Police spotted the man climbing the structure of the tower around 11.30pm (2130 GMT) on Sunday. They evacuated the tower, sealed off the area and tried to negotiate with the man, who spoke English, a police source told AFP.
The negotiations failed and the man jumped from between the tower's second level and the top, a height of between 125 and 324 metres.
Suicides by jumping from the tower 'happen frequently enough, but it is rare for someone to be able to climb so high', a police source said.
Built in two years by engineer Gustave Eiffel as the centerpiece of the 1889 world fair, the Eiffel Tower is a hallmark of the Paris skyline and one of the most visited tourist sites in the world, with 7.1 million visitors in 2011, an average of nearly 20,000 visitors per day.