13 Stunning Eiffel Tower Alternatives if Tickets are Sold Out

Claire worked and wrote for Sight Seeker’s Delight for 7 years – read more here.

Eiffel Tower tickets sell out months in advance. Didn’t get yours? We can help.

Eiffel alternative

So you go to the official Eiffel Tower website to get your tickets but, oh no, they’re totally sold out for the dates you’re in Paris!

This is actually a very common occurrence because most travelers don’t plan out all their vacation activities 6-8 months in advance! (So: don’t worry if this happens to you, it’s perfectly normal…).

Normal though it may be, what a frustration it is to your perfect Paris trip. Should you go and simply wait in line at the tower?

Depending on the season and what time of day you go, you could be waiting for upwards of 2 hours. Yikes.

Or, you can go through another company and get a Eiffel Tower ticket or tour… at a whopping 400% markup from what the tickets are actually worth. They’re sold on the Eiffel Tower site for a reasonable 17 euros, but you’ll likely pay upwards of 50 euros if you purchase through a secondary site.

But maybe you want to avoid those sort-of-terrible Plan B options, and as a bonus have some truly unique experiences?

In that case, we’ve got your back. Here our 13 favorite alternatives for a breathtaking view of Paris. Oh, and as a bonus: the Eiffel Tower is actually IN all these views (instead of being stood on). Talk about a photo opportunity!


1. Saint Jacques Tower

Eiffel alternative Saint Jacques tower

Image: Wikipedia Commons

If you’ve strolled the famous rue de Rivoli or looked at the skyline from the top of Notre Dame, you’ve definitely seen the Saint Jacques tower. It’s the vestige of a 16th century church of the same name. Where’s the church now, do you ask? It was torn down during the French Revolution so the stone could be reused – only the bell tower remains!

The Tower only recently began allowing visitors, so this is a really unique experience. Though visits are in French only for the moment, the view you get from this tower just north of Notre Dame is truly unbelievable. The height is just right to see far into the distance of the capital’s skyline, while still being able to clearly see architectural features of the Parisian streets.

Note that there are 300 stairs in a tight winding staircase to reach the 52-meter summit (There’s no elevator… remember this was built centuries ago!). Children under 10 are not allowed and this is pretty strictly enforced – count on bringing a photo ID for your child. Reservations must be made in advance through the website (below).

Saint Jacques Tower Website
What you’ll see: Notre Dame, Seine river, Islands, center cradle of Paris
Good for: travelers looking for a totally unique experience
Price: 10€ for a 50-minute guided visit (visit in French only, but the view goes beyond language!)
Opening hours: Friday – Monday 10am-5pm (June – August), Friday – Sunday 10am-5pm (September – October)
Address: Square de la Tour Saint-Jacques 75004 Paris
Metro: Chatelet, Hotel de Ville


Montparnasse Tower

2. Observation Deck

Eiffel alternative Montparnasse

Image: Wikipedia Commons

The Montparnasse Tower, yes, the blemish on a perfect Parisian skyline. But as they say, Montparnasse has the best view of all of Paris… because it’s the view without Montparnasse in it.

At 201 meters tall, Montparnasse tower is dwarfed by the Eiffel Tower’s 300 meters. But that only bodes well for your photos 🙂

The Panorama is on the 59th floor, and you can even purchase a ticket that includes a glass of champagne to enjoy the view with!

You can also choose a ticket that gives you 2 reduced-price entries to the tower in 48 hours. Want to see Paris by day, and by night? That’s the option for you.

