What can I say about this 324 m (1070 ft) high structure that hasn't been said before? Not much I guess, as everyone knows the Eiffel Tower. This world famous landmark was built in 1889 and was named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel. It is now one of the worlds biggest tourist traps, but it still keeps in drawing the crowds, around 6,5 million people yearly. An amazing number;, which makes it all more the logical that the queues to go up the tower are so very long. And yes, I've been one of those people as well! On my first visit to Paris I just HAD to go up the tower. And I really enjoyed it! But that was probably mostly due to the fact of the idea it was the "Eiffel Tower" I went up, not especially because of the views from here.
This second time I gladly skipped the long wait in line, and pleased myself by just looking at it from the front, the side and below. The structure still amazes me, so it was fun to be here a second time around. But I don't think I will ever go up there again. The queue on this bright sunny day was endless, 45 minutes a sign above the cash register said. I guess visiting Paris and especially the Eiffel Tower requires a bit of patience! ;-)
While you stand and wait here in line, or just stare up at this enormous structure, do watch out of pickpocketers and scammers. An area like this, filled with tourists, is a gold-mine and dream come true for those who want to earn a buck or two from tourists. The police do seem to keep control over the area, as they were chasing a couple of scammers on bicycle when we were there.
I am probably the only person alive who had no desire to scale the Eiffel. The crush of humanity put me right off so I chose it as a grace note for photos and saved a few euros besides. Fortunately, thousands are willing to queue up for that bird's-eye view of Paris or it likely would not be here today. Built in 1887-1889 for Exposition Universelle, a 100-year observance of the French Revolution, it was to be torn down 20 years after the expo and its 9441 tons of iron sold for scrap. But the thing turned out to be such an enormous tourist attraction that the clever French decided THAT would be just silly, wouldn't it?
It is, of course, named after its architect, Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, to whom we Yanks owe the internal framework of our own Statue of Liberty: thank you, France! It was also not initially loved by some Parisians who felt that it marred the view of skies so lovely they inspired the song, "Sous Le Ciel De Paris." There is an oft-repeated story of a famous novelist who hated the thing so much that he had his lunch in one of the tower's cafes every day so he didn't have to look at it! Love, hate or simply tolerate it, they've gotten used to the thing over 120 years or so. The fortune collected in ticket fees hasn't hurt either.
Although you will catch a glimpse of it from points all around Paris, two favorite viewing spots are from the large green park to the east, Parc du Champ de Mars, and from across the Seine at the Trocadéro. Champs du Mars is a great place to take an evening picnic as it's one of the few green areas without pesky "Pelouse interdite" signs: "Keep off the grass." You will see lots of people spread out on the lawn for a nosh, a snooze or a bit of canoodling with their sweethearts. For evening viewing, the Trocadéro was our favorite for easy access from the nearby metro station (Trocadero) and impressive setting above a reflecting pool.
As prices and details can change, it's best to visit the website for everything you need to know. This is also where you can order time-specific tickets for either the elevator to the 1st and 2nd level viewing platforms or all the way to the third. This allows you to skip the ticket line and get into the shorter pass-holder queue. A budget ticket also exists for climbing the stairs to the 1st/2nd platforms but that one isn't available in advance. You may also pre-book a tour.
Be aware: the Eiffel is NOT included in the Paris Museum Pass or any other that I know of. You will also encounter a lot of hawkers who will do their best to sell you cheap tchotchkes; just ignore them and keep walking. If pursued, a firm "Non!" will do the trick. Access to the tower can be abruptly shut down due to adverse weather conditions and security incidents. The tower's special "sparkling" light effect occurs in the evening for 5 minutes every hour on the hour until 1:00 AM so plan accordingly.
No matter how cliche this might sound, a visit to Paris truly wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower - whether you choose to go up the tower or to admire it from afar is up to you of course! Built for the 1889 World Fair, it is a well-known fact that Parisians hated the big mass of metal when it was first erected - French writer Guy de Maupassant disliked it so much that he supposedly ate at the tower's restaurant nearly every day because it was the only place in Paris where he couldn't see the tower! But for some reason, the Eiffel Tower has aged very well. Its surroundings have somehow adapted to its presence to create a cohesive landscape and its elegant, 324 m shape no longer appears to be an eyesore. It's also worth seeing it during the day and then going back at night to see it all lit up and to watch when the flashing lights go on - it sparkles each hour on the hour for about 10 minutes.
