Guide to Buying Tickets for the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is one of the world's most visited paid monuments in the world with more than 6 million visitors each year! Not going to lie, once you get to that second floor and stand in line for the elevator summit, you'll feel like all 6 million of them are there with you in that tight space and then crammed into the elevator with you as you head to the top!  After visiting the Eiffel Tower for the first time last year, I have some tips for those of you considering a visit while you are in Paris. Buying tickets can seem confusing and overwhelming, so let me help you make the best purchase for your trip!


Guide to Buying Tickets for the Eiffel Tower

booking tickets to eiffel tower paris

Visit the Eiffel Tower at Least Once

The Eiffel Tower is iconic, but if I'm honest, after visiting the summit and spending a few hours at sunset exploring the tower, once is enough for me! The real beauty of the tower comes from viewing it from afar. Spending time wandering the parks surrounding the Eiffel Tower or catching a glimpse of it from the Seine, that's where the true experience comes from. But most people want to experience going up to the top at least once in their life! So here are some tips on the best way to make the most of your Eiffel Tower visit.

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Buy from the official site!

Tourists often get led astray booking their Eiffel Tower tickets. There are several sites that you can purchase tickets from, but I suggest buying them from the official site. This is the official site, and no, I don't get any type of kickback. Just want to make it easy for you!

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Check the youth rate

There is an adult rate, a youth rate {12-24 years}, a child rate {2-11 years} and a small child rate {under 4 is free}. My teen daughter was asked for ID when we presented her ticket that had the youth rate selected. Don't try to save a few bucks and pass off your middle aged friend for 22! 


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Book early for Eiffel Tower tickets

Tickets go on sale 60 days prior to your visit at midnight and they sell out quickly since there are a limited amount of spots for visitors! I'd advise setting an alarm on your phone for Paris time and booking your spot as quickly as the tickets become available. July and August are the most popular months for travel, and those sell out quickly and become very hard to get!

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Which Eiffel Tower Ticket to Buy?

When my daughter and I visited, we had a beautiful day in May at sunset. We got to the second floor and then stood in line for the summit. I imagined drinking champagne and toasting from the top, but the reality is, it was crowded. The trash cans were overflowing with half drunk plastic champagne flutes, and people were FaceTiming loudly with friends and family members who wanted to share the view. Photo shoots on iphones obstructed and slowed down passing crowds and we struggled to find a small space to stand in to admire the view. We returned to the second floor to a much calmer experience and honestly, a view that was basically the same. But don't take my word for it! 


Here are your options:

The Second Floor Ticket for the Eiffel Tower

Honestly, this is the ticket I'd advise buying. But not everyone will take my word for it. They will want to go to the Summit of the Eiffel Tower at least once! 

When you hear second floor, you kind of think literally, the second floor. The second floor of the Eiffel Tower is actually located 377 feet up! You get a great view of the city from all sides. 

Take the Stairs in the Eiffel Tower?

There is an option to buy a second floor stair ticket. You will save money for sure. But again, know that the second floor isn't really the second floor. There are 674 stairs from the bottom street level to the second floor. Just know before you go that it's not two flights of stairs!

My daughter and I actually opted to walk down the stairs to avoid the very long lines for the crowded elevator to go down. It was a lovely walk down, but as someone who likes to save money, taking the elevator up is almost worth paying extra for!

One more quick comparison of the views from the second floor and from the summit. The second floor views are on the left, the summit views are on the right.

I do want to state the obvious that these are taken on opposite sides as I stood on the tower. But you get the idea. The view isn't that much different. In fact, you can almost see MORE from the second floor.

should I visit the summit of the eiffel tower

The Summit Ticket for the Eiffel Tower

Most people want to go to the Summit of the Eiffel Tower at least once. The only way you can get to the Summit is by purchasing a lift ticket. The Summit is located 906 feet up. The elevators are small and they pack them full! But the lines from the second floor to the Summit can still take an hour or more.  I say all of this and I purchased a Summit ticket!

You can purchase a Summit staircase with lift ticket. It is discounted. But again, you'll need to walk UP 674 stairs and then you can take the elevator. 

