Elevator Eifel Tower

Nov 19th, 2009, 11:06 PM
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Elevator Eifel Tower

We are visiting next week and I am trying to decide on going to the 2nd floor or the top? We will have our 3 children with us, ages 7, 5, and 2. We have been to Paris 2, but have not gone "into" the tower. Think it is time.

Oh, and we want to go around 6 when it is dark. I have heard it is better at night with all the lights. Any input other than dress warm?
bbrown1226 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 04:26 AM
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There will probably be long lines in order to buy tickets, though I've heard they have a new online system. Not sure if it's operating yet. Regardless, then you have the line (or crush) for the elevator where you get wedged in. Same crush on the way down.

Can you wait until you are there to decide how high up you will go? If it's a foggy night, you won't see anything from the top, though there is a display of M. Eiffel's office.

Maybe you and your kids have the energy to take the stairs?
melissa19 is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 05:04 PM
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I think the second level is high enough. Once you get to the top you see much less, even on a clear day. IMHO the view from the first level is the best.

You can buy on line tickets to the second level for the next two days (through November 22). The stairs only go to the second level and I think it would be beyond the ability of a 2 year old to climb all those stairs.

adrienne is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 05:05 PM
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I forgot to add that I prefer the lights at night to the daytime view from the tower.
adrienne is offline  
Nov 20th, 2009, 06:01 PM
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This to me is a silly question. It may be rainy or foggy or really cold or windy. Your kids may be clamoring to go to the top, or not. You may be tired after a long day of sightseeing, or not. Just get your family's opinions together when you get there and decide on the spot. You don't need us to help you with this.
StCirq is online now  
Nov 20th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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The Eiffel Tower is much like the Eye in London -- they are VERY weather dependent. I would never pre-book tickets for the ET . . . . .
janisj is online now  
Nov 21st, 2009, 01:41 AM
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The point of lighting the Tower up is for it be looked at, rather than from, surely, and there are plenty of places to do that. I'm not sure what the night view of the rest of Paris would be like from there, either, but you pays your money....
PatrickLondon is online now  
Nov 21st, 2009, 05:06 AM
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I prefer the view from the top of the Montparnasse tower:


As stated on wikipedia you don't see much of the Eiffel Tower when you're in it. You can have a great view of it from Montparnasse. When I went up a few years ago there were no lines. The viewing platform is the entire roof of the building and there were only a couple of dozen people on it. The 3 times I've been to the top of the Eiffel Tower I was crushed in with lots of people on the tiny platform.

Thanks for posting your question. It gave me a chance to bring up the Montparnasse Tour.
around is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 07:34 AM
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Ascending the ET is an iconic tourist activity, and thus there are crowds whenever it is open. Having ascended more times than I can count, it holds no great allure for me, but for many first time Paris visitors it is virtually a must.

As to what you (OP) heard about being better at night - if you mean seeing the lighting of the ET itself, that's obviously best seen from a distance - we like Trocadero for this. Not sure what it is like being inside the ET when it is atwinkle (maybe I need to do this!) If, on the other hand, you mean seeing the city lights from the ET - again, never did this, have always been there during daylight. Might be kinda fun if the weather is clear enough.

The ability to purchase online is, at first blush, intriguing, but as noted weather can be a factor. According to the online info pre-purchased tickets are valid for entrance only at the selected time, so if the weather is lousy then you would not be able to use it later in the day. This time of year it's more of a gamble and I would not risk it.
If you do go, keep in mind that it can be quite breezy and cool to frankly cold, so dress accordingly. For your group the 2e etage is probably fine.
Seamus is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 08:08 AM
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Why is this such a silly question? You don't have to answer if you think the question isn't worth your time. Thank you to everyone else for your valuable input. We are traveling with friends who want to go all the way to the top. We don't, so I was trying to way the pro's and con's of each level. I am more interested in seeing the city of Paris lit up at night from the Eifel. Maybe the 1st level will be even better.
bbrown1226 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 09:09 AM
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Yes, you must ascend the Eiffel Tower. Yes, its a touristy thing to do but it is a must. We went this summer at night and for the first time I was quite inspired by how beautiful the tower is when it is lit. It "sparkeled" every hour on the hour (but I don't know what time this starts.) We just went to the second level this time but your kids will probably feel the need to go to the top or they'll feel they've missed out.

One tip we learned: try to go up the East tower, if it is open, as the line there is usually shorter. It is the tower further from where most people approach the monument. The lines did look long when we visited but did move fairly quickly.

The first time we visited my kids really enjoyed going up the elevator but then walking back down and visiting the various levels on the way down.

Have fun!
KTtravel is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 09:10 AM
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Personally, the first level is fine with children that young. It is very open and can seem a little scary for children and many adults. (There is no way you should even consider the stairs.) Those who want to continue on up higher can do so. I have always found the first level to be high and you can see a lot.
I would also purchase tickets online. The lines can be so long. Your children will still consider it fun even if it is foggy.
Lynnaustin is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 09:25 AM
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"Your children will still consider it fun even if it is foggy."

But how much fun will they think it is if its sleeting?

Or rain blowing sideways?
janisj is online now  
Nov 21st, 2009, 10:05 AM
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when you say it is open and scary, what exactly do you mean? I am one paranoid mama.
bbrown1226 is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 03:31 PM
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You would probably want to hold the young one's hand while on the outside decks, but there is metal fencing, it is not just an open deck.
Seamus is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 03:42 PM
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I prefer the stairs, myself...far shorter lines, a wonderful excuse for self-indulgence at next mealtime, and bragging rights...but they might be a bit much for a two-year-old. Anyone in your party capable of piggybacking the little critter up 700 or so steps? That's per level, IIRC.
RedStater is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 04:16 PM
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It's a silly question because no matter how many strangers on the internet advise you one way or another, you're going to make your decision based on what's happening when you get there.
StCirq is online now  
Nov 21st, 2009, 04:51 PM
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Yes, there is metal fencing, I would hold both of the younger ones hands. I didn't mean to imply that it was not safe. I was trying to say that because of the height and the structure that it may seem a little intimidating to your children. It's actually a little intimidating to many adults. The elevator is a bit nerve-wracking just because of the openness.
Lynnaustin is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 05:19 PM
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StCirq -

That doesn't mean it is silly. In the end, no matter what question is asked, there are always factors that no one on this forum can advise her of for any situation [hotel, cafe, transportation, etc].

Sure weather is a biggie, and many ppl here have mentioned what to expect. This is a forum for dialogue, not to quash other ppls questions or concerns regarding travel. There is some sound advice in this thread and worthy opinions ...and even some alternatives the OPer may wish to look into.


I say go for the online tickets if you don't mind a small gamble. The pay off is less wait time. One can always make the best of a foggy ET visit. I did.

The lights on the tower are meant to be seen from afar as mentioned above. If the city lights of Paris are what you seek (and that sounds like the case), then you will be in for a treat... even if it is foggy/drizzly. Under these types of conditions the lights become a surreal moment of colors and disembodied sounds of the city below. You won't be able to see very much detail, but you will still have a great time... and hey, ya finally did the tower, right? Like others said, stick with the 1st level with the little ones and enjoy a hot drink and wait for the rest of your party to make their way down to level one.

IMO it is a decent gamble for you and your family... now if this was a monumental moment (e.g. proposal), then maybe I wouldn't take the gable.

JayMazz is offline  
Nov 21st, 2009, 05:36 PM
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Will there be long lines at 6PM the week of Nov 23???
We stayed next to the tower for 3 weeks in late Sept/Oct last year. Many times there were no lines at all in the early morning and late in the day - during peak season.

I agree with St Cirq - wait till you get there, see how you feel, gage the weather, determine your energy level. Don't by tickets in advance for a specific date & time - too iffy in late Nov.

Stu Dudley
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