The Eiffel Tower is unlike anything else. It’s the thing people think of when they think of Paris, one of the most iconic things in all of Europe. So when I planned our trip last summer, I wanted to end it with visiting the Eiffel Tower.
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On a cloudy August day, we lingered over our last cappuccino and croissants. We weren’t quite ready to go back to real life and giving up our daily espresso-and-pastry lifestyle.
Because of some ominous clouds on the horizon, we opted to take the elevator up. You can choose to ride or climb up the first few levels – read below for a few more details on that! – but we didn’t want to only be halfway up if a storm hit.
Realistically, going up the Eiffel Tower involves a lot of lines: security, ticket purchase, multiple elevator rides. But I promise its worth it. Even the lowest platform boasts a view of most of the city! You can really get a feel for the arrondissements (neighborhoods, it’s the way the city divides itself up) snaking their way around Notre Dame. You also can see the ways the city embraces its classic architecture, with only a few pockets of more modern, square (read: boring) office buildings.
This comes as no surprise, but the view from the top level is amazing. I love climbing the Eiffel Tower near the end of a trip to Paris because its fun to find the places you’ve already explored. We were high enough to see the rain coming down on other parts of the city, but managed to miss getting caught in the storm!
On the various levels there are several opportunities to buy souvenirs, as well as a coffee shop and nice restaurant. It seemed mostly overpriced so we skipped these, but if you’re desperate for a caffeine fix there are options.
When we got back on the ground, we even got to see a little blue sky. Thanks, Paris, for giving us that last bit of love before heading home!
The night before, we ate dinner nearby and spent the evening relaxing in the grass at night under the lights. On my last visit to Paris I hadn’t actually seen it sparkle, so that was a MUST this time! Sure enough, after a romantic hour talking about our favorite parts of the trip, we looked up to find the whole thing twinkling like a Christmas tree! Some might call it cheesy, but I thought it captivatingly beautiful.
Planning Your Visit to the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year! So not to worry about what day you choose. You can choose to climb the stairs or take an elevator. I’ve done both, and I think you should decide based on weather. On our most recent trip it was threatening rain the whole time, so we opted to ride up. We wanted to get to the top before it started pouring! In a similar vein, consider how much time you have. When I walked it, I had hours and I was by myself which meant I could go at my own pace. In my experience walking it can be less choked with tourists in between the viewing platforms! Your entry ticket is also a bit cheaper to walk than to ride. Make sure you read the legs of the tower as you’re choosing: one leg has the walk up entry while another allows you to ride. Further, you have the option to go to the 2nd level or the summit: choose the summit. The views look so different from that high up, and the price is only a few Euros more!
I absolutely adore the Eiffel Tower. Climbing it is a must, if for no other reason than enjoying another view of the City of Lights.