The Eiffel Tower: What You Must Know

Eiffel Tower With Kids


Crowds, queues, heat, cost, frustration, heights, wind, blocked ears.

Have I put you off visiting the Eiffel Tower with kids?

If not, please continue reading.

Experiencing the Eiffel Tower with kids can either be a complete nightmare or smooth sailing. The difference is in the planning and preparation beforehand.

And I’m here to help you with that!

Eiffel Tower With Kids: What You Must Know

My first advice is to decide how you will experience the Eiffel Tower.


From A Distance


Trust me, just being able to see the Eiffel Tower from certain vantage points in Paris can be satisfying enough for many. I took Miss 11 and Miss 7 for a walk on our first evening in Paris to the Pantheon. We walked up the hilly street to the building, we turned around and this is what we saw in the distance:



Eiffel Tower Kids


“Oh, that’s so cool mum!” was the response.

Another suggested place for a nice view of the Eiffel Tower would be the restaurant at the Pullman Hotel. Step out onto the balcony and this is the view you will get:


Visiting Eiffel Tower With Kids
Image by Loren Sztajer, Flickr.


We also played “spot the Eiffel Tower” in various other places (such as the Tuileries Gardens):


How To Visit Eiffel Tower With Kids



If you’re wanting to get a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower in the evening or at night, I’d recommend a boat cruise along the River Seine, which we did. We had excellent views:


Eiffel Tower With Kids
Eiffel Tower image by Mamma Loves Travel.


Tip: if your kids are older and can stay up late, I’d recommend a tour at night time when the Eiffel Tower is lit up and sparkling. You may need to wait until the last boat tour for the city to be lit up at night- it departs at 11pm in the summertime and 10pm in Spring/Autumn.


Visiting the Eiffel Tower


By our 4th day in Paris, Miss 7 was upset that we had not yet been to the Eiffel Tower and for her, seeing it from a distance was like teasing her. It was a Saturday morning and being the weekend, I was certain the queue to go up the tower would be extremely long but we decided to give it a try.  We arrived there at 10am and the queue was about 1km long. We decided that we would not climb the tower on this occasion, but would just enjoy looking at it and taking some photos, like this one:


Eiffel Tower With Kids


If visiting the Eiffel Tower is enough for your family and you don’t care for going up the tower, for a day visit I would recommend packing a picnic lunch and sitting in the Champ des Mars. If you are visiting Paris at the end of May/start of June during the French Open tennis championship, there are television screens in the Champ des Mars. They also hang a giant tennis ball in the tower.

For an evening or night time visit, I’d recommend trying to hang around until the tower is lit up and sparkling (it sparkles every hour). Look for the nearby carousel which is a fun way to keep the kids occupied while waiting for that magical sparkling moment. There are also food stalls if the kids are hungry for a snack (but the prices are a bit too much for my liking).


Going up the Eiffel Tower


You’ve travelled all this way, you might as well go up the Eiffel Tower. After all, not everyone gets the chance to do this, yeah?

There are tours that take you up the Eiffel Tower, but these are usually combined with a walking tour as well and can last as long as 2 hours. Being a family with young kids, I didn’t think this would be a good option for us.


Safety And Security

Over the past couple of years, the Eiffel Tower has been notorious for being a prime location for pick pocket rings. In fact, on May 23rd this year, Eiffel Tower staff went on strike and closed the icon for the day as they were frustrated with the lack of policing of the tower. Pick pockets have been known to purchase tickets themselves and go up the tower to pick pocket tourists!

A week before our family went up the tower, the police had busted the major pick pocketing ring operating around the tower (read more about that HERE).

While we were there, we noticed a strong police presence and felt quite safe because of this. There was one petition girl we saw who had conned a family into signing. Other than that, no other hassles. There are, of course, many people selling souvenirs and selfie sticks around the area, and they are a bit pushy. You can buy these souvenirs at much cheaper prices all over Paris!


Tips When Going Up The Eiffel Tower


As soon as you book your trip to Paris, go to the Eiffel Tower WEBSITE and see if you can book your tickets online. If you have purchased an online ticket, then you do not need to wait in the ticket line.

