Nine things to know about the stairs up the Eiffel Tower (and other helpful tips)

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Paris, France, the City of Lights and the City of Love. It is the home of many famous landmarks. The Louvre, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral, and last but not least the Eiffel Tower. Instantly recognizable by most of the world population. This landmark was built to the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair). No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. The Eiffel Tower is located in the 7th of Paris Arrondissements.

Things to know about the Stairs up the Eiffel Tower

1. You can’t take the stairs all the way to the top.

Alas, you only hike up the first 115 m (377 ft). The last 161 m (528 ft) is only accessible via the double lift to the top. On your way to the second tier, you can take a break and enjoy the view on the first tier. The first tier is 57 m (187 ft).

10 things to know before taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower

2. There is hardly ever a line to hike up.

Look at that line. That is the line for the elevators to the 2nd tier of the Tower. I wonder how long it will take to get into the elevator for that minute ride up.

10 things to know before taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower
Source: Julian K.

3. You more time standing on the tower rather than under it.

Every step up increases your view of the city. While the line stands around waiting for their turn, you are enjoying the view of Paris as you climb the tower.

10 things to know before taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower

4. Short on time. You are in control on how long the trip to the 2nd tier takes.

You are in control as you climb the tower. Walk as fast or as slow as you want. You have control of your speed (although the better in shape you are the faster you can climb the tower).

10 things to know before taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower

5. You get more time to enjoy the view.

Look at the view of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica from the top of the Eiffel Tower. The view is even sweeter when you had to work for it and you can reward your hard work after you hike down.

10 things to know before taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower

6. You aren’t crammed in an elevator full of tourists

Who wants to be squished in an small square box with 50 plus other tourists. If you hike up the tower you minimize your time in the tourist trap aka the elevator.

10 things to know before taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower

7. 1, 2, 3 . . . Look at the pretty view. Wait what number was I on.

The stairs are numbered. No need to count. Enjoy the view and don’t worry about losing count.

10 things to know before taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower

8. There are 669 Steps to the 2nd tier!

According to the numbers on the stairs, there are 669 stairs. Although they may have miss counted according to some sources which claim 704 steps to the 2nd tier. It gets quite tiring walking up so many stairs, luckily my new stairs from Pear Stairs don’t have as many steps!!


9. You are hiking up a temporary structure built in 1889.

Yep, the tower was meant to be dismantled after the World’s Fair. Paris decided it liked the tower so it kept it. Not sure Paris would be nearly as famous without it.

10 things to know before taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower

Visiting the Eiffel Tower

** All information is up to date as of January 17. 2018

Best time to visit the Eiffel Tower

There isn’t really the best time to visit Paris. The city is a year-round tourism destination. Tourism is lowest during the winter from November to March. Low is relative The city is still going to be crowded and the Effiel Tower is one of the most popular tourist sites. Be prepared for crowds no matter when you visit.

Hours of Operations

The Eiffel Tower is open from 9:00 am to 12:45 am everyday from June 15 to September 1. This includes both the elevators and the stairs. Last entry to the tower is midnight (11 pm to go to the top of the tower).

The rest of the year the lifts are open from 9:30 am to 11:45 pm. The stairs are open from 9:30 am to 6:30 pm. The last entry for the lifts is 11 pm and last entry for the stairs is 6 pm.

Typically the top floor of the Eiffel Tower is closed between January 15 and February 2 for annual maintenance.

Photo Credit: 7 w d

Admission costs

There are a lot of options for purchasing your Eiffel Tower Tickets. There are several tour companies that offer tours to the top. See below for some tours from my favorite online guide company.

If you would like to visit the tower on your own there are several types of tickets. All prices for a single adult. Tickets can be bought online here.

  • Stairs to the 2nd floor – 10 Euro (**About 12.31 USD)
  • Stairs to 2nd floor and the lift to the top – 19 Euro (**About 24.39 USD)
  • Lift ticket to the 2nd floor – 16 Euro (**About 19.70 USD)
  • Lift ticket to the top – 25 Euro (**About 19.70 USD)

Do you have any advice for those taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower?

71 thoughts on “Nine things to know about the stairs up the Eiffel Tower (and other helpful tips)”

  1. I’m actually not surprised at how crowded it is given that it is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world. I would still make the trek up there and experience what the eiffel tower has to offer.

  2. I always recommend people to just take the stairs! Plus, walking all those steps just gave me an excuse to have another creme brulee!

  3. I really enjoyed reading this! I may just choose the stairs over an endless queue, and I love that they are numbered. If you get a constant view of Paris all the way up, why not?

  4. I’ve been up the tower twice – both times we climbed the stairs, but we only got in the lift to the top once – the line was just too long! But I love that it was meant to be a temporary structure – particularly when it is so polarizing for Parisians! But you’re right, I doubt Paris would be half as famous without it!

    1. And yet people will wait hours in line when in less than a hour they could be at the top if they had taken the stairs.

  5. I’ve only been up once, but I took the stairs. There’s no way I would stand in that line, unless I absolutely had to – meaning couldn’t physically do it. The hike might not be all that fun, but it’s worth it and there’s no wait!

