Our daughter has visited Paris before and loved it but hadn’t been to the top. Tickets can be hard to come by, but we have a simple secret to getting tickets for those who want to see all Paris has to offer.
Taking Our Daughter to the Top of the Eiffel Tower
We last visited Paris in December of 2019, and our daughter was five at the time but loved seeing it and has grown her affection over time. I surprised my family with the quick trip to Paris from London so the visit was mostly unexpected. That said, we had a schedule change that granted us an extra day, and buying tickets online doesn’t ensure good weather and clear skies for viewing so it was best to wait until we arrived.
There was an incredible joy and fascination our daughter showed, an unbridled enthusiasm that she hasn’t shown for other destinations and it was wonderful to be able to give her that experience.
I don’t love heights, especially on a metal tower built in the 1800s (by Gustave Eiffel, naturally) and selfishly tried to persuade her to try the 1st and 2nd levels rather than go to the top. But I recognized my error and corrected it. We were headed for the summit.
The Website Can Be Difficult to Use
This is not our first visit to Paris. On previous occasions, we had tried to book tickets in advance on the website but had difficulty with processing our cards. This time, we found there was no availability on the day of our visit and had some navigational trouble but were accessing the site from our mobile device.
It wasn’t that there was no availability to book the Eiffel Tower summit (top floor) nor the 2nd floor of the Eiffel tower, it was that there was no availability for pre-booked time slots.
We consulted our hotel concierge who offered very expensive Skip The Line tickets with a guided tour, but for our purposes the cost (€75/person irrespective of age) was steep and she was unwilling to help us otherwise. That’s ok, we knew we could take our chances at the base of the tower.
Eiffel Tower Ticket Costs
The cost of tickets to the top of the Eiffel tower depends on the type of ticket you would like to purchase. There are several options available including an Adult ticket, a Child ticket, a Senior ticket, and a Disabled Access ticket. There are also two levels, the second floor and the top (summit) of the Eiffel tower.
It’s free to enter the base area of the tower and explore underneath. There is metal detection security to go through but plenty to explore for those who are heights-adverse.
Pricing for the 1st and 2nd Floors
Adult tickets cost €17.10, Youth rate tickets cost €8.60 (valid for ages 12-24), Child and Disabled tickets cost €4.30 (ages 4-11), and children under 4 are free. Stair tickets are €10.70 (Adult), €5.40 (Youth), and €2.70 (Child and Disabled.) Additionally, there is also the option of purchasing a priority pass for €25 which will give you priority access to the lift and the summit. All tickets can be purchased online or on–site.
Pricing for the Summit Access
Adult tickets cost €26.80, Youth rate tickets cost €13.40 (valid for ages 12-24), Child and Disabled tickets cost €6.70 (ages 4-11) and children under 4 are free. There is no option to take the stairs to the Summit. Like the 1st and 2nd floor, all tickets can be purchased online or on–site for access to visit the Eiffel tower.
Our Secret To Getting Eiffel Tower Tickets
There are plenty of places to buy tickets, from the official website to Expedia or Viator. While some of those may include an option to skip the long lines that can plague visits or a guided tour of the Eiffel Tower, booking in advance may mean limited access or no access at all. Today, for example, the Summit is unavailable due to weather.
Our secret, and advice we would give readers and clients, is to wait until the day of the visit to ensure good weather, buy in-person upon your arrival at the Eiffel Tower and skip the 1st and 2nd floors in favor of the Summit. If visitors have mobility issues, are elderly, or are pregnant they can move to the front of the line for purchasing but not to the front of the line for elevators.
While it might not suit everyone’s plans, we prefer to go late at night when the views of Paris lit up are best. The closer to closing time (on our visit 10 PM), the better. Lines are shorter, it’s less crowded on all levels and less waiting. The Seine River, Champs de Mars, and the Arc de Triomphe are all beautiful sights after dark.
Going late at night also meant it was easier to get pictures together, and access the coveted telescopes (€1 for a few minutes.) Our daughter loved it all. By the time we came down from the Summit, we had the place virtually to ourselves.
The website can be tough to use, and hotel concierges can’t always be relied upon. Weather changes and access limitations can make pre-booked tickets problematic. Booking in advance can also limit the opportunity to visit depending on capacity, but walk-up tickets are nearly always available. Going later in the evening creates better views, fewer crowds, and a faster overall experience.
What do you think? How was your experience visiting the Eiffel Tower?