Climbing the Eiffel Tower

posted by Sharon Odegaard 37 Comments
Eiffel Tower Paris

Did you know you can climb the Eiffel Tower, going up iron stairs right up into the middle of this iconic landmark? On previous visits we had taken the elevator, which whisks you up to the two view levels. On our last visit, we decided to try something different and take the stairs. This proved to be a fun decision!

On a clear day with just a hint of autumn in the leaves, we walked from our hotel to the “Iron Lady,” enjoying the elegance of Paris. Eiffel Tower Paris

Eiffel Tower Paris First, marvel at the size of the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is much more massive in person than I had imagined from photos. The four feet are planted firmly in the ground and far apart. Standing under the tower, you can see the first level where there’s a restaurant protected by a plexiglass wall.Eiffel Tower ParisEiffel Tower Paris

Eiffel Tower ParisEiffel Tower ParisYou hear that it is 1,000 feet high and the statistic flits right out of your head. But when you stand dwarfed underneath it, you experience how tall that really is!

Eiffel Tower ParisReady for a climb up the Eiffel Tower

Here we are, ready for the climb. We bought our tickets without asking how many steps we were committing to do. It was better that we didn’t know. Eiffel Tower Paris So – ready to climb!Eiffel Tower Paris

Notice the complicated design of the Eiffel Tower

What’s great about walking up is that you can see the tower up close and personal and stop as often as you want (or whenever you need to catch your breath). The design is complicated and intricate, far more than it appears from a distance. The metal is held together with more than 2 million rivets. These metal pieces, each so small, work together to hold up the massive structure. And it’s been standing since 1889, when it was presented to France for the one hundredth anniversary of the French Revolution. Eiffel Tower ParisEiffel Tower ParisA section of the original staircase from 1889 is preserved. Eiffel Tower Paris

Ah, the views you will see when you climb the Eiffel Tower

And then you have the views. The tower provides two viewing levels, and when you take the stairs, you have unlimited places to look through the tower, too. Here are some of the unobstructed sights. Eiffel Tower ParisEiffel Tower ParisEiffel Tower ParisThe wind whipped around the tower, but it was a warm day so we didn’t mind. Eiffel Tower ParisIf you are thinking of a career change, here’s an idea for you — Eiffel Tower maintenance crew. You can hang out far above Paris and even lean back and take photos because you wear a harness. Not for those with fear of heights. Eiffel Tower ParisEiffel Tower ParisEiffel Tower ParisEiffel Tower Paris

How many steps?

When we got back down, I asked the nice young lady selling tickets how many steps we took. Oh, 700 each way. Whew! We did take many “breaks” to enjoy the views, so it wasn’t that taxing. I highly recommend this way to experience the Eiffel Tower.

Fun fact: Originally painted a dark red, the Eiffel Tower has sported different colors through the years. It was once yellow, and now it is a specialty color developed in 1968 called “Eiffel Tower Brown.” Painters use 60 tons of paint to refresh the tower every seven years. The paint is in three shades, with the lighter tones higher, which enhances the tower’s silhouette in the Paris sky. Paris Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower
One excellent way to explore Paris is with a walking tour. I highly recommend Take Walks Paris!

Are you heading to Paris for the first time? Read these tips to help you plan your trip!

Practical information

The official Eiffel Tower website gives all the information you need to buy your tickets online before your visit. You can also read more about the history of the tower. And if you are a die-hard Eiffel Tower fan, you can buy one of the original rivets from 1889 for a mere 525 euro!

Explore more of Paris with these tours!

Consider a side trip to the D-Day Beaches and Normandy

History comes alive when you visit the D-Day Beaches in Normandy. Just a two-hour train ride or drive from Paris, the Normandy beaches offer battle sites and museums. Pay respects at the many somber cemeteries. Stay in charming Bayeux. Normandy makes a great side trip if you are going to Paris.

Places to visit include Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, and Gold, Juno, and Sword Beaches. If you have time, include all 5 D-Day Beaches in your itinerary for an amazing overview of June 6, 1944 and Operation Overlord.

Book your train tickets with Trainline for easy and reliable service.

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Renting a car to explore France? I can recommend renting with Auto Europe.

