Oui: 6 tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower

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With more than 7 million visitors every year, the Eiffel Tower is the most popular monument in the world (at least the most frequented by tourists that requires a ticket). No matter what time of year you may be honeymooning in the City of Love, here are some foolproof tips to make the most of your visit. Oui!

Know the hours.

While you can certainly see the Eiffel Tower whenever you want, you can only ascend it during regulated times. From June 15 to September 1, the tower’s lifts and stairs open to the public starting at 9 a.m., with the last person allowed up at midnight (11 p.m. if you’re taking the lift to the third level/summit). The tower closes at 12:45 a.m.

Outside of this peak season, the tower is open from 9:30 a.m. to 11:45 p.m., with last call at 11 p.m. (10:30 p.m. if summiting).

Certain floors also close throughout the year for regular upkeep, generally during low season. For example, the structure’s top floor closed yesterday (Jan. 15) and will remain off limits through Feb. 2. If snapping a few honeymoon photos from the tower’s summit is on your bucket list, be sure to plan your visit around these scheduled maintenance times.

Take the stairs.

I love exploring new cities on foot. This is partly because after a full day of traveling, getting some exercise revitalizes me. Plus, this form of transportation allows me to absorb so much more than faster methods, like a bus. Taking the tower’s stairs not only gets your heart pumping, but it rewards you with stunning views of Paris that you just can’t see from the monument’s lifts.

Note: You can only reach the tower’s third level via lift. Therefore, hoof it to the second level and catch your breath en route to the top.

Skip the lines.

During peak season, you can spend hours upon hours waiting for your turn to ascend the tower. I'm not kidding.

With so much to see in Paris, and likely a limited number of days in which to experience it all, don’t waste your time sweating it out in line. Bypass the wait altogether with “skip-the-line” access. These tickets are more expensive, but—if you are able to plan ahead and pick a time you want to climb the tower—it’s so worth it.

Your travel consultant can make your reservation for you on your desired day.

Visit during the day AND after sunset.

Witnessing the Eiffel Tower is an entirely different experience by daylight than it is after dark. Both are dramatic, a bit surreal, and entirely worth your time. I promise. You’ll be awed by the hulking mass of iron while the sun is up and captivated by its illumination at dusk. I’m particularly fond of the more than 20,000 individual lights that make the monument sparkle for five minutes every hour on the hour from dusk until 1 a.m.

For an iconic photo, head to the Trocadero.

To get an enviable shot of the Eiffel Tower, make your way across the Seine River to the Trocadero. This expansive square provides the necessary distance to get the full monument in your frame.

Bundle up, if you’re summiting.

The top floor of the Eiffel Tower rises 276 meters into the sky (more than 900 feet)! The wind constantly whips at this elevation. Even if you’re wrapped in your hubby’s arms, you’re going to want a sweater during the warmer months and a jacket and earmuffs during the colder ones—especially if you’re summiting after the sun goes down.