669 Steps to Heaven – Walking the Eiffel Tower

It is only when you are standing under the Eiffel Tower that you truly understand the sheer magnitude of it.

I decided that walking the tower steps would be a worthwhile experience. After all, not many people can say that they walked the Eiffel Tower. I only saw six people braving the steps before I purchased my ticket, but I just assumed there were several more people out of sight. It turned out that walking the tower wasn’t as popular as you’d think.

It only costs 4 € to walk to the second floor of the Eiffel Tower and another 4 € to go to the top.

I stood in line for 5 minutes before paying for the challenge ahead. 

Maybe this isn’t the best idea. I wonder how many flights it is? I wonder how many steps it is? 

There are 328 steps to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower. I know this because I counted every one of them. When I reached the first viewing platform, lots of things ran through my mind. You would think my first thought would have been, “Wow! This is beautiful,” but it wasn’t.

I’m just going to take the elevator back down. This was stupid! Why would I think I could do this? I wonder if anyone has ever had a heart attack on the platform of the Eiffel Tower? 

As I sat on the first seat that I could find, and regulated my breathing, I watched a child come up the stairs and run to the edge for the view. I wished I still had that kind of energy and enthusiasm.

It may have taken extra time to appreciate the surroundings, but when I finally stood at the rail and looked around, I was stunned at the beauty and culture that filled every inch of the panoramic view. The Eiffel Tower is the most famous symbol of Paris and I was standing at the heart of it.

After another 341 steps, the last step before the second floor is labeled 669, I reached the second platform. I had to stop two times and I thought about going back, but I made it. It was rather windy and cool, but I had accomplished something. Sure, I could have taken the elevator and enjoyed the ride, but for the rest of my life, I could tell people that I walked as high as a person can walk on the Eiffel Tower.  I had a bird’s eye view of Paris and it was exhilarating.

No trip to Paris would be complete without seeing it from the top. From ancient ruins to distant pasts, it can all be experienced from the Eiffel Tower. It was only during the second set of stairs that it sunk in that I was in Paris and I certainly had time to reflect during the 669 steps down to the base of it.

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73 thoughts on “669 Steps to Heaven – Walking the Eiffel Tower

    • Walking the steps of the Eiffel Tower was a proud moment for me. What I left out of the post was that I had a severe hyperactive thyroid at the time of the climb and my resting heart rate was about 150 beats a minute. I couldn’t regulate the condition at the time, but I didn’t let it control my life. I still accomplished great feats; I just took it one step at a time.

      I’m not accomplished when it comes to photography but I believe int he power of numbers and the beauty that surrounds me.

      Have you been to the Eiffel Tower?

      Thanks for your reply; it is appreciated.

      Keep them coming.

      Lesley

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Though I’ve visited the Eiffel tower in years past, I have never walked up it. That’s my goal for this year, and I loved reading about your experience doing it! And it’s so true… when I went up as a little kid, I had no fear pressing my face into the rickety wire fence on the top and looking down. Now I’m starting to understand how my mother must have felt!

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  2. I generally hate the climb to high places but love the view. We recently climbed up the trail to the Philosopher (Philosopher’s Walk) in Heidelberg and it was great seeing the city from above. Your story of the child reminds me, as I was getting short of breath, there was a little kid making the climb. I figured if he can do it, so can I . We’re planning to also climb to the top of the Schloss Heidelberg (Heidelberg Castle) on the other side, and the steps of the Heiliggeistkirche (Chuch of the Holy Spirit) in the Aldstadt (Old Town). When we get around to Paris I would like to climb the Eiffel Tower as well.

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  3. That’s oughtta be something to be proud of.

    Me on the other hand can go to a corner, hide my face and zip it.

    We were there in cold December weather and it was nighttime. We didn’t consider climbing the stair at all.

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  4. You’re really brave! :O Going to Paris is my number one dream! And going there on the Eiffel Tower is my lifelong wish. Huhu. I want to go there someday, when I get a job or at least after I graduate. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your experience, you just made me more eager to go there! But I’m not sure if I’ll take the stairs even though it sounds really fulfilling, I’m scared of heights. Like BIG TIME. 😐

    I’ll tell you when I get there! You sure inspired me to do so! ♥

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  5. Good job! my friends and i had to walk down (as the lineup was very long) not to miss the last metro… i have a slight fear of heights, it wasn’t planned and i can now say i walked down the stairs. Many emotions but like you i can proudly say i survived the Eiffel Tower stairs 😉

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  6. I’m currently reading a book about the construction of the Tower, and it mentions some of the crazy proposals other architects had offered the city. Had history played out a bit differently you would have been walking up a giant sprinkler, loaded with water in case of a Parisian drought! No joke. Also interesting to read about how much people absolutely hated Eiffel’s idea, and how hard it was for him to make it happen. It’s not just a modern marvel but a modern miracle that it even got built! Thanks for a great post.

