When it comes to iconic structures, few carry as much prestige as the Eiffel Tower. It is famous the world over, not only as an architectural feat but also as a majestic art piece. Some people say that the tower isn't worth the lines, but a trip to the City of Lights isn't complete without setting foot into its most legendary structure. The Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world for good reason, and there are many tricks you can use to make the most of it.

01Book Your Tickets

Autumn in Paris Eva-Katalin / Getty Images

One of the biggest complaints concerning the Eiffel Tower is that the lines are too long. With new security protocols, wait times have increased quite a bit. However, there’s a simple way to cut out a significant portion of the waiting: book your ticket. If you know of a specific time and date that you wish to visit the Eiffel Tower, you can buy your tickets online. Sometimes you have to book them well ahead of your visit because they sell out quickly, but it’s worth it. Additionally, tickets for the summit are now available online.

02Visit During Offseason

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Another easy way to cut down on waiting is to visit during times where fewer people will be visiting. The tower is open almost every day of the year, making it easy to find time to visit. Rush hours are between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on most days and this can extend to 8 p.m. during peak tourist seasons. It’s easiest to visit between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m, or 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m, depending on your preference. Attendance is usually lowest throughout January and February and during rainy days.

03Take the Stairs

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A major bottleneck at the Eiffel Tower is the elevator line. During peak visiting times, it can take over an hour just to use the elevator. However, there is an easy way to skip the line: take the stairs. Most people don’t want to climb a staircase with over 700 steps, so it’s extremely easy to skip the crowds altogether. While the stairs are somewhat difficult to find because they’re near the southern pillar, they remain almost crowd-free for most of the day. You can get a sense of exclusivity and take in a unique view available only from the stairs. This is also the best way to exit the tower.

04Try the Restaurants

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If you’re looking for another way to skip the lines while making the most of your visit to the Eiffel Tower, there are more options. For example, the tower has two restaurants and a snack bar for visitors to enjoy. If you happen to have a reservation at one of these restaurants, you can skip past most of the lines and enjoy high-quality Parisian cuisine. Please note that the first-floor restaurant, 58 Tour Eiffel, is closed until Spring 2020.

05Visit Twice

Eiffel Tower and Scenic View of the Paris Skyline during vibrant European Sunset

There are a few places in the world that deserve a return visit, but the Eiffel Tower is unique in that you should visit it twice in a single day. Rather than climbing the tower, take the time to watch it from all of the city’s angles. At night, the City of Lights lives up to its name when the tower begins its legendary light show. The splendor of the show will leave you with a memorable and radically different impression of the tower.

06Tour at Your Own Pace

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When you visit the Eiffel Tower, you have different tour options. However, not everybody enjoys a group or guided tour. If this is the case for you, consider downloading the Eiffel Tower app and using its self-guided tour. It includes an hour-long audio journey that covers the tower’s entire history. It also helps you discover the most iconic of the buildings surrounding the tower, such as the Sacré-Coeur and the Champs-Elysées.

07Security

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Since the tragedy in 2016, most Paris sightseeing locations have taken steps to improve their security. You should expect to add 30 minutes to your wait to make it through the checkpoint. There are sometimes priority lines for those with pre-booked tickets and restaurant reservations, but don’t rely on that. Additionally, like many tourist-friendly areas, pickpockets like to hang around the Eiffel Tower. While most don’t risk getting caught near the security lines, it’s worth being careful.

08The Second Floor

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To reach the summit, you have to buy a separate ticket from the initial entrance ticket. While the summit provides an extremely beautiful view of the city, it’s by no means the only way to enjoy the tower. If you dislike waiting in lines and don’t feel like ascending to the summit, make the most of the second floor. You’re high enough to see all of Paris but low enough to enjoy the city’s landmarks. Paris’ architecture features works from the Gothic style to Art Nouveau, each making a truly wondrous city.

09Take Photos From Outside

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People who aren’t fans of heights or lines don’t necessarily need to climb the tower to enjoy it. Two of the best spots for grabbing a picture of the Eiffel Tower are the Champ de Mars and the Trocadéro. However, sometimes people swarm to these areas so it can be annoying to try and get a good shot. Instead, opt for some of the lesser-known sites. A great place for personal portraits is the Avenue de Camoëns. You might also enjoy the Rue Saint-Dominique and its gorgeous panoramas.

10Saving Money

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For many people, it can be difficult to enjoy a vacation while worrying about how much they’re spending. This is particularly true when you’re in an area with as many wonderful places to visit and cuisines to try as Paris. Thankfully, you can easily cut out some expenses at the Eiffel Tower.

  • Taking the stairs will save you money on an elevator ticket.
  • Bring water since drinks at the tower can be expensive.
  • Eat before or after your visit instead of at the tower’s restaurants or snack bar.
  • Skip the summit and enjoy the views from the second floor.