When we got to the tower there was a huge line-up for the elevator so we decided to go up the stairs - it was cheaper (only 4 Euros) and we didn't have to wait at all. You have to climb 345 steps to get to the first level, and another 359 steps to get to the second level. Do be aware that the stairs only go up to the second level, so if you want to go all the way to the top you're going to have to pay again to use the elevator. As we went up on a hazy day, we were quite happy to stay on the first level and enjoy the view!
On the MAG forum I read a number of comments, critics, on the 1000 and more often redundant tips about the Tour Eiffel so that I felt somewhat guilty having written this tip. I only hope that my review is a bit different from the others.
When I came out of the Musée de la Marine at the Trocadero I faced what is for sure the best view on the Eiffel Tower.
As on the day before I had visited the Invalides Army museum and the WW II department with documents of the German occupation, I realised that it was from that Trocadero Esplanade at the exact place where tourists are now viewing the Tour Eiffel that on Sunday June 23, 1940 around 8 am, Adolf Hitler was standing to view the Tour Eiffel and the occupied Paris as shown by that famous photo at the Army museum (photo 2). He would never come back to Paris.
These 4 years were the worst for France and the Tour Eiffel.
They ended with the liberation of Paris by the French 2e Division Blindée under command of general Leclerc on August 25, 1944 and the famous discourse of General De Gaulle:
"Paris outragé ! Paris brisé ! Paris martyrisé ! mais Paris libéré !"
There was fierce fighting at the Champ de Mars when a platoon of Spahis from the 2e DB attacked the Ecole Militaire where 250 Germans resisted during 4 hours against the French troops.
At 12.30 h on August 25, 1944 the French flag was put again on the top of the Tour Eiffel by 6 Sapeurs-Pompiers from the fire brigade of Paris. It took them 25 minutes to climb the 1665 steps under the fire of the German soldiers.
The good years for tourism at the tour Eiffel were back (the Tour Eiffel was closed from 1940 till 1945) with more than 7 millions entries in 2012! 250 millions visitors since its construction in 1889.
I read in the French press that the access to the Tour Eiffel will be improved in order to reduce the queuing. I have been more than a dozen times on the Champ de Mars and each time the queues discouraged me. Now I like to stand at the bottom of the tower and look up to the biggest "Mecano" structure in the world.
It is also the intention to have visitors spend more money once in the tower by offering more catering possibilities. Somebody at the management realised that the prices of the upper restaurant are not for budget travellers! Lunch at the Jules Verne restaurant is at 85 € and dinner at 200 €. Bon appétit!
The Eiffel Tower (located on the Champ de Mars and not the Trocadero as mentionned in the title from VT) is open every day ( From 9 a.m. to midnight from 15 June to 1 September, and from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the rest of the year.
The prices vary between 5,00 € (stairs to 2nd floor), lift to 2nd floor (8,50 €) or lift to top at 14,50 €.
Buying tickets (only those with lift included) is possible on line at http:// ticket.toureiffel.fr on a chosen day and time (subject to availability).
With the printed electronic ticket or saved on your mobile ‘phone you can go straight to the queue for people with tickets.
After breakfast on our second day in Paris, we headed towards the Eiffel Tower – the most famous of all Paris sights. The sky wasn’t very clear and I wondered what kind of view we would have.
There are 3 levels that you can go to – the first has a restaurant, post office, information about the tower, etc., the second level at 115 meters has a viewing area and another restaurant (Jules Verne - where it’s necessary to book at least 2 months in advance - very expensive but nice for a special occasion), and the third level at 276 meters has another viewing area.
We arrived to find crowds of people and promptly got in a line. After about 1 ½ hours in line just as we were about to reach the ticket window they flashed an announcement that they closed the third level due to weather/visibility. I was pretty disappointed but we went up to the second level anyway. The sky wasn’t very bright but I was really surprised that at only 115 meters there was such a good view. Paris rooftops all around, you could see all the way to the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, and up and down the Seine.
