By Anne Taylor Hartzell, on November 19, 2013

The Eiffel Tower with kids

No family trip to Paris would be complete without a visit (or two) to enjoy the architectural marvel of the Eiffel Tower. Before our trip, I heard how busy it can be to visit the Eiffel Tower and that we should expect long lines and big crowds to get to the top. Few things kill a fun family vacation more than waiting in long lines with small children. However, I am here to share what we learned to help you avoid some of the common pitfalls that are easily avoidable on your next visit with the family to Paris’ most beloved landmark. Skip the long lines and maximize your visit with these four tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower in
with kids.

Tip 1: Book Eiffel Tower tickets online in advance. Traveling with two kids under the age of ten, we pre-paid for our tickets online and scheduled a reservation time. This simple strategy allowed us to skip the lines and go straight through the security line, boarding the elevator within five minutes. Tickets online for the Eiffel Tower (as of publishing) are 14.50€ for adults, 13€ for youth (12-24 years old), and 10€ for children (5-10 years old). Children under 4 get in for free. Make sure you print out your reserved tickets in advance and show up at your designated reservation time. If you are late, you could be denied entry.

Viewfinder Tip: Pre-pay for your Eiffel Tower tickets online to avoid the long lines with young kids. 

Tip 2: Download the Eiffel Tower app. As we ascended the Eiffel Tower in the elevator up one of its four giant legs, the doors opened and we were greeted with spectacular views. After we all exclaimed, “Wow!,” the conversation then turned to, “What is that down there?” A helpful way to navigate the Paris landscape from above is to download the official Eiffel Tower app to your phone. The app has over an hour of audio tours, detailed panoramic views, and interactive maps so you and your kids will know just what you are looking at from high above the city.

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Tip 3: Wait patiently for the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower. Weather permitting, I totally recommend waiting in line on the second level to take the second elevator to the top. The views from the top are staggering! As you watch the big wheels turn the steel cables from the tiny glass elevator, you realize just how high you really are and what an engineering miracle the Eiffel Tower is in this beautiful city. At the top, there are panoramic drawings marking the city’s majestic views and an opportunity to sneak a peek at Gustave Eiffel’s old private office, which has been restored to its original condition.

Tip 4: Download the Eiffel Tower’s guide for children. Get younger kids engaged by teaching them about the Eiffel Tower from their perspective. Kids ages 6-10 years old can download the free booklet and follow along with Gus, a fun character who helps kids better understand the history and mysteries of the Eiffel Tower.

What are your tips for spending a day in Paris with the family?