Often times, world famous sights are overrated. The sights can be dirty, crime-ridden, ghetto, insanely crowded with tourists speaking a million different languages, expensive….you get the drift. A couple of sights that fall into this overrated category are “The Hollywood Walk of Fame”and New York’s “Times Square.”
Does the Eiffel Tower fall into this category?
Well, my family and I visited the Eiffel Tower on our 4-day tour in Paris and overall we really enjoyed our tour, but is some planning necessary if you want to get a complete experience.
There are 4 ways to experience the Eiffel Tower:
- You can simply go to the tower and take pictures on the outside without having to pay to get in
- You can buy fairly cheap tickets and visit the 1st floor, where the Eiffel Tower museum is located. This cannot be accessed by elevator/lift
- You can spend a little bit more and visit the 2nd floor observation deck, accessible by elevator
- You can spend a lot more and visit the 2nd floor observation deck and the TOP floor observation deck, both accessible by elevator
Tickets to get to the 2nd floor and top floor observations decks sell out sometimes weeks in advance during peak season (summer), so best to go with a tour agency and buy the tickets ahead of time. You can buy them on Expedia, Viator (Trip Advisor), and many more.
The view it self from the 2nd floor observation deck itself is amazing, and if you’re afraid of heights, I recommend buying this ticket. You are high enough get a great panoramic view of Paris, but you are low enough that you likely won’t get an anxiety attack.
If you are not afraid of heights and you want to see much larger and further panoramic views of Paris, you need to buy tickets to the top level observation deck. It’s near the very top of the tower itself, the views from up here are priceless. If you are afraid of heights, do not go up here! If you enjoy heights and can afford the more expensive ticket, it’s worth every dollar (or Euro)! These tickets need to be bought in advance or they may sell out. Do not expect to be able to buy tickets to the top at the entrance, unless it’s off-peak season.
Whatever option you choose, be prepared for large crowds. Keep your wallet in your front pocket to avoid pick-pocketers. Be ready to hear multiple languages, even American English from other tourists from the US.
Bring bottles of water with you in order to keep hydrated. Bring a camera to take unforgettable pictures.
So, does the Eiffel Tower fall into the category of “Overrated”? Yes, it’s crowded. Yes, it can be expensive. Is it ghetto? No. Is it dirty? The park in front of it is, but the immediate area around the tower is pretty clean. is it crime-ridden? There is some petty theft and pick-pocketing, but no major crimes.
So, my answer is NO, it is NOT overrated! It’s totally worth it, and it’s repeat-worthy. I would love to go up the Eiffel Tower again and if you visit Paris in the future, you should tour it as well.
Photos from the 2nd Floor Observation Deck:
Photos from the TOP Observation Deck: