My six year old has known about the Eiffel Tower since he was around four years old. For the last two years he’s been asking to visit Paris with the main intention of seeing the Eiffel Tower.
As we drove through the city to our hotel, rounding a corner near the centre we could see our first glimpse of Eiffel Tower ahead. You should have seen the happy boy in the back seat squealing with delight and a huge smile on his face! I’m sure his brother would have been pleased too, but he was fast asleep!!
Eiffel Tower With Children
The Eiffel Tower was only a 15 minute walk from our hotel. So on our first day we walked to the end of Champ De Mars gardens, where we had our first proper look at the stunning Eiffel Tower. Walking along the gardens toward the tower was exciting enough, but then they spotted the lifts going up and got even more excitable about going up!
Whilst we were visiting in April there were some works going on at the base of the tower, so we had to follow the paths round and there were tall barriers all the way around the base. We eventually found our way in through the security gate on the east pillar and once inside you need to choose the correct pillar to ascend the tower. The North (Nord) pillar seems to be the most popular one to choose and you will need to queue to get your tickets and then go through security before getting to the lift.
The lifts are very frequent and as it can be busy people are packed in quite tightly. If you have kids try and get to a window so they can look out and not feel so squashed.
There are three floors and on the way up our lift went straight past the first floor to the second floor. I assume if you wanted out at the first floor you could just ask, but nobody left our lift until we arrived at the second floor. Everyone has to get out there as you’ll need to queue for another lift to the very top of the Eiffel Tower.
We had a wander around the edge of the tower to see what landmarks we could spot and just marvel at the construction of the Eiffel Tower. The children quite enjoyed watching the boats on the River Seine from here. By this time we had been queuing for a little while and of course children get hungry fairly quickly, so we had a few snacks whilst looking at the view. My parenting motto must be ‘always have snacks’!
The queue for the second lift to the very top of the tower curls around the edge of the tower so you can still admire the view whilst queuing. It does move fairly quickly, but make sure that you have the correct ticket (sommet or combo), cheaper tickets are only going to take you to the second floor and you can only buy tickets to the top from the ticket sales at the base of the tower.
We found the second lift to be quite quick as it ascends, it may even make your ears pop! At the very top there is limited space, so you will need to find room to stand as a family. I find that sending the kids into a small space first means that others may edge away a little and give you room to stand together as a family!
You can also pay to use telescopes at the top of the Eiffel Tower to get a closer look at Paris. However, we were quite happy just spotting landmarks from where we were. Even though it was a little hazy due to the heat, we could still see the Louvre, Notre Dame, Arc De Triomphe and Sacre Coeur. It really is a magnificent view! You can also by champagne in a flute at the very top of the tower, perfect if you want to celebrate or maybe even propose?!
On our way back down we stopped at the first floor (there were very little or no queues for the lifts on the way down). Here you can stand on the glass floor, which didn’t seem scary to us, especially as you have to really peer at the glass to see the ground below. However, there was a lady beside us who seemed petrified of the glass floor and wouldn’t even stand on it until we had come off!
Whilst we were at the tower there was a special effect area on the first floor, so we had to investigate! There were two green mat areas where people could walk onto the mat and looking at the screen pretend to be walking along the Eiffel Tower, high in the air. A plane and blimp even made an appearance on one screen!
It’s suffice to say that this was a BIG hit with the kids and they and my husband went on the mats loads whilst I snapped some amusing photos!
Practicalities With Children
There are toilets on all 3 floors, we went to the toilets on the top floor and although it was busy outside we easily got one of the 3 toilets available. Be warned, they are very tight to squeeze into, especially when you have a child in with you too! There is also baby changing available on the first and second floors, but not the third (it just wouldn’t fit in that tight space at the top!).
Pushchairs are allowed on the tower, but need to be folded to go up and down the lifts. As it’s so busy on the upper floors I would highly recommend leaving the pushchair and carrying younger children. However, backpacks are not allowed to be worn in the lifts, so I assume back carriers aren’t either.
There are restaurants in the tower, although you will need to book a table. The Restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel boasts at it’s family friendly lunch time atmosphere. So it sounds like the perfect place for a meal with children. There are also several buffet bars on the first floor (and at the base of the tower) with food such as sandwiches, burgers and chips.
You are able to ascend the Eiffel Tower late into the night. So you can stay up later and take the lift to the top when Paris (and the tower!) is all lit up.
We didn’t go up the Eiffel Tower in the dark but we did arrive back at Champ De Mars to wait on the grass for dusk at 9pm to see the Eiffel Tower light up. Also, for the first 5 minutes of every hour the tower ‘fizzes’ with lights. The children were pretty impressed with this as it does look pretty amazing!
So is it worth visiting the Eiffel Tower with young children? YES! Definitely, it’s something they will talk about for a long time and the excitement of lifts and being higher up than everyone else will thrill them. The queuing can be tedious, but bring plenty of snacks and you should avoid any moaning from kids They will really enjoy exploring each floor and come back with tales to tell their friends and family.
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* We received tickets for the Eiffel Tower for the purpose of this post, however all opinions are my own.