Visiting the Eiffel Tower in 2024

Long­ing to vis­it the Eif­fel Tow­er this year? It is for you that we have self­lesss­ly hewn this < do-this : edit > from the rafts of infor­ma­tion float­ing aim­less­ly on les inter­nets   — a few words of advice before you vis­it the world’s most icon­ic struc­ture from some­one who has been to the top hun­dreds of times. 

My 2024 edit cov­ers snag­ging tick­ets, prac­ti­cal infos, and espe­cial­ly eat­ing /drinking / being mer­ry while hav­ing the [pos­si­bly chic] vis­it of your dreams.  Plus scan­dals, scams, and oth­er dirty laun­dry — I’m hang­ing it all out to dry in a bid for your atten­tion and approval.

 

I’ll walk you through how to ensure a sweet sum­mit sesh where you can see paris glit­ter just like we promised. My Insid­er-edits are writ­ten to ensure you swap touristy, over­priced food and drink options for some­thing <très worth it >. To make sure that instead of the annoy­ances and wait­ing, we maxx the ease and flow by keep­ing a few secrets in our pock­et.  To zig and zag past the meh zone and nip into lit­tle spots the locals keep close to the vest [ oui, they exist! ] with my < petit itin­er­aries >

But first,  as I am only doing Eif­fel Tow­er tours this year by pri­vate request, I have a spe­cial < EDIT > for my read­ers to make sure you get the tick­ets you want [and also to know what to expect from the dif­fer­ent types of tick­ets and guid­ed tours]. 

shortlist : < where to get tickets >

< paris : EDIT > these are the tours that we find suitable

the juicy bits — 130+ years of scandals galore

Every cul­ture has it’s great per­verts. In Paris we take it up a few hun­dred meters sky­wards just to let every­one know we are the ~ sexy ~ cap­i­tal of the world. [Sor­ry Ams­ter­dam, we think art­sy qual­i­ty [French Can-Can, cabarets, being the refuge of freaky artists from around le monde] counts more than all the freaky/disturbing red-light dis­trict win­dow scenes ever could.]  We broke a world record for height twice and the record for open-air mile high club. 

So while it’s legal in France to sell pri­vate time with your pri­vates it’s ABSOLUTELY PROHIBITED to hawk those those key chains out­side the gates of the Eif­fel Tow­er grounds — the police will legit chase you down. If you are ever out­side the Tow­er and hear and bunch of clink­ing, pant­i­ng, and the , you know why. [Can’t have the pub­lic cor­rupt­ed by the sale of Chi­nese indus­tri­al waste in the shape of La Dame de Fer.] Pri­or­i­ties, people!

The Eif­fel Tow­er is Mar­ried [Iron-] Lady and holds the record for longest vir­gin­i­ty of any Parisi­enne by hold­ing out for The One for a cold and lone­ly 100 years — smash­ing world records droit et gauche here.

If we uni­ver­sal­ly took our cues from our own ver­sion of Michael Jack­son (music is too good to posthu­mous­ly can­cel him despite well-doc­u­ment­ed High Per­very) AKA the dear depart­ed Serge Gaines­bourg or a bunch of our degen­er­ate lit­er­ary elites then she would­n’t have made it past lycee, but it took an, um,  < Very Spe­cial > Amer­i­can archer named Eri­ka to final­ly make a woman out of the Iron Lady in 2007.

Appar­ent­ly the Eif­fel aims to please in her own spe­cial way. Some peo­ple rub a rab­bit’s foot for luck, Eri­ka showed us the real mean­ing of Christ­mas — that the Eif­fel Tow­er can love back.  Some say that her after­glow inspired the twin­kling lights installed in 2000. [I say she inspired me to throw up in my mouth a lit­tle bit. ]

So. Much Hitler. And the Ori­gins of Paris is Burning. 

Von Choltitz refus­es to lev­el Paris after an upris­ing in auh­gust 1944 pro­voked by the resis­tance and by encroach­ing Allied suc­cess in the north of Francxe. 

Scandale #1 — The writer who hated la Tour Eiffel in his own special way

Guy de Mau­pas­sant isn’t only the father of the mod­ern short sto­ry — he also invent­ed pas­sive-aggres­sive hatelunching. 

