What Will You Find at the Eiffel Tower?
To the rest of the world, what is the most iconic image of France? The Eiffel Tower, of course! The first time that you come to Paris, the #1 thing you want to do is visit the Iron Lady, as she is affectionately known. When it comes to how you visit, you have many options. The first is to photograph the Tower from the ground. The Place du Trocadero, directly across the Seine from the monument, offers a gorgeous view at ground level.
Another option is to make the climb. While the tower is comprised of 3 floors, it is not necessary to go all the way to the 3rd floor to get a breathtaking view; each of the 3 floors offers an exceptional panoramic view.
On the 1st floor (187 ft / 57 m), will will find an exhibition space and a short film on the history of the tower, as well as a glass floor (you may get dizzy looking down), a space for temporary activities (in the winter of 2014, an ice skating rink was installed there), a room reserved for business events, and La Brasserie 58 (see below).
On the 2nd floor (377 ft / 115 m), in addition to the panoramic view, those looking for a nice meal can find the Michelin-star Jules Verne, restaurant of the famous chef Alain Ducasse (more information here).
Finally, on the 3rd floor (1,063 ft / 324 m), you will find a champagne bar, as well as a replica of Gustave Eiffel’s workshop.
How to Visit?
On foot: The more adventurous choice is to climb to the 2nd floor (the elevator is required for the 3rd floor). Tickets for the stairs aren’t sold in advance, so it is necessary to wait in line the day of the your visit. However, the line for the stairs isn’t as long as the line for the elevators (still, plan for at least a 30 minute wait). Adult price: 7€.
By elevator: To avoid standing in a long line the day of your visit (which can easily be 2 hours, more during peak season), you can buy your tickets in advance. Keep in mind that skip-the-line tickets (for a specific time) go on sale on the official site 3 months before the day of the visit and are gone in just a few minutes. If it’s difficult to obtain a ticket through the official site, you can find one through a distributor site. Official adult price: 15€ for the 2nd floor, 17€ for the top.
By guided tour: Certain companies offer guided tours of the Eiffel Tower that not only give you access to the Tower itself (just to the 2nd floor), but to the behind-the-scenes operations, as well. Adult price: around 29€.
Check out our post for booking the tickets to access the Eiffel Tower
To access the 3rd floor: You can either buy your tickets directly below the Tower by waiting in line (for tickets to the top), or buy a supplemental ticket to the 2nd floor (6€) that allows you to use the last elevator. Note: Whether by yourself or part of a guided tour, you cannot skip the line for this ticket, and the wait is generally around 30 minutes to the 2nd floor.
Note: each ticket purchase for the Eiffel Tower is non-refundable
The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year, from 9:00am to midnight between mid-June and early September, and from 9:30am to 11:00pm the rest of the year.
For a quick bite: At the ground floor, as well as the 1st and 2nd floors, you can purchase a sandwich or sweet treat at one of the little shops.
The Champagne Bar: You can also try a flute of white or pink champagne at the 3rd floor everyday between noon and 10:00pm. For the romantics, don’t be disappointed; despite the price (between 12 and 21€ a glass), the champagne is served in plastic glasses instead of crystal flutes for security reasons!
La Brasserie 58: Situated 190 ft (58 m) from the top, the Eiffel Tower’s brasserie offers 2 lunch services (12:00pm or 1:30pm) and 2 dinner services (6:30pm or 9:00pm). For lunch, you will be served a chic picnic (selection of appetizers, main dishes, and desserts served in small portions and brought to your table in a basket, starting at 42€ / person). The dinner menu is more substantial (between 85€ and 170€ / person, depending on the service, quality of wine served, and your table location). Although you can technically come without reservations, it is strongly advised to reserve a table months in advance, especially for dinner, which is fully booked every night.
Le Jules Verne: Located on the 2nd floor, the high-caliber restaurant of the Eiffel Tower (1 Michelin star) offers you an unforgettable experience. Run by the internationally renowned chef Alain Ducasse, you can access it by private elevator before tasting very refined traditional French cuisine. There is a formal dress code is in place for your pleasure, as well as that of others (no T-shirts, jeans, or sports clothes). Price: 100 to 200€ / person. Plan on reserving well in advance! http://www.lejulesverne-paris.com/en
Note: For a gift, you can give someone a meal at La Brasserie 58 or the restaurant Jules Verne. This doesn’t guarantee a table whenever you want, so think of reserving ahead of time if you have a specific date in mind.
Interested? Watch our video about the Eiffel Tower!
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