Montparnasse Observation Deck Website
What you’ll see: The whole city from above, including the Eiffel Tower.
Good for: Families, or a romantic date
Price: 17€ adult, 12€ youth (12-18), 9.50€ child (4-11), under 4 for free
Opening hours: Open every day. Last visit 30 minutes before closure.
1 April – 30 September: 9:30am – 11:30pm
1 October – 31 March: early closures Friday and Saturday (11pm).
Address: Base of the tower on the rue de l’Arrivée side, 33 avenue du Maine 75015
Metro: Montparnasse Bienvenue


3. Restaurant

Eiffel alternative Ciel de Paris restaurant

Image: 10bestmedia.com

A secondary option is the Montparnasse restaurant Le Ciel de Paris. Sitting at the 56th floor, it is the highest panoramic restaurant in Paris – so the view from your table will beat pretty much any other view.

Want to be sure you get that window-side table for you and your sweetheart? There are specific reservations just for that!

Ciel de Paris Website
What you’ll see:The whole city from above, including the Eiffel Tower.
Good for: Special occasion or romantic meals.
Price: Lunch from 30€. Dinner from 68€ (136€ per person if you want a guaranteed window seat).
Opening hours: Open all day but food services are 8-11am, noon-2:30pm, 7-11pm.
Address: Base of the tower on the rue de l’Arrivée side, 33 avenue du Maine 75015
Metro: Montparnasse Bienvenue


4. Hot Air Balloon

Eiffel alternative Hot air balloon

Image: Wikipedia Commons

The Ballon Generali is the biggest hot air balloon in the world, and it’s tethered in a park in Paris’ 15th district. Book a ticket on this thing for the experience and the photo opp all in one!

The balloon doesn’t saunter over Paris, but stays tethered to the ground. However, the flights climb up toe 150 meters so rest assured, your view will be stunning.

Ballon Generali Website
What you’ll see:Eiffel Tower, Montparnasse, Paris parks
Good for: Families, groups of friends
Price: 12€ Adult, 6€ Child (3-11), Free for infants under 3
Opening hours: Flights from 9am until 30 minutes before the park closes (around dusk, varies with the season). Tip: Arrive early for the shortest wait times.
Note: Flights depend on the weather – check the website (blue box in upper right of website) to see if flights will be happening the day you want to visit.
Address: Parc André-Citroën, 75015 Paris
Metro: Javel or Balard


5. Sacre Coeur Dome

Eiffel alternative Sacre Coeur

Image: parisianist.com

The Montmartre hill is 130 meters tall, and the Sacre Coeur Basilica is another 83 meters on top of that. Climbing to the dome of this striking monument will give you a 213-meter high view of the city sprawled out at your feet.

Since Montmartre is on the northern edge of Paris (it was still a farming suburb until the late 1800s!), you really get to see the entire city in one view.

Just a heads-up – there are 300 steps to climb to the top (and no elevator). Best be ready for a nice little climb!

Sacre Coeur Website
What you’ll see:
Good for: a bit of sport after eating all that cheese
Price: 6€ Adult, 4€ Child (4-16)
Opening hours: Every day 8:30am-8pm (May to September), 9am-5pm (October to April). These times are subject to change and can vary according to the weather.
Address:35 rue du Chevalier de la Barre 75018. Entrance to dome is to the left of the central entrance to the Basilica.
Metro: Anvers, Abbesses


Ferris Wheels

You’ll find your fair share of Ferris Wheels here in Paris throughout the year! Fun fact: did you know the Ferris Wheel was invented as a direct answer to the Eiffel Tower?

How convenient for your Paris visit that this city competition existed back in the late 1800s. There’s nothing so relaxing as seeing the city gracefully drop away as the Ferris Wheel takes you to its peak.

Below are three different Ferris Wheel options, depending on when during the year you plan your Paris vacation

6. Grand roue Concorde

Eiffel alternative Ferris wheel

Image: parisinfo.com

Towering an impressive 70 meters, the Concorde Ferris wheel is the largest in Paris. Though in theory it’s installed for the December holiday markets, in past years it’s been kept running until mid-May.

This gives you the perfect chance in winter and spring to enjoy a lazy ride above central Paris. Don’t forget your camera; this Ferris Wheel offers a breathtaking view of central Paris.

