Paris, the city of love, light, and baguettes! In the heart of this romantic city stands the majestic Eiffel Tower. Many visitors flock to Paris only to brave the long lines and get to the center of this beautiful monolith. What visitors may not know is that navigating the tower can be somewhat confusing as it is a bit of a labyrinth. There are many entrances to the Eiffel Tower which include 700+ stairs and/or many elevators or lifts. However, you need separate tickets to the summit via the second-floor elevator if you don’t want to be stranded amid a sea of visitors.
You will find various other ways to observe the tower in all its iconic glory on your Eiffel Tower Tour. To avoid any last-minute anxiety, it is best to acquaint yourself with each of these, well in advance. Climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower entrance with Headout’s guide to each of its five entrance types for a smooth and hassle-free visit.
Eiffel Tower Entrances
First, the esplanade on the ground floor has two entrances for entry into the Eiffel Tower i.e. the East and South Entrances, where visitors are required to go through a security check. The East entrance is recommended for entry as it is less crowded and gives you a good chance to explore the gardens.
1. Stairs Entrance to the Eiffel Tower
To avoid the long lines that crowd the elevators, many visitors prefer the Eiffel Tower stair entrance to the 1st and 2nd floor of the Eiffel Tower. The wait time for the stairs is relatively short as many visitors prefer the elevators because there are 700 or so steps to the second floor. As you would expect, only fit visitors are allowed on the staircase and those with lower mobility such as senior citizens or persons with disabilities are directed to the lifts.
Expect to climb the stairs in about 20-30 minutes depending on how long you wait on each floor. The stairs are open from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM for the entire year save for 27, 28, 29 December when the Eiffel Tower is open until 12:45 am.
2. Elevator Entrance (1st and 2nd Floor)
The three elevators – North, East and West pillars – at the Eiffel Tower will take you to the 1st and 2nd floors from the ground floor. Be warned as the queues in front of the elevators can last for hours so you may be better off opting for the Headout Eiffel Tower Morning Access pass. The Elevator entrance ticket does not grant you access to the summit i.e. on top of the Eiffel Tower. The elevator entrance is open from 9:30 AM to 11:45 PM throughout the year except on 27, 28, 29 December when the last ascent is before 11:30 PM and the tower is open until 12:45 AM.
3. Stairs Entrance + Summit Elevator to the Eiffel Tower
The stairs entrance Eiffel Tower ticket also comes with an option to choose the elevator ride to the summit of the tower. Out of all five ticket types, only this ticket needs to be purchased on-site at the Eiffel Tower, only, as the rest are available online. With the HeadOut Morning Access with Summit Option, you can easily circumvent the ticket queues that can last for hours. You can access the first and second floor via stairs and the summit is accessible via two double-cabin electric elevators.
4. Elevator Entrance (To the Top)
The elevator entrance takes you right to the top of the Eiffel Tower with access to both lifts. The timings remain the same as for the elevator entrances. There are no stairs involved with this pass, however, the wait time may be longer as you have to wait in front of both the elevators. We recommend pre-purchasing your Eiffel Tower elevator tickets beforehand to save time that could be spent gazing at Paris while walking on the see-through floor, through the telescopes on the second-floor or from the top.
Elevator Entrance (Priority Tickets)
How do I get to the Eiffel Tower?
The Eiffel Tower stands on Champs de Mars in Paris and can be spotted from miles away as it stands apart from the rest of the city. There are many ways to get to the Eiffel Tower from anywhere in the city of Paris. Visitors can take the bus, train, or metro to reach the gardens where the Eiffel Tower is located. Here are a few efficient and timesaving ways to reach the tower in record time.
If you decide to take the bus to the Eiffel Tower, the closest stop, Eiffel Tower, is on line 82 and line 42. Bus 82 drops you near the Carousel of the Eiffel Tower and it is only a 1-minute walk from there. Bus 42 will drop you on the other side towards the east pillar which is a 4-minute walk to the tower.
The RER is the rapid transit system that runs through Paris and other parts of France. Line C of RER takes you to the Eiffel Tower after which it is an 8-minute walk to the garden from the south pillar.
