If you’re visiting the Eiffel Tower, seeing the summit is often a bucket-list experience. Did you know that the Eiffel Tower summit sometimes closes at the discretion of Eiffel Tower staff? Do you know how to find out whether the Eiffel Tower summit is open or closed?
In this guide, we’ll answer these questions and more so you can plan your best trip to the incredible Eiffel Tower here in Paris.
What the summit includes
First of all, you need to know what a visit to the Eiffel Tower summit includes and if it’s something you want to spring for.
Above all, it gives you a bird’s-eye view of Paris. If you want to know absolutely everything you can see from the Eiffel Tower, check out our blog post on that topic, but in general, the second floor of the Eiffel Tower gives a broad panorama of sights closer to the tower while the summit is a true “bird’s-eye view.”
As a point of comparison, the second level is at over 375 feet while the summit is at over 980. So it’s much more than double the height of the second floor. From the second floor, it’s easy to spot other landmarks, like Les Invalides and even the basilica at Montmartre. From the summit, those landmarks become much more distant, although telescopes are there for you if you want to take a closer look.
The summit is also famous for its Champagne Bar. You don’t have to get champagne at the summit, but when in Paris, why not splurge and toast to the incredible experience of being on top of the City of Love?
You can also see a replica of Gustave Eiffel’s office. Gustave was the engineer and mastermind behind the design and construction of this famous monument, so it’s fascinating to peek back in time and see the apartment he once had right here in the tower. The apartment includes wax figures of Gustave himself and his daughter, Claire, as they welcome Thomas Edison. (The two men were indeed friends.)
As you walk around the third floor of the Eiffel Tower, note the cities written along with their distance from the tower, depending on which direction you’re facing. You might see your hometown!
Ultimately, though, you get bragging rights for visiting the Eiffel Tower summit. For many people who tour with us, we find this is the top reason they wanted to “do the summit” — and we get it. For many travelers, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
When does the Eiffel Tower summit close?
Amazing as it is, the Eiffel Tower summit does sometimes close. So is the Eiffel Tower summit open or closed now? That depends. In our experience as guides of the Eiffel Tower, the summit closes most frequently for the following reasons:
- When it’s crowded, usually on the weekends
- For especially windy conditions, which are rare
- Due to poor or no visibility
- For security
- Because of elevator maintenance, repairs, or strikes
— La tour Eiffel (@LaTourEiffel) September 12, 2017
If it closes for one of these reasons, we don’t know in advance, but any of these reasons could mean the top of the Eiffel Tower won’t be open for your visit. For example, because the elevator is the only way to reach the summit, if that has repairs, there’s no alternate way to reach the top.
The summit closes for a few weeks every winter, typically for most of January, for annual renovation and maintenance work. In high season, we’ve also seen it close multiple times during the day or for the whole day. If it’s a longer, planned closing, the Eiffel Tower may post about it in advance on their news page or share it on their Twitter. Otherwise, Eiffel Tower personnel can notify you on-site when the summit has closed.
Fortunately, most days the summit is open, so it will more than likely be open for your visit. We’ve helped countless tourists experience the top of the Eiffel Tower over the years, so don’t lose heart!
However, if it is closed, you have a couple of options.
What to do if the summit is closed for your visit
If the Eiffel Tower summit is closed for your visit, you can choose to return another day, but the summit may be closed then as well.
What I recommend doing if it’s closed is visiting the Montparnasse Tower instead. The Montparnasse Tower has an even better view from the same exact height, and it’s not too expensive. It’s about the same price as the summit upgrade (the Montparnasse Tower costs €17) so you can easily do both towers, Montparnasse and the second floor of Eiffel.
While you’re in the area, why not take our Montparnasse walking tour and get to know the neighborhood? Paris is so much more than just its famous landmarks — though we definitely love those too!
If you’re taking an Eiffel Tower tour
If you’re taking a tour with us, either our Eiffel Tower elevator tour or our Eiffel Tower guided climb, and you upgrade for the summit, then you can plan to take the elevator to the very top of the summit after exploring the second floor.
However, as you know the summit can close unexpectedly, and our guides have no way of knowing this in advance. Even the Eiffel Tower employees at the ticket office won’t know when the summit will reopen once it closes.
If you book with us, rest assured that you’ll receive a refund if the Eiffel Tower staff closes the summit for any reason. If you’ve paid for the summit included in your tour and you only receive a ticket to the second floor because the summit is closed during your visit, simply email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and date of your tour and let us know what happened. We’ll immediately issue a refund for that portion of your tour.
However, please note that if you receive a ticket for the summit from your guide, and the summit then closes, we can’t refund the difference. You can wait for the summit to reopen or ask for a refund from the Eiffel Tower ticket office. They will sometimes refuse refunds and advise you to wait until it reopens.
When will the Eiffel Tower summit reopen?
If the summit is closed, no one can predict when it will reopen. The summit may close for only 10 minutes or for up to an hour or several hours. This is even more of a consideration now due to COVID crowd restrictions.
If experiencing the Eiffel Tower summit is an absolute must for you, then you may have to wait until it is open and the ticket office will provide a summit ticket or, if you already have your summit ticket, you may have to wait to be able to use your ticket.
We recommend taking this into account when you plan the rest of your day as we have no control over the summit’s opening and closing. It could be helpful to build some flexibility into the day you visit the Eiffel Tower in case there are delays with the summit.
Eiffel Tower Summit Planning
As with most travel planning, knowing what to expect helps you prepare. We hope this blog post has helped you understand the possibilities, reasons and alternatives for the Eiffel Tower summit being closed.
If you’re trying to decide if it’s worth visiting the Eiffel Tower, check out our blog. We have helpful tips about visiting the tower, including the summit, so you can plan for your very best trip to Paris.