One day not long ago I woke up to a bright and clear blue sky in Paris. Opening the curtains, I couldn't contain the happy smile that spread across my face as I looked out at the Eiffel Tower soaring above the Parisian buildings across the street. It was early in the morning, but I could already see the tiny elevators making their way up and down the tower. Very soon I would be on one of them … going all the way to the top of the Eiffel Tower! This was the day I was going on a Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Tour by Easy Pass Tours, and the weather couldn't have been better for photos.
Our friends at Easy Pass Tours have created a lovely tour to experience the Eiffel Tower without wasting any of your special time in Paris waiting in lines. This is especially helpful during the peak tourist season from spring through autumn and during the winter holidays. During most of the year the lines can snake around under the Eiffel Tower and just waiting to visit can be tiresome, especially if you're traveling with kids. The Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Tour is a great choice!
We found our very friendly guide Angelica waiting below the south leg, or the “pilier sud,” of the Eiffel Tower with her brilliant and impossible to miss red scarf. She hopped up on a cement bench so everyone could see and hear, but the group was an intimate size. Easy Pass Tours limits the Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Tours to 20 people max, so the size is always small and friendly. Angelica shared some of the fascinating history of the Eiffel Tower, including fun facts, and explained how the tour would work. And then we were off … first stop … the second level!
Our guide already had the tickets in hand for our group, so we followed her straight to the “Pilier Est” and walked through security and into the elevator. Super easy and fast!
When we arrived on the second level of the Eiffel Tower, our guide shared more about the history of the tower and walked us all the way around to point out the main sights in each direction. We had a lot of fun looking down on the streets of the 7th arrondissement that now feel like home and picking out the landmarks. Below you can spot the reddish building along the Seine – that's the Musée du Quai Branly, which has excellent collection of arts from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas. What sights can you spot?
It was easy to pick out the dome and bell tower of Sacré Coeur sitting atop Montmartre. Do you see it in the photo below? What was most surprising to me was how small it looked. And from the very top of the Eiffel Tower it was very challenging to even find Montmartre as it blended in with the Parisian landscape from so very high!
We had plenty of time to enjoy the views, take ridiculous numbers of photos and poke around in the gift shops before meeting up with our guide again. Angelica took us to where the lines were for the elevator to the top level of the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately, you can't skip this line … which forms because there is more limited space at the very top.
But there were still great views to enjoy while waiting our turn to take the elevator to the very top. What's nice about the Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Tour is that it includes access to all three levels of the Eiffel Tower, including the very top. So after bidding farewell to our guide, we were free to spend as much time as we wanted. If you're not interested in going all the way to the top, you can enjoy the views before taking the elevator down to the ground level. Angelica also gave us some tips for how to avoid lines when coming down the Eiffel Tower, too.
What a view looking at the boats making their way up and down the Seine and looking across the river to Chaillot. As we waited to take the elevator to the top, I wondered how many people were over there looking up at the Eiffel Tower at that very moment.
This was my first experience going all the way to the top level of the Eiffel Tower … and I was giddy like a schoolgirl! Part of me expected the view to be about the same as the second level, and that part of me was completely taken by surprise by the experience at the top. The first thing I noticed as the elevator started up from the second level to the top was that I could already see the green of the Esplanade des Invalides much better than on the second level. The view is dramatically different from the very top!
Looking down on the Champ de Mars garden far below the Eiffel Tower was another impressive experience. The views were shocking to me, and it made me wonder just how awe inspiring they must have been for the people that visited the top of the Eiffel Tower in 1889 for the World's Fair.
From the very top we could also see the Tuileries and Louvre Museum very clearly, along with the glass domes of the Grand Palais and Petit Palais and even the shining point on the top of the obelisk in the middle of Place de la Concorde. What a view!
Paris seemed huge and very small at the same time. It seemed the Bois de Boulogne was just beyond Chaillot and the skyscrapers in the modern Defense just a little bit beyond. From the second level the Bois de Boulogne gardens were just a sliver, but from the top you can see just how expansive they are.
One of the most magical views was looking down on the shadow of the Eiffel Tower from the very top. It made me wonder how many houses and offices had the shadow of the Eiffel Tower pass over each sunny day.
Back on the ground I took a good long look up at the Eiffel Tower. After you've gone all the way to the top, you just can't look at it the same way again. I was in the middle of reading Eiffel's Tower: The Thrilling Story Behind Paris's Beloved Monument and the Extraordinary World's Fair that Introduced It by Jill Jonnes, and being up there and seeing the monument close up was an unforgettable experience.
If you'd like to visit the Eiffel Tower on your next trip to Paris, we highly recommend taking the Skip the Line Eiffel Tower Tour from Easy Pass Tours. You can book your tickets in advance here. If you'd still like to skip the line but not join a small group tour, Easy Pass Tours has just announced their new Entrance Only Skip the Line Tickets. This gives you the chance avoid long waits and enjoy access to all three levels of the Eiffel Tower. You'll enjoy a brief orientation on the ground and an info sheet to help enhance your visit to the Eiffel Tower. However you decide to go, don't waste your precious time in Paris standing in a long line!