Born from the visionary mind of architect Gustave Eiffel for the Universal Exhibition of 1889, the Eiffel Tower has become the symbol par excellence of Paris and all of France over the centuries.
The work required an incredible effort: 300 workers, 2.5 million cables and 2 years of work. The result was the tallest building in the world at the time at 312 metres high, surpassed only in 1930 by the Chrysler Building in New York.
Hosted by the aristocracy and the artistic elite of the time, who had nicknamed it the metal asparagus, it was to be dismantled at the end of the World’s Fair: what saved it was its terrace, considered strategic for positioning the two-way radio antennas that were indispensable for enriching and increasing the newly-born science of radiotelegraphy.
Today it is one of the must-see attractions in Paris: from its terraces you can admire an absolutely spectacular view of the city from above, both during the day, with an unprecedented view of the neighbourhoods, and at night, when Paris is transformed into an enchanted vision with its evocative lights.
When you reach the base of the Eiffel Tower, you will be impressed by its imposing height (312 metres). There are several ways to tackle the ascent: on foot, by lift or by choosing a mix of the two, which allows you to combine stairs and lift. In fact, the tower is divided into 3 floors: from the ground floor up to the second floor you can climb either on foot or by lift, while to reach the top floor you must necessarily use a second lift.
The advantages of going up on foot? Certainly it allows you to admire the monument from the inside, observing its incredible structure up close and lingering over the panorama that changes perspective as you ascend. Obviously you will have to allow for a longer climb and a fair amount of fatigue (700 steps await you just to get to the second floor), so it is especially recommended for people in good physical condition.
The first terrace of the tower is 57 metres high. It is the least scenic point but also the most spacious: here, depending on the season, exhibitions, concerts or even a skating rink are set up during the Christmas period.
This large space was completely renovated in 2011, using transparent architecture and modern pavilions: you will have the magical sensation of walking overlooking Paris, thanks to the spectacular glass floor .
The first floor of the tower is where the major activities are concentrated, giving you an all-round experience.
According to some, it is the terrace that provides the best view: you are now 125 metres above the ground and from here you can still distinguish very clearly details of the landscape and the city such as the Louvre, the Grand Palais, the Seine, Montmartre, Les Invalides, Notre Dame de Paris. Panoramic platforms have been installed from where the best photographs can be taken from above.
In addition to the panoramic maps, which illustrate the focal points of the city, you can admire the impressive well from which there is a dizzying view, not recommended for those afraid of heights.
Also on this floor is the restaurant Le Jules Vernes, serving the refined cuisine of star chef Frédéric Anton: the restaurant opens onto a succession of three rooms offering breathtaking views of the Champ de Mars, Quai Branly and the Trocadéro.
You will also find several unique Paris souvenir shops.
After the ascent in the lift, you will literally feel like you are on the roof of the world: the view is simply impressive, from a height of 276 metres. Your gaze will embrace the entire city and on a clear day it can reach up to 60 km.
The restored office of Gustave Eiffel is also very interesting: the atmosphere of the time has been recreated thanks to original objects and wax statues. In fact, the figure of the French engineer has been reconstructed with Thomas Edison and his daughter Claire, a meeting that actually took place, during which the inventor gave Eiffel a copy of the phonograph, his most important invention.
Adjacent to the studio you can also view a scale model of the 1889 Eiffel Tower, giving you a close-up look at its original design, which initially featured a red-brown colour scheme.
Finally, for those who want to experience something absolutely unique, on the third floor there is also the Bar à Champagne, where you can enjoy a glass of champagne with a breathtaking view of Paris at an altitude of 276 metres.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the biggest attractions in Paris and is taken by storm by tourists at any time of the year. The queues at the ticket office for the lifts are practically perennial and can make you lose more than an hour or even two on peak days.
The only way to avoid them is to buy tickets online on the official website, selecting the day and time of entry.
The cost of the tickets depends on which floor you want to go up to, the 2nd floor or all the way to the top, and whether you are willing to walk the whole way up to the 2nd floor (about 700 steps) or do it all by lift.
The cheapest ticket, of course, is the one that includes only the ascent to the 2nd floor on foot, while the most expensive is the one that includes the entire ascent by lift to the top.
There are discounts for children, young people and the handicapped, and free admission for children under 4 years of age.
With this ticket you can skip the long queues and go directly up to the 2nd or 3rd floor with a guide who will tell you the history of the Tower and show you the landmarks in the panorama below. You will also have unlimited time to spend on the tower.
