France Travel Guides

A Guide to Taking the Stairs up the Eiffel Tower

eiffel tower stair climb

Call it the Eiffel Tower, call it the Iron Lady – the point is, you can climb that bad boy, step by step, for as little as €4.  4 euros for a 674-step exercise. Not bad if you ask me.

THE BANK ACCOUNT DAMAGE

It takes a certain person to be okay with putting themselves through the struggle of climbing all those stairs, but I’ve gotta just say: do it. Not only are the elevator prices pretty stiff  (For Under 26s: €6.50 for the Second Floor or €12.50 for the Top Floor; Over 26s: €7.50 for the Second Floor or €13.50 for the Top), but the elevator line is also always three times longer, even if you’ve reserved your ticket online. The time you spend panting up the stairs to the First and Second Floors will not only make your experience that much more worth it (“OMG, I’m here!” or maybe “OMG, never doing that again!“), but you’ll be done with your entire visit before the others in the elevator line even make it to the elevator.

See, the Eiffel Tower consists of three floors – two of which you can walk up. The Top Floor is only reachable by elevator, so if you wanted to, you could walk to the Second Floor and then pay a supplement to take the elevator to the Top Floor. I personally think the views from the Eiffel Tower’s second floor are already breathtaking enough that you can save yourself the extra euros and buy yourself a little Eiffel Tower keychain from the sketchy men who hang out in front of the Eiffel Tower in the Champs de Mars.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE THOUGH

Okay I will say that I pride myself on my glutes, hence my personal record time of 4 minutes and 41 seconds to the First Floor (double-time’ing those steps, baby).  If you’re not trying to be crazy, you could take your time up the steps, read the signs explaining the history of the Eiffel Tower along the way, and enjoy the views along the way and still make it in probably under ten minutes.

WHEN TO VISIT 

Most people tell you to get to the Eiffel Tower, first thing in the morning because “there’ll be the least amount of people,” but I’ll tell you this: I’ve been up La Tour Eiffel a total of three times, and never once have I been able to avoid a rowdy group or British teenagers in line. Nonetheless, I’ve also never waited in line more than 15 minutes (and I’ve gone in October, May, and June – all touristy months). Go when you want.

GOOD TO KNOW

  • Three legs of the Eiffel Tower are used for different entrances: one for the stairs, one for the elevator, and one for those who have already reserved tickets for the elevator.

  • There are free restrooms on the Second Floor

  • There is a Post Office next to the Stairs entrance (and your post cards will say “Sent from the Eiffel Tower”)

  • You can also get a great view from the 6 train going from Bir-Hakeim to Passy

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