While we were making our way around the building, the third level was opened up. We got into a small elevator and made our way 160+ additional meters. I’ve been to the top of taller buildings but this elevator ride was very claustrophobic – I think because the top of the tower was so narrow. I just felt like I was hanging out there in mid-air. I was happy to reach the top. I thought the views were better from the second level – possibly because of the limited visibility.
Since our visit, you are now able to pre-purchase your tickets online. I'd definitely recomend doing that to avoid the queues... http://www.tour-eiffel.com/preparing-your-visit/buying-your-tickets
Lift to Top - Adults: €13,40, Age 12-24: €11,80, Children 4-11: €9,30, under 4: free.
Lower rates for 1st and 2nd floor access.
Open every day:
•from 9 a.m. to midnight from 17 June to 28 August,
•from 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. during the rest of the year,
•At Easter weekend and during the Spring holidays : extended opening hours to midnight.
All visitor information was correct as of this update.
Weighing 7,000 tons but exerting about the same pressure on the ground as an average-size person sitting in a chair, the wrought-iron tower wasn't meant to be permanent. Gustave-Alexandre Eiffel, the French engineer, famous mainly on his iron bridges, built it for the 1889 Universal Exhibition. What saved it from demolition was the advent of radio -- as the tallest structure in Europe, it made a perfect spot to place a radio antenna (now a TV antenna).
The least expensive way to see Tour Eiffel is to walk up the first two floors at a cost of 3.05€. That way you also avoid the long lines waiting for the elevator. If you dine at the tower's Altitude 95 (tel. 01-45-55-20-04), an Eiffel restaurant on the first floor, management allows patrons to cut to the head of the line.
You'll find elevators in two of the pillars. The first landing provides a view over the rooftops at: 57.63 meters (189 ft). Souvenir shops. Restaurant "Altitude 95" (tel- 01-45-55-20-04). Post office, with special stamps "Paris Eiffel Tower ".
The 2nd landing offers a panoramic look at the city at 115.73 meters (379 ft). Telescopes, shops. Jules Verne Restaurant (extremely expensive, reservations- 01-45-55-61-44).
The 3rd landing at 276.13 meters (905 feet, 11 inches) is the view most people come for, on a clear day you can see for 64km (40 miles), ).
Probably the best approach to the tower is to take the Métro to the Trocadéro station & walk from the Palais de Chaillot to the Seine. Besides fabulous views, especially when the Trocadéro fountains are in full force, you get a free show from the dancers & acrobats who perform around the Palais de Chaillot. The vast green expanse beneath the tower is the Parc du Champs-de-Mars.
You have a choice of three levels - as it was the first night of our trip we wanted to go to the top - blow the expense! Adults were Euro14.50 each ( updated in 2013) for a lift entrance to the top. It was February and about 8pm at night so we didn't have to queue for long to buy tickets or to take the lift - the only option available to us. We went straight to the top, changing on the second level to the vertical lift that rises through the central column. The lift was packed tight so if you suffer from claustrophobia stick to the outer edge of the lift and look out of the window. Also beware of pickpockets - there are lots of opportunities for them to practice their dipping skills.
Once at the top there are two floors; the lower is enclosed with glass and has a series of panoramic photos with a key to help you identify the various places of interest. Above it a panel listing most of the capital cities around the world and the distance from the Tower.
You can go up a short flight of steps to the highest level which is in the open air though you're kept safe because it has secure netting. It was pretty chilly out there but we had fantastic views. The challenge is to spot the Glass Pyramid inside the courtyard of the Louvre - we failed despite easily making out the enormous Palace amongst the sparkling lights.
On the hour up to at least 11pm the Tower comes alive with shimmering, flashing white lights that look fantastic from a distance - though not so good from the tower itself. For the rest of the evening it's illuminated in a golden glow of spotlights and crowned by a rotating beam of light similar to that of a lighthouse. After midnight the lights are switched off and the visitors will have gone.
Leaving the tower you will have plenty of opportunities to buy plastic and metallic replicas from the numerous hawkers who are around the site and the neighbouring streets.
