Eiffel tower tickets & information The highlight of Paris
The highlight of any trip to Paris. Wait, no, the highlight of any trip to France. Maybe even to Europe… For many tourists from a different continent, the Eiffel Tower is a must-see attraction. While not everyone chooses to go up the tower, they do at least go and have a look. I mean, can you really even say you’ve been to Paris if you haven’t got a photo of the Eiffel Tower to prove it?!
This is one sight you won’t want to miss. An exceptional tower structure with a stunning view across the city!
As you make your way up the tower, there isn’t really much room (especially on the second and third floors) and it gets crowded very easily. Take care of your belongings!
You’ll end up queuing for absolutely ages in the summer. I highly recommend that you buy your ticket online before you go!
Last Modified: 27. 05. 2022 | Céline & Jacqueline
Eiffel Tower Tickets
2. Floor + introduction
Skip the line Admission to 2. floor + Intro commentary by a live guide (EN/FR)
You can choose to climb the steps or take the lift up to the first and second floors. But you’ll have to hop in the lift if you want to go up to the third floor, as there are no steps! I decided to take the lift all the way to the top. Go big or go home, I say! The view from the third floor is much the same as the view from the second floor. Just a bit higher 😉 But I think it’s worth getting to the very top once you’ve gone all that way.
The third floor is also home to a historical reconstruction of Gustave Eiffel’s office featuring three wax models. And why not treat yourself to a glass of fizz while you’re there?
On the second floor, there’s a small exhibition about the history of the tower complete with clips from the construction phase. You can also refuel and refresh at the little café. If you’re planning to visit in winter, bear in mind that it can get a bit chilly out on the viewing decks.
I would recommend walking down the steps at least part of the way, say from the second to the first floor. And if you’re feeling really fit, you could even try going up the steps! This is the best way to experience the impressive metal structure up close and appreciate the scale of this feat of engineering. With its distinctive lattice framework of wrought iron and rivets, the Eiffel Tower is an architectural masterpiece dating back to 1889.
You also have the option of taking a pit stop on the first floor, where you’ll find another exhibition and a glass floor over the entrance area.
Foodies will be in their element here too. There’s something for every appetite and budget, ranging from Michelin-starred dining to snacks to go. Bear in mind, though, that you’ll pay more here than in other parts of the city. You could also take a little picnic with you, but make sure you don’t go too over the top if you don’t want your lunch confiscated!
Leave plenty of time to explore the Eiffel Tower at your leisure. Remember, this is one of the most popular attractions in the whole world – you’ll regret it if you end up having to rush around!
You want a little foretaste for visiting the Eiffel Tower?
We have prepared a small video of our visit for you…
Your ticket will have your name on, so don’t forget some form of ID.
You need to arrive 20 minutes BEFORE your time slot. The first security check takes place at the entrance to the area underneath the Eiffel Tower. You’ll be asked to join a different queue if you’ve already purchased your ticket. There’s another security check before you get to the steps and lift. You really do need to make sure you arrive early enough – especially during the peak tourist season.
You need to decide if you want to go to the top (third floor) before you purchase your ticket. There is no option to upgrade later.
You cannot take large bags or animals (with the exception of guide dogs) with you up the Eiffel Tower. No cloakroom facility is provided there.
Non-folding pushchairs cannot be taken with you when you go up the Eiffel Tower.
Glass bottles, cans and drinking glasses are banned.
A large number of food is not permitted.
You can’t take parachutes or climbing equipment with you.
Children must not be carried on shoulders.
There is no wheelchair access to the third floor. The top of the tower is not suitable for people with restricted mobility or a fear of heights/vertigo.
It is illegal to take/publish photos of the Eiffel Tower when it is illuminated at night. You may face a fine if you violate this law.
numbers & facts
How tall is the Eiffel Tower?
Current altitude: 324 meters Original height: 312 meters Height of the 1st floor / size of the 1st floor: 57 meters / 4415 m2 Height of the 2nd floor / size of the 2nd floor: 115 meters / 1430 m2 Height of the 3rd floor / size of the 3rd floor: 276 meters / 250 m2 Meters from pillar to pillar on the ground: 125 meters
What is the Eiffel Tower made of?
