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Eiffel Tower First Thing in the Morning

Old Jun 5th, 2011, 06:40 PM
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Eiffel Tower First Thing in the Morning

I'm planning on taking my family (including two small children) to the Eiffel Tower in June on a Saturday morning. The online tickets are unfortunately already sold out for that day, but I was wondering how bad the lines might be if we got there at 9:00AM (the ticket office opens at 9:30AM). Since we'll have the kids with us, we can't wait in line for two hours, but maybe if we get there first thing in the morning a little bit before they open it won't be so bad? Thoughts?
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 07:02 PM
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IME, by 0900 the queue will already be pretty long -especially on a weekend. If you get there at 8:30 there will be folks in line, but not too long. But then you'll have a whole hour to just hang before they line starts moving.

I personally would NOT take young children on a Sat. w/o advance tickets.
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 07:12 PM
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Once the ticket office opens, the line starts to move fairly well. In June, at least two of the three elevator ticket offices should be open, if not all three (but that's usually later in the morning). The stairs only ticket office is always open, and the line for that is never really too long, compared to the others. If you leave it until later, the lines are almost always long throughout the day.

If you are locked in to going on the Saturday, then getting there before 9am (ie 8.30-8.45am will mean you're up the front and will not be hanging around much once the office opens. Depending on the age of your children, it might just be a lesson in some of the things we do when travelling. At least you'll have the "crap" sellers to watch as they throw dodgy plastic things in the air and be occupied by keeping your kids from wanting to buy them as "souvenirs"!
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 07:18 PM
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I actually think the view from the Arc de Triomphe is more fun, and you certainly wouldn't have the crowd problem. What the kids would probably love are the lights twinkling at night on the Eiffel Tower, seen from below, if they can stay up that late.
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 07:36 PM
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"I actually think the view from the Arc de Triomphe is more fun,"

And the view from the top of the Montparnasse tower is even better. Plus there is the advantage of having a view of the Eiffel Tower and no view of the Montparnasse Tower

http://tinyurl.com/3pmcvmr

And you don't have to wait in a line . . .
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 07:42 PM
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Going up the Eiffel Tower on a hot day in summer with kids, having waited in line for tickets for however long, is a big drag. And the reward is minimal. You get up there, you see Paris from atop a big structure...so what?

Major waste of time, IMO (though I'll admit to having been up there a dozen times or more, but it doesn't DO anything for me at all).

Go up the Montparnasse tower. Now THERE's a view!
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 07:47 PM
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Thanks. All very good comments. Unless someone raises a red flag, I'm thinking that perhaps one of us will go alone to get in line at 8:30, while the other will bring the kids at around 9:20 or so. Agreed about the view from the Arc de T.
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Old Jun 5th, 2011, 07:51 PM
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Just saw the other comments. Yes, love the view from Montparnasse tower as well, and believe me that will definitely be our back up if the ET plan doesn't work out. Thanks again.
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Old Jun 6th, 2011, 04:28 AM
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Yes, if you arrive before it opens the line is relatively short. It opens at 9:00 AM in summer, so if you get there at 8:30, you should be among the first to go up. There will be a line, but it moves more quickly when the tower first opens because there's nobody ahead of it.

The main reason for going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower is to say you've been there, not for the view. A lot of the time, the weather is cloudy or misty and the view from the top is unremarkable.

If all you want is the view, you get a better view of the city overall from the Montparnasse tower: it's shorter than the Eiffel Tower but the observation deck is more open, and the position of the Montparnasse Tower on the south side of Paris gives you a great view of the rest of the city (including a great view of the Eiffel Tower). Lines are usually short or nonexistent.

The Arc de Triomphe has a great view of the avenues around the Champs-Elysées, but you have to climb to the top (300+ steps), whereas the Eiffel Tower and Montparnasse Tower have elevators. And while it's good for seeing the avenues, it's less so for seeing other monuments on the skyline.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 07:26 AM
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Update: For fun, I went back to the Eiffel Tower web site (http://www.tour-eiffel.com/) and was surprised to find that a spot had opened up (incredibly, the first time slot of the day, 9:30AM!). So now we can just show up at 9:15 and go straight to the ticket holders line. My 5 year old daughter has been dreaming of this and it's going to be pure pleasure watching her reaction. Thanks again all.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 05:19 PM
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That's great news Danielcrj, glad it worked out and you will get to go up the tower with your family without too much of a wait. Take lots of photos and enjoy the views! Now you have time to check out the views from other points in the city - nothing like a photo with the Tower in it rather than from it!
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 05:42 PM
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Keep in mind having advance tickets only gets you to the first level ahead of those who didn't have advance tickets. You must still wait to get to upper levels. The total time for us, with advance tickets, from bottom to top and back down was 90 minutes.

Just don't think that you will enter at 9:30 and whoosh, be at the top ASAP.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 07:11 PM
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If there's no one at the top, you can be there in about 20 minutes. Once the tower is filled with people, though, the wait gets a lot longer. Often in high season, it can take 3 hours from the time you arrive at the Eiffel Tower to the time you finally get back down on the ground.
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Old Jun 7th, 2011, 08:19 PM
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We went in early May, and it was busy, not crazy busy, but once we joined the masses, it took a while to get up, hence the 90 minutes.
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Old Jun 28th, 2011, 07:07 AM
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Hey all. Had a wonderful trip to Paris avec enfants. Also, having the advance tickets was a Godsend. We got there at 9:15 and there was about 30 or so people ahead of us. Once they opened the entrance at 9:30 things moved VERY quickly and we got to the top in about 20 minutes as Anthony predicted. Most importantly, the kids had a blast and I'm really happy we did it. Thanks again for your help!
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