The online tickets are sold out sometimes months in advance, especially for the peak season, but don’t despair if you can’t buy one. It just means it’s time to revert to plan B- waiting in line like everyone else!

I’ll be straight forward with you: if you are visiting Paris in August, try not to go up the Eiffel Tower on a weekend, unless you have a few hours to spare, or you are conducting an experiment on how long kids can stay sane in a queue. August is the busiest tourist month of the year as most of Europe is on vacation.

When we went to “see” the Eiffel Tower, it was around 9.30am on the first Saturday in June. The queue was already about 1km long. I didn’t want to waste a morning queuing that we could have spent visiting other places, so we took some fun tourist photos and then left.

In most cases you would be better off going on a weekday, and trying to arrive before the tower opens. You will still have to queue but (hopefully) not for too long. And kids are more refreshed and energetic in the morning. Friends of ours did this and they waited about 45 minutes before going up.

We returned to the Eiffel Tower on the Sunday evening at around 9.30pm. The queues were shorter, and as this was the last chance we would get going up the tower (we were leaving Tuesday morning and I had a walking tour booked for the Monday night), we decided to stay and queue. We waited about 45 minutes to get to the ticket booth.

You can choose to buy a ticket to get to the 2nd floor only or to the top floor. You can also choose to walk up to the 2nd floor and then get a lift to the top, but there are about 700 steps. Not suitable for kids!

Once you have purchased your tickets, you then make your way to the lift. You’ll need to wait probably around ten minutes for the lift to come down. The lift get very crowded, so beware if you are claustrophobic! The lift takes you to the second floor where you disembark. Those with a ticket for the 2nd floor only, stay on this floor- you can walk around and there is a gift shop and restaurant (which I have heard is quite good but expensive).

Those with a ticket to the top floor need to get in queue for the next lift. There is a separate lift that takes you to the top floor. We waited about 20 minutes in the queue for this lift, and it was here that the kids started getting a little frustrated.


Eiffel Tower Kids
Photo from the top of the Eiffel Tower


After about 20 minutes we made our way to the top. The view was spectacular as we got there just on sunset, and so the city was starting to light up. It was very windy and really cold so I would recommend wearing warm clothing. If you’re planning on taking photos of your family, I’d also recommend making sure the kids hair is tied back!

You can spend as long as you like walking around the top floor. You can even peak into the apartment that Gustav Eiffel built for himself to host small gatherings. We only spent about 10 minutes on the top floor as the kids had enough and it was too cold for them.

Making our way down didn’t take as long. We waited only about 5 minutes for the lift on the top floor and the second floor.

By the time we were back on the ground, it was 10.50pm. So the whole process from arriving at the Eiffel Tower to going up and coming back down took about 90 minutes. The tower was well and truly lit up by now!


Eiffel Tower Kids


It was perfect timing, really. We walked over to the carousel where the kids had just begun their ride when right on 11pm, the Eiffel Tower started sparkling.


Eiffel Tower With The Kids



And the crowd was impressed, judging by the “oh wow” reactions and cheers. Even my husband, who didn’t really care for the Eiffel Tower, admitted that it looked pretty impressive. It was worth queuing up for!



  • Decide whether you want to see the Eiffel Tower from a distance, visit it during the day or evening, or actually go up the tower.
  • From a distance: you can view the Eiffel Tower from many locations such as the Pullman Hotel, the Tuileries Gardens, from the Pantheon or an evening cruise along the Seine.
  • If you just want to visit the Eiffel Tower, pack a picnic lunch for a day visit or spend the evening admiring the sparkling lights.
  • If you decide to go up the tower, decide whether you want to walk to the 2nd floor only, walk to the 2nd floor and then lift to the top, or a lift from the bottom all the way to the top. Or you may wish to book a tour.
  • Buy your tickets online as soon as possible. If sold out, don’t stress.
  • Don’t visit on a weekend if possible (esp in summer). Get there early if going up during the day.
  • Pack some snacks and drinks and maybe electronic devices, to keep the kids occupied while queuing.
  • Be mindful of your safety- there are pick pockets both at the base of the Eiffel Tower and also operating within the tower. There are sometimes petition girls at the base who try to con you into signing a petition (before trying to either demand cash donations or else someone may try to pickpocket you while signing the petition!).
  • Dress in warm clothing and make sure hair is tied back for photos.
  • Have a ride of the carousel!
  • Most importantly, enjoy the moment and take lots of photos!