Metal frame weight: 7300 tons Total weight: 10,100 tons Number of rivets used: 2,500,000 Number of iron pieces used: 18,038
Eiffel Tower A bit of history
So, when was the Eiffel Tower built?
It was built between 1887 and 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 Exposition Universelle, the Eiffel Tower has captured the hearts of so many. Although it started off as a way to mark the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, it has come to stand for a whole lot more than that. It was ranked as the tallest building in the whole world until the Chrysler Building in New York pipped it to the post in 1930. The first public radio broadcast and first French television broadcast were transmitted from its mast, making it an even more important part of French history.
These days, the Eiffel Tower is the tallest structure in Paris, the most iconic example of architectural engineering at its finest and the national emblem of France. It has also been a listed monument historique since 1964. Can you believe it was originally intended as a temporary exhibit to be demolished after the Exposition Universelle?
Design and construction: who designed the Eiffel Tower?
As the Industrial Revolution saw technology advance and new possibilities open up, buildings started to get taller and taller. There was a frantic push to build the tallest building in the world in the 1880s, but nothing much came of it. It wasn’t until 1884 that the initial design for a 300-metre mega tower standing on four columns materialised. This was the work of two architects employed by Gustave Eiffel, who immediately applied for a patent for this structure. From that point, only he and his company could build a tower of this height on four columns. The structure was crucial in ensuring that the tower would be able to withstand the elements.
And yet Gustave Eiffel was not ready to sign off on the design as it stood. The tower itself looked too bare, and there were concerns that it wouldn’t be grand enough to impress the Exposition Universelle committee. And so Stephen Sauvestre was hired to work on the overall look. He made significant changes, such as joining the upper struts together, spreading the floors out differently and adding ornamental features to the top of the tower.
Gustave Eiffel made another smart move by buying the usage rights to the tower. He presented the design to the committee and conveniently forgot to give the other architect, Koechlin, a mention. And voilà – the tower was named after Monsieur Eiffel!
Work to construct the Eiffel Tower began in 1887, but it wasn’t plain sailing. As with anything new and innovative, plenty of critics wanted to have their say. They were all left speechless, though, when the finished tower was unveiled in 1889 and proved to be a hit with the Parisians in the end. Anybody who was anybody – royalty, world leaders and celebrities – climbed the Eiffel Tower in the early days when there was no lift. And they all signed the guest book – including Mahatma Gandhi!
After the Exposition Universelle
After the Exposition Universelle, Eiffel found himself constantly justifying and repurposing the tower to stop it from being torn down. It doubled up as a telegraph transmitter, weather station and Foucault pendulum, while spectroscopy, wind speed and atmospheric temperature measurements were also taken there. The tower even provided the setting for experiments relating to the healing power of air at high altitudes. Eiffel ran his own experiments and took measurements relating to aerodynamics from his office on the third floor.
During the First World War, the Eiffel Tower became a communications control centre for the military. In 1921, Radio Tour Eiffel was set up and its first public radio broadcast was transmitted.
Television signals were transmitted from the Eiffel Tower for the first time in 1925. The first official programme went out at 20:15 on 26 April 1935 and French TV was born!
The Eiffel Tower was closed off to the public during the Second World War. The French actually cut the cables to the lift that had been installed by that point to hinder plans by the German troops to use the tower as a propaganda tool after Paris was occupied in 1940. It was perhaps for this reason that Hitler never occupied the Eiffel Tower even though he managed to conquer France. Despite these sterling efforts, the tower did inevitably end up being used in German propaganda. Banners, swastikas and photos of Hitler and his ministers in front of the Eiffel Tower were used to show Germany that the French had been defeated.
When the Eiffel Tower was open to the public again from June 1946, a record-breaking 600,000 visitors came that year. And the numbers have steadily increased year on year since then.
The Eiffel Tower was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1991. As one of the most popular sights Paris has to offer, it attracts more than 7 million tourists every year. And the crowds are set to keep flocking there in the years to come… Global pandemic aside, of course! The Eiffel Tower and the surrounding area have never been as empty as they were in 2020.