You’ll probably never meet a human being on this earth who hasn’t heard of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. The iconic French landmark sees seven million people paying to ascend the 324 meters to the top each and every year. Every day, as dusk is settling over the city, the Eiffel Tower invites lucky spectators to gaze upon her gorgeous golden aura. The Tower beacon and lights are lit up until one o’clock in the morning and the sparkling light shows amaze everybody every hour on the hour for five minutes during that time. According to anyone who’s ever visited (or even seen it from somewhere else in the city), it’s well worth the price of admission. But, like any other popular attraction, there are good and bad times to visit the Eiffel Tower, so here they are.
The Best Time of the Day to Visit The Eiffel Tower
During any part of the day, the Eiffel Tower looks stunning. However, even the locals will tell you that the absolute best time for visiting is at 1 am for the final spectacular light show of the day. In general, though, to feel a bit more comfortable, starting your visit early in the morning (before 10:30 am) or at the end of the day in the early evening might be a good idea, especially if you have kids in tow. And, although seeing the last light show of the day can be quite rewarding, it might not be worth cranky kids, which is usually what you’ll get by 1 am any day of the week. Hate crowds? As a rule, 9 am to 11 am and 8 pm to 10:30 pm are the least crowded. You’ll encounter medium crowding from 5 pm to 8 pm and it gets the highest from 11 am to 5 pm.
Best Days of the Week to Visit
Naturally, if you can, you should try to avoid visiting the Eiffel Tower on weekends, since Saturdays and Sundays are the most popular days to visit. If your schedule is flexible, then the least crowded days of the week that you can choose are Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Kids are in school and generally many people have to work during those days, at least in the daytime. Choose those days to see the Eiffel Tower and you’ll find it a lot less crowded and won’t have to wait in line for a long time like on weekends and holidays. And, it’s also important to remember that some holidays turn into long weekends, so then attendance could be higher on Friday and Monday as well.
The Best Time of the Year to Visit
Throughout the months of June, July, and August, Europe is usually jam-packed with tourists. That’s because Europeans are enjoying their long summer breaks and Americans are eager to see Paris. If you have more scheduling flexibility, you might want to consider a visit during what Europeans call the “shoulder season, which is in April and May as well as September and October after the kids are back in school. They’re generally out of school in December again, so then the crowds build up then as well.
Overall, the winter months may see fewer crowds at the Eiffel Tower, however, you should expect to have to wait in line for as much as 30 minutes or more during December. And, even though it’s cold, a lot of people still love visiting the Eiffel Tower in the wintertime, especially right around Christmas. And, in December, the days in Paris last close to 16 hours with the sun rising at 6 am and setting around 9:43 pm. In addition to being somewhat chilly, however, December is among the rainiest months of the year. If you prefer to avoid precipitation and crowds, visit the Eiffel Tower in February, which is the second least rainy Parisian month. But, unless you’re visiting the tower for a special romantic interlude, skip the 14th.
What to Wear
If you go at the optimum time of year, which is December, be sure to wear a warm coat. And, if you want to dress like a true Parisian, various layers are recommended for winter outfits, including turtlenecks, wool ponchos, and oversized cardigans. Visiting Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the Spring or Summer? Then, you should consider wearing something a bit looser and cooler, like shorts or slacks for men, and a lightweight sports shirt or polo.
For women, an airy dress or skirt, shorts, or jeans with a blouse or tee shirt will work well during the warmer months. Be sure to bring a light sweater or jacket, however, as it can get cooler at night even then. For Fall, expect chilly weather but nothing like the winter months. So, long pants and long sleeves for everybody plus a jacket. Most importantly, wear comfortable shoes and no high heels for any time of the year.
What Is There to See & How Long Does it Take?
The Eiffel Tower illuminations light show takes place each and every evening starting at sundown and ending at 1 am. They occur every hour on the hour and the tower glitters as hundreds of thousands of lights sparkle in the night for a full five minutes. The final light show, (like the finale of any good 4th of July fireworks show in the US) is at 1 am and it’s the most magical of all. In the event that you already toured the Eiffel Tower during the day, the best place to relax and see the lights from afar (but not too far) is The Trocadero, which is considered by locals and tourists alike to be one of the most iconic places to watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle.
It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to climb a single floor of the Eiffel Tower. If you’re feeling physically fit and into saving a few euros, you have the option of taking the stairs up from the bottom of the tower to the second floor which is exactly 674 steps! Altogether, there are 1665 steps from the tower’s esplanade to the top, however, the stairway going from the second floor all the way to the top isn’t open to the public.
How Much it Costs
The new Eiffel Tower rates for adults are 16.60 euros (tickets with access lift to the second floor), 10.40 euros (tickets with access stairs to the second floor), 25.90 euros (tickets with access lift to the top), and 19.70 euros (tickets with access stairs to the second floor and lift to the top). Entry for children under four is always FREE. And, for less waiting time, you can also buy your tickets online in advance (up to two months).
Want to know what special event lighting looks like at the Eiffel Tower? Here are just a few examples from previous years. In 2007, they showed rugby posts with a gigantic 13-meter-long rugby ball for the Rugby World Cup. In 2009, the tower featured various violet tones to celebrate the tower’s 120th anniversary. Since 2014, the tower has been pretty in pink every October for raising breast cancer awareness.
There are two restaurants at the Eiffel Tower. 58 Tour Eiffel is on the first floor and is more of an informal yet “chic picnic” that runs €42.50 and includes four unique menus, the Paris Menu, the Brasserie Menu, the Madame Menu, and the Kids’ Menu. And, for making your lunch more unforgettable, start by reserving a window table. The views of the Seine and the Trocadéro are a sure thing for adding that extra touch to your lunch and for marking any special occasion. Looking for more of a fine dining experience? Check out Le Jules Verne on the second level for a three-course lunch menu (€105 ) or a five to six-course dinner menu (€190 or €230). An added benefit is the fact that if you have a reservation at one of those two restaurants, you get to skip the lines as both have separate entrances.
The Eiffel Tower gift shops operate on the same hours as the tower itself. They sell a variety of souvenirs and other products on the esplanade as well as on the first and second floors. Each shop offers its own specialty, like fabrics, gourmet items, and home decor items, for example.
There are numerous car parks near the Eiffel Tower and they include Parking Pullman Tour Eiffel, Parking Quai Branly, Parking Sainte Dominique, and Parking Joffre Ecole Militaire. Parking prices range anywhere from 4.00€ per hour to 45€ for an annual pass.
Looking for Paris photo ops at Metro stops? The two optimum stations for arriving and taking pre-ascent photos (or selfies) are Bir-Hakeim and Trocadéro (the most popular). If you arrive there any later than 9 am in the summertime means big crowds of tourists and tons of salesmen and their cheap souvenirs. Bir-Hakeim is at the end of the bridge that was made famous by major motion pictures like “Inception” and “Last Tango in Paris”, offering gorgeous views over the Seine. Not interested in photo ops? Well, then the nearest station for you is Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel.
Hours of Operation
The hours of operation are 9 am to midnight starting in mid-June and continuing to early September. Throughout the rest of the year, the tower is open from 9:30 am to 11 pm. The closing time is also pushed back to midnight for Spring Break and Easter weekend.
The Best Times To Visit The Eiffel Tower In Paris article published on BigCityReview.com© 2022
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