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Paris in July (Eiffel & itinerary questions)

We will be in Paris for 1.5 days mid-July. I have a 7 yo who has her heart set on going up in the Eiffel tower. I would prefer to be pushed off the top than to spend our brief visit waiting in line for this, but trying to work it out for her.

We should be arriving to Paris around 11:30 am the first day. We plan to drop luggage at the hotel around 12pm and roam the neighborhood (15th) until check in at 3 pm. After that will walk towards Luxemborg Gardens or neighborhoods in the vicinity, have dinner and then meet our (already booked) Seine River Cruise at 8:45 pm. I think it will be too much to squeeze an ET visit in during the 12-3 time frame, but if it is doable, we could add that to this day.

The second day (our only full day). I am debating doing the Eiffel Tower around 10 am - I am hesitant to do it earlier since we will be out late with the cruise the night before. Then lunch, taxi to the Louvre for a couple of hours, then the Tulleries (I see there are fair rides there during the summer) to unwind after the museum, a quick(er) stop by Musee de l'orangerie and a taxi back to the 15th for dinner around 8:30 pm. The other option would be to do the Lourve/Tulleries/etc earlier in the day and try to do the Eiffel Tower around 6pm?

Thoughts on getting that Eiffel Tower visit in?? Or thoughts on really amazing bribes to get this out of the 7 yo's head!! Ha. :)

If we do the ET what should I expect for a time frame if we purchase tickets in advance? She wants to go all the way to the top, but we may just have to be ok with the 2nd floor. We would probably also consider taking the stairs to avoid elevator lines to the 2nd.

Posted by
123 posts

The two times i have been up were in March and April, so maybe less crowded. Once there, i would give yourself about 2 hours total to get to the top and back down. (this does not include time getting there).

I saw if you dont have plans to go back with your kid anytime soon, dont skip it :) It's a great view and feeling being on top.

Posted by
28 posts

Would you say the 2 hours includes getting through security lines? I was thinking planning about 2 hours for the entire thing (less walking time to get here).

Posted by
4504 posts

I have a 7 yo who has her heart set on going up in the Eiffel tower.

Why not?
This was one of the highlights of my first trip to Paris!

I think you can figure out best time to go on your second day. You know your family best, so if 10am works, great, if not then choose the 6pm time slot.

Definitely book your tickets in advance!

Enjoy your time in beautiful PAris!

Posted by
123 posts

Yes, 2 hours for the whole thing (I'd say 45 minutes to get to top, 30-45 minutes to explore tower depending on how much time you spend on the first and 2nd levels, and 30 minutes to get down. The line down can sometime get long, so just keep that in mind when walking around). You have security just to get under the tower (don't need a ticket for that). Then you have a line for the actual ascent, that goes pretty quick since the elevators are huge. It does get cramped in there, so make sure you have your valuables close by :)

Posted by
50 posts

Here’s the problem with getting the Eiffel Tower out of your 7 year-old’s head - it’s everywhere! The tower dominates the skyline and she will see it around almost every corner. It’s kind of THE thing that kids know about Paris. Having travelled to Paris with my 9 year-old daughter years ago, I know she would have been devastated (and possibly pestery and pouty) to have not gone up the ET on that first trip. When she was young, making those sometimes difficult travel compromises went along way to harmony and cooperation for the whole of the trip.

I’d go on your second day at whatever time works for your family. On a first visit with a young kid(s) if your schedule seems too tight, I might consider skipping - I’m going to say it - the Louvre. That is of course, unless the Louvre is someone else’s must see. Enjoy, hopefully you’ll be back!

Posted by
28 posts

Very valid point!! Haha! Eiffel Tower it is! I can only imagine it taunting us the entire time.

Posted by
50 posts

I think that you will be happy with your decision! ; )
My daughter is now 25 and we’ve been back to Paris 4 times since that first family visit. (In our house we jokingly say that we have a “little Paris problem” - we keep going back!). We haven’t been up the tower recently, but we do make a game of being on the lookout (and photographing) accidental and serendipitous views of the tower from all over the city. Have a wonderful trip! Jen

Posted by
929 posts

I’m so glad you decided to take your 7 year old to the ET. Don’t try and get by with just going to the second floor either😁. All of the sites you’ve listed are more enjoyable for adults, except maybe the Seine cruise. Glad you are giving her her must see!

