Climbing La Tour Eiffel

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What is the first attraction you think about when you hear Paris? I would estimate that 99% of folks would likely say the Eiffel Tower simply because of its history and iconic position among the Paris skyline. Most visitors who visit Paris will want to see the tower for themselves and of course we were no different.

The first thing that we noticed on approaching the Eiffel Tower from the direction of the Champs-Elysees is the magnitude and size of the tower that I don’t think I had previously considered or realized. It literally ‘towers’ above everything else around Paris. Paris is not one of those western cities that have high-rise buildings and daunting skyscrapers such as modern US cities, but even so ‘La Tour Eiffel’ is an impressive structure both from a distance and certainly up close.

Before getting into details of our experience climbing to the summit of the tower, I would like to encourage folks visiting Paris to explore the Eiffel Tower and surrounding area both during the day and at night. You will face two very different experiences but both are extremely worthwhile and you will see a variety of aspects that you may miss if you don’t plan on both times of the day.

The Eiffel Tower at night

I will start with our night experience, which actually saw us venture to the summit. The first thing worth noting is that frequently the pre-booking of tickets for the Eiffel Tower online does not work. We tried several times but each time the site indicated that tickets were unavailable during the times we were visiting. Nevertheless, if you should see this, please don’t give up hope because with a little patience waiting in line at the kiosks outside the tower, you will gain access to a true iconic landmark.


After passing through the security areas and paying for our tickets (14.50 Euros each to climb to the highest point of the tower though if you prefer to just go to the first level it is only 8 Euros), we entered the lift beginning our ascent to the summit. Waiting in line you notice the impressive design structure that is in place throughout the Eiffel Tower. From the actual design of the steel structures that make up the tower to the lifts that take tourists to the top, everything is engineered to perfection and a true credit to everyone concerned when designing this structure.


Reaching the first level everyone has to disembark the elevator and make way around to another line to take the second lift to the very summit of La Tour. On a cold, wintry December’s night at around 9:00PM, I would highly encourage you to take plenty of clothing because the wind chill gets pretty cold as you climb further towards the summit. Added to the fact you are likely to be waiting in line for substantial amounts of time, you should be well prepared before heading there.

Entering the second elevator, you are almost there! As the doors open you enter an interior part of the top level with glass windows providing the most spectacular views of the Parisian landscape at night. 360-degree views are breathtaking as you wander around and take memorable shots.

But the best part is still to come! You can climb another staircase, only about 15-20 steps and then after opening a door you are met with the true meaning of a cold, windy Paris night. Our breath was literally taken away from us and it’s honestly difficult to keep your stance as you walk out on to the top of the Eiffel Tower with only a wired barrier between yourself and the awe-inspiring views of Paris.


Taking pictures out here is near impossible on a night like we experienced because not only are your hands freezing, trying to keep steady as the wind is buffeting you from every direction makes capturing that perfect shot rather difficult. The experience however is worth all of this though because we certainly cherished the moments walking around the outside pointing out some of the other infamous Paris landmarks from the Eiffel Tower’s summit.

Even after climbing to the top and experiencing all of this, you still have to make the descent. After taking the mandatory elevator back to the first level, you then have the option of either waiting for the second one to take you back to ground level or alternatively take the winding steps which of course we opted for!!

Maximizing your experience is my opinion when deciding to take the stairs. I don’t think Heather was particularly fond of this option given her fear of heights and also with the searing spotlights shining up it was sometimes difficult to see the steps in front of you with difficulties in depth perception appearing.

We made it to the bottom though and can look back on our experience with great reward. The Eiffel Tower is a global landmark that you have to see for yourself and what a great way to overcome your fear of heights than to climb this magnificent structure and take in some of the most memorable views you will likely see in your life.

The Eiffel Tower during the day

During the day the Eiffel Tower is still incredibly spectacular up close. Even though we didn’t experience climbing to the summit during the day, we ventured around the perimeter and took some awesome pictures of the tower.


If you opt to climb the tower during the day or at night you will be in for a real treat. I am sure there are advantages to both, the romance of an evening stroll along the Champs-Elysees followed by climbing La Tour Eiffel was what did it for us though.

What are your experiences of the Eiffel Tower?

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Chris Boothman
Chris Boothman is the co-founder of A Brit and A Southerner. Born near Manchester, England, Chris moved to USA in 2006 where he soon after met his wife and travel partner in crime, Heather. They have since embarked on an amazing journey of travel as they challenge others to follow in their paths of working full-time but also being able to travel frequently! If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Chris at [email protected]


  1. My favorite experience at the Eiffel Tower – and I am not embarrassed by this – was the Nutella waffle that I had at a small food cart underneath (or in the area) beneath the tower. I had never had Nutella before and my mind was blown after that experience. Sure – I loved the Eiffel Tower and it was a beautiful day – but that waffle. It was a great Paris day! Thank you for bringing me back to that trip.

    • That’s an awesome story Joe and certainly very memorable indeed! Thanks for the kind comments also! Those Nutella waffles are all around Paris but I just can’t do the taste so I had to pass on that experience. The little food carts and market stands scattered around the Parisian landscapes are adorable and something that you just have to experience, whether it be a Nutella waffle as you described, a strawberry crepe or something similar!

  2. Heather you are a lot braver than me. I think I will enjoy looking at Gordon’s photos and getting him warmer. I just don’t get Nutella at all. I must be one of the only people on the planet who has not eaten it. I will try the strawberry, Great post.

    • It’s probably a slightly different experience each time you climb the Eiffel Tower also! We would certainly go back up whenever we return to Paris in the future.

  3. The Eiffel Tower is one of those places that you never get tired of seeing. We were in Paris over the summer with the kids. We treated ourselves to the restaurant on the second level “Le Jules Verne”. It was truly a magical evening that I think we’ll never forget.

  4. I love to climb up monuments especially for the amazing views. I would have to say my favorite times are late afternoon through sunset since you get magic light and then the dazzling night show (if its urban)…Paris is definitely stunning from the Eiffel tower.

  5. I think the Eiffel tower must be on everyone’s tick list and certainly when I took my kids to Paris I felt we had to pay a visit, although I wish we hadn’t queued for the lift but walked up instead. On my last visit I felt I had ticked that box and avoided all the tourist traps but just concentrated on soaking up the atmosphere of the lesser known neighbourhoods.

  6. Great post Chris. I never thought about the differences between day and night at the Eiffel Tower. I did go there many years ago, and it is an amazing experience. We bought tickets on the day, so it’s helpful for you to point out that the online system doesn’t work so well. Love the photos also.

  7. This is one of the things I want to do whenever i can make my first trip to Paris.
    Hopefully it will be warmer when I go, although whenever I do get there, cold weather won’t stop me from going to the top.
    Thanks for the great description of your experience.

    • Cheers Ross, it really is a beautiful piece of architecture that is a photographer’s dream both during the day and particularly in the evening!

  8. Nice pictures of the Eiffel Tower. We are from Paris. The size of the buildings has been limited for years to avoid big constructions and keep original character of the city. Thus it is clear that the Eiffel Tower is standing out. You can also see few others towers inside the city like the Tour Montparnasse but they aren’t really well integrated in terms of architecture.

  9. Paris has to be one of my favorite cities to visit. I don’t think I will ever get tired of seeing the Eiffel Tower especially when it is lit up at night.


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