There is something so awe-inspiring about a giant structure. How did it get there? Why was it built? The Eiffel Tower is something I only dreamed about seeing up until I made it a reality in September. Paris was the last stop on our 15 day Euro-trip and I am so glad Paris is how I ended it.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower takes some planning prior to your visit. Sure, you can go and stare up at the Eiffel Tower from so many different locations in Paris, but I HIGHLY recommend you have a plan for getting to the top for the ultimate view of Paris.
Few facts about the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower was originally supposed to be a temporary installation
The Eiffel Tower is comprised of more than 18,000 iron pieces and was completed in 1889
There are 1,710 steps
For 4 decades, it was the world's tallest structure. The Burj Khalif in Dubai is now the tallest.
How to Tackle the Eiffel Tower Like a Pro
Being one of the most recognized landmarks, you can imagine that the Eiffel Tower attracts a lot of visitors every year. 6 million a year to be exact. With that being said, in order to guarantee a trip up the Eiffel Tower and without having to wait in the general queue for hours, buy skip the line tickets for a set time as far in advance as your trip planning will allow.
After doing some research, I booked this tour through Viator (keep in mind, this will get you to the 2nd level). With my planning being so exact, I really only had one day where I could fit it in, so we booked it for 3:45pm. We met our guide at a designated spot just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower. On the short walk, our guide gave us a quick history lesson.
There are several checkpoints you will have to go through: an initial scan of you and your personal belongings, then another scan when your guide takes you to wait to get in one of the cars. Overall it took us about 15 minutes to clear all the lines and get into a car.
If you are afraid of heights, try not to look down as you head up the Eiffel Tower. The cars go fast and don't give you time to get used to your surroundings. I'm good with heights and even I was a bit overwhelmed. The car will stop at the first level to let those out who are interested and then will continue to the second level where everyone will get out.
You can walk all the way around the 2nd level and even take a short flight of stairs up to an upper level of the 2nd floor. This is where you can pay an additional $16 per person to take the initial descent to the very top. There are no skip the line options here so you have to wait sometimes 45 minutes plus.
We opted to stick to the 2nd floor and even found that you can purchase beer! I was so excited to drink beer on the Eiffel Tower. Take advantage of the great photo ops!
If you don't want to wait in the (sometimes) long line to go down, you can opt to take the stairs all the way down. We did this and it only took about 10 minutes to get down. We took a short pit stop on the first level and got some photos before heading all the way down.
If you are on a time crunch like we were, and don't like waiting in long lines, the skip the line is a must!
Thanks for reading, let me know how your experience was if you have visited the Eiffel Tower!