If you go in February go well prepared with thick clothing; it gets pretty chilly up there. You might even be disappointed - I'm convinced on the following night the top level was closed. We couldn't see the top of the tower as it was shrouded in mist and there didn't appear to be any lifts going up from the second level. So if you want to go to the top - pick a clear night.
Next year the Tour Eiffel will undergo a real metamorphose. The first floor will be completely renovated starting at the spring 2012 and this for works expected to last eighteen months and to cost 25 million euro.
The reason according to the Mairie de Paris: few Parisians are visiting the Tour Eiffel symbol of Paris and France. I want to observe that if more Parisians would visit the Tower the lines would still be longer than now!
What will be spectacular on the first floor is that a glass floor will be created at the periphery of the central void. The glass floor will be 36 mm thick, the height is 58 m above the ground.
Visitors who might feel some phobia will not be obliged to walk on the glass floor.
Well, what more can we say about this great symbol of Paris!?!? I think it’s been written about a trillion times, but I still just wanted to add my own tip about it!
Tip #1:“Go up the Eiffel Tower when it’s twinkling!” That’s my take on it. I don’t think Gustave Eiffel, who beat 699 other contestants for that design contest in the 1889 World’s Fair, thought that the Tower would ever twinkle.
The first time I went up the Eiffel Tower was really really late at night and I did not even know it twinkled. Then I was there looking at the view when all of a sudden…twinkling lights! It was magical!
Another Tip #2: “Leave strollers before going up!”
At another time when I went up, I was with my twins and they were “jet-lagged” and sleeping on their strollers…so my wife and I just decided to leave the strollers behind at the ground level and just carry them because there was no way to navigate through the crowd with those strollers. Fortunately, the strollers were still there when we got back (they were only $15 light umbrella strollers anyway from Target, hehehe)
And Tip#3: If with someone you love, go under the tower at the very center and kiss!
If you’re alone, just go under the tower and take a picture of it from below, and make a wish that you’ll have someone with you the next time. That picture will remind you of your wish…My wish came true!
UPDATE: I was at Eiffel Tower again last Sept 2009 and I must say the line is still long. But you can bypass the line by just paying $18.25 at toureiffel.fr (available by end of 2009) - gives you more time in Paris and quicker access to the 906-foot-high observation deck.
And a warning to those who want to eat at the Le Jules Verne restaurant. It could be expensive - can easily reach almost $300 per person.
There, those are my Eiffel Tower Tips!!! Hope this helps, Norman
As everybody knows Tour Eiffel is the most famous place in Paris. You can miss everything in Paris but certainly not Tour Eiffel.
It is named after the man who designed it, Gustave Eiffel and weights 7,000 tones, being made of 15,000 pieces fitted together by 2,500,000 rivets.
Up to the top (320m) there are three levels to visit: Stages 1 and 2 (steps or lift) and Stage 3 at the top (lift only).
But there were times in the history when Tour Eiffel was not at all popular, when the Parisians thought it looked ugly and wanted to pull it down.
However, Tour Eiffel not only survived but became the number one tourist attraction in the world.
We’ve planned to start the climbing at 17:00 so as to see the town both during the day and after the sunset. But we took the stairs (how can you enjoy better this experience?) and we arrived at the second level after the sunset.
The 3rd level was closed for maintenance works.
But despite the bad weather (it was January anyway) the view was magnificent.
Entrance fee (680 stairs up to the second level): EUR 3.8-
From all the photos I'd seen of the Tower before my first trip to Paris it was difficult to tell how huge, immense, impressive, yet delicate & beautiful it is! I remember my 1st glimpse when coming out of Champ de Mars-Tour Eiffel stop, turned a corner & Voila! there in all her glory. Wow! I was stunned. See Marpessa's great photo for juxtaposition against the buildings - lends resonance & reference to its size.
Go to the top for the sunset.
Sandwiches, bagels, youart, and the like may be purchased from the Mezzanine level (souvenir shop and post office here where one may send postcards with ET cancellation stamp).
There are 2 restos:
Altitude 95 (named because it's 95m above sea level) located on 1st floor. Reservations via e-mail: email@example.com
Jules Verne - located on the 2nd-level with great views of the city. See Callavetta's tip! Contact directly via phone for reservations at least 2 months ahead. 33 (0)1 45 55 61 44
One of Paris' top restaurants (Michelin 1 star) - popular & expensive: 35€ for lunch & 120€ dinner menu excluding wine. A la carte pricing 120-140€.
