There are lots of ways to enjoy the spectacular landmark, which dominates panoramas from all around the city. If you’re interested in visiting the Eiffel Tower up-close, there are a few things to know that can make planning your visit a little more straightforward.

Getting to the Eiffel Tower by train

 

Thanks to its advanced transport system, making your way around Paris is incredibly simple – especially by train. From super-fast underground services to convenient Metros just waiting to get you from A to B, it’s never been easier to visit the French capital. Because of its central location, the Eiffel Tower is very well connected by the city’s train network.

The closest station to the Eiffel Tower is Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel. You can take Metro or RER services to this stop. Then, simply hop off and stroll for less than ten minutes along the Seine to get to the monument.

For the best approach, we recommend taking the Metro to the stop Trocadéro, which is on the other side of the Seine. From here, you can enjoy the best view of the Eiffel Tower before you get there. Then, wander through the picturesque Jardins du Trocadéro and cross the elegant 19th-century bridge, Pont d’Iéna, to reach the landmark.

After your visit, take a walk through the Eiffel Tower Park and Champ-de-Mars, which sprawl behind the tower, rather than going back on yourself. You can jump on the Metro from the stop École Militaire when you come out of the parks.

Paris Metro trains run very frequently, so you won’t need to check a timetable or wait for too long at your stop. Trains usually arrive every couple of minutes during the day. A single journey on the Metro will cost €1.90, or you can buy a day or weekend pass to cover you for as many trips as you need. You’ll be able to get your ticket at any station or stop, which means getting around Paris is as easy as un, deux, trois!

The Eiffel Tower Experience

Everybody should try to go up the Eiffel Tower at least once in their lifetime. If it’s your first time in Paris, the attraction is a must. There are two ways visitors can ascend the Eiffel Tower, climb the stairs for a unique and rewarding challenge, or ride in a lift, the more elegant way to get to the top.

Climbing the stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower

Why climb the stairs when there are two perfectly useful – and historically fascinating – lifts available? For one thing, you’ll save euros. The stairs admission ticket is slightly cheaper than the lift pass, which can be appealing to some visitors on a budget or if you’re travelling in a large party.

What’s more, climbing the 1,665 stairs to the top of the Eiffel Tower is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s a great way to challenge your physical fitness and something you can be proud of for many years to come! If you’re in reasonable shape and you think you’ll be comfortable during – if a little out of breath – during the climb, why not?

Taking the lift to the top of the Eiffel Tower

While elevator tickets cost around €5 more than taking the stairs, this option is a great way to relax and enjoy spectacular views of Paris as you ascend. No need to worry about catching your breath at the top!

These now-restored lifts were a technological triumph at the time they were built. A feat of engineering unlike anything seen before, the lifts offered visitors the chance to reach the top of the tower securely and enjoy unparalleled views Paris below. The two original elevators remain in service today, so you can enjoy a taste of days gone by when you visit this historic structure.

Exploring three floors

While it’s far from the highest point of the tower, the first floor is one of the most attractive viewpoints in Paris thanks to its unique transparent architecture. Not to mention the glass floor! There’s a large terrace on the first floor too, where visitors can enjoy a bar, bistro, and even DJ sets.

Head up to the second floor for unobstructed views of the most famous Parisian monuments, including the Louvre and Notre Dame to name just a few. The second floor is also home to the tower’s famous Michelin-star restaurant, Jules Verne.

On the top floor of the Eiffel Tower, discover Gustave Eiffel’s office and a champagne bar, the perfect way to top off your experience.

Eiffel Tower History

The Eiffel Tower was designed for the World Fair in 1889. A wager was set to erect a square-based tower on the Champ-de-Mars. The design we know today is the work of entrepreneur Gustave Eiffel, the winner selected from 107 submissions.

Designing the Eiffel Tower

Two of Eiffel’s chief engineers, Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin, had the idea for a unique kind of tower in June 1884. The structure was to be designed like a transmission tower, with four columns separated at the base coming together in one point at the top. The design of the Eiffel Tower was a development from this original project.

To make the structure more appealing to the public, the engineers commissioned architect Stephen Sauvestre to help with its appearance. Sauvestre is responsible for the monumental arches which give the Eiffel Tower its unique appearance.

Construction

Construction began on the 1st of July 1887 and was completed within the next 22 months. Each structural element was prepared in Eiffel’s factory on the outskirts of the city. That’s 18,000 pieces all specifically designed, transported, and finally assembled at the site we know today.

The tower is held together by rivets, a type of large-headed bolt which was a very refined method for construction at the time of building. Rivets are inserted using heat and a hammer, cooling down as they contract to ensure a tight fit. 2,500,000 of these were used in Eiffel Tower. Each rivet required a team of four to assemble; one for heating, one to hold it in place, one to shape the head, and another to beat it in with a large hammer. That’s a lot of work!

Assembling the metal pieces of the tower took 21 months, which is super-fast considering the methods of the time. The Eiffel Tower remains an impressive example of precision construction.

The controversy surrounding the Eiffel Tower

Although the Eiffel Tower is recognised and adored around the world today, it hasn’t always had such a glistening reputation.