When the plans for the tow­er we all know as La Dame de Fer was pro­posed as a con­tender for the con­test to build the world’s largest man-made struc­ture for the world’s Fair of 1889, Mau­pas­sant was a sig­na­to­ry on a diss signed and dropped by the Parisian cognoscen­ti of the day show­ing that the city’s tastemakes con­sid­ered it a no-go: “Imag­ine for a moment a gid­dy, ridicu­lous tow­er dom­i­nat­ing Paris like a gigan­tic black smoke­stack, crush­ing under its bar­bar­ic bulk Notre Dame, the Tour Saint-Jacques, the Lou­vre, the Dome of Les Invalides, the Arc de Tri­om­phe, all of our humil­i­at­ed mon­u­ments will dis­ap­pear in this ghast­ly dream,” 

We know how the sto­ry ends — Eif­fel’s propo­si­tion was the win­ning bid and voila, here we are. 

But Mau­pas­sant, like a true French­man, did­n’t shy away from his own form of protest against what he named as his ‘iron arch neme­sis’ —  he went to lunch almost every day at the restau­rant under the Eif­fel Tow­er because “inside the restau­rant was one of the few places where I could sit and not actu­al­ly see the Tow­er!” 

You show ’em, Guy. 

Scandale #2 — the The Little Tailor That Could (Not)

Franz Reichl was an Aus­tri­an  tai­lor with big dreams and a side hus­tle in the bud­ding field of para­chut­ing that would make him famous-ish (most­ly to tour guides but ok).

Franz dared to chase the iron ring — why spend all day fes­toon­ing busi­ness­men’s bot­toms with mea­sur­ing tape, dither­ing over col­lar styles when you can design the world’s first sin­gle-use flight suit?

A lot has been said about over­con­fi­dent white men in the past decade but that guy that inter­rupts women in meet­ings at the office has noth­ing on Franz Reichl. After an engi­neer who hap­pened to be on the tow­er when he was climb­ing the stairs warned him that there was­n’t enough time for his ~flight suit~ to deploy from the First Lev­el of the Iron Lady, Franz fol­lowed his gut, stepped out­side his con­fort zone and off the rail­ing of the 1st lev­el of the Eif­fel Tow­er like a true #mantre­pre­neur. 

Nobody would Live, Laugh, Love what hap­pened next. Boss­babe Franz duped the Tow­er staff who though he was test­ing his suit with a dum­my. He had stitched his per­son­al para­chute cape in silk to ensure it was light­weight and — this being Paris — chic enough for minc­ing and pranc­ing in a pro­to-Fash­ion Show on his way to carv­ing out his own place in Paris his­to­ry, 10 cen­time­ters-deep. His cat­walk turn last­ed the 187 feet down to the grassy green pic­nic field of the Champ de Mars. 

Franz’s courage has not only left a div­ot in the top­soil on the Champ de Mars but also in our hearts, which also has a dust­ing of top­soil, but that’s most­ly from dat­ing lawyers we found on Tin­der, et al.

Work it, Franz. 

Why did I write this insider guide? Having been on the the world’s most popular paid monument as a guide hundreds of times, I have learned the best ways to zig and zag and to avoid disappointment that comes from the unexpected [and also the expected — that the food spots surrounding the Tower are generally meh or worse.]

epa­ra­tions were under­way for the 1889 World’s Fair. Despite , and many com­pet­ing pro­pos­als for the project, what we know as the Eif­fel Tow­er was com­plet­ed and has gone on to become the 
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Visiting the Eiffel Tower + Where to Eat/ Drink Something

1. Pre-Book Tickets:

Pre-book­ing tick­ets will min­i­mize wait­ing times. But…not elim­i­nate lines entire­ly. There can be a wait for the ele­va­tors, espe­cial­ly in the warmer months. Tak­ing the stairs cuts some time but … you’re tak­ing the stairs…Not all the way up (you can’t unless you are com­pet­ing in ‘la ver­ti­cale’ race up the Iron Lady…) but to the 2nd lev­el, which is the equiv­a­lent of 12 sto­rys. (My per­son­al record for going ~down~ the stairs is 7 min­utes.) I rec­om­mend going down the stairs on your return to earth, as the view is spe­cial, it’s not that tax­ing phys­i­cal­ly, and by then you will have had enough of the ele­va­tors (and rub­bing shoul­ders with strangers.)

Either way, await­ing you on all lev­els is unpar­al­leled view of Paris.

Check the Offi­cial Web­site first (tick­ets are released 60 days in advance and are quick­ly snapped up, how­ev­er, it’s worth it to check every day at noon (Paris time) when the new batch drops as you can usu­al­ly find what you need if your group is small. 

