If you plan to be one of the 7 million people who visit the most popular tourist attraction in France (and possibly the world), here are a few tips to help you stay sane in the throngs of foreigners all scrambling for the best Insta-worthy photo of France’s glistening treasure.
Know when to go. Obviously, Paris is busiest, and thus the tower is busiest, during the summer months when lines can be hours long. Even in the off-season, weekend wait times can be lengthy. Visit in the cooler fall and winter months and opt to go on a weekday for your best chance for the shortest lines.
Buy tickets in advance. Skip the lines altogether by purchasing a ticket before you arrive. Multiple tour operators offer skip-the-line tickets but these don’t apply to all admissions, such as the second-floor elevators that take you to the top or the elevators that descend the tower. If you’re eager to visit the top observation deck, this will require the purchase of an additional ticket.
Take the stairs down. With most people taking the elevator to get down, the stairs aren’t as crowded, and they offer unique views of the scenery around the tower. Plus, since skip-the-line tickets don’t include getting down the tower, the lines for the elevator down can be quite long.
Visit before 9 a.m. for the best photos. Catch a stunning sunrise photo before the crowds start lining up. Another shot for great photos is to take a boat cruise down the Seine River, which approaches the tower from two sides.
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