How Long Does a Tour of the Eiffel Tower Take?

How Long Does a Tour of the Eiffel Tower Take?

The duration of a tour to the Eiffel Tower can vary, but on average, it takes approximately 2 to 3 hours to explore it thoroughly. 

This timeframe depends on several factors, including the levels you choose to visit, your mode of ascent (stairs or elevator), and the time of day you decide to go. 

Let’s delve into these factors to help you plan your visit more effectively.

1. Levels of Exploration

The first and most important factor determining your tour duration at the Eiffel Tower is how many levels of the tower you wish to explore. 

The Eiffel Tower comprises three floors: the first floor, the second floor, and the Summit (the topmost floor). 

Before we delve into the time requirement for each floor, every visitor must first know the Eiffel Tower Climbing Sequence. 

It’s important to understand that following the Eiffel Tower’s climbing sequence, you can’t just ascend the Tower’s first floor directly if you use the elevators. 

The elevators will take you directly to the second floor, then to the top floor (if selected), and then on your way back, you can visit the first floor.

However, If you have the stairs tickets, you can visit the Eiffel Tower in order – starting from the Esplanade to the first floor, then the second floor, and finally, The Summit. 

So, if you wish to visit all the levels of the Eiffel Tower, below is a detailed description of how much time you will need for each level:

  • First Floor: Accessible by elevator or stairs; visiting this level takes 30-45 minutes by stairs and approximately 1.5 hours by elevator. (as the elevator first goes to the Second floor and then decent back to the first floor.).
  • Second Floor: You can reach this floor by stairs or elevator. However, with an elevator, it only takes 10-15 minutes in total (can vary depending on the crowd available). Meanwhile, with the staircase, it would take around 30-35 minutes.
  • Summit: The Summit is the top floor of the Eiffel Tower and is only accessible by elevator. If you take an elevator directly from the ground level, you will first get to the second floor in 10-15 minutes, and from 2nd floor, it takes another 15 minutes to reach the Summit. Reaching the Summit of the Eiffel Tower from the ground floor via elevator takes around 25-30 minutes, which can go upto 1.5 hours depending on the crowd.

Notably, the Tower’s stairs do not lead directly to the Summit, emphasizing the necessity of an elevator ticket if you wish to visit the top floor.

2. Mode of Ascent and Descent

How you wish to Ascend Stairs or Escalators
Image: , Tomas Griger (Canva)

The second important factor that decides how much time you need at the Eiffel Tower is your ascent mode: Via Elevator or Via Staircase. 

The Eiffel Tower elevator connects all the floors of this famous tower, from the esplanade to the top level; however, with stairs, you can only access upto 2nd floor of the building. 

Eiffel Tower elevators are the fastest mode of transportation to all tower levels. 

Let’s see how much time you will need if you choose to climb the Eiffel Tower by elevator or by staircase.

  • By Stairs: From the Esplanade to the Summit, there are a total of 1665 stairs in the Eiffel Tower. Out of which, you can climb 674 of them, leading only to the Second floor.
    And the time required to climb these 674 depends on your physical endurance. However, most of the visitors cover these steps in around 30-35 minutes.
    Use of stairs after the 2nd floor to reach the summit is prohibited. So, if you plan on visiting the top floor, you must use one of the elevators in the Eiffel Tower.
  • Elevator: A quicker option, the elevator reduces the entire tour time to approximately 2 hours, offering a more relaxed experience.
    There are a total of 7 elevators in the Eiffel Tower, but not all of them are accessible to visitors, and not all of them lead to the summit.
    Read our comprehensive guide on Eiffel Tower Elevators to learn more about elevators.
    If you are not sure whether you should use an elevator or staircase to climb the tower, read our article on Eiffel Tower Elevator vs Stairs to help you choose better.

3. Time of Day

Time of the Day
Image: Amine ATTOUT / Pexels (Canva)

The third most important factor you should consider when planning your schedule for the Eiffel Tower is the time of the day you plan to visit the attraction. 

The Eiffel Tower is open from 9.15 in the morning until 11.45 at night. 

During these operating hours, there are certain periods when you can expect large crowds and other times when you will encounter fewer people.

Understanding these crowd patterns will help you minimize the waiting times at security and elevator lines, eventually helping you complete your Eiffel Tower tour within 2-3 hours. 

  • Non-Peak Hours (outside 11 am – 5 pm): Expect a shorter tour duration of about 2 to 2.5 hours.
  • Peak Hours: Visiting during the busiest times can extend your tour to at least 4 hours due to longer waiting times for elevators and crowded viewing platforms.

To time your visit perfectly to the Eiffel Tower so that you can have a less-crowded visiting environment, read our comprehensive article on the Best Time to Visit the Eiffel Tower.


To fully appreciate the Eiffel Tower’s splendor, allocating at least 3 hours for your visit is advisable. 

This allows you to savor the views from each floor without feeling rushed. 

Planning your visit considering the factors mentioned will enhance your experience, making every moment at this iconic monument memorable.

FAQs related to How Long Does a Tour of the Eiffel Tower Take?

  1. How long does it typically take to tour the Eiffel Tower?

    A complete tour of the Eiffel Tower usually takes between 2 to 3 hours, depending on several factors such as the levels you visit and your mode of ascent.

  2. Can I access all floors of the Eiffel Tower?

    Yes, visitors can access the first floor, second floor, and the Summit. However, access to the Summit requires an elevator ride.

  3. Do I need a different ticket to visit the Summit of the Eiffel Tower?

    Yes, visiting the Summit requires a specific ticket that includes elevator access to the top floor.

  4. Is it faster to take the stairs or the elevator at the Eiffel Tower?

    The elevator is faster, taking about 2 hours for a full tour, while the stairs can take approximately 3 hours to reach the top and return.

  5. What are the Eiffel Tower’s operating hours?

    The Eiffel Tower is open from 9 am to 12.45 am. The best time to visit is during non-peak hours to avoid long waits.

  6. Are there any times when the Eiffel Tower is less crowded?

    Visiting outside peak hours (11 am to 5 pm) will result in shorter waiting times and a less crowded experience.

  7. How much time should I allocate for a visit to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower?

    If taking the stairs, allocate about 15-20 minutes, and if using the elevator, plan for approximately 1.5 hours.

  8. What is the estimated duration of the visit to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower?

    Visiting the second floor takes about 1.5 hours by elevator and around 2.5 hours by stairs.

  9. Can I climb the stairs to the Summit of the Eiffel Tower?

    No, the stairs do not provide access to the Summit. You must take the elevator from the second floor to reach the top.

  10. Does the time of day I visit the Eiffel Tower affect how long the tour will take?

    Yes, visiting during non-peak hours can significantly reduce your tour duration, avoiding the longer waiting times experienced during peak hours from 11 am to 5 pm.

  11. How many steps are there to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower?

    There are approximately 674 steps from the ground to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower.

  12. Is it possible to buy tickets specifically for climbing the stairs?

    Yes, tickets for climbing the stairs up to the second floor are available for purchase. These tickets are often less expensive than elevator tickets.

  13. How long does it take to climb the stairs to the second floor?

    The time it takes can vary depending on your pace and fitness level, but on average, it takes about 30 to 40 minutes to climb the stairs to the second floor.

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