Eiffel Tower: to do or not to do?

It is official: the Eiffel tower will open on July 16th, 2021. Being the most crowded place in Paris – and probably all over the world – the Tour Eiffel has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic. I guess that due to our iron Lady’s architectural features, it was simply impossible to guarantee an adequate social distancing but now that the situation is improving, it is time to deal with her again. Am I thrilled about it? Yes, I am. Actually, I am not sure. Maybe not really… I have to be honest with you: I am happy that everything is going back to normal and I am extremely happy to know that people will be able to go up again but working in tourism, I did not miss at all the mess that comes with it.

Visiting the Eiffel tower is a dream that can easily turn to nightmare. Why?

First problem: finding the tickets. If you are planning to visit Paris and you want to go up, remember to book your tickets on line, on the official Eiffel Tower website, about 3 months before the tour, as soon as it is possible. In high season it means you should connect to the mentioned website at midnight and try to figure out the best day/time to visit the tower according to your stay in Paris. Be careful and double check everything: tickets are not flexible nor refundable. Nothing on hearth will allow you to change your tickets and you will be reimbursed only if the tower will be closed for strike – we are in Paris! – or bad weather – trust me, you do not want to be on the top of a huge iron antenna during a thunder storm. If you cannot find tickets on the Tour Eiffel website you can look for privata or small groups guided tours; tickets combining the admission to the tower to a river cruise or try to book one of the restaurants inside… be creative! Or contact a good guide/travel agency and ask for help!

Second problem: mind the admission time and be there in advance. I still do not know the new admission procedures but even before pandemic the line to go through security control could be quite long and not all the entrances were always available. It could take a while to figure out where to go and what to do.. I’ve seen plenty of people trying to enter after admission time was over… all in vain! The policy is extremely strict and they do check the tickets. Carefully. If you are planning to visit the Eiffel tower alone print your ticket down with the map showing you the entrances and how to reach them and go there in advance to explore the area. Better safe than sorry.

Third problem: you will have to wait in line. Even with a skip the line ticket. Elevators are small and there are a lot of people. All of them with tickets. Expect to wait about 15/20 min at ground level and more than 1 hour at the second floor, waiting for the little elevator which will take you to the third platform. Visiting the Eiffel tower is like going to Disneyland: take it easy and enjoy the ride… Do I need to mention that there might be a line also to go down?

Fourth problem: you will not be alone. You will struggle to find the entrance, deal with security and wait in line with a lot of other people. Always pay attention to your belonging and don’t allow big groups to push you around. Hold your ground while shooting photos and videos.

Said so… the big question is: is it worth it?

If going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower is one of your dream and your are in Paris, just do it, whatever it takes. The view is amazing, the architecture incredible and taking the little elevator connecting the second platform to the third one is quite an adventure. It is worth it. The only thing you need is to know what you are going to face and do it with a smile. Now you can stop reading this article and start looking for your ticket.

If visiting the Eiffel tower is not your priority; if you don’t want to do it but you feel “oblige” because you are in Paris hence you “have” to visit the tower; if you are staying only for a couple of days and/or you don’t want to waste half day in line; if you hate crowds; if you hate touristy places; if you do not like Disneyland and amusement park experiences in general; if you are scared of heights and you are not planning to face your fear while on holiday… Don’t fall in the trap! AVOID the Tower at any cost. You will save energy, time and money to enjoy the city more. Good news: you can still see the tower, admire its architecture, enjoy the lights show… just from other points of view. Some ideas? You can go to the Trocadero or to the Passy Bridge and take beautiful pictures of it. You can go up to Montparnasse tower and see Paris and the Eiffel tower from above. You can book a table in a nice restaurant with a view on the tower. You can take a river cruise… there are plenty of option that allow you to actually enjoy the Eiffel Tower without being too close to it and its crowds. I must tell you a secret: I know many Parisians that never – I mean, NEVER – visited the tower and they are perfectly fine and happy! There are no “must see” places, just do whatever you prefer, especially during holiday 🙂

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