Dedicated to those who want to see the Eiffel Tower from more than one point of view and at the same time save on the cost of the two activities, combination tickets allow you to both climb the Eiffel Tower and embark on a cruise on the Seine to admire the city from a different perspective.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower is a unique and unparalleled experience to have during your stay in Paris, but there are a few things you can do to make it even more special.
First of all, we advise you to always check the weather forecast before going to the Eiffel Tower: on days that are too cloudy, the view from up there is bad, as the top of the tower is shrouded in clouds and when the wind blows too hard, the third level is closed to the public.
In addition, it is advisable to choose your visiting time very well. The Eiffel Tower is marvellous at any time of day, but undoubtedly sunset offers spectacular views. Therefore, going up a couple of hours before sunset will allow you to admire the city in all its splendour, still being able to distinguish the various sights of the capital and at the same time enjoy the romantic colours of the sunset and the lighting of the first lights.
In the evening, the Eiffel Tower becomes a triumph of lights, providing an unforgettable atmosphere. The structure is illuminated from the inside, from sunset to 1 a.m., thanks to the work of some 20,000 light bulbs. It is a real spectacle, because at the stroke of every hour its entire surface is decorated with a golden, glittering coating that lasts for five minutes and then returns to the static version.
If you prefer to avoid the effort of climbing the tower, you might consider taking the lift up and walking down. The stairs offer the possibility of admiring the view from different angles and heights, observing the mighty structure of the tower up close.
Finally, remember to dress appropriately, carrying a windproof garment, even in the height of summer. You will be 300 metres above the ground and at the top you will encounter cool temperatures and often windy weather, especially during the evening hours. Also, comfortable clothes and shoes are essential if you plan to walk up and/or down the long stairs.
The best place to photograph the Eiffel Tower is definitely from the Trocadero terrace. In fact, you will be able to admire the tower in its entirety, giving you the opportunity to take wonderful photographs by playing with perspective. The Trocadero stairs, located to the right of the square, also allow you to take fabulous photos. They are a strategic point, little known to most tourists who stop on the terrace.
But there are other locations perfect for taking unforgettable photographs. For example, the green meadows of the Champs de Mars, from which there is an iconic view of the Eiffel Tower. If you move a few metres away, to Avenue de Suffren, you will have a similar view, but especially recommended at night, when the tower lights up and sparkles at the stroke of every hour.
The Seine promenade and its quays, on the rive droite of Paris, is also a romantic and picturesque place to shoot: the tower stands out right in front of you, framed by the Seine and the boats.
Often immortalised by advertisements, this unusual corner of Paris offers an incredible view: the Eiffel Tower peeking out amidst the elegant buildings of Square Rapp. A similar perspective and effect can be obtained by photographing the tower from the Brasserie Au Canon .
Finally, the Montparnasse terrace, although from a distance, offers a stunning view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower from above, suitable if you are looking for panoramic photographs.
The Eiffel Tower was designed as a temporary attraction for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 and has since become the symbol of Paris.
Contrary to popular belief, the engineer Gustave Eiffel was not the inventor of the tower of the same name, but simply its financier. An expert in the field of metal construction, and in particular the building of bridges, Eiffel had already been involved in the creation of the interior framework of the Statue of Liberty.
Instead, it was two of his company’s engineers, Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin who conceived this monumental work. In 1884 they created the design for a tower almost 300 metres high, using the pylons of the bridges they worked on daily as a model. The tower consisted of a large pylon with a square base, towering upwards thanks to four lattice girders meeting at the top, held together by three horizontal beams. In order to soften the structure and make it more sinuous and elegant, architect Stephen Sauvestre was then hired, who transformed the horizontal beams into planes and added four arches to the base.
Although the tower was only meant to be temporary and met with much aesthetic criticism from the Parisian cultural scene, often referred to as an ungainly skeleton, the structure was not demolished and the engineer Eiffel used it for research and experimentation purposes , as a station for meteorological observations, air resistance experiments and as a mammoth radio antenna.
Standing for no less than 130 years, today the Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited and admired monuments in Paris, astonishing even the most sceptical tourists with its elegant sinuosity.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the main attractions in Paris and is located in the 7th arrondissement. It is easily accessible by various means, depending on your needs.
The Eiffel Tower is the absolute emblem of Paris and in the collective imagination is synonymous with romance and atmosphere. What could be more charming than sleeping with a view of the Eiffel Tower? Of course, as you can imagine, the area around the tower is among the most refined, central and expensive in the city.
Characterised by sumptuous and prestigious palaces, it is frequented not only by tourists but also by celebrities and is full of glamorous clubs and super-luxury hotels: the best 4- and 5-star hotels in Paris are located here.
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.