Loved the over all experience of visiting Eiffel Tower, but I failed to understand why is it often associated with Love, when it's history has got nothing to do with Love. (It was a structure made for an exhibition.) Anyways, the garden in front of the Tower is calm & you can spend hours just sitting there! We visiting there when it was raining, made the whole atmosphere more charming. Paris over all looks much more beautiful when it's raining. The only annoying part was the long queue to get to the top of the Tower.
This is of course a world famous symbol of Paris. Being very bad people, we did not go up it because that would have involved queuing.
The Eiffel Tower is situated on the Champ de Mars. It was designed and built by engineer, Gustave Eiffel in 1889. It was originally the entrance arch to the 1889 World's Fair.
The Eiffel Tower is 324m high, still the tallest structure in Paris. At one time it was the tallest man-made structure in the world. It held this claim to fame for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; see I told you there was a queue.
As it is so tall, the Eiffel Tower can be seen from many different places in Paris. We visited in the millenium and the tower had special wording to welcome in the year 2000.
Many people will tell you when you are off on your first visit to Paris not to bother with going to the top of the Eiffel Tower because you will wait for hours and pay a hefty entrance fee and so on and so forth......
These warnings are of course perfectly true and when I balked about going to the top on my first visit to Paris (mainly because I have a huge fear of heights) my travel companion (who had been to the top on numerous occasions on previous trips) said quite simply, "Well of course that is your decision, but it seems to me that it would be a crying shame to come to the Eiffel Tower and not go up." Then he stood back whilst I pondered his remark and watched me in silence and said no more. I felt like a party pooper extraordinaire, so I decided to grit my teeth and grin and bear it. The upshot is that I have now been to the top on various visits a total of three times and yes I have queued for long periods of time (once in pelting rain) but the view is enough to make any coward get over their fear.
Yes, there are many other places to get the view over Paris some of which (like Montmartre or the roof of Galleries Lafayette will cost not a penny. But somehow I will always favour the view of the city from atop the Tour Eiffel. On my visit to Paris in 2013 with my family, my son and grandson who were having a "just us boys" sightseeing day, arrived at the Tower, took one look at the queue and decided not to bother. On the other hand his wife and my granddaughter who were having a "just us girls" shopping day, decided to wait on the queue and were very glad that they did. My son of course on the flight home said his only regret about the whole trip was that he didn't go to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
It's entirely up to you.
I have read several reviews that claim the 2nd floor is the best place to view Paris from. I didn't go to the top because I don't like heights, but the second level does give a great view and I was okay with the height once I got there. Going up on the lift is interesting travelling past the ironwork. One advantage of going in the winter is that the queues are fairly short. Here are some photos of Paris from the Eiffel Tower.
I haven't gone up the Eiffel Tower since Wednesday, October 26, 1966.
The reason for this is that I am a notorious queuophobe, meaning I try to avoid doing anything that requires standing in line for more than five or ten minutes.
That pretty much rules out the Eiffel Tower, doesn't it?
Well, there might be some relief on the way, maybe.
Since 2005 the tower has been run by a new public-utility company called the Société d'exploitation de la Tour Eiffel (SETE), of which the City of Paris holds 59.9% of the shares. Part of this company's mission is "to continually improve the reception, access and flow of visitors," and to do this they have recently announced a new plan which will (at some unspecified future time) allow visitors to reserve half-hour slots online.
Will this solve the problem? Who knows, but it's worth a try.
The president of SETE, Jean-Bernard Bros, who is also a deputy mayor of Paris in charge of tourism, has been quoted in the papers as saying: "Today, above all, we want visitors to leave with rich memories, with more time spent on the tower, less waiting in line, less pushing around."
Update 2011: The Eiffel Tower website now offers the option of buying tickets online. The online tickets are for the elevators only, not for the stairs. You have to buy the tickets at least one day in advance. First you decide which elevator you want to take (to the second floor or to the top) and how many people are in your party. Then you choose a time (“subject to availability”), fill in your contact information and pay with your credit card. Then you either print out your e-ticket or transfer it to your cell phone, provided you have a cell phone that can display bar codes.
