Everyone has a mental image of the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the most photographed and revered landmarks in the world. Visiting it is on many people’s wish lists. The enduring popularity of this century-old tower, built as a gateway to 1889 world FairIt may have been a shock to the Parisians who were alive when it was built. Artists and intellectuals of the time called the Tower “monstrous” and led a vigorous public protest against it, publishing a manifesto, with 300 signatures, voicing their objections on behalf of “threatened French taste, art and history.”
Standing 984 feet tall, this intricate ensemble of tower builders far surpassed the height of the tallest structure in the world to that point, the 555-foot Washington Monument. Building a structure this tall was considered an engineering feat at the time, and the biggest challenge was the possibility of it being blown over by the wind. The Eiffel Tower remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for the next 41 years, when it was topped by the 1,046-foot Chrysler Building in New York City.
The original plan was to dismantle the Eiffel Tower after 20 years. But before that deadline hit, it had proven useful as a communications tower during WWI to detect enemy zeppelins, and again during WWII, to intercept messages transmitted by the Nazis. So the decision was made to allow him to stay. Today, the Eiffel Tower is one of the best-known structures in the world and is considered a masterpiece of architecture and an icon of Paris.
So of course one day you must visit the Eiffel Tower yourself. When you do, have the full experience. This means making plans to see him in each of his five incomparable forms, none of which should be missed. See the Tower from a boat on the Seine, where you can see its full shape and stature. Stand under him, surrounded by his four mighty feet. Mount it at the middle of the top, to go around its circumference and look down through the transparent floor. Take the elevator to the top, for a sip of champagne while gazing out over the river and the city, like a toy under your feet.
Having seen the Eiffel Tower from all these angles, you are not done yet. Saving the best for last, come back at night to see it sparkle with golden lights, lit from inside to show off its structure, with a five-minute sparkle show every hour, on the hour, and sometimes a backdrop. full moon.
Here’s how to achieve each of these five essential ways to experience the Eiffel Tower, while enjoying it to the fullest and avoiding the frustrations of waiting through overwhelming lines.
Look at it from the river
Plan to have your first view of the Eiffel Tower from the River Seine. This will allow you to fully take it in, which you can only do from a distance. The best way to accomplish this is to take the Batobus (Barco Bus) to the tower instead of the Metro, and get off at the dock at its base.
If you buy a two-day pass on the Batobus, you will have access to a wonderful way to travel around the city, going up and down as you please, and seeing along the way, all the spectacular buildings and monuments on the banks of the river, as well as the numerous impressive bridges that cross it. The river is the main artery of the city and provides a better sense of direction, as well as better views, than the metro. The Batobus starts at the Hotel de Ville and makes a complete circuit of the river, with stops at the Louvre, the Champs-Elysées, the Eiffel Tower, Orsay, the Latin Quarter, Notre Dame and the Jardin des Plantes. Using the river for transportation, the get there will be as memorable as the being there.
As you approach the Eiffel Tower on the Batobus, you will pass under the Alexander III bridge (named for Tsar Alexander III), with its cherubs and nymphs, and its richly gilded figures and winged horses (representing the mythological “famas”: art, science, commerce, and industry). This will be your best chance to take a picture of the entire tower in daylight. You will return later to see it gleaming golden with light after dark.
When your ship crosses the Seine to dock in front of the tower, watch out for the small-scale version of the Statue of Liberty passing by the small island. This is one of the three models of the Statue of Liberty that booth in Paris, all created by the same sculptor who built the full-size version that France gifted to the newly formed United States.
Look at it from under your legs
After disembarking, walk to and under the massive legs of the Eiffel Tower. This will take you to the place where visitors to the 1889 Paris World’s Fair were in awe upon entering the fairgrounds. The World’s Fair in Paris was held to celebrate the centenary of the fall of the Bastille, initiating the French Revolution. To commemorate this historic date, Paris wanted to create a structure that would astonish the world as “a monument to the French genius, the insatiable spirit of the French people and proof that France is still, as always, at the forefront of the progress of the world. “(from The marvels of engineering. More than 100 artists were invited to submit ideas. The winning design was that of Gustave Eiffel, who was also the engineer who completed the Statue of Liberty. You will see the office that Gustave built for himself at the top of the tower when you visit the top.