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  7. I would dearly love to walk those steps, I think I’m personally fit enough, but we will have a toddler in tow so one of us will be holding onto him and the other the folded buggy, I don’t really think all those stairs and some additional weightlifting are complimentary activities! 🙂

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  8. I love the photography! I have wanted to go to Paris since I was 12. It is one of the foreign cities to visit on my bucket list. This post has inspired me even more to visit… and soon!!

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  9. It was on my bucket list to walk the steps of the Eiffel Tower……I can proudly say I did and was extremely happy to accomplish this and check it off my bucket list. My daughter has thyroid issues and I understand so good for you for going the distance. ☆☆☆

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  10. Congrats on another exciting adventure, Lesley!
    I climbed the stairs in the Statue of Liberty back in the 70’s (when I had energy!!) and like you, I’m so glad I did it!
    My novel-in-progress has the Eiffel Tower as a key location, and you’ve prompted me to consider having my character climb the steps now! Thanks for the idea 🙂

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  11. Climbing to such heights is not on my bucket list, but good for you for doing it. Climbing the CN tower in Toronto, Canada, and having dinner on the revolving restaurant platform in Niagara Falls is my limit. Yes, a great view.

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  12. I’m adding this to my to-do list when I head to Paris next month! The elevator ride is exhilarating but there must be such a sense of accomplishment when you climb all those steps!

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  13. I climbed up inside the statue of Liberty in 1976 and had major anxiety/claustrophobic attack, but was OK once I got in the crown. Could not get to torch as arm was being repaired so that part closed. I start trembling on a 10 foot ladder. Looks like I will not be taking that stairway to heaven(Led Zeppelin). Thanks visit my blog.

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  14. The Eiffel Tower really is one of those “tourist” places that lives up to its expectations. I went at sunset…a feat that wasn’t easy to time with the lines to get in and the time it took to climb the stairs! It was breathtaking though. Pair that with a glass of (overpriced but necessary) champagne purchased at the top…and you see why people fall in love with it so easily.

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  15. good on you for walking. I always walk up steps rather than use an elevator. i always build in a walk wherever I go even when parking my car. walking is good. for the mind and the body. an exhilirating post. thanx

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  16. This is an incredibly awesome post! I felt like I was there with you (which is probably the only way I’d do it–in my thoughts), but it was, nevertheless, awesome! And the pictures–fabulous!!!!! Thank you for sharing such an incredibly awesome experience!

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  17. Awesome! No Eiffel Tower in our immediate future, but retirement is close at hand. Got our RV and we are planning. Loved your pictures. You are definitely photographer enough. Also loved reading the comments. Your Bucket List and your creative ways of getting there are worthy of a book. Do you have one, or is there one in the works? Probably everybody knows but me.

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  18. A few trips ago to Paris we decided to the the steps. We really enjoyed it, much much more than taking the lift! And it’s not as windy at the top of the steps- it gets pretty cold at the very top and there have been times we haven’t been able to see a blooming thing! Its like you are alive rather than just an observer! Lovely post.

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  19. HA! I loved this post! It brought back memories. I was there in 2011 and climbed the Tower, as well. YOUR thoughts during your climb were a lot kinder than mine, lol @ myself…The thoughts that kept going through my head was “what the hell was I THINKIN’?!?!” and, “oh, puh-LEASE get out of my way! If you make me stop, I don’t think I’ll be able to start again!”
    Since you said you visited different parts of France, what did you think of Parisians vs. the French in other parts of the country? Did you notice a difference in attitude? Do you speak French & if so, did you notice the difference in Parisian-French versus, say, those in the South of France?
    Of all of the places I’ve visited, France–Paris in particular–was where I had the…weirdest(?) experiences so I’m interested in your views.
    Wycked

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  20. Amazing! Now I want to do it, but I can’t help but think of the French headlines the next day talking about the crazy tourist who only made it to the 17th stair (I’m a little out of shape). Lol. Really though, the pictures are amazing, and I really do envy you the entire experience and I thank you for sharing that which you were able to with those like myself who might never get much closer than this. Thanks again.

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    • I never climbed up the stairs but I did go down them. I thought going down wouldn’t be an issue. I was wrong!! I couldn’t feel my legs when I made it to the bottom after a few breaks!

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  21. I have climbed the CN tower and half way up I was so exhausted I wanted to give up although had no choice but to go up and had decided would never climb any building structure again but I am motivated to climb Eiffel Tower as I have found that they use animal fat (pig, sheep and bull) to grease the elevators. Why would they use animal fat in this day and age instead of other lubricants. I may be a layman in this field but sure there would be other options to lubricate the elevators. I wish I can make everyone aware of this and hopefully our voices would be heard by the authorities to find a solution to this. I am sure most people may not care but I am strong believer in Live and Let Live, thus would like for them to stop using animal fat.

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  22. Thank you for liking my blog. Well done for climbing the Tower instead of waiting in the interminable queue.Walking the Eiffel Tower is the only way to go, I’ve done it twice. If you want a really different view, do it in winter. My post ‘Paris in the winter-time” has some pictures.

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