I haven’t tried this yet for the Eiffel Tower, but the procedure sounds very much like the way I routinely order e-tickets for rail travel or for opera performances. The instructions for this are available on the Eiffel Tower website in nine languages, including Chinese, Japanese and Arabic.
When you have bought an e-ticket, they say you should please “make sure that you turn up at the time you booked. If you’re late, you may not be allowed in." (Same as at the opera.)
Second photo: Boats on the Seine near the tower.
Third photo: Lying on the grass looking up at the tower.
Location and photo of the Eiffel Tower on monumentum.fr.
Since I could only spend a day in Paris, I knew I wouldn't be able to see much, but I thought to myself - "what is the one thing I have to see in Paris no matter what?" The Eiffel tower, of course! Everyone knows about it and even if it's the biggest tourist trap in the world, a trip to Paris is not complete without it.
I took the metro to get there. While walking towards the tower, a street artist started calling out to me, saying he wanted to draw a picture of me. I ignored him, since I knew I'd have to pay, plus I was wearing a short dress so he probably wanted to pick up. Though I didn't take the elevator up to the top, I walked under the tower. There is also an antique carousel nearby, adding some old-fashioned charm to the area.
i was there last year of May and it really touched my heart. I didn't dare to go up but i cannoy described the feeling i felt while standing below the tower silently viewing the details of the structure. I went there on broad daylight and after a day, i went back to feel the evening view of te tower. I felt the romantic atmosphere around that time (though alone =)) and came to realize why Paris is known for lovers. I may be hating myself for not trying to step on top of the tower but i have this feeling that i may going back and feel again the romantic view around especially while on top of it... cross my fingers...
so those of you who still plan to see the most known tower, do not pass the chance to go up. When i was there at night, i can tell the beauty of the city and the unexplanable feeling from the heart and how much more if on top of this spectacular tower. Don't miss it!
There are just a handful of cities in the world represented so strongly by an icon as Paris and the Eiffel Tower, and perhaps I am exaggerating with "handful", probably it is less even.
But, here it is, the Tower, a formidable work of art in every senses, engineering, technique, aesthetics, design, scale, omnipresence, and your mouth wide open with your neck almost broken trying to get the pinnacle with your eyes.
We've wandered around the tower for a while, several days, every days, admiring her breathtaking presence, feeling her massif elegance even when she is not at sight.
As if she were the woman that you loves you know that the Eiffel Tower IS there because you can feel her even with your eyes closed.
The first impression provoked by this marvel is unique, unforgettable, doesn't matter how many pictures you've seen before or how many reviews you've read, or how much you know about the singular history of the construction, the reality is a burst of adrenaline blowing up your mind and your heart.
What can I say? Nothing to add. I am boring you.
You're in Paris. Whether you want to see the Eiffel Tower or not, you will see it.
If you want a nice view of it, see it from the Trocadero. (I would suggest doing this once at night, and once during the day.) For those who don't know (as I didn't), the Trocadero is this sort of park area, with a large sort of balcony with great views of the Eiffel Tower, fountains in front, some sculptures around, and (when we were there in May) some very pretty flowering trees. Just get off the Paris metro at the stop called "Trocadero." Easy enough, right? After dark on the hours (at least at 10pm and 11pm), the Eiffel tower will sort of glitter, which is definitely a cool thing to see. There are two carousels nearby (we rode for about 3 euros) and crepes stands, as well as countless men selling mini Eiffel Towers and keychains of this Parisian symbol. Be sure to barter with them if you want them--you can get the keychains for dirt cheap (I believe I got 5 for 1 euro), but the larger the mini Eiffel Tower, the more expensive it will be. Either way you can haggle with them, and if you give them a larger bill they may claim they can't make change, and you will have to barter for more Eiffel Towers rather than getting your change back. This is pretty fun (a lot of people in our group really enjoyed haggling over the Eiffel Towers), and most of the people selling them are friendly, if a little pushy. If other people come up to you and ask if you speak English (often with a clipboard), simply shake your head no, as they are looking for money. There are also some nice flowers in gardens on the opposite side of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadero, which are definitely worth strolling through.