The Eiffel Tower is served by 3 metro lines, but the metro exits are at least 10 minutes away from the garden. Line 6 is the nearest with the Bir-Hakeim stop which is an 11-minute walk away. Line 8 at Ecole Militaire takes about 15 minutes to reach the Eiffel Tower and Line 9 is the farthest stop from the tower which will take 28 minutes.
If you are feeling adventurous, you can rent a bike with Velib. There are various stations on the bike route that stop as close as a minute away from the Eiffel Tower. Avenue Octave Gerard Station, Avenue Rapp Station, and Avenue de Suffren station are some of the stops that you can choose.
Cars are another efficient way to reach the Eiffel Tower and the tower offers provision for it with covered parking areas. The closest one to the Eiffel Tower is on Quai Branly, which is only 300-metres away. You can check the official website for more details.
A scenic route along the Seine and a stop by the Eiffel Tower on a boat? Yes, that is another amazing way to see the tower decked out from the river Seine. The boats dock at Batobus Tour Eiffel which is only a five-minute’ walk from the Tower.
If you are planning to visit the Eiffel Tower straight from the airport, the nearest airport to the tower is Paris Orly. As the main International airport in France, Paris Charles de Gaulle airport runs buses by Blablabus every 30 minutes directly to the Eiffel Tower, which is an hour away.
Tips for Your Visit
- If you want to save yourself the trouble of waiting in line for tickets, then make sure to book online. Whether you want to book the stair entrance or the elevator Eiffel Tower entrance tickets, be wary of the time it would take to climb to the top of the tower.
- The security at the Esplanade is strict, so remember to bring IDs for the entire group, even children.
- The Tower does not permit storage of items such as suitcases, non-folding buggies and prams.
- Although most of the tickets for the entrances can be booked online, the stair entrance tickets with access to the summit can only be purchased on-site.
- Take your time at each of the three floors as they all have something unique to offer. From restaurants like Le Jules Verne to the see-through floor, the Eiffel Tower is a buffet of activities.
- The Eiffel Tower dazzles in thousands of twinkling lights each night, every five-minutes on the hour. For the best way to experience this mesmerizing event, take the Paris by Night pass that also offers priority access to other iconic places in France, like the Louvre and Notre Dame.
- Opening hours of the Eiffel Tower are crucial if you want to make it in time. The Tower is open throughout the year from 9:30 AM until 11:45 PM except for New Year’s Eve when it closes at 9:00 PM.
Is the Eiffel Tower accessible for people with disabilities?
Visitors who use a wheelchair may access the 1st and 2nd floors via the large-capacity lifts, but entry to the summit is restricted for medical and security reasons.
How can I get to the Eiffel Tower via public transport?
The Eiffel Tower is served via various modes of transportation that take visitors to nearby stops along Champs de Mars and quai Branly. You can choose to travel by bus, metro, RER, and bicycles. It is best to check the official website as it provides a detailed access map to get to the Eiffel Tower.
Is it possible to alter the date or time on my Eiffel Tower tickets?
Most Eiffel Tower tickets cannot be modified or exchanged. Check the summary of purchase before confirming your transaction so you can choose the exact time-slot, date and entrance type (stairs or elevators).
How long does it take to navigate the Eiffel Tower from the ground floor to the summit?
A tour of the Eiffel Tower can take anywhere between 1½ to 2½ hours depending on the amount of time you take exploring each floor and the wait times.
What are the timings for visiting the Eiffel Tower?
The Eiffel Tower is open year-round from 9:30 AM till 11:45 PM. On New Year’s Eve, the Tower closes at 9:00 PM.
Does the Eiffel Tower accommodate child-friendly amenities?
The Eiffel Tower has baby-changing facilities on each floor and folding buggies can be carried on the elevators.
Is the security strict at the Eiffel Tower entrances?
There are rigorous security measures in place at the Eiffel Tower and visitors are required to maintain decorum. Lying on benches, displaying banners, or walking barefoot is prohibited.
Ready to explore Paris?
Here are the top recommended things to do in Paris. Don't forget to check out our Paris Travel Guide for itineraries, tips and hacks to explore the best of Paris, curation of the best hotels, restaurants and more.