Eiffel Tower at sunset with Pink and purple sky. The tower is lit with yellow lights at twilight

Best time to visit the Eiffel Tower

Ah, the Eiffel Tower, there is nothing else in the world like it! You have to visit the Eiffel Tower at least once in your lifetime. So what is the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower? There is never a bad time of day to visit the Eiffel Tower, but when is the best.

What if I told you there is an easy way to see the tower during the day, at sunset, and at night in one visit. And it will only take you about an hour to see it all. You’ll probably end up spending a little more than an hour but if you are a tight schedule here is what you need to do.

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The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is Sunset

Sunsetting on the eiffel tower. Across the river Seine with orange and yellow sky. Statues in the front.

Imagine arriving at the top of the Eiffel tower just as the sun starts to dip below the horizon. The sky lights up Paris with bright pinks and reds. Making the best time to ascend the Eiffel Tower is shortly before twilight. This is the best time because you will get to experience the tower by day, at sunset, and then at night. When the tower lights up the 20,000 light bulbs sparkling at the top while your standing on the top decks makes your visit to the Eiffel Tower a once in a lifetime experience full of memories.

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Our first experience discovering the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower

My husband and I along with our young daughter had been living in France for about a year. We had been to the Eiffel Tower a number of times. It wasn’t until our sister and brother-in-law came for a visit that we learned just how spectacular the Eiffel tower can be. We talked with lots of locals and all of them agreed, the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is at sunset.

We booked our tickets in advance for all of us when they would be in Paris. Then we arrive shortly before dusk and I remember my sister-in-law walking across the Trocadero just in awe of the tower. Even though it was still day and the lights on the tower had not turned on, it was still spectacular. We took our tickets and headed to the lift. Make sure to leave time before you head up to take photos. This way you can experience the tower before heading to jump in line.

~Pro-tip: Always book your Eiffel Tower tickets in advance online. You will save so much time!

We took our Eiffel Tower tickets we booked in advance and walked past all those waiting to still get in and were promptly put in line for security and then the next available lift. As we ascended to the top we could see the sun beginning to set. We wondered if we were too late, but as we continued to climb we knew we would make it.

As the elevator doors of the Eiffel Tower open we quickly made our way out on to the top deck and found a place to watch the sun go down. The rooftops of Paris lit up and the sky gave way to stunning reds and orange colors.

The Eiffel Tower at night

Every evening the lights turn on the tower and the twinkling lights sparkle. It appears that you can almost see the Eiffel Tower from almost all parts of Paris. The beacon lights up at the top. Sending out two light beams that reach up to 80 Kilometers covering the Paris metro area. The Eiffel Tower does stand as a beacon and one of the main symbols of Paris.

What time do the lights sparkle on the Eiffel Tower?

The twinkling lights on the Eiffel Tower appear on the hour every hour. They last for 5 minutes. You will not want to miss the twinkling of the lights. They sparkle on the hour every hour starting at nightfall until 1:00 am. (If nightfall is at 6:30 pm, they will start sparkling at 7:00 pm).

Lighting the Eiffel tower has been apart of its existence throughout the years. In 1889 on the opening of the Tower, 10,000 gas lamps accented the tower along with the steeple and the platforms.

Sparkling lights on the Eiffel tower. Dark sky with bright lights. What time do the sparkling lights go off on the eiffel tower

In 1925, decorative and colored lighting was displayed. This lasted for 11 years. In 1978, the tower was lit up like a Christmas tree. Decorated with 30,000 lamps. Then on New Years’ Eve 1999 before 2000 the 20,000 sparkling lights display was added. It was only planned to stay until Bastille Day, July 14th, 2001. When the sparkling lights were removed for a short time, many people complained. So they were brought back by popular demand.

Now the Eiffel Tower has many light displays depending on the time of year and what is happening in France and around the world. Even if you are not there for a rare light display the sparkling lights on the Eiffel Tower are enjoyable and part of the appeal and excitement of standing out looking over Paris and seeing the twinkling light.

Eiffel Tower Tickets – Book Tickets in Advance

If you don’t book tickets in advance and just show up you could waste lots of time standing in line. Additionally, if you want to see the sunset at the top of the tower timing is everything. You will want to book your tickets and reservation time online. You can book up to 60 days before your visit.

~Pro-tip: Due to heightened security in recent years, you can not even stand under the Eiffel Tower without a ticket. So if you’re looking for an awesome Instagram shot under the Eiffel Tower, get your tickets in advance.

Check the sunset for the time of year you will be traveling. You can actually pick the exact time that the sun will be setting on the day you book your Eiffel Tower Tickets. Check here for the exact date and time that the sun will be setting in Paris.

Make sure to book your tickets a little earlier than sunset so you can take photos before and have time to get through security.

You will want to schedule your tickets for at least 30 minutes prior to twilight. This ensures that you have enough time to enjoy the ascent to the top level. There is no time limit at the top so if you want even more time you can book earlier.

When is the best time of year to visit the Eiffel Tower?

As we discussed there is never a bad time of day to see the Eiffel Tower, but when is the best time of year to visit the Eiffel Tower? Let’s just jump to it.

Spring is the best time of year to visit the Eiffel Tower

Many will tell you to visit the Eiffel Tower from June to October. That is just because that is when France and Paris see the most visitors. Really the absolute best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is late March to May. The springtime is the absolute best to visit Paris.

