Visiting the Eiffel Tower: How to Circumvent the Long Queues


Just like the London Eye, the installation of the Eiffel Tower in 1889 was meant to be a temporary installation and an entrance into the French capital’s ExpositionUniverselle. On completion of the iconic landmark, it immediately began to attract huge masses towards France, rising to the top of tourist attractions in the city not long afterward.

That is how the demolition plans were done away with altogether and for 41 years after that, it was the world’s tallest structure, before the Chrysler Building in New York overtook it in 1930.

To date, the Eiffel Tower remains France’s most popular paid attraction site. However, getting in, the crowds and endless queues can hamper one’s enjoyment of what the site has to offer. This article provides strategies to take advantage of every visit, not the least of which is getting an early start to the site.

This leaves you to spend the rest of the day touring other sites in Paris. Remember to carry a small backpack with you and carry some plastic bottled water, since glass bottles and large rucksacks are banned.

Buy advance tickets online

There are three levels of viewing platforms on the tower, located at 275, 115 and 57 meters from the ground. Tourists can and should be able to walk to the second level in around 15 minutes, which allows visitors to get closest to the structure’s fabric. If you don’t want to use the staircase, book Eiffel tower tickets now including those for the lift and come with the printed copy.

There is no cost saving in advance purchase, but it does eliminate having to queue to acquire tickets so that you can come and walk straight in. You cannot, however, acquire tickets for the stairs-plus-lift combo; these are not available online for some reason. Online elevator ascents have online tickets.

Getting in the Trocadero station

By 8.30 in the morning, be on the Metro line, because it is an important part of the experience. At the Metro station, there are brown signs that indicate Tour Eiffel. On exiting the station, you will enjoy a breathtaking view of the Tower from the distant side near the Seine. Cross the river, and on getting close, you’ll encounter vendors selling minuscule Eiffel towers.

PilierSud queue

15 minutes later, you will find the queue located on the south pillar. If you have a ticket for the lift, there’s also a queue for you here, and you’ll reach the top much faster. Smarter tourists are those who get pre-paid tickets online since they are allowed entry immediately and are among the first to get to the lifts.

Cash desk opening

The cash desk is open at 9 am, allowing visitors in after a light security check, followed by a more comprehensive one that includes metal detection further in.

You should be climbing by 9:30 am. Don’t stop long at the first level; rather, take the stairs towards the second level, where you can pay for the Sommet at another cash desk. After that, join the lines queuing for lifts to get to level three. Between 9 am and 10 am, it doesn’t take more than 10 minutes to get to the top.

Enjoy the top for about 20 minutes, during which time the viewing platform hasn’t gathered a large crowd, then descend back to the second level to drink in its resplendence. For the history of the tower and other information, go down to level one, which will also have little crowds gathering by now.

Okay, you’re now good to go, two hours and a life-changing experience later.