Bonus: if you're under the age of 25 the Eiffel Tower now offers a reduced entrance rate to the stairs (access to the 1st & 2nd levels) of just 3€! The stairs are open from 9:30am-6pm.
Warning: ET is hugely popular so lines tend to be long during the day. Get there early (about 45 minutes before it opens) to be one of the 1st to the top, which is what I did my last trip April 2003. Pilier Nord (north pillar) is the first to go up plus line goes faster.
Does not accept Carte Musées et Monuments.
Photos: April 2003 & Feb 2006
No ? Try again !
Hint : it has been classified 'the most widely known european monument'
Like more than 6,000,000 visitors per year, you can't avoid going to see the Tour Eiffel if you want to tell your friends/family that you have been in Paris.
To get better aquainted with this his impressive lady's, lets see her official ID :
"Date of birth: March 31, 1889
Contractor: Gustave Eiffel & Cie
Engineers: Maurice Koechlin & Emile Nouguier
Architect: Stephen Sauvestre
Height: 324m (including flagpole)
Total weight: 10,100 tons
Latitude : 48º 51' 32" North
Longitude : 002º 17' 45" East
Number of steps: 1665
Owner: City of Paris"
The Tour Eiffel can be visited every day of the year, you may access the first, the 2nd or the top floor and see Paris under your feet (for the 1st and 2nd floor you have the choice between stairs and lifts, for the 3rd, visitors' access is only by lift).
There are 2 restaurants in it : the luxuous Jules Verne and the more (expensive)cafeteria style Altitude 95.
The view from the top is impressive, but, if you are afraid by the (common)lenghty queues you can just stroll around and appreciate the sight (like, for instance, by night, from the parvis du Palais de Chaillot)
The tour Eiffel has also a vey usefull characteristic : wherever you are in Paris, you can see it - better than a compass !
The tower is symbol of France and is one of the most known structures in the world.
The Eiffel is made by engineer Gustave Eiffel 1889 and it is 324 meters high.
I must admit that I didn't expected much of seeing famous tower, but I was satisfied with viewed. Climbing on the tower and view from the top are amazing.
There are problem because of crowd and the line for elevator is long and you must wait for 2 hours.
But to keep out the line and waiting, the best way is to go up afoot. It costs 4 EUR and you will climb to the second level. From the second level you will await for elevator and will pay additional 3,7 EUR for third level.
Climbing directly from down to the third level costs 11,5 EUR.
The Eiffel tower has been cause of much debate and controversy among Parisians. Some love it, some hate it. However, it still draws millions of visitors each year, longing to have that Parisian experience, take pictures, and tell everybody at home that they have been to Paris and have pictures in front of the Eiffel tower to prove it.
Whatever your opinion is, if you are a first time visitor to Paris, the Eiffel Tower experience is a must. It will give you that feeling of validation and say to yourself, "yes, i have arrived in Paris".
The line ups, especially for the elevator is quite long. Get there early if you want to avoid crowds and long lines. The line up to take the stairs is much shorter, and walking up to the first level is not to strenious. I suggest walking up to the first level and taking the elevator to the 2nd and 3rd level from there.
There are souveneir shops in each level of the tower, and there are also cafes where you can get a light snack. Bring as little as possible, but don't forget your camera. The views from the top are breathtaking.
One of the first things we did upon arriving in Paris was to go for a walk. Deciding where to walk to was an easy decision for us, as there was really only one thing that truly symbolized Paris to us - Le Tour Eiffel.
Coming from a small town in the US and working hard to be able to travel abroad was a big deal, standing in front of the Eiffel Tower was an emotional statement for all of the hard work. I could only imagine how many other people around the world had looked upon a particular monument or place and felt the same way - no matter where or what that was for them, this was it for me.
Soaring into the sky, the tower was even bigger then I thought it would be. Pictures do not do it justice. It is a must see when visiting Paris. And if the opportunity presents itself, see it from the Seine. We took a boat ride in the evening and the tower was beautiful all lit up.