My goal for you is to have as much information to buy the ticket that is right for you. If you will have regrets not getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower and drinking a glass of champagne, then buy the Summit ticket. You don't want to have regrets! I'm sure I would have regretted never getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower. But now that I have been, I don't need to go back! 


Champagne at the Summit

There is an option to purchase an Eiffel Tower Summit ticket with champagne included. This rate is only available for those age 25+ {or who want to purchase the adult ticket}. My 24 year-old-son and his wife are visiting Paris, and I wouldn't suggest this ticket. They'd be better off buying the youth ticket {since youth allows up to age 24}, and buying champagne at the top.

Honestly, I think it's probably more romantic to buy a bottle of champagne and some picnic items and enjoy them with a view of the Eiffel Tower, not from the top of the tower. The best views of the Eiffel Tower can be from Champs de Mars and/or Trocadero. 

If I'm doing my math right, they actually charge 19 euros for the glass of champagne if it's included in the Summit Ticket with Champagne, OR you can purchase the champagne for 17 euros at the champagne bar. 

The Champagne Bar is literally just a walk up window and there are no special tickets or reservations, even if you have the Champagne at the Summit Ticket.

Get it right!

Check the dates and times you've selected carefully, because you can't modify the times or days of your ticket. All purchases are final! You can't add on to a ticket either. For instance, if you purchase a second floor ticket but decide day of to buy a summit ticket, AND there are summit tickets available you can't just pay the difference. You have to purchase NEW tickets. 


What if the Eiffel Tower Tickets are Sold Out?

There are several different ticket options for the Eiffel Tower. If your top option is sold out, check for the next option. There are occasionally day of options too. You will just need to check in at the monument ticket office. You can't upgrade your tickets {for instance paying the difference for a Summit ticket if you only have a Second Floor ticket} but you can purchase new tickets if they are available. 

You can also pay more by purchasing from third party vendors. 

Print your ticket!

Print your tickets off at home before you go. Sure, you can have them on your mobile device, but occasionally there are readability issues and the French don't have any problems turning people away!

Be aware

The Eiffel Tower is a tourist trap and pick pockets and criminals know this. Just be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to your personal items.

Come early

Once you purchase your timed tickets, show up half an hour early and line up in the que behind the time listed on your ticket. When it's time, you will be guided up to security screening and then ushered to the elevator for the second floor.

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skip the line eiffel tower

Do You Need Skip the Line for the Eiffel Tower?

Often, a skip the line pass for popular events is just a pre-timed ticket that allows you to skip the purchasing line. I wouldn't suggest heading to the Eiffel Tower without tickets, so you are already going to be coming with timed ticket in hand using the tips I outlined above. But should you buy the skip the line pass from one of the third party vendors?

The answer is no. A skip the line ticket for the Eiffel Tower isn't going to allow you to skip any of the long lines. The worst line is the line at the second floor waiting for the elevator to the summit. There are no skip the line passes for that.

Skip the line passes don't allow you to skip the security screening either. These lines are often long and there is no avoiding them. Your best bet is to save the money on a skip the line ticket and buy some supplies for a picnic lunch on the lawn instead!

Putting it plainly...buying a ticket in advance IS a skip the line ticket. No need to pay the extra mark up from a third party vendor.

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Don't Miss the First Floor!

It's easy to miss the First Floor of the Eiffel Tower, but this was easily my favorite floor. The first floor is the lowest floor of the tower. It has a glass bottom that allows you to look down. You can also see a piece of the original staircase that was used by Gustav Eiffel. 

Is an Eiffel Tower Tour Worth It?

We saw several tour groups while visiting and opted to save our money and do the Eiffel Tower on our own. I don't think it's worth the extra money for the tour. The Eiffel Tower actually has a free app you can download with lots of information about the history and culture, must sees and a visitors guide. Plus, you won't be stuck with a group!

You will also be paying extra for an Eiffel Tower Tour vs booking the tickets on your own from the Official Eiffel Tower website. 

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eiffel tower booking tickets

Want a different view?

Consider booking a ticket to go to the top of the Montparnasse Tower. It's around 18 euros for adults and the view of Paris, including the Eiffel tower, are exceptional! And the lines are virtually non existent. So if crowds aren't your thing, skip the Eiffel Tower and head to Montparnasse instead.

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