As far as going to the top of the Eiffel Tower... The line is always LONG, and slightly shorter if you get there in the morning, as we did. There's also less of a line (and it's less expensive) if you want to walk up the Tower, but that definitely wasn't my cup of tea. They take you to the first level in an elevator, where you can get out and look around (and there is a gift shop and restaurant on that floor, but the souvenirs here are much more expensive than the ones from the hawkers below). Then you take a second elevator to the upper level, and a few stairs to the very top. The views of Paris are definitely worth it, even if you have a fear of heights, and something that shouldn't be missed while in Paris. You can see the Seine and some beautiful classic Parisian buildings, and on a clear day you can even make out Notre Dame in the distance.
Obviously if you're in Paris, you're going to see it. But if you want some nice views of it, try the Trocadero (at night or in the day), or if you want some nice views of Paris--and to say you've been to the top of the Eiffel Tower--go ahead and give it a try!
WHAT THE TOURIST AUTHORITIES DO NOT WANT YOU TO READ !
Just to put it into perspective, you can find this quote all over the internet – “The Société de la Tour Eiffel has indicated that there have been only 349 successful suicides from the tower.” Wow. What a success. I don’t think so. This structure has been plagued by death since before it was fully built! They try and tell you no one died during the construction – false. No one fell off of it. They died on the ground.
So only a few hundred have died at the tower. Most of these are suicides, but there have been others.
An Austrian tailor named Franz Reichellept jumped from the first deck in 1912 to test a tent-like parachute coat he had invented. He should have tried it first at a lower height. The impact area was a meter deep. Verdict: failure.
The first suicide was reportedly a printer's mechanic (what?) who hanged himself from the north pillar in 1891. He left his clothes to Mr. Eiffel himself. Mad as a hatter.
In May 1995 a Norwegian parachutist died after jumping from the second floor when his chute snagged on the tower’s superstructure. Fortunately (according to the BBC) “A spokeswoman for SNTE, the company that runs the tower, said security measures meant very few parachutists or hang-gliders managed to launch themselves from the monument,” 400 dead and not many get through? Not numbers to be proud of. Then, a bit later, they caught 2 more Norwegians with equipment trying to do the same thing! They should have let them go to see if history repeated itself
THE EIFFEL TOWER – DEADLY!!
I always said that I would not write a tip along the lines of "When in Paris visit that big pointy thing". Still, here goes. As the most visited monument in the world, the tower has recieved over 200 million visitors in it's history.
It was for a while the tallest building in the world, and it nearly finished it's life ignobally (is that a word ?) in 1909 when many Parisens thought of it as no more than an ugly metal structure littering their beautiful skyline. It was only saved by being a rather obvious place to site radio and TV masts - a service it performs to this day.
It has recover in public affection since then, and has become a very stong symbol of Paris, and indeed France itself.
Unless you pick an unusual time (either early or late) the experience is somewhat marred by the long lines of tourists waiting to go up (you can now get on line tickets - 14.5 euro all the way to the top) and the multitude of beggers and hawkers selling complete crap.
You can however cut down your waiting time (if you havn't pre booked, and even - this is france - if you have) nand feel a little virtuous by climbing the first two sections by the stairs. At 5 euro this is one of the true bargains of Paris.
From there you can pay about 6 euro for the final lift to the third floor.
One other thing, i've heard it said that on very busy days they put out a sign at the bottom saying that the lift to very top is not working - this is a blatent lie, intended to cut queue sizes.
They will not sell you a ticket on the ground, but just get a ticket for the 2nd level, and then purchase another ticket to make it to third !
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.