We’ve really liked Paris. The weather has certainly left much to be desired but our days are filled with lots of stops in cute cafes where we eat bread, nuts, fries and drink a half-liter of wine while waiting for the rain to stop. As the day progresses, we like Paris more and more.
Despite the rain, we opted to climb the Eiffel Tower. I’d read online that the lines can be horrible for the elevators, and we liked the idea of the challenge. It turns out, you can only climb to the second level, up 1,652 stairs. There was no line at all for the stairs but that could have been due more to the pouring rain and howling wind than the physical aspect of it. It’s also cheaper to climb the stairs; I believe the elevator costs about 8 euros and the stairs are 4. From the second level, you can take an elevator to the top viewing platform. Be aware that the top platform is tiny! And if you climb to the second level, you’ll have to pay a separate fee for the elevator to the top.
It’s not too strenuous of a climb, and you can take breaks as needed. If you are scared of heights, this might not be your best route as it does have a bit of a rickety feel. That being said, Dave IS scared of heights, and it was fun to watch him clutch the railing. For entertainment value, bring your friends who are afraid of heights.
We paused at the first level briefly and then proceeded to the second. They have a bar and a coffee shop on the second level, both of which were pretty full. We bought coffees solely for the warmth value.
So now that I’ve done it, I consider myself a bit of an expert. Here are my 5 tips for climbing the Eiffel Tower:
- Plan to travel to Paris during the rainy season. Chances are the lines for anything outdoors will be incredibly short.
- Wear comfortable shoes with treads, and if following tip #1, aim for shoes with rubber soles. It’ll be slippery.
- Enjoy your walk up. I tend to power through physical activities so I was on a mission. Don’t follow my lead; instead, take it slow and enjoy the view. There are lots of platforms where you can stop and take a breather.
- Bring a snack to eat on the second level. It’s fun to sit and snack up there, and the food lines can be long and the seating inside limited.
- Definitely walk down the stairs. It’s tempting to take the elevator down but you’ll miss all your chances to gloat at those huffing and puffing their way up!