Paris is also known as the City of Lights, and not without reason.
When darkness falls over the city, Paris doesn’t go to sleep. Instead, it gets ready for a second innings and this time under the lights.
Eiffel Tower, the symbol of Paris, also follows the same lead.
1. Night or day
2. Eiffel Tower night timings
3. Best floor to climb
4. Eiffel Tower night tickets
5. What to do at night
6. Eiffel Tower lights
7. Is night photography illegal?
8. Eiffel Tower night tours
9. Best places to see Eiffel Tower at night
10. Night view from Eiffel Tower
Eiffel Tower at night or day
If you have the time, money, and inclination, we recommend going to the top of Eiffel Tower during the day and at night as well.
Eiffel Tower offers a unique experience at both times.
After you have climbed a lit-up Eiffel Tower, you can settle down and watch the stunning light show from below.
The second best option is to visit Eiffel Tower twice, but climb up only during the day.
During your night visit, enjoy the illuminated Eiffel Tower from far, have dinner and get back.
The best time to visit Eiffel Tower at night and see its lights sparkle is 10 pm.
Some tourists go up the Tower just before twilight, experience the sunset, see the lights coming up and then get down.
Visiting Eiffel Tower at night
Every day after dark, Eiffel Tower wears its golden gown of lights and enthralls thousands who land up from far and wide.
In this section, we share all the practical information you need for a night visit.
Eiffel Tower night timings
Eiffel Tower is open 365 days a year.
From 14 June to 31 August (the peak season), Eiffel Tower opens at 9 am and closes at 0.45 am the next day.
The last entry to go up to the first and second floors of the Tower is at midnight.
The rest of the year, Eiffel Tower opens at 9.30 am and closes at 11.45 pm, and the last entry is at 11 pm.
Which Eiffel Tower floor to climb
The second floor is the best spot to witness Eiffel Tower and its beautifully lit structure at night.
From the 2nd floor, you get to enjoy both the ‘City of Lights’ and the upper and lower parts of the Eiffel Tower for as long as you want.
Numerous monoculars on the level will help you see Paris and its monuments in a new light.
When does the ticket office close at night?
Eiffel Tower ticket offices close 90 minutes before the Tower closes for the day.
That’s why it is better to buy your Eiffel Tower night visit tickets online.
Eiffel Tower night tickets
When you book Eiffel Tower tickets, you must select a time slot for your visit.
On the day of your visit, you must arrive at the attraction within 30 minutes of the time on your ticket.
There is no separate Eiffel Tower ticket for night visits – you can choose a suitable evening slot.
Since Eiffel Tower is the most visited, ticketed monument in the world, it is challenging to get tickets for your preferred times and dates, especially at short notice.
That’s why we have given below links to three popular platforms selling Eiffel Tower tickets.
Click on the logos and you can see the available Eiffel Tower tickets.
Buying Eiffel Tower tickets from the venue is a bad idea because of the long lines (pic below) at the ticket counter.
What to do at Eiffel Tower at night
Climbing the stairs when the iron structure is lit up from the inside is a totally different experience.
If you can’t take the stairs, don’t worry, Eiffel Tower elevators are also as much fun.
There are small buffet outlets on the esplanade, first, and second floors of Eiffel Tower, which the whole family can enjoy.
If you prefer a fancy dinner at Eiffel Tower, check out the one-MICHELIN-starred restaurant Jules Verne.
Perched 125 meters (410 feet) above the ground, the restaurant offers scintillating views of the City of Lights.
Eiffel Tower ticket doesn’t guarantee entry into the Jules Verne restaurant, and you must book a table in advance.
Once the second floor is explored, you can try a flute of champagne at the Champagne Bar on the Summit (the third floor).
Find out everything about Eiffel Tower restaurants before booking your dinner at the Parisian monument.
Eiffel Tower lights
Eiffel Tower’s night lights and light show have a long history.
Even before electricity, the Iron lady was lit up by gas lighting.
The illuminations on Eiffel Tower solve two purposes –
- It helps in safely operating the tourist attraction at night (it is open till beyond midnight)
- The lights and light show end up being yet another reason for tourists to visit at night
The first projectors were installed on the Iron Lady on 31 December 1985, and they were an instant success.
Around 330+ yellow-orange, powerful spotlights are integrated into the iron structure, outlining Eiffel Towers frame.
Golden lights & white sparkles
The Eiffel Tower lights and sparkles don’t have a specific starting time – they get triggered automatically by nightfall sensors.
Once triggered, the Golden lights stay on till 1 am.
The sparkling lights are superimposed over the golden lights for 5 minutes at the beginning of each hour, till 1 am.
Watch this video to see how the sparkling happens on top of the Golden lights –
The last sparkling light show happens at 1 am, without the Golden lights in the background. It lasts for 10 minutes.
Here is a video of Eiffel Tower’s 1 am sparkling show –
Eiffel Tower’s beacon
As part of the 1889 Paris Exposition itself, Gustave Eiffel installed spotlights to illuminate the Parisian monuments.
By 1947, the spotlights had become better many times over and were being used for air navigation.
The current Eiffel Tower beacon was inaugurated to ring in the year 2000 and is mostly symbolic.
The beacon comprises four motorized spotlights that create two beams with a range of 80 km (50 miles).
Is taking Eiffel Tower photos at night illegal?
Most tourists would have heard that there is an Eiffel Tower night law.
Or that photography of Eiffel tower at night is illegal.
The answer is both yes and no.
Let’s share some background before we answer if taking photos of Eiffel Tower at night is illegal or not.
The Eiffel Tower lights were installed in 1985 by Pierre Bideau, and he still owns the copyright on the lights and the sparkling.
According to European Union law, the copyright stays for 70 years after the death of the creator.
