Eiffel Tower

To book or not to book tickets ahead. ??? Concern...don't want to stand in line for a long time- also want to go when the weather is nice. What do you think my Travel helpline friends? ***Then I went on to see if the date we wanted the end of Sept. the 30th was available... Not available. There were no dates available anytime. It seems like maybe a glitch or ? That seems pretty weird that no times at all would be available. Am I missing something.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
957 posts

"Concern...don't want to stand in line for a long time- also want to go when the weather is nice." If not wanting to stand in line is most important to you it's best to get advance tickets - however, then you are locked into date and time regardless of weather. If going when the weather is nice is more important, then you should wait until you're there and you know what the weather is like, then take your chances with the lines. There are ways to avoid the longest lines, like walking up to 2nd level and taking elevator from there to the top (if you indeed are wanting to go all the way to the top - not necessary for good views, only to say you've done it) and going early in the morning before it opens up and going later in the evening. If money is no object there are tours and dining options that get you up the tower without the long lines also.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Any ideas why I can't book for the end of Sept.?

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7818 posts

Shelly they are sold out.. that's all, no mystery here. They sell out almost immediately when released for sale.. people actually count backwards three months and book at minute of date they want. they only presell a few for each time slot.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Shelly they are sold out.. that's all, no mystery here. They sell out almost immediately when released for sale.. people actually count backwards three months and book at minute of date they want. they only presell a few for each time slot. Wow! Well, I've been doing my research for months and I never read that one before. Okay so we just go and see what we can get on a day once we are there then, I was thinking that might be best anyway cause of the weather issue. I had no idea that it would sell out so quickly. I had found out that for my date it was July 1st.
Take Note others!!! Do you think that later in the day, there might not be as long of lines? We were hoping to go up just before the sunset and stay until dark. When do the lines quiet down?

Posted by Brenda
Jasper
91 posts

Hi Shelly, Sorry to hear you didn't get the tickets you wanted. For what it's worth, I've been up the tower twice and think it's not worth the hype. (Then again, I can say that, can't I, since I've been there...) I can't help you get tickets, but I will say that the view is overrated, the crowds are crushing, the time spent waiting is too precious to waste, and if what you really are after is a wonderful view of the city, then take it in from the Montparnasse tower, Sacre Coeur or the Arc de Triomph, any one of which will be faster so you can spend precious time elsewhere. Remember, you can't see the tower while you're on it, so view the tower from the Champs de Mars and Troccadero (exceptionally beautiful after dark) but perhaps view the city from elsewhere. Good luck! Brenda

Posted by Jane
Knoxville, TN, USA
20 posts

Shelley.....my hubby and I leave this weekend for Paris. I ran into the same problem you did and panicked when I thought that I had planned plenty of time ahead. I booked an inexpensive 5:30 pm tour for both of us with "Get Your Guide"..."An Evclusive Behind The Scenes Tour"......just to get us in the door( and hopefully ahead of the lines). I am hoping this will work out for us as we could not find any tickets available except for some at 11 pm at night. I will post after we return and let you know how it went.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
957 posts

Shelley, I went up the tower last year toward the end of August just before sunset and the line was 20 mins wait. I thought that was extremely good compared to what others have mentioned on here. I think that at the end of Sept the lines shouldn't be as bad as in mid-summer and you should be able to make it up without too long a wait. Plan to get in line at least an hour before sunset just in case. I kind of disagree with Brenda, I thought it was definitely worth it. It's a personal opinion thing - some say just go to 2nd level, others say you have to go to the top at least once. Only you can decide which you prefer. The first time I went, we only did the 2nd level and as everyone says the views are great from there. But ever since then I knew if I ever got back I'd go to the top just 'because' and I'm so glad I did.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Brenda, Funny you said that, 'cause when I told my hubby about how it went, I mentioned that I'd read that there were places that have better view and for free..(love that word) I'll check out Montparnasse tower, Sacre Coeur. They just might be better to add on than standing in a line. as long as I get pics of the Eiffel, I'll be happy but Jane is going to do a bit of research too. Jane, Thanks. I'd love to hear about that tour when you get back. I wondered about booking a tour but I wouldn't be sure which one to pick...more research. lol obviously I missed out on knowing that you have to book quickly when the days are available. Keep me posted. :)

Posted by Susan
Sausalito, California
3194 posts

I think the ET is worth it. I've been up it lots and lots of times and enjoy it every time. I'm one of those people that likes the 2nd level better than the top. Less time to get there, less crowded and I can see things in more detail. Would you consider taking the stairs up? They are very wide and you can go as fast or as slow as you'd like, and you can stop often to admire the view. The line for that is much shorter. Just a thought. We also love going to the top of the Arc de Triomphe and Notre Dame, they're special too imo. Don't care for the Tour Montparnasse or Sacre Coeur but they are still good options if all else fails.