Posted by
28 posts

We were in Paris in July 2018 and did the ET. We were there not long after it opened in the morning and learned a valuable lesson. When it opens, they start letting people go up. When a certain number of people (don't know the occupancy number) have gone up, they don't let anyone else go up until some start coming back down. What this means is that the line starts moving and then at some point (when the occupancy of the tower reaches the limit), the line comes to a standstill. Since it will take people time to go up, see everything, hit the shops and maybe get some food, it can be awhile before people start coming back down. I don't think that 2 hours will be enough time early in the day to wait in line and go up. I have heard that later in the day (like in the evening - depending on when it closes at night), the lines have died down. I was shocked at the crowds in general, having been to Paris 3 times before this visit but always in the early fall. Summer is packed, and if you are there the week of Bastille Day, it will be really crowded. All of this being said, it is worth going to the ET. At night, the tower is lit and exciting to watch. The view from the top at night is great too (did that in the fall when nightfall is earlier-in the summer it doesn't get dark until after 10 pm). Several things to think about, but I hope that this doesn't discourage you. It will be worth the time and a wonderful memory for you and your daughter.

Posted by
28 posts

Thanks for that advice. The crowds are what I am not looking forward to! Our opportunity has presented itself in July and I know it is going to make the must sees even more difficult! Maybe it would be best to hit the Louvre am and then EF around 4? What to do?! At least I have a little time to decide before ticket sales! If you have a timed summit ticket does it help at all in getting up to the summit faster? I mean I know it will help with ticket lines but I think I keep reading that you still could end up out of luck or waiting a while?

Posted by
506 posts

Remember that if the tickets go on sale at 10am that means 10am in Paris. And when you get to the second level, get in line to go to the very top right away (assuming you are going to pre-purchase summit tickets).

Posted by
11 posts

Are you flying in from "afar"? if so - beware of jet lag and it's impact on everyone. Allow for short nap/break time on day 2 to offset jet lag and general exhaustion (oh wait - adults might need also). Learned this from Disney travels with grandkids.
You don't have to be back at the hotel exactly at check in time - so you could go the first afternoon and point out the sights she will be seeing "tomorrow".
If you choose to do on day 2, my feeling is - Skip the Louvre. It's a huge and often confusing and packed space. We were there in late September with no time limit. I'm an avid museum goer and was overwhelmed by crowds (just a footsore husband to contend with - so not so different from a tired 7 yo). Option - d'Orsay was way less crowded and had beautiful exhibits. Or maybe Rodin. Spend the time at the EF and enjoy her enjoying this time and the views. Then wander..find crepes and croissant. Hopefully you will have other chances to come back with her and visit many more of the sights.

Posted by
28 posts

We will actually be coming up from Loire Valley (5 days biking) and the Paris time will be right before we head back to the States. I would MUCH prefer to do Orsay. That was actually my line of reasoning with wanting to avoid larger lines/crowds in favor of more time to wander the city. Go by ET, do Orsay, take daughter (who dances and loved the movie Leap) by Palais Garnier for a visit and then wander around and find treats and other randomness on our own. Both husband and daughter are pretty insistent on Louvre. (She recognizes it from a show she watches set in Paris). I relented because of the fair that will be in the Tulleries during summer and it sounds like something she would like as well. I may end up changing that part of the itinerary back to Orsay though. She doesn’t yet know about the fair or the option of Garnier. Once my husband goes through the ET excursion he may end up a lot happier just doing Orsay as well!

Posted by
73 posts

I can only add what I experienced with a 7:30 or 8 PM Eiffel Tower to the top reservation purchased in advance online in terms of crowds. I imagine the crowds may differ according to season or time of the day. I went at the end of May. For whatever reason the ticket window did not open 60 days in advance. So I kept checking back and I think it was 30 days in advance that it allowed me to buy tickets. Your experience may vary.

At that time there was no line to ascend and the elevator to the top was uncrowded. The observation deck was not overly crowded. Before leaving it started to get crowded with more and more people coming up. The elevator ride going down was more crowded. Glad I got to experience it and got some great photos taken at the top of the surrounding area.