Anyone who’s ever dreamed of visiting Paris likely has the Eiffel Tower at the very top of their itinerary. A bucket-list item since 1889, the Iron Lady offers stunning views from all three levels.
While I’m sure you’ve imagined visiting the tower, have you ever considered getting there on foot? The tower’s summit can only be reached via elevator, but its first two levels are accessible through a series of winding staircases inside its pillars — 327 steps to the first level and then 347 to the second (that’s 674 total if you’re counting).
It might sound hard, but climbing the tower is easier than you’d think. Gustave Eiffel also believed climbing was the best way to experience his creation (and he should know). Plus, it makes for a once-in-a-lifetime experience that many travelers can’t stop talking about.
Here are just a few things our guests have loved about conquering the Eiffel Tower on foot.
Easier than you think
If there’s one thing that shines through in our guests’ comments it’s this — climbing the tower is doable for almost anyone, not just for the Olympic athletes in your group.
Sian admits, “I was a little worried as I’m not exactly super fit, but it wasn’t half as hard as I [thought it would] be, and well worth the effort.”
So don’t be discouraged! People of all fitness levels have tackled the tower.
It’s also an attainable feat for folks who tend to get a little jittery in high places.
As “Tribucks” puts it, “I do not like heights at all… so the thought of climbing halfway up this structure was stressing me out a bit. I vowed to give it my best shot, and I’m happy to say all went well. The steps are solid, not grated, and the stairwells are well enclosed… Do not let a fear of heights stop you.”
So if climbing the Eiffel Tower has always been your dream, take a deep breath and give it a try. You might find it easier than you think!
A climb for all ages
It constantly delights us to see the many different generations of climbers who come to tackle the tower. Currently in her second century, the Iron Lady is here to welcome all ages, from brand-new walkers to octogenarians.
Liney says, “We climbed with some seven-year olds and a three-year old and it was totally doable!”
Kim describes the tower climb as a “great family experience. We took our kids (6, 9, 11), and they had no problem with the climb.”
And the tower seems to put a spring in the step of more mature climbers.
I’m 46 with a bad knee, and with taking a few breathing stops I made it with a smile on my face.Autumn
But perhaps our favorite story comes from a woman who celebrated her 70th birthday by climbing the Eiffel Tower: “I am a 70-year old female. Climbing up the stairs was a big shock, but I did it! Hip hip hooray!”
A guide with your climb
Afraid of holding up the group or leaving others behind? Don’t be. One of the many things our guests enjoy is how guides help them pace themselves, particularly during the hotter months. As a Paris tour guide myself, I can attest that making sure guests feel safe and accommodated is always my No. 1 priority. Plus, climbing the tower with a guide is just more fun!
For example, many of our guests appreciate how their guide takes climbers’ individual needs into account.
She was conscious of those that needed extra time for the climb and communicative to those of us that wanted to go more quickly, so we could meet up with the tour at the right time/place.Andrea
A good guide also means that no climber is ever left behind!
As “Day Trip” commented, “Others fell behind, and [our guide] took it upon himself to go look for them.”
And many, many tour reviewers are grateful for the extra encouragement that an experienced guide can offer — both with climbing jitters and occasional bouts of fatigue.
Chrystal credits her guide with helping her on the climb: “Marsha made me confident as I’m scared of heights! It’s easier than it looks. I do recommend this tour!”
Aloysius was grateful for the “history and jokes… making the climb fun and carefree!”
One popular guide even has enough wind in his pipes to serenade his climbers with songs from Adele! (Start preparing your requests now.)
Eiffel Tower views as you climb
While well-protected, the stairs are only partially enclosed, encased within the iconic grated architecture of the tower’s pillars. This means that, all the way up, you’ll have a nearly-unobstructed view of Paris, a series of sweeping panoramas that shift with every twist and turn. And the effect, our guests agree, is breathtaking.
“The views were incredible whilst walking up the stairs,” says James.
“It was really fun to see how the view changed as you went up and down,” Lilli agrees.
But one thing that definitely can’t be rivaled is the up-close views of the tower itself. Guests discover that it is just so cool to be inside the Eiffel Tower, with an insider’s perspective on all the inner workings.
Hrvoje loved “climbing and watching the steel structure and elevators. Just rivets. Old engineering marvel.”
But our next reviewer put it best.
And snacks on the first floor
If you imagine yourself being a bit peckish after climbing over 300 steps, then I’m happy to tell you that there’s a break halfway through. On the Eiffel Tower’s first floor, you’ll find a variety of refreshments, or you can enjoy a snack of your own if you brought one.
While the second floor is home to the famous and Michelin-starred restaurant Jules Verne, recently featured in the Adam Sandler-Jennifer Anniston comedy, “Murder Mystery 2,” the first level is home to plenty of more accessible fare that can be purchased during a break on the way up or while making your own way down. There are also restrooms, exhibits, a transparent floor, and it’s a place to rest if you just need a break.
The food, predictably, gets rave reviews.
On the first floor there’s a café — you can have a coffee and tasty pain au chocolat.Valentina
Lorelli was also very happy to find something sweet: “The food on the first and second floor was very good. Highly recommend the bonbons.”
Climb with us
There are so many amazing five-star reviews of the world’s first climbing tour of the Eiffel Tower. Thousands of travelers know that the climb can be challenging but invigorating, and an excellent guide makes all the difference.
I’ll wrap it up with just one more review:
“Favorite part of the tour was climbing the stairs, experiencing the thrill of being able to stop at any point and look down and see Paris from so far up,” says Andrea. “Our tour guide Ellen was amazing. She let us know that there wasn’t any rush to climb up, everyone go at their own pace, and that’s exactly what we did. Once we reached the second floor, she continued to talk about the history of Paris, answer any questions and then we were free to wander around the grounds. It was amazing.”
And she has a special message to anyone who thinks they can’t do the climb:
“I would highly recommend this tour to anyone looking to explore Paris. It’s definitely worth the climb. Most people look up and think there’s no way I can climb that many stairs, but let me tell you, it’s not that much. Climbing is a way better experience that the elevator just won’t give you. You can leave saying I climbed that and feel accomplished. I loved every minute of it.”
So if the tower has always been on your bucket list, consider joining us for our Eiffel Tower Guided Climb. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience in the most beautiful city in the world.
We can’t wait to see you in Paris!