Pretty bad. But not too bad…
If you’re looking for a way to save some time when trying to see the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower, then you should definitely consider climbing the steps.
It is always a shorter queue, and it is also slightly cheaper.
Whilst it is tiring and sweat inducing, you can go at your own pace, and there is a nice stopping point on the first floor.
You can only take the stairs to the 2nd floor, and from there you must buy a separate ticket to take a lift to the very top.
This lift queue is quite long, but not as long as queuing from the very beginning. We were done with seeing the Eiffel Tower in about 2 hours! However when I took the lift with my friends in October, we were in the first ticket queue (at the bottom) alone for about 1 1/2 hours.
I’d say it was worth it. It was a nice day, and a bit of exercise was probably needed on our trip.
Be sure to take your own water though, the prices at the first floor cafe are overpriced to say the least…