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Paris WWII Sites for History Lovers
A Few Hours in Paris
The Invalides – Where Paris History Comes Alive
Reasons to Visit the Eiffel Tower
Tips for Your First Trip to Paris
Exploring the Rodin Museum
5 Reasons to Visit Luxembourg Gardens
Paris Gardens to Enjoy
The D’Orsay Museum in Paris
A Walk in the Latin Quarter
Ageless Beauty at Sainte-Chapelle

Where to stay in Paris

Paris offers hundreds of hotels. It’s sometimes overwhelming to start looking for a place to stay. Here are a few suggestions for lovely hotels near some of the sites mentioned. With the excellent Paris Metro system, you will be able to arrive wherever you like with just a little planning.

Near the Invalides: The Hotel de Varenne is exquisitely decorated and includes an inviting patio. You can walk from here to the Invalides as well as the Rodin Museum. (7th arrondissement)

Near the Pantheon: Hotel des Grand Hommes and (right next door) the Hotel les Dames du Pantheon. Both of these elegant hotels are across the street from the Pantheon. From my balcony room at the Grand Hommes I watched the sun rise on the iconic Pantheon. (5th arrondissement)

Near the Museum of the Liberation of Paris: Hotel Serotel Lutece is in the Latin Quarter, not exactly near the museum. But it is within comfortable walking distance. You can also walk from here to the Pantheon, Notre Dame, and Sainte-Chapelle. Not only is this a comfortable, attractive hotel, but I also found the staff here to be extra helpful with directions and information. (5th arrondissement)

Central to wherever you want to go: Hotel Moliere, themed on the French poet, is a delightful hotel near the Louvre. It is surprisingly affordable for this pricey area. You can walk or take the Metro to any sites you would like to visit. (1st arrondissement)

This post contains affiliate links. Clicking on them may result in a commission being paid if you purchase afterwards. This is at no extra cost to you. All opinions are always my own.

Sharon Odegaard bio


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Sydney at

Well done climbing the 700 steps
It’s funny to think that the French hated it at first and now it is so iconic for all of us. I’m French but not from
Paris, I had the chance to go twice and my faboutite view of the tower is by night when the light turns on.

Tamar Strauss-Benjamin at

Oh what a gorgeous view and fun experience!!

M. Machado at

Stunning construction.
Great pictures.
Lots of courage for the climb. Congratulations!
Thank you for sharing with us.

Carol at

Beautiful photos Sharon~!

Fun60 at

I love it at night especially from the river.

Eileen Wise at

Wow, gorgeous post. Wonderful series of photos. The Eiffel Tower is beautiful, look lovely at night. Enjoy your day and new week ahead!

Lydia C. Lee at

I liked climbing the stairs – all the little signs with interesting stories about the tower.

Joyful at

Fabulous photos and views. I don’t think I can climb that high. Apart from bad knees I’m afraid of heights! Thanks for the lovely photos.

image-in-ing: weekly photo linkup at

I have trouble with climbing flights of stairs, but it looks like this would be worth the aches and pains!
Thanks for sharing at

rupam { xhobdo } at

Stunning pics. Great post.

Su-sieee! Mac at

Gulp. I’d climb the stairs, gulping all the way. I’d have sweaty palms, too. But, oh the fun and the satisfaction I would have to say, “Yes, I climbed the Eiffel Tower.” I don’t know if I could handle walking down though. Gulp.

Molly at

Ahh lovely beautiful Paris


junieper2 at

LOVE your angles of this tower, because I know it’s a challenging one:) You’re a trooper to climb this tower, Sharon! I was already tired when we arrived there, so may daughter and I were occupied with watching our cookies not being stolen from us. I don’t mind sharing, but it’s annoying when someone demands, and start taking them out of my hand.(They were dressed better than we were, lol). In contrast my son has climbed the Eiffel at least 3 times, with friends from the USA. Ever since his first time (14 y. old) he “has to have” a statue of the Eiffel in his room:)
Many thanks for these magnificent angles of the Eiffel and have a great week:)

Katherine at

700 steps up and back? You earned your baguette and brie that day! I actually didn’t think about it having to be painted so often, and that’s a lot of paint. #WanderfulWednesday

Sammie @ The Annoyed Thyroid at

You had a picture perfect day for it – your photos are fabulous! I haven’t been to the tower for years but if and when I go back, I will be very tempted to take the stairs… If only I could forget the part about the 700 steps. I think the views make it worth it though, right?!

Lisa | Handmade in Israel at

Great fun facts and fabulous photos! We climbed the Eiffel Tower when my kids were young. Was a great way to escape the crowds in the elevators and the views were incredible.

Sarah at

Such a fun experience, isn’t it? I’m glad I read your post because I didn’t actually know it was 700 steps! I climbed the eiffel tower my first time in Paris, but I must’ve been so excited (and young lol) that I didn’t even realize how many steps it was.