2. Tours Cut Through the Noise

If you did­n’t get the tick­et time slot you want­ed, or if you pre­fer a guid­ed vis­it, it’s time to check the tours or tick­et resellers. (Dis­clo­sure: we occa­sion­al­ly do Eif­fel Tow­er tours but instead of cor­rupt­ing us, I also think this makes us ~extreme­ly picky~ and very well-versed in what’s what on the Eif­fel Tow­er. And, as we have col­lec­tive­ly sum­mit­ted the tow­er thou­sands of times, (and cooled off after­wards with aper­ol spritz au ter­rasse with almost all the oth­er guides in Paris) our rec­om­men­da­tions of tours and sec­ondary tick­et resellers is, as you will see, frank and forth­right (per­haps to a fault). 

With a Guid­ed Tour, expect to pay a not-insignif­i­cant amount on top of the orig­i­nal tick­et price. The Tour providers and Tick­et Resellers have what I call, ‘Skip-(Most-of-)the-Lines tick­ets that will save heaps of time that you oth­er­wise spend on your feet on unfor­giv­ing­ly hard sur­faces. (Remem­ber what I said about sum­mit­ting thou­sands of time? 

Even tak­ing a guid­ed ‘climb­ing tour’ (the bud­get option start­ing at about  38) saves time that would be spent in tick­et lines. 

Tours go either as high as the Sum­mit, or just the Sec­ond Lev­el. Either way you’ll have access to the First Lev­el which usu­al­ly has a place to get a drink, snack or cof­fee (there is a wine bar in a bub­ble in the win­ter, and a pic­nic-style chillax sec­tion in sum­mer, as well as for­get­table sand­wich coun­ters and mac­arons that you can also get on the ground. The gift shop, how­ev­er,  is well-curat­ed with an often cheeky selec­tion that we can get behind– you have a choice between Made in France mini-tow­ers, sil­ly baguette pens and oth­er cul­tur­al efflu­via, or you can get the tow­er key­chains and spark­ly stuff on the ground lev­el. In this case the sou­venirs are made in Chi­na etc but you are sup­port­ing some of the hard­est-work­ing and poor­est Parisians, usu­al­ly eco­nom­ic migrants from very des­per­ate sit­u­a­tions. So the offi­cial shop = Made in France, not tox­ic met­als, etc on the 1st lev­el, and Les Hus­t­las at the exits = sup­port­ing Paris’ struggling/striving migrant entre­pre­neurs. Up to you.  (Just don’t eat the street food out­side the Eif­fel Tow­er perimeter.)

 

3. Floor and Levels and Ticket Categories, Oh, My!

Some more about what the dif­fer­ence is between lev­els: There are essen­tial­ly 3 floors to the Eif­fel Tow­er: the First Lev­el, the Sec­ond Lev­el, and the Sum­mit (as far as you can go to the top with­out being an engi­neer mount­ing a new antenna.)

You can climb the stairs up and down between the ground and the First and Sec­ond Lev­els, but it is manda­to­ry to take an ele­va­tor to the sum­mit (over 1660 stairs, you should save that mojo for going out after all this.) Tick­ets to the sum­mit can no longer be pur­chased on the 2nd Lev­el, so plan accordingly.

 
<VISIT: DEFINED EDIT>
LE FIRST LEVEL:

you can take the stairs of the ele­va­tor, but I would save this for the last and vis­it by the stairs on your way down, no mat­ter how far up you are going. This is where you can roll up to a cov­ered wine bar (in win­ter) or an open ice-cream and snack stand with pic­nic seat­ing that does­n’t require reser­va­tions  (pro­long the mag­ic a bit while sit­ting with some­thing to sip…) There are also his­tor­i­cal exhibits on this lev­el to geek out on. 

LE SECOND LEVEL:

 

4. Check Yourself:

You don’t need to stress, just keep your wal­let and phone unreach­able (to oth­ers) on those (always-) crowd­ed ele­va­tors. As you will go through secu­ri­ty (twice! Damn ISIS bas­tards…) keep your phone, any fan­cy cam­era equip­ment, and met­al objects (like keys etc) ready to drop into the bins while you go though the met­al detec­tors (step 1) and the slight­ly air­port-style secu­ri­ty (step 2). Once you get to the ele­va­tors, you won’t pass any oth­er secu­ri­ty checks, but they do check tick­ets to go to the sum­mit (top floor) so keep them until you leave. (Many a tick­et have blown clear off the tow­er as it is entire­ly open-air and I won’t be there to finesse the tick­et agents for you, so be orga­nized or be charm­ing. Or famous.) Leave the sharp objects, flags, glass bot­tles, and weapons (?) at the AirBnB, because you’ll have to drop them and you won’t get them back. 