The trees are beginning to blossom and Champs de Mars (The grand park at the base of the tower) is lined with trees. These trees begin to bud and blossom lining a pink path to the Tower.

The weather in Paris is mild this time of year. There is a chance that it could still be cool or cold at this time is late March and early April. The days are typically warm and the nights are cool. Just enough to put on a scarf and coat or jacket.

Avoid the crowds in Paris during the Summer

Paris brings in 30 million tourists a year. Tourists flock to Paris from across Europe and the globe. Many of these tourists will come to Paris between the months of June and September. Making Paris and the Eiffel Tower packed and busy. Everything takes longer during the summer in Paris which means you will see less of the city while wasting time in lines.

Not only that, but Paris can also get hot. To make matters even worse. There just isn’t a lot of air conditioning. No one wants to stand in a long line, in the heat and sun for hours to ascend to the top of the tower. That is not how you want to spend your vacation. Make it enjoyable and book your tickets to the Eiffel Tower in advance and visit Paris during the offseason. If you are not able to make it to Paris right away you can take a virtual vacation to Paris from your own home.

A couple in front of the Eiffel tower with scarves and coats on in the winter. Happy to be standing in front of the Eiffel tower.

What to Pack for the Eiffel Tower

Paris is a walkable city and you will want to go prepared for a lot of walking and picture taking. I would highly suggest packing a small umbrella for all your trips to Paris like these on Amazon and especially for the Eiffel Tower. Oftentimes it is raining when you get to the top of the Eiffel Tower and it’s great to be able to pull out your own umbrella.

It’s always a good idea to pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes and a few snacks for your visit to the Eiffel Tower. This will save your feet and your wallet. If you plan to purchase food at the Eiffel Tower, be prepared to spend more than you would anywhere else in Paris.

It’s usually very windy at the top and if you are visiting anytime expect the summer, you will want to pack a jacket as well. I suggest a windbreaker that folds up nicely in your suitcase and or your purse such as these.

Also, make sure to have a little cash on hand for souvenirs, there are usually vendors hanging around outside the gates and if you plan to purchase anything from them you will want to have Euros with you so that you don’t have to risk pulling out your credit cards.

Of course, make sure you pack your camera! It’s also a good idea to have a selfie stick such as one of these so that you can take epic pictures of yourself and your travel buddies without risking dropping your phone.

Wrap up on the best time to see the Eiffel Tower

So now you are in the know. You know that the best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is just before sunset in the springtime. This will give you the best possible experience at the Eiffel Tower. Paris is the springtime is like no other place in the world. You are going to the Eiffel Tower and Paris.

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FAQs about the Eiffel Tower

What is the best time to go to the Eiffel Tower?

The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is just before sunset. This way you can see the city during the day. Then watch the sunset from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Then see the city light up at night.

How much time do you need to visit the Eiffel Tower?

You will need at least one hour to visit the Eiffel Tower. If you are visiting during a busy time, I would plan at least 2 hours at the Eiffel Tower.

Is it better to visit the Eiffel Tower at night?

The best time to visit the Eiffel Tower is just before sunset. This way you get to see the Eiffel Tower during the day and at night.

Is the Eiffel Tower safe at night?

The Eiffel Tower itself is safe at night. The area of Paris that is home to the Eiffel Tower is generally safe. But you should always be cautious when visiting tourist sites during the day and at night.

What is the best season to visit Paris?

Spring! The best time to visit Paris is always in the spring from March to the end of May. There are less crowds than the summer and the weather will be perfect!


August 8, 2020 at 12:27 pm

Thanks, great guide. I look forward to the time when we can again travel freely!

August 10, 2020 at 2:23 pm

What a great guide! Hopefully after this pandemic I can visit Eiffel Tower again soon!

August 10, 2020 at 3:40 pm

This is a great post!! I would love to go back and visit the Eiffel Tower, its great to know the best time to visit. Thanks for this article 🙂

August 10, 2020 at 5:05 pm

This was a great post! I love Paris and can’t wait to go visit again. I went during the summer and want to return during the Spring when as you said it’s cooler and less crowded.

Tayler Smith
May 6, 2023 at 3:47 pm

This is such a helpful post! I will be planning our visit accordingly to your advice! I must ask though – what type of ticket would you suggest for the top? Lift and stairs? Just lift? How long did it take you to get to the top? Unfortunately, we are planning just a quick visit in the height of peak season but that’s okay! Just hoping we can score tickets and also get them for around sunset! With that being said, should we plan for a little earlier in the event it takes a little while to get up? All of your advice is much appreciated! Thanks. 😊🥰

    May 12, 2023 at 12:50 am

    Thank you! You are going to love the Eiffel Tower this time of day 🙂 I would suggest going about one hour before sunset so that you have time to get to the top before you loose the daylight. Then you can watch the sun set from the top and catch the city as it come to life with lights. I personally enjoy a few stairs so I would suggest getting the stairs and elevator ticket but if you’d rather ride to the top, the elevator is always the way to go. The first floor is a pretty easy climb and this is the largest level, there is a restaurant, gift shops, and more on this floor so plan some time for that on your way up. The next level starts to offer the best views of the city! Then of course the top has unforgettable views!

    Since you are going during the peak season, the crowds will be there as well.Make sure to keep your belongings in your front pockets when you’re in crowds and nothing valuable in open pockets of a backpack. I learned this lesson the hard way! You are going to love it.

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