The Best Time to Visit the Eiffel Tower

The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower
Going to Paris was an experience I’d been dreaming of for my whole life. Of course, I don’t recall ever meeting someone who didn’t at least like the idea of visiting Paris at some point. Since I knew we’d only be heading up to the top once, I made sure to plan for the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower. We couldn’t decide if we wanted to go to the top during the day or late in the evening to see the city lit up below us.

Note: This post contains affiliate links, and should you choose to make a purchase, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. If you use an ad blocker, you may need to disable it for this site in order to see the product images.

Getting To the Eiffel Tower

We were a few minutes late for our tickets, but it didn’t seem to matter. I’d read about horrendous lines for security and the elevators at the Eiffel Tower, but we seemed to breeze right through. Plans to increase the barriers around the base of the Eiffel tower were recently announced, but guards and barriers were already heavily present. We had to walk through metal detectors before being allowed under the structure. Security only took a few minutes and we didn’t have to wait for more than one elevator car at any of the levels as we headed to the top. Booking your tickets online is well worth it, and in the summer, it might be your only chance at getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower.

When to Visit the Eiffel Tower

When making our reservations, we debated about what time we should visit the Eiffel Tower. One school of thought was to go up during the day so we could have good views of all of the landmarks in Paris. The other was that we should go up at night to enjoy the sight of the City of Lights all lit up below us. (And also to take advantage of its late hours so we could use the days to hit museums and other sites that closed in the evening. Read about our strategy in this Paris itinerary post.) It took me an embarrassingly long time to realize that going up in late afternoon was the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower. That way we could catch the last bit of daylight and then watch the sunset from the top of the Eiffel Tower. That way we’d get to see both day and night in just one trip to the top. We googled the sunset times for our days in Paris and chose our tickets accordingly.

I wanted to get tickets about an hour before the sunset to give us time to get through security and all the way to the top, but there was a mix-up when booking and we ended up with only about 25 minutes between our ticket time and the sunset. On top of that, we were a few minutes late, so we made it to the top of the Eiffel Tower just as sunset would’ve been ending. It didn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, because it was overcast that day anyway. The best laid plans can always go awry, so sometimes you just have to make the best of things. We still had amazing views and got to watch as Paris lit up below us as streetlights, headlights, and windows came to life one by one. This is truly the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower.

View of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower

Sunset at the Top of the Eiffel Tower

There is a (slightly overpriced) champagne bar at the top. My sister and I spent the extra 5 Euros to get light-up glasses with ours because we figured it might be our only chance to ever drink champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower, so we might as well go all the way. We were not disappointed. I took mine home and used it at midnight on New Year’s Eve, so if you factor in two uses, it was less expensive.

Champagne glasses at the Eiffel Tower

It was freezing and very windy at the top of the Eiffel Tower, but we braved the cold and took our coats off anyway so we’d look semi-decent in some of the pictures. Yay, vanity.

Drinking champagne at the top of the Eiffel Tower

This is my “please take the picture before I freeze” face.

Watching Paris light up below us was magical. Sunset was absolutely the best time to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. In contrast to other European cities I’ve visited, Paris looked kind of grey and monotone from above, but as darkness fell it seemed to take on a whole new life. I had a bird’s eye view of an endless array of sights I’d been dreaming of seeing for most of my life. Paris has so many recognizable landmarks that gazing out over the city almost felt familiar because everywhere I looked, I saw buildings and monuments that I’d looked at in pictures hundreds of times before.
The Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France

I have no idea what happened to the color in this picture, but I kind of love the blues.

I could’ve stayed at the top of the Eiffel Tower there until midnight, but we had tickets for a river cruise, so we eventually headed back to earth to grab a quick dinner and find the docks. Kicking off the Paris portion of our stay with a visit to the top of the Eiffel Tower was definitely a good way to start things. It worked well logistically based on the locations of our hotel and our cruise departure and made us even more excited for the next few days. After finally laying eyes on the Louvre and Notre Dame from afar, it was almost impossible to sleep knowing that I’d be visiting them up close the next day.

The Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

Good night, gorgeous.

Read more about our trip to Paris:

Enjoy this post? Save it for later on Pinterest.

The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower
Check out these great Paris guides!

  • 295
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    296
    Shares
  • 295
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
About

5 Comments

  • storiesofadventureblog March 11, 2017 at 11:45 am Reply

    This makes me really want to visit Paris now! Good idea with catching the sunset, but rubbish that you had overcast weather! Beautiful views still though, and loving them light up champagne glasses! I will be purchasing one of those

    • nomadbytrade13 March 13, 2017 at 11:35 am Reply

      The champagne glasses made it so much more fun, even if they were super expensive! I’m glad we bought them even though it was freezing up there while we were trying to drink it.

  • lhelmbre March 11, 2017 at 2:17 pm Reply

    So beautiful! I’ll be in Paris in May! I can’t wait to go up in the eiffle tower.

    Leah

    • nomadbytrade13 March 13, 2017 at 11:31 am Reply

      Have fun! It’s so beautiful, especially if you catch it in “sparkle mode” at night.

  • Planes, Trains & Champagne April 12, 2017 at 11:50 pm Reply

    Great Post! Love the touch of Champagne on top of the Eiffel Tower!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.