The sec­ond lev­el is as far as you can go if you can’t do stairs. There is a small spi­ral stair­case that must be climbed to get to the ele­va­tors to go to the summit

5. How Far Will You Go?

There are sev­er­al options for din­ing and the bet­ter ones, of course, require a reser­va­tion, but there are take­aways on the first lev­el if you can’t wait for some­thing bet­ter than sand­wich­es. If you’d rather eat with your feet on the ground, there are a few cafés near­by for lunch or din­ner that have a view of the Iron Lady (most are not rec­om­mend­ed so stick to our Eif­fel Tow­er neigh­bor­hood guide here.) Oh, and one more thing. Before you leave, make sure to see it twin­kle at night; on the hour after sun­set for 5 minutes.

There’s also a cham­pagne ‘bar’ (more like a take­away win­dow, no seat­ing), a wine bar (in the win­ter it’s in a cozy bub­ble) which is the most acces­si­ble in terms of price and reser­va­tions — except stand­ing up with a sand­wich from the take­away sta­tion, as well as Madame Brasserie (posh, reser­va­tions gen­er­al­ly need­ed, first lev­el) and le Jules Verne (uber-posh, reser­va­tions need­ed in way in advance, 2nd lev­el). You can also find his­tor­i­cal exhibits about the con­struc­tion of the Iron Lady and of course, the req­ui­site gift shops. In the win­ter, you can even skate around on an ice rink (some­times) in the win­ter (if it’s not there, look to the Mont­par­nasse Tow­er, they have been putting up ice rinks recent­ly on the roof). There’s some­thing for every­one, except those afraid of heights. 

Vis­it­ing the Eif­fel Tow­er is some­thing every aspir­ing Parisian should do at least once, and for those want­i­ng a repeat or an alter­na­tive type of vis­it, check it out at sun­set to see the city begin to twin­kle and the tow­er broad­cast it’s gold­en glow. 

Stand on the glass floor, on the first lev­el, 200 feet off the ground. 

Immerse your­self in some his­tor­i­cal exhi­bi­tions on the 1st level. 

vis­it the wine bar or ice cream stand on the 1st lev­el to spend more time before your descent. Take the stairs down if you can

For those of you who count it as just anoth­er tourist trap not worth your time (I used to be among you, I spent my first 44 (!) days liv­ing in Paris with­out see­ing the Eif­fel Tow­er, except for the search­light that comes on after dark), you can always use the bath­room at the sum­mit and say you made a pi-pi 906 feet high in the sky. It’s not quite the mile-high club, but it’s still a .0000001.% of human­i­ty experience. 

Also, just vis­it­ing the Iron Lady would real­ly piss off Hitler, if he were still Hit­ler­ing around, as he tried to have it blown up in 1944 along with almost every­thing else in Paris besides the crois­sants (obv, he didn’t succeed).

So do your part to stick it to the Nazis and vis­it the Eif­fel Tow­er. Even wear a Black Lives Mat­ter t‑shirt if you wan­na rile up the con­tem­po­rary ones. 

What to Do After

 

DEETS: 

address : 

Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Ana­tole France. There are two entrances which can be found on the east and west sides of the Tow­er. Pass­ing through a met­al detec­tor is required to access the park under­neath the Tow­er, and a slight­ly more ‘air­port-style’ secu­ri­ty check (you at least get to keep your shoes on) is required to access the ele­va­tors or stairs. 

Metro

Tro­cadéro (line 9), Bir Hakeim (line 6), Ecole Mil­i­taire (line 8)

Neighborhoods Nearby

< neigh­bor­hood : edit > the guide to Paris’ 7th arrondisse­ment

Eif­fel Tow­er Neig­bor­hood Guide the sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hood — mas­terlist of cof­fee + tea shops, restaurants,

Chail­lot-Tro­cadero Neigh­bor­hood Guide

Nearby

Champ de Mars, Paris Muse­um of Mod­ern Art, Invalides, Musée de l’Armée, Rodin Muse­um, Palais de Tokyo

Opening Times

9:30am to 10:45pm

Tickets

If you have a few mon­th’s advance notice you can try to get the tick­ets from the offi­cial Eif­fel Tow­er site

2024 Prices:

-for adults: €28.30 for the top or 18.10 for 2nd level,

-€9 to €14.10 for youth (12–24) and

-€4.50 to €7.10 for children.

-Free for chil­dren aged 4 and under but they still need a tick­et, so make sure to book one!

Tak­ing the stairs is the equiv­a­lent of 12 sto­rys so (insert joke about eclairs…) those tick­ets have a short­er line on the spot at the tow­er but the stairs only go to the 2nd lev­el. From there you will switch to an ele­va­tor — those will cost €11.30 to €2.80 for the 2nd lev­el and €21.50 to €5.40 for the summit

 

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