There’s two ways to visit.
1. Purchase a lift ticket far in advance (and still wait in queues), however there is no way of knowing the weather on the day you choose.
2. Purchase tickets the day you visit. You can either purchase a lift ticket to the 2nd floor or stairs to the 2nd floor. They are sold in different locations, and have flags and signs showing the locations of where each is sold. It is only possible to purchase tickets for the stairs on the day of visit, after going through security. Once after reaching the 2nd floor it is possible to then buy a lift ticket to the 3rd floor (top).
I didn’t have the chance for option 1, so I arrived at the south entry point before security opened. From there it was a short wait until the ticket booth opened. I took the stairs up to the second floor… 115 meters up (377 feet).
So this option isn’t for those who don’t want to exercise. It was much easier than hiking Koko Head in Oahu. I easily arrived to the 2nd floor before the ticket office opened. There was a very cool shadow cast on the right bank of the Seine River.
Once I noticed the ticket office was open I waited in a short queue, got my ticket, then waited in another queue for the lift to the 3rd floor. For those of you with height ‘allergies’ I will warn you that the lift is glass and you can see out as you are ascending and descending.
If you are wondering if it is worth it to visit the 3rd floor or not – well you can see a few more things at this height, so I believe it was worth it.
After spending a few hours I walked down to the 1st floor (from the 2nd floor, you are required to take the lift between the 2nd and 3rd floors) and the lift down from the 1st floor (they down’t check tickets for descending) and I wanted to experience the lift since it goes at an angle.
Once leaving the Eiffel Tower I walked to the Arc de Triumphe Etoile. Took several pictures from the outside, found someplace nearby to eat a quick lunch and then waited in a queue to purchase a ticket. This was a great location to take sunset photos of the Eiffel Tower.
Afterwards I walked down the Avenue des Champs-Élysées to the Grand Palais and Ponte Alexander III, continued along the right bank of the Seine River back to my hotel near the Bir Hakeim bridge.