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Let me know about your experiences. Are there any other tips you would add to mine?


35 thoughts on “The Eiffel Tower: What You Must Know”

  1. I have visited the Eiffel Tower, but not with my family. I hope that I can take them there one day. With my youngest still two, I think waiting in a queue that long would definitely put us in the nightmare category, so happy to wait a little longer 🙂 Beautiful pics.

  2. I have been fortunate to have visited Paris twice. The first time I didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower, my girlfriend was afraid of heights (I regretted my decision a little to not go up so she didn’t have to wait for a couple of hours).
    I returned a few years later and was determined to go up. We walked past the Eiffel Tower a few times and chose a day when the queue was a bit shorter. We waited a few hours and moaned the whole time (hate to do that with kids). But it was so worth the wait once we got up there.

  3. I know it’s a cliche and I know I would probably be extremely frustrated with the wait and the people but visiting France and the Eiffel Tower are pretty close to the top of my ‘must see’ list! Gorgeous pics!

  4. My two are desperate to see the Eiffel Tower (though they’ve both been as babies). I’m a little worried about the moaning if we try to go up but I’ll certainly be taking them t0 see it next time we make it to Europe. It’s magical!

  5. Hi Natalie! Thanks for all your wonderful tips on visiting the Eiffel Tower. It’s such a shame that we have to worry about being targeted by thieves when travelling, but they are everywhere. We can’t let this put us off though 🙂

  6. We went up the eiffel tower with our then 2 year old and I distinctly remember her sitting at the very top of it eating vegemite crackers. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity you don’t want to miss.
    Thanks for joining in #wednesdaywanderlust this week.

  7. Hubby was just showing the kids our Europe photos on a slideshow tonight – we spent 3 months in Europe with our kids in 2010. they were just turned 5 and almost 7. we did buy our eiffel tower tickets in advance and had no wait. we loved it and the kids had ice cream at the base afterwards (we laugh as they almost lived on ice cream in France as the food did not suit their tastes)
    great tips. x

    • What an amazing experience that must have been for your family. Ice-cream: we were the same with our kids while we were in Croatia. A daily ritual of ice-cream to keep them happy.

  8. I went up the Eiffel Tower with Mrs Tantrum before we had kids. He had dinner on the lower level, then rushed up to the top before it closed for the night, squeezing through queues of people. I found the highest level a little unnerving (mild heights fear) and it seemed to sway in the wind a bit too much for me.
    Great tip about avoiding weekends, I hope to get our boys up there at some stage!
    Cheers, Matt #wednesdaywanderlust

  9. I’ve been but my family hasn’t. I definitely fall into the happy to view from the ground category. A friend recently had dinner up there though and said the views were amazing. #TeamIBOT

  10. Interesting! Is it not possible to walk all the way to the top then, you have to take a lift at least part of the way? I’m visiting Paris for the first time next month and was hoping to take the stairs, but I see this isn’t an option. Thank you for the tips – I will watch out for these things while I am there!

    • Hi Elizabeth, no you can’t walk all the way to the top, only to the 2nd floor. From there you can get the lift to the top. Enjoy your trip next month!

  11. Great idea to spot the Eiffel Tower around the city! I love doing that in Paris too 😀
    I already visited the tower so many times, that I can’t do it anymore, because I am very afraid of the elevator hahaha

    These are some very useful tips for the Eiffel Tower!! Great photos too 😀

    Thank you so much for joining #MondayEscapes

  12. What a fun experience! Great tips btw, especially on the queue and the pick pockets parts.I have not been to Paris and hopefully one day will;).

  13. I went to the 2nd floor with my dad when I was 12 (using the stairs!) and it was quite nice, but I think one day I might go to the top. I’m also happy enough seeing it from the ground, and do like the sparkling. 🙂


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