Avoiding Long Eiffel Tower lines

Old Apr 10th, 2005, 11:20 AM
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mdk
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Avoiding Long Eiffel Tower lines

My 9 year old daughter has her heart set on ascending the Eiffel Tower during our brief (three-day) stopover in Paris this July. I don't want to waste the better part of a day waiting in line for it, but I'd rather not disappoint her, either.

Anyone have some strategies for going to the top without a day-ruining wait? We're willing to go later in the evening or early in the morning if that is better.

Thanks!
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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There may be luck involved, but on a weekday evening around 8:00 (May 2003) my stepbrother visited the Eiffel Tower and there was no line -- and a stunning view. I will always regret that I refused to go with him!
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 11:28 AM
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Does she have to go to the top?
There's a great view at the second floor deck (the second level is not just one standard story high), and you could walk up to that level.
Otherwise, evening might be best, but I haven't tried it.
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 11:49 AM
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We went about an hour before it opened up and still had about 50 people ahead of us. Though, we would much rather have 50 in front of us then then probably 150 people beind us that arrived before it opened up as well. I honestly don't remember what time it opens up at, but we were glad it didn't eat up all of our day.
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 01:48 PM
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wow an hour before and still in line? well 50 ppl are not a lot i guess. each elevator can take a lot of people. i waited for more than an hour when i went in the afternoon in august. the line snaked around the tower base.

the best strategy to avoid waiting is to climb the stairs.i was very willing to do this but conceeded to my wifes wish to use the elevator.

once on the first floor you can use the smaller queue there to go up to the second by elevator or take the stairs again.

when i went third floor wasnt even reachable from the ground. you had to queue on second level.

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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 03:52 PM
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How long does it take to climb? I'd be up for it, but I don't know about the remaining family members...especially the 9 year old.
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 04:04 PM
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Make lunch reservations (NOW!) at the Jules Verne on the 2nd floor. It has a private elevator in the South Pillar. You probably won't get out of it for less than €200, but you won't have to stand in line.
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 04:12 PM
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Hi mdk,

When I was much younger, and in much better shape, I climbed the Tower with my camera.

By the time I reached the first level, the camera weighed 15 lbs.

At the second level it weighed 30 lbs.

Take Robe's advice. Your daughter will never forget lunch at JV and the view of the city.

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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 04:20 PM
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Here's a strong ditto on lunch at Jules Verne. It was definitely the highlight of our trip to Paris. After you finish lunch, you take a half flight down to catch the elevator to the top.

Save $$$ elsewhere to splurge at JV. Call to make lunch reservations...as Rob said NOW...and plan the rest of the trip around that.

This will be a dream-come-true experience for your daughter and one that she will never forget!
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 05:28 PM
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There is another less expensive lunch option at the Eiffel Tower as well called Altitude 95. We had lunch there two years ago on Palm Sunday. We reported to the elevator they indicated when I made the reservations, and missed all the lines. We had a lovely view of the Seine as we ate our lunch. Afterward we went up to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I don't think there was any line for the elevator at that level. Our daughters really enjoyed it.
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 05:42 PM
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No matter what your stragegy, the tour operators have figured out likewise. Note that there are many tour packages available which include dinner or lunch at Altitude 95. Your ticket directs you to an elevator number/line, and it would seem that the tour operators have assigned elevators/lines. See ParisVision, Cityrama, etc., for tours.

If it's worth the tariff to you to skip the lines, Altitude 95 (first level) or Le Jules Vernes (second level) reservations will eliminate line for the elevators going up. Either is plenty high up for fabulous views. And, from either, you can purchase a ticket to ride to the top - though, you will likely have to endure lines to descend.

In our experience, lunchtime, even better dinnertime, is a good time to go. Sunset is late in July.

The best time to go, despite any lines, is while it's still daylight, and stay through dusk, then dark, as the lights are being turned on all over - just magical!
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Old Apr 10th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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I climbed the stairs as high as you were allowed when we were there last fall; second level, I guess. Took 10 minutes maybe.
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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If it took only 10 minutes to get to the 2nd level, why people bother to wait hours in line for the elevator? How is the climb? Treacherous? Scenic? Is it do-able w/ a backpack?
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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Last week we stood in line for 15 minutes and when we got to the window we were told that we couldn't buy "walking" tickets here, only elevator tickets, so had to go to the Jules Verne "leg" where there was NO line on an April late morning. There are - count them - 329 stairs up to the first level and (we think, but it was a lot of counting!!) 342 to the second level. We saw lots of kids doing it. (The 9 year olds that I know would be whining the whole way, but only you can make the choice for your daughter!) You don't really have to spend 200E to get up there!
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Old Apr 12th, 2005, 03:58 PM
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The 2nd floor is 115.73 meters above the ground. That's the height of a 38-story building.

I don't think it can be climbed (by most people) in 10 minutes.
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