What you’ll see: Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, Eiffel Tower, Tuileries, Louvre
Good for: Families with children, or a fun romantic date
Price: 12€ Adult, 6€ children (under 10)
Opening hours: Open every day from November 17, 2017.
Address: Place de la Concorde 75008 Paris
Metro: Concorde


7. Foire du Trone:

Eiffel alternative ferris wheel

Image: foire-du-trone.com

The Foire du Trone is a yearly summer carnival in the Bois de Vincennes park. The park itself is magnificent and dreamy, and a great place to spend a sunny Sunday. In addition to the Ferris Wheel, there are a handful of other more intense rides that will take you high above the trees to see Paris in all its glory.

Foire du Trone Website
What you’ll see: Graceful greenery of Bois de Vincennes, with monuments like the Eiffel Tower in the distance
Good for: Families with children, or a fun romantic date
Price: Prices vary on different rides; entry to the Foire is free
Opening hours: 2017 dates have yet to be released, but typically the Foire is open all of April and May, every day noon-midnight
Address: Pelouse de Reuilly 75012, in Bois de Vincennes
Metro: Porte Doree


8. Foire de Tuileries

Eiffel alternative ferris wheel

Don’t be surprised to see this colorful carnival pop up every summer just a stone’s throw from the Louvre museum. Need a way to unwind after a tour of the Louvre’s highlights? This is for you.

Foire de Tuileries Website
What you’ll see: Central Paris monuments like the Louvre, Concorde, Madeline, and Eiffel tower
Good for: Families with children, or a fun romantic date
Price: Prices vary on different rides; entry to the Foire is free
Opening hours: 2017 dates have yet to be released, but typically the Foire is open all from mid-June to end-August, every day noon-midnight
Address: 113 Rue de Rivoli, 75001 Paris
Metro: Tuileries, Concorde


9. Rooftop Terrace

Eiffel alternative rooftop terrace

Image: terrass-hotel.com

There are a lot of rooftop bars and cafes out there, but the 7th floor of Terrass hotel one is our favorite. There’s a restaurant as well as a bar, and both have huge floor to ceiling windows that let you bask in the 180 degree view of Paris.

If 7 floors doesn’t seem that tall, know that the hotel is in Montmartre, the hill that overlooks the city. Trust me, it’s a fantastic view.

The outdoor terrace bar is my personal favorite. They don’t accept reservations for the terrace, so be sure to get there early to ensure you grab a table!

Terrass Hotel Website
What you’ll see: Southern-facing view of Paris including Eiffel Tower, Invalides, and the look down the Montmartre hill
Good for: Early evening drinks with friends or a nice dinner
Price: Glasses of wine from about 9€, lunch at the interior restaurant from 26€, dinner from about 70€
Opening hours: Bar open 3:30pm-1am, Lunch noon-2pm, Dinner 7-10pm. Meal reservations recommended.
Address:12-14 Rue Joseph de Maistre, 75018 Paris
Metro: Abbesses (beware, as of publication date the Abbesses station stairs are still closed), Place de Clichy


10. Notre Dame

Eiffel alternative Notre Dame

If you’ve never seen the spectacular view from the towers of Notre Dame Cathedral, you’re really missing out.

Honestly, this is something I would even suggest if you ARE lucky enough to get an Eiffel Tower ticket. Nothing can replace the feeling of climbing through an 850-year-old stone building.

Plus the view from the top will make the 387 steps totally worth it.