Even before construction was finished, many Parisians wrote to the World Fair and published pamphlets ridiculing the ‘truly tragic streetlamp’ (Léon Bloy). Others called the tower a ‘mast of iron gymnasium equipment’ (François Coppée), a ‘half-built factory pipe’ (Joris-Karl Huysmans), and a ‘giant ungainly skeleton’ (Guy de Maupassant).

Happily, criticism quickly burnt out when the undeniable masterpiece was complete. The Eiffel Tower proved a considerable success during the 1889 World Fair, attracting over two million visitors.

Restaurants, bars, and shops at the Eiffel Tower

If you’re looking for a great lunch spot or an excellent restaurant for a special occasion, why not dine at the Eiffel Tower? Much more than just a landmark, the tower is home to two fantastic restaurants as well as bars and shops to complete your visit.

La Bulle Parisienne

On the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, La Bulle Parisienne is an aesthetically beautiful bistro serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout the week. Sit yourself down and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere of this unique dome restaurant. The central wine bar is well stocked with plenty of local favourites. At the same time, a variety of bistro dishes, platters, and deserts mean there’s something to suit every taste.

La Bulle Parisienne also offers wine tastings outside restaurant opening hours. And, on some evenings, you can also enjoy a laidback DJ set as the soundtrack to your experience. Unbeatable views, great food, and perfectly-selected music. What could be better?

Le Jules Verne

The Eiffel Tower’s premier dining experience, Le Jules Verne is a Michelin star restaurant on the second floor. 125 metres above ground level, this elegant Parisian restaurant boasts breathtaking views throughout three dining rooms.

One of the most romantic spots in Paris, Le Jules Verne offers a refined seasonal menu that matches up to its location. Choose a five or seven-course tasting menu and let the highly skilled team take care of you. With three-star chef Frédéric Anton heading up the kitchen, you know you’re in good hands.

Each dish is delicate and flawlessly finished, while this super-sleek restaurant is also one of the most relaxing spots in Paris. Be sure to book a window table well in advance of your visit to guarantee the ultimate Eiffel Tower dining experience.

The Champagne Bar

A truly unique spot for a glass of fizz, the Champagne Bar at the top of the Eiffel Tower gives you a chance to really make the most of your visit. Grab a flute at the bar and savour the bubbles while you take in views of the city below. Celebrating? The Champagne Bar is open from 10:15 to 22:15, so you can kick off the festivities at any time of day.

Macaron Bar

Whether you’re looking for a souvenir to take home or you’re in the mood for a fancy snack, be sure to stop off at the Eiffel Tower’s Macaron Bar. These colourful French confections come in diverse flavours, from chocolate and lemon to coffee and strawberry, so you can choose your favourite and enjoy an authentic taste of Paris. It’s the perfect way to sweeten your visit to the landmark.

Eiffel Tower shops

There are shops on every floor of the Eiffel Tower, so you can pick up a present or a treat for yourself no matter how high you’re climbing. Each shop is unique, selling gourmet food, fabrics, homeware, souvenirs and more. Enjoy a browse during your visit and see what treasures you can find.

Opening times and ticket prices

Eiffel Tower opening times are between 10:00 and 23:45 every day throughout the year, with the last ascent up the stairs and lifts before 23:00. Be sure the get there in good time if you want to make it up to the top and be prepared to queue a little!

Ticket prices

The cost of your Eiffel Tower tickets will depend on who’s visiting and how you’ll be travelling up the tower. Here are the most recent prices*:

 

Adults

Youths (age 12-24)

Children (age 4-11)

Disabled visitors

Infants (age 0-4)

Ticket with lift access to the 2nd floor:

€16.60

€8.30

€2.00

€4.10

Free

Ticket with lift access to the top:

€25.90

€13.00

€3.20

€6.50

Free

Ticket with stair access to the 2nd floor:

€10.40

€9.80

€2.50

€5.00

Free

Ticket with stair access to the top:

€19.70

€9.80

€2.50

€5.00

Free

*Prices correct July 2020

Note that you won’t be able to take any large items of luggage into the tower with you, and there’s nowhere to store them at the entrance. You can enjoy a smoother visit when you buy your tickets and reserve a timeslot online. Spend less time queuing and get more out of your Parisian experience!

Taking the train to Paris?

It's easy to travel to Paris by train from within France or from other major European cities, thanks to high-speed rail connections. 

If you're already in France and heading into Paris, TGV trains offer high-speed routes into the city centre from a number of destinations. Some of the most in-demand routes into Paris include Avignon TGV to Paris (2h 41m), Bordeaux to Paris (2h 9m), Lyon to Paris (1h 55m), Marseille to Paris (3h 12m) Nice to Paris (5h 44m) and Strasbourg to Paris (2h 23m).

Some of the most popular international train routes include London to Paris (2h 13m), Amsterdam to Paris (3h 12m), Brussels to Paris (1h 22m), Barcelona to Paris (6h 38m), Zurich to Paris (4h 6m), Munich to Paris (6h 37m) and Stuttgart to Paris (4h 13m).