William Kendall at

Wonderful captures! My parents went up it on a visit years ago, when I was a child. I’d like to see it for myself someday.

sara at

The Eiffel Tower is one of my FAVORITE monuments. I don’t know that I would climb the stairs – but I would probably find it more enjoyable than climbing some of the enclosed domes. Your photos are beautiful, especially the one at night. The clarity is unbelievable on the night photo!

California Globetrotter at

I’ve always known you could climb it, but I don’t think I’d ever climb it! I already thought it was bad enough climbing St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, and I love climbing towers and churches, but the Eiffel Tower is the cream of the crop! #FeetDoTravel

Shona at

Much better to not know how many steps until afterwards. LOL. The detail up close really is quite astounding. I’ve only seen the Tower from a distance so may follow your lead, however, I now know how many steps to expect. LOL.

Scarlett Roitman at

What fun climbing up the tower! It’s hard to imagine the French wanted to take this down when the Exposition Universelle was over. As a Parisian, you tend to be quite snobby about going up so I have only done this once, and that was when I was 10 with a friend who came over from the UK. Now of course, my youngest is desperate to go up, so I need to put my silly French pride to one side, and get on with it. Not sure about the new career path. Great views but….

Chris at

A remarkable way to get to know a remakrable tower, she truly is beautiful. If only the French were equally enthusiastic about climbing those stairs!

Cynthia | Adventuring Woman at

I love all the views from beneath the tower! It really shows the beauty of the architecture. Also, closer up, the lacy details of the metalwork are really lovely. What a feat to provide a unique view of this icon. I can only hope climbing might acclimate me to the height more gradually, making me less scared. Not sure that would work, though. Don’t think I’ll be joining the maintenance crew. #feetdotravel

Kimberly at

When we visited Paris, in June, we decided to climb the stairs, also! The first time we went, we took the elevator, but the wait is so much longer and the ticket is pricier, when you do it that way. It is definitely a different experience climbing, than it is riding up! Your pictures of the tower are AWESOME! Thanks for sharing! #TheWeeklyPostcard

Sandra at

I have a fear of elevators. So climbing the Eiffel Tower was the only option for me, lol.

Tomas Novak at

Thanks for your post! When I was in Paris a visited Eiffel tower by the elevator but sounds more fun. On the other hand 700 stairs! How long does it take to climb up and down?

Kelly at

Wow! Stunning photos. Beautiful views. I am going to Europe next year, tho I’m not sure if will will get to France we are playing it be ear… so to speak. Can you tell me how much it cost to climb the stairs and was it busy?

Brooke of Passport Couture at

Your post reminded me of climbing the many Eiffel Tower stairs years ago. It’s been over a decade since I did that, but it is still fresh in my memory. The views and the stairs are something you never forget. #TheWeeklyPostcard

Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) at

I think climbing the stairs is such a great way to experience the Eiffel Tower and it looks as though you had the perfect weather for it. I’d planned to do the climb with my oldest son but it was pouring with rain and blowing a gale when we visited so we didn’t dare. It was so windy that the top of the tower felt as though it was swaying in the wind! Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

Nicky@Go Live Young at

700 steps but a great way to climb the Eiffel Tower. Wonderful photos #FarawayFiles

Jill at

The last time I was in Paris my daughters and husband climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower while my son and I enjoyed the view from down below as we’re just not a big fan of open stairs and heights (the original plan was to take the elevator but the line was incredibly long) Which leads me to the anxiety that your photo of the maintenance crew member hanging around gives me! Lol Certainly not the job for me. Looks like a fun adventure for you , though.

Trish at

We walked up with our son several years ago. It was a crisp February day and half way up they had a pop-up Ice Bar! The hot chocolate kept us going to the top. A great experience #allaboutfrance!

June de Silva at

I am lucky enough to have been to Paris many times but I never went up the Eiffel tower. Then, a few years ago I was with my family and our sons really wanted to go up the Tower. We actually went up at night and it was fantastic! Fabulous photos by the way!


What amazing unobstructed views.700 steps up and down. It’s a good job.

Kim Whatley at

It has to be done! Great exercise too, but something you could add into your daily routine unfortunately!!

Phoebe | Lou Messugo at

Sharon I love this take on the Eiffel Tower. And I’m so impressed you climbed up the stairs. I’ve climbed to the 1st level once years ago and have walked down a couple of times but never climbed the whole way up. Well done. I love you photos, you’re absolutely right that you see so much more when you take the stairs. Thanks for sharing with #AllAboutFrance


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