Posted by pat
victoria, Canada
7818 posts

Shelly I post on other forums so get confused what I have posted here and what I have posted on other forums so although I think I have posted this before I will post this tip again. Take the stairs. If the lines are long the stair line is never as long( and its cheaper too) . The line for the stairs is on the Sud Pilar ( south foot) . One year my son and I arrived to a huge line, there was even a sign that said "wait from here is 1.5 hours" and the line was well beyond even that sign. We took the stairs.. the line there was long, but moved quickly. We waited no more then 20 minutes.. probably about 15. The stairs are wide enough that people can pass you , so you don't need to rush .

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Thanks everyone. I'm glad to hear we have options. I have one bad knee so I will see how it goes...as long as I can go at my own speed.
Injured my knee just before a trip to Hawaii (years ago) and I still climbed up Diamond Head. Very, very slowly. People passing. I just had to do it and we were so glad we did. Then iced my knee. lol

Posted by Norma
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
3403 posts

Shelley, the Montparnasse Tower is not free,in case you were under the impression that it is. I can't remember what we paid in January last, maybe 15€. I do remember that we stood in line a very long time to get in. Eventually one of the attendants noticed that I was using a cane (due to an ankle injury) and he beckoned us to the front of the queue. We quite enjoyed the view but the Eiffel Tower is the Parisian experience we all want.

Posted by Karen
Fort Wayne, IN, USA
1518 posts

Even if you don't go up the Tower, you need to go to the Tower. You really need to see the architecture from the ground. If the lines aren't bad and the weather is OK, go up. Even if it's cloudy, it's worth it, again, for the architecture. It's just so cool. You will be more appreciative of it when you catch glimpses during your trip.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Absolutely, we will go there no matter what. I am currently reading & recommend Paris by Edward Rutherfurd It's a great book and it describes the building of the Eiffel Tower and so that is something to think about too.
It's a story and history so I find it interesting...and sort of research. :)

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
957 posts

Shelley, I tried to PM you a response but the system failed me. The only time I was up at Montmartre in the evening was before they did the light show on the ET. There were nice views of the city lights but I don't think it's a particularly good spot for viewing the ET light show - too far away. Others may have better information on this.

Posted by Susanne
Bainbridge Island, WA
3 posts

I've been reading theses posts for several months and thought I'd post my experience getting advance tickets for the Eiffel Tower. Last evening, I went to the site at 8:30 AM Paris time exactly 90 days ahead, for our October visit to the ET. Indeed, the tickets were released exactly at that moment. Within two minutes, most times were sold out. I did get my second choice time of 18:30. Interestingly, for that night, no times of 17:00 (5 pm) to 19:30 were ever available. We wanted sunset so will just hang around perhaps up on the tower till then. Happy travels!

Posted by Susanne
Bainbridge Island, WA
3 posts

Correction: I got 16:30 or 4:30 pm, not 18:30! That 24 hour clock always confuses me!

Posted by Bets
Bloomington
1963 posts

Tickets sold out within minutes three months ahead! Sounds like brokers are jamming the system along with tour operators. Phones are set to auto dial just like for the rock concerts.

Posted by Beth
Boulder, Colorado, USA
74 posts

This was another way this forum was helpful to me. After reading about folks not getting tickets, I tried to get tickets earlier than I would have otherwise and found an improved website. It gave an exact count down to when tickets for a speciifc date would be on sale. You have to the exact date to see this count down screen. Armed with the exact date and time of sale, I got on line that minute and easily got the time I wanted. I had to stop skiing a few minutes early and the wifi at Arapahoe Basin worked great!
It was fun buying tickets for Paris at a ski resort in the Rockies. I find the Eiffel rather magical from the Champ de Mars park, directly below it, and on top. It twinkles on the hour and being inside on the second level while it is twinkling is cool. Enjoy the trip!

Posted by Thomas
Snyder, Texas
503 posts

I've been up on the Eiffel Tower 4 times. I never have bought tickets ahead because I wanted to go up in good weather. I've never had to wait too long. This year, we decided to go up on a last minute whim. We were greeted with a sign that said, "Eiffel Tower closed due to social dispute." So we were glad we hadn't bought tickets ahead.

Posted by Shelley
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
257 posts

Wow! That's interesting about how quickly they sell out. Well, then I really might not have had much of chance anyway. Like a Rock concert hey! hmmmm Interesting.

Posted by Don
Charlestown, RI, USA
25 posts

We did the RS Heart of France Tour at the end of June 2012. We arrived at the tower late in the afternoon with no reservations and the line was hours long due to one elevator being out of service. We decided to walk and waited less than 20 minutes to start. We, as others, took our time and just moved over to rest and let people by and no one complained about those who may have been going slow. Going to the second level offered more than enough views. I would never wait in line for the elevators to go from the bottom, it is just to time consuming. Walking, if you are able, is a fine way to do the tower.