September 2018 even more safety measures are being taken, and a bullet proof glass perimeter 3 meters tall surrounds the tower.

Security checks are pretty similar to airport ones, including a metal detector. It can take half hour or more to go through security so make sure to avoid taking any of the prohibited items to speed the process.

Things you can’t take include weapons, knives (including pocket knives), glass bottles, cans, strollers that don’t fold, bulky bags, animals unless they are certified guide dogs.

the view from the summit
The Champs de Mars and Montparnasse Tower as seen from the Eiffel Tower

Length of visit

You can expect to spend anything between 1.5 to 2.5 hours at the Eiffel Tower, depending on whether or not your ticket includes a summit visit.

Toilets at the Eiffel Tower

You will find toilets at the floor level, on the first and second floor and even on the summit. Baby changing facilities are not available at the summit toilets. Disabled toilets can be found on the main level, on the first and second floor.

Accessibility of the Eiffel Tower

All floors of the Eiffel Tower can be accessed via elevator – which is good news for visitors with limited mobility and for those using a wheelchair. However, keep in mind that for safety reasons wheelchairs are not allowed to go to the summit.

Luggage storage facilities in or near the Eiffel Tower

There are no luggage storage facilities at the tower or in its immediate surroundings, so don’t take your heavy backpacks or suitcases with you – leave them in storage at your hotel or at the train station.

Good to know

The weather may affect your visit

You can really do little about it, but you may want to know anyways that things such as clouds, fog and rain may affect your view of the Eiffel Tower and – quite obviously – from it. If you aren’t flexible with time, there is nothing you can do about it. But if you are in Paris for a while, make sure to check the weather broadcast and try to go on a clear day.

There are lines to get down too

The good news is that with priority Eiffel Tower tickets you can really cut the amount of time you have to wait for the elevator to go up. The bad news is that the same can’t be said about getting down. Expect lines – especially on the summit. You can take the stairs from the second or first floor if the lines for the elevator are too long.

Eiffel Tower from Trocadero
Make sure to take in the views from the tower as well as those of the tower!

The best time of year to avoid the crowds at the Eiffel Tower

Paris gets incredibly busy during the summer months – especially July and August; but a bit quieter during the cold winter months. This means that the best time to avoid the crowds at the Eiffel Tower is by visiting in the winter, and on weekdays.

The best time of day to visit the Eiffel Tower

The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is in the early morning and in the first hours of the afternoon, when visibility is at its best. Sunset is a very popular time to go – the views are certainly gorgeous, but it will also be more crowded.

In the evening, the Eiffel Tower is beautifully illuminated. Personally, I find that once night falls, I’d rather get views of the Eiffel Tower than from the Eiffel Tower – but this is just a matter of personal taste.

The best time of day to avoid the crowds is between 9:00 and 11:00 am, and between 8:00 and 10:00 pm.

Final tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower

Bring your camera

The views of and from the Eiffel Tower are amazing, and you will want to capture them. Make sure your smartphone camera takes good photos, and if not consider taking a camera with a good lens – a 18-105 mm as a minimum.

And an extra layer

It’s colder on top of the Eiffel Tower than it is on the ground, so definitely take an extra layer of clothes to wear if you feel chilly.

Wear comfortable shoes

This is especially relevant if you plan to take the stairs up or down.

Beware of pickpockets

Much like all tourist sites, pickpockets hang around the Eiffel Tower. Make sure to use some basic safety measures to keep your valuables safe and keep an eye out for scams right outside the tower – you’ll find hordes of vendors trying to push souvenirs on you, those that try to convince you to make a donation for a charity (it’s a well known scam – don’t donate anything!) and those playing the 3 cups and ball game.

Visit nearby attractions

This is something I would recommend for any destination, actually. Concentrating on an area of the city during the same day is the best way to avoid wasting precious time by moving around too much and having to rely on public transportation. There are plenty of places to visit in Paris that are close to the Eiffel Tower.

Among the places you can easily visit near the Eiffel Tower there are the Champs de Mars, the Trocadero and the Champs-Elysées. You also have easy access to the S

Stay tuned as I am planning an itinerary series for Paris what will help you plan your time there!

Further readings about Paris and France

Are you planning a trip to Paris and France? Don’t forget to read my other posts:

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Read everything you need to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower - via @clautavani
Read everything you should know to plan your visit to the Eiffel Tower - via @clautavani

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