Notre Dame Towers Website
What you’ll see: Very center of Paris, islands, river, and plenty of up-close amazing architecture
Good for: Physically fit travelers, architecture lovers
Price: 10€ Adult, 8€ Youth (under 18)
Opening hours: Every day 10am-6:30pm (April 1 – 30 September), 10am – 5:30pm (1 October – 31 March).
July and August: additional late-night opening until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays
Address: 6, place du parvis de Notre-Dame 75004 Paris
Metro: Cite, Chatelet


11. Parc de Saint-Cloud

Eiffel alternative Saint Cloud park

Image: Wikipedia Commons

What if there was gorgous grounds and a palace like Versailles just on the outskirts of Paris? Well, there used to be. Until 1870 when it burnt down, the Chateau de Saint-Cloud was the royal summer residence. Before that, it had seen some pretty intense history, such as the assassination of king Henri III in 1589 and the coup d’etat of Napoleon Bonaparte in 1799.

Built into a hill to the west of Paris, the park overlooks the city and is closest to big monuments like the Eiffel Tower. Though the Chateau is no longer there, the park was designed by Le Notre (the same who designed those of Versailles’) and have been kept up to royal standards.

There are several look-out points at the base of the former chateau, and plenty of interesting and beautiful things to see while you make your way there.

Parc de Saint Cloud Website
What you’ll see: Entire Paris skyline
Good for: nature-lovers, or those looking for an off-the-beaten-path activity, romantic photo shoot, families
Price: Free
Opening hours: Every day 7:30am – 9pm
Address: 1 Avenue de la Grille d’Honneur, 92210 Saint-Cloud
Metro: Boulogne Porte de Saint-Cloud


12. Arc de Triomphe

Eiffel alternative Arc de Triomphe

Image: timeout.com

For a bit of culture along with your climb, head to the iconic Arc de Triomphe and climb to its roof! There are 40 stairs to climb which make it a pretty easy feat compared to Sacre Coeur. You’ll find a little museum exhibit during your climb, and can explore that (and rest if you need to)

Note that the Arc de Triomphe is in the middle of a massive traffic circle, which you should NEVER attempt to cross on foot. There’s an underground tunnel on the Avenue de la Grande Armee side of the circle (that’s closest to the Wagram exit of the metro).

Arc de Triomphe Website
What you’ll see: Pretty close view of the Eiffel Tower, Champs-Elysees, architecture of wealthy Western Paris
Good for:
Price: 12€ Adult, 9€ Youth (under 18)
Opening hours: Every day 10am-11pm (April 1 – September 30), 10am-10:30pm (October 1 – March 31). Last admission 45 minutes before closing time.
Address: Arc de Triomphe, Place Charles-de-Gaulle 75008 Paris
Metro: Charles de Gaulle Etoile


13. Eiffel Tower Restaurant

Eiffel alternative Jules Verne

Image: le-jules-verne-paris.com

If you can’t beat ’em… join ’em! One last option if you just need to climb the tower itself, is a meal at Le Jules Verne restaurant on the Eiffel Tower’s second floor. Alain Ducasse created the menu, so you’re bound for a fabulous meal. Truth time: Would a meal of this quality cost quite so much if it wasn’t inside Paris’ most iconic monument? Yes. But you’re paying for the atmosphere, too!

A dedicated elevator caters only to restaurant guests, so you won’t have to wait in line (or even buy a ticket). Though you won’t have access to the summit, the second floor is arguably a more impressive view of the city since you can still make out the details below.

Keep in mind that you must make your reservation online prior to the date. It’s a pretty fancy place, and appropriate dress is required (leave those gym shoes at the hotel!). Window seats can’t be reserved, but the restaurant does work on a first-come first-served basis so the earlier you book, the better your chances of that spectacular window-side seat are.

Le Jules Verne Website
What you’ll see: Amazing iron structure of the Eiffel tower, surrounding neighborhoods
Good for: romantic date, or milestone dinner
Price: 5 courses for 190€, 6 courses for 230€
Opening hours: Every day noon-1:30pm 7-9:30pm
Address: 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris
Metro: Bir-Hakeim

Looking for more useful travel tips? Here are even more articles to make your Paris trip perfect! If you are looking for customized help, suggestions, or reservations, check out our Travel Services to see which is the best fit for your vacation.

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