  6. My best friend has been to the Eiffel Tower. However, I don’t think I could ever muster up the courage to go since I’m so afraid of heights. 🙁

  7. The line to the elevator looks like a fish, no? It’s been years since I took the stairs up to the Eiffel Tower. Great tips!

  8. I have a confession. I got part of the way up the stairs as a child and had to come back down! I’ve always had a fear of heights and when I was younger I didn’t push myself as hard as I do now to overcome it. I would love to go back and see if I can complete the hike up and even the elevator to the top.
    Great post and stunning photos

  9. I always walk up the Eiffel Tower when I visit – I can’t be bothered to wait in the queues and it’s always a good workout. Great post!

  10. Thanks for the tips! I have been to Paris, but didn’t make it up to the tower (it was closed for Bastille Day). I’d love to return and take the journey up the stairs for the incredible views! I agree with you, the view is always a little sweeter if you work for it!

    1. I didn’t know the tower was closed on Bastille Day. I know it closed the other day due to a protest of the workers.

  11. Great tips! We planned to walk up the stairs at the Eiffel Tower but there was hardly any line when we arrived in the evening. About 1 1/2 before closing, so we just took the elevator 🙂

  12. Actually, I remember when I went up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower, the line was huge, yes, but it moved super quickly! I think I only stood some 15-20 minutes in the line – it’s not that bad!

  13. It’s been a long time since I climbed those stairs! I remember that my fear of heights kicked in along the way but I’d love to do it again.

  14. Fun post! Tip #1: Visit in the off season. We did a year ago January. Crowd problem solved. Tip #2: The stairs are much easier in a certain direction. We rode up and walked down. Tip #3: Don’t forget to take weird angle shots of the structural components. These can turn out to be amazing geometric compositions. Tip #4: Carry a mini silver Eiffel Tower on your keychain always, to remind you of the magic of Paris. 🙂

    1. Great tips. I disagree with Tip #2. Hiking up is a workout physically, but hiking down is harder on your body. I would rather hike up than down. It makes my knee hurt less.

  15. omg that line is insane!! I have heard that the elevator line is crazy, but never saw a picture of it until now lol… I think walking up would be more memorable!

    1. Yea, I can’t believe how long it is. I think walking is more memorable and rewarding. At the end you have accomplished something.

  16. I can not wait to go to paris next month I am so excited, sad it’s just for the weekend but so happy that I am going. The view is absolutely gorgeous the further up you go.

  17. Oh wow I don’t think senior citizens can hike all the way up. It’s a beautiful view from down below but it’s also a different feeling when you have reached the top.

    1. Depends on them, but then again I once met an 80 year old grandmother hiking in the back country in Bryce Canyon National Park.

  18. I walked the stairs as far up as I could go no problem. Just be sure to pace yourself and stop and take a breather if you need to 🙂

  19. You are so correct about the elevator. My family and I visited Paris, a few years ago and that line in the picture, is about 1/8 of the line we were standing it. It was snowing & raining that day & although the stairs would’ve been nice, none of us thought about it!
    Great post! I cannot wait to visit again, now that I have new information!

    1. I hate lines and elevator (I have an irrational fear of them falling). I have better things to do on my vacation then stand in lines if I can help it.

  20. I’d really like to go to Paris and the hike up the tower doesn’t seem to bad now. I went when I was young but I need to go back.

  21. Hiking up the stairs sounds like something I’d force hubby to do with me, lol! The view is amazing though, totally worth the hike for all of those great photos!

  22. Wow, I had no idea it was that busy at the Eiffel Tower. Though a long line, I would totally make the stairs trek up it

    1. According to some sources an average of 25,000 people visit the tower a day. Not sure how many of those go to the top.

  23. I’ve been to the Eiffel Tower in 2003 and didn’t queue much because we came in early. I would like to climb it using their stairs the next time though or up until where the stairs would take me.

  24. I am pretty sure I’d be in that long line lol. When we went to Cape Cod, I walked to the top of the Pilgrim Monument and felt like I needed oxygen after lol. Though as you say, you can take your time and get lots of pics on the way. I hope I make it to Paris someday!

  25. I have no advice lol. I took the stairs up to the top of a light house on vacation a few weeks ago and thought I would die. I was the first one too so everyone behind me was cheering me on. I need to build up some more guts and exercise more before I attempt another stairs of any kind

    1. A lighthouse is a good practice. The stairs are my favorite. I hate elevators with a passion so I am a huge fan of stairs plus they are better for you.

  26. Really? I had no idea the Eiffel Tower was supposed to be temporary. My sister and brother in law recently climbed it during their trip to Paris and said it was an incredible experience, now I can see why! What awesome views 🙂

  27. I have never been to Paris, but it’s on my bucket list. I learned a whole lot of new things here today about the Eiffel Tower.

  28. Bonjour! When in France, of course the Eiffel Tower is on the list to see at least once! I always thought it was interesting that there was no line for walking up too!

    1. I know. I never understand that. It probably takes the same amount of time to stand in line as it does to walk up (maybe less depending on the line). You are stuck on your feet either way. At least when you walk up, you have something to do.

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