That’s why Société d’Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), which manages the Eiffel Tower, still maintains that the various illuminations of the Eiffel Tower are protected, and hence prior authorization must be taken.
So technically, it is illegal to take pictures of Eiffel Tower after the lights come on.
However, no tourist who has taken pictures for personal use or sharing on social media has been convicted till now.
And thousands of the tourists continue to break this rule every day.
Eiffel Tower night combo tours
During your holiday in Paris, there are many ways to experience Eiffel Tower ar night.
You can combine your Eiffel experience with many of the other things to do in Paris as well.
1. Eiffel Tower Direct Access & Illuminations Cruise
Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid tourist attraction in the world, and that’s why a Direct Access ticket saves you a lot of waiting time.
This tour has two parts – you go up the Eiffel Tower during the day and then board an Illuminations Cruise at night.
The Cruise ticket is flexible, and you decide when you want to see Eiffel Tower with all its lights on.
Boats depart from a pier just 5 minutes walk from the Eiffel Tower, and run every hour in winter and every 30 minutes in summer.
Tour ticket (4+ years): 66.90 Euros
2. Eiffel Tower, River Cruise and Bus Tour
This experience starts at 7.30 pm with a cruise along the River Seine for an hour.
You drift past major Parisian monuments and under numerous bridges.
Once on land, a bus takes you past some of the most famous sights and down handsome boulevards.
The luxury, air-conditioned bus ride also includes complimentary headphones and commentary.
The bus drops you at the foot of Eiffel Tower for the last leg of the tour – an elevator ride up to 2nd or 3rd floor.
Cancel up to three days in advance to receive a full refund.
Tour price (2nd-floor visit)
Adult ticket (12+ years): 92 Euros
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): 76 Euros
Tour price (3rd-floor visit)
Adult ticket (12+ years): 99 Euros
Child ticket (3 to 11 years): 84 Euros
3. Eiffel Tower, Dinner, Cruise, & Champagne at Moulin Rouge
This tour starts at 6 pm, with a visit to the Eiffel Tower.
After you have seen the city lights from the top, you cruise along Seine River to see the Eiffel Tower all illuminated.
You can choose to have dinner at the Tower or on a dinner cruise.
The last item for the evening is a Moulin Rouge show with a flute of champagne.
Cancel up to three days in advance to receive a full refund.
Tour price: There are various combinations, the cheapest of which is 255 Euros per person, and the costliest is 310 Euros per person.
4. Romantic limousine tour, with a stop at Eiffel Tower
This is a perfect tour for romantic couples or proposals.
A stretch limousine picks you up from your hotel at the time of your choice.
As the limousine winds through the streets of Paris, you take in the sights and also relax with some champagne.
Towards the end of your ride, the car slows down near Eiffel Tower, and a message from you gets displayed on the ultra-bright screen inside the limousine.
The message coincides with the exact moment when the Eiffel Tour is sparkling with its illuminations – making it super special.
Tour price: 490 Euros per couple
Best places to see Eiffel Tower at night
If you prefer to take in the after-dark Eiffel Tower view from your hotel room itself, we recommend the following –
- Radisson Blu Le Metropolitan Hotel
- Plaza Athenee Hotel
- Duquesne Eiffel Hotel
- Hotel La Comtesse Paris
- Jardins d’Eiffel
The other exciting places to see Eiffel Tower with all its lights on at night are:
1. Boat on the River Seine
A dinner cruise on the river Seine is a perfect way to see the Eiffel Tower after it is all decked up with its shimmering lights.
Dinner Cruises happen on the Restaurant boats, which have a glass-enclosed dining area so that you can enjoy the Parisian views from a protected environment.
Besides Eiffel Tower, you will also see other Parisian monuments such as The Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, Les Invalides, Orsay Museum, etc.
More about Seine River Dinner Cruises
1. Trocadéro Gardens
Trocadéro Gardens is right opposite Eiffel Tower, on the other bank of river Seine and thus is a perfect spot to see the massive monument all lit up.
Trocadero is free and always open. Couples are known to enjoy this spot.
2. Pont de Bir-Hakeim
Pont de Bir-Hakeim connects the 15th and 16th arrondissements.
This famous bridge is a popular spot for photographers trying to snap pictures of the Eiffel Tower in the backdrop of River Seine.
3. From the Champ-de-Mars
Champ-de-Mars is perhaps the best place to appreciate stunning views of Eiffel Tower at night.
You can bring in your blankets, pack in some food, and dine in the massive public greenspace.
4. Montparnasse Tower
Montparnasse Tower’s 56th-floor Observatory offers you a panoramic view of Paris and its monuments, including Eiffel Tower.
The Parisian Observatory remains open till 10.30 pm on all days of the week.
If you fancy a dinner, step into le Ciel de Paris, the Observatory’s highly recommended restaurant.
5. Quai Branly Museum
Quai Branly Museum also offers excellent views of the Eiffel Tower, but since it closes by 7 pm, it is not a good option for night views.
However, the Museum’s rooftop restaurant, Les Ombres open till 10.30 pm, offers brilliant views of the monument.
6. Montmartre hill
Sacré Coeur Basilica is on top of the Montmartre hill and is open from 6 am to 10.30 pm.
If you visit the Basilica in the evening, you can stay on to see breathtaking views of both Eiffel Tower and the Parisian capital city.
View from Eiffel Tower at night
Be it day or night, the City of Lights looks stunning from above Eiffel Tower.
Check out the kind of views you will get to see from above the Parisian attraction at night.
Popular attractions in Paris
She is an explorer who wants to fulfill her wanderlust. Destinations don't matter as long as she gets to step out of her home and keep going. She prefers to travel with a buddy because it helps her share the experience with a loved one. Favorite Cities: Amsterdam, Berlin, Budapest, Athens