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Photo Tour: Climbing the Eiffel Tower

Climbing the Eiffel Tower
Climbing the Eiffel Tower. Photo by Beth Green.

On a recent trip to Paris, I finally crossed an important item off my travel to-do list: I climbed the Eiffel Tower.


Eiffel Tower view

The view over Paris from the Eiffel Tower. Photo by Beth Green.

The tower, arguably Paris’ most famous landmark, was built for the 1889 World’s Fair. For the past century, visitors to Paris have lined up (and lined up…and lined up…) to get a chance to climb or ride an escalator to the top of the 1,000-foot structure. As for many attractions in the French capital, there are legendarily long waits to get tickets and to go up. I first visited Paris in the early 2000s, but never got a chance to climb the tower because the lines were too long.

Line for the Eiffel Tower

The line for the elevator to go up the Eiffel Tower. Photo by Beth Green.

Ten years later, the lines are still lengthy. We waited about 45 minutes in the queue for the elevator and only advanced about 15 feet.  After a bit of scouting, I realized that the line for taking the stairs was much shorter–we only had to wait about 15 minutes.

Stairs up the Eiffel Tower

Ticket booth for the stairs. Photo by Beth Green.

Though we were tired from walking around all day, it was nice to climb the stairs for a few reasons.

1. The elevators are crowded. They pack a lot of people into the elevator, and then you have to wait in line all over again to get back on the elevator to go up to another viewing platform or to come back down.

stairs of the Eiffel Tower

No crowds on the stairs! Photo by Beth Green.


2. You get a nice breeze. It was a hot day, and it was nice to finally get some air!


View of Montmartre from the Eiffel Tower

Looking toward Montmartre from the Eiffel Tower stairs. Photo by Beth Green.

3. We had plenty of time to admire the structure. I really like to take my time visiting a site like this, and walking up the stairs meant we could stop whenever we wanted to catch our breath admire the architecture and the view. People who took the elevator may have felt more rushed, because they were always in the middle of the crowd.

Eiffel Tower structure

Looking down at the crowd through the structure of the Eiffel Tower. Photo by Beth Green.



4. We got lots of different vistas. It’s a different perspective to see the city below from the staircase than it is from the viewing platforms.

on the Eiffel Tower

On the first platform of the Eiffel Tower, looking up. Photo by Beth Green.


5. We could read the interpretative signs. OK, maybe not a truly compelling reason to go up by the stairs rather than by the elevator, but it was nice to be reminded about the other famous structures Gustav Eiffel had a hand in. Last year, for example, I also visited the Statue of Liberty in New York.


Interpretive sign Eiffel Tower

All about Eiffel. Photo by Beth Green.


While climbing, we also got to appreciate how tall the structure really is. And, in case you don’t want to count the steps yourself, the stairs are helpfully numbered.


Eiffel Tower stairs

The stairs going up the Eiffel Tower are numbered. Photo by Beth Green


Now, some views:

view from Eiffel Tower.

Looking out over the former military parade grounds, where the World Fair was held. Photo by Beth Green.


Eiffel Tower sunset

The shadow of the Eiffel Tower stretches over the city at sunset. Photo by Beth Green.


View of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower

Looking out along the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. This whole area is on the UNESCO World Heritage sites list.  Photo by Beth Green.


Have you taken an interesting trip lately and would like to share your photos? Get in touch with Beth!

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Beth Green

Beth Green is an American freelance writer who has lived in Europe and Asia since 2003. She grew up on a sailboat and, though now a landlubber, still enjoys a peripatetic life. She writes blogs, articles and suspense about travel, expatriate living, and many other topics. A social media addict, she’d love to hear from you about your favorite travel experiences.
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