Note the color of the tower, repainted once every seven years as protection against rust. Its color started as “Venetian red” before assembly, changing to a more subdued reddish-brown and then ocher yellow. Since 1968, “Eiffel Tower Brown” has been painted, applied in three progressively lighter shades, from bottom to top, to increase its visual impact against the sky.
Notice the intricate geometry of the tower’s angles and tie rods, a total of 18,038 pieces, held together by 2½ million rivets. Take at least a dozen photos, from various angles, to capture the gauze weave of this phenomenal iron lattice structure. Note the orientation of the tower by the North, South, East and West designations of the four solid feet, with supports that are anchored to concrete foundations buried deep in the ground.
See it from Midway Up and from the restaurants
Now is the time to ascend the Tower, using tickets for the second level that you will have bought online, long before your trip, on the official website of the Eiffel Tower. Having the tickets before you arrive is essential. This will make the fundamental difference between having a glorious experience or a nightmare one.
Pre-booked ticket options give you priority access to the first and second floors, or access to all three levels, including the top. Once inside, you can spend as long as you want, anywhere you want, in the Tower. The last ascent from the top is at 11 pm
Tickets are released on the official Eiffel Tower website 90 days in advance and sell out quickly. So book your tickets in advance. And avoid ticket resellers, or you’ll pay significantly more for essentially the same thing. Lift tickets are for a specific time. Be very careful to be on time. If you are more than 30 minutes late, your tickets may be voided and you will not be allowed entry.
From the second level, you will join another line for the elevator to the top. Even if you can’t purchase tickets in advance that allow access that includes the summit, you may be able to reserve tickets for the second level and then purchase tickets for the summit once there.
Even better than buying pre-booked elevator tickets is reserving a table for lunch or dinner at 58 Eiffel Tower or the even more expensive Jules Verne Restaurant. Your elevator tickets to the second level will be complimentary if you have reservations for lunch or dinner, and you will be able to use a special express access elevator line at the base of the tower. Enjoying the view from one of the restaurants, during the day or at sunset or after dark, while serving a phenomenal meal, is an unforgettable experience, even if it is somewhat expensive. Consider this wasteful and just go for it. You can always balance things out by having picnics instead of restaurant meals tomorrow.
After the elevator takes you to the first and second levels, take the time to walk the circumference and look in all directions, and also to see the many exhibits on the history of the Eiffel Tower. Walk on the clear glass floor on the first level, if you dare. This is your chance to experience walking on air.
Look at it from its top
And now for the grand finale of your visit to the Eiffel Tower. Take the elevator to the top. Yes, there will be a line. And yes, the area at the top is smaller so it can be more crowded. But consider this a once in a lifetime experience. If you decide not to bother, you will probably always wonder if you should have made the effort.
A good strategy is to start observing the elevation line to the top as soon as you reach the second level. When the line is at its shortest, stop whatever you are doing and jump on it. You can always go back to the second level later and pick up where you left off.
Once you reach the top, while looking at all of Paris below you, celebrate the moment with a glass of champagne from the champagne bar tucked into the structure. Don’t be put off by the price or the line. The line will move quickly. And the memory of this culminating experience will last a lifetime. This will be a story that you will repeat often after returning home from your trip.
See it at night
At least once during your stay in Paris, enjoy the magical splendor of a boat trip on the Seine at night. Book a ticket with Parisian boats for a one-hour cruise, starting at the pier in front of Notre Dame and gliding, passing under the brightly lit bridges, to the Eiffel Tower and vice versa.
Again, it will be a good idea to purchase your tickets in advance to ensure your choice of time and date. Find an outdoor seat at the front of the boat on the left side for the best view of the Eiffel Tower as it approaches, dramatically lit against the night sky.
The view of the Eiffel Tower at night is truly spectacular. You will surely be tempted to take pictures. But keep in mind that the tower’s night lights display is currently considered a copyrighted work of art. So if you want to post pictures on social media, you need to get permission from the Eiffel Tower Operating Company (the operating company of the Eiffel Tower), or risk paying a fine.
Once you have had the full experience of visiting the Eiffel Tower and seeing it from all aspects and points of view, you will have no difficulty finding a representation to take home. Select the right poster, watercolor, pencil drawing, or scarf … or even a keychain. Then every time you look at this memory, you will go back to the time you were there, experiencing the Eiffel Tower for yourself.