Ready to visit one of the most iconic and beloved monuments in the world? The Eiffel Tower really is a must. Here's everything you need to know about it!
There are so many reasons that Paris is beloved by travelers (and even homebodies) from all over the world! The entire city is lit by dreams and lives on love. It's an overflowing collection of artists, fashionistas, musicians, chefs, architects, and of course tourists. You'll see everyone from aristocratic multimillionaires to families that came with pockets empty of everything but hope. There's no place like it! And once you experience it for yourself—really experience it—you'll understand why millions of people are drawn here every year.
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There's a lot to do in Paris, and we know it can be a little tricky to plan out exactly what you HAVE to experience during your stay. But, the Eiffel Tower really should be at the top of everyone's list. It is the most recognizable symbol of Paris, after all! No trip to the City of Lights would be complete without it, so we've collected all of the information you'll need.
All About The Eiffel Tower
- A Few Fun Facts
- How To Find The Tower
When To Visit
- Getting The Most Out Of Your Visit
- All Of The Ticket Info
- How To Get The Best Pictures
A Few Fun Facts
Want to know a few things about the Eiffel Tower? It was constructed by Gustave Eiffel and completed in 1889 (after 2 years, 2 months, and 5 days), but the design was very unique and most Parisian's originally hated its "factory chimney" appearance. The tower stood as the entrance to the World's Fair commemorating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, but wasn't supposed to stand as a monument for longer than two decades. The Parisians must have gotten used to it though, and it was even the tallest structure in the world for 41 years! At the end of WWII, Hitler actually demanded that it be destroyed, but the military commander in charge refused. Thank goodness! What would Paris be without her tower?
How To Find The Tower
This might actually be one of the easiest tourist spots to find in the whole world. Because it's so tall, you can see it from most of Paris. Plus, everyone in Paris knows exactly where it is so don't be afraid to ask for directions if you get lost. The tower stands right next to the Seine, and getting there from anywhere in the city is an enjoyable walk. If you're trying to get to it quickly then public transportation is the way to go! Here's everything you need to know about the cheapest way to get around Paris.
Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France
When To Visit
Paris is popular all year round! But, the summer is absolutely the busiest. Try to plan your visit for sometime in April-June or October-early November when the weather is mostly mild and enjoyable. The cheapest time to visit Paris is in the winter (December-February), but you can plan on it being pretty cold and wet.
As for visiting the Eiffel Tower, you don't have to worry about accidentally going on a day it's closed because the tower is open 365 days of the year! There are certain holidays in the year that the open hours change though, so be aware of that.
Regular hours of operation July-August are from 9 am to 12:45 am (last elevator goes up at 11 pm). For the rest of the year, the hours are 9:30 am to 11:45 pm (last elevator goes up at 10:30 pm). It gets especially busy around sunset, and there are usually less visitors in the morning. If you don't have a ticket and an assigned time, then plan on getting in line early so you can beat the hoards of tourists.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Visit
Have A Picnic
Weather allowing, there is no better place in Paris to have a picnic—unless you like peace and quiet, which you definitely won't find on the Champ de Mars. It's the place where tourists and locals alike hang out on summer evenings, and it offers the perfect spot to just sit and let Paris seep into your bones. Grab a baguette, cheese, and fresh fruit from a local market for the authentic budget-friendly meal.
Eat On The Eiffel Tower
Is a picnic not quite what you had in mind? Did you know there are actually restaurants on two floors of the Eiffel Tower? It's pricey, and your table does need to be reserved beforehand! A French Bistro is on the first floor, and you can plan on spending about 45 euros for your meal. Also on the first floor is the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant which will reopen after a remodel in Spring 2020. On the second floor, a meal at the Jules Verne Restaurant costs 135-230 euros.
Also, you can walk on the 187-foot-high floor near the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant, but it is see-through, so if you're scared of heights it might be a little terrifying.
Watch It Sparkle
This is easily one of the most magical things you'll see in Paris. Every hour from sunset to 1 am (2 am during the summer), the entire tower sparkles for 5 minutes. Stay up late enough to see it a few times, because there is nothing else like it!
All Of The Ticket Info
While the tower can be enjoyed for free from the ground, the thrill of actually standing on her iron structure sure can't. Plus, think of the views!
Pre-book Your Tickets
This should be done as soon as possible once you've planned your trip. If you wait to get a ticket there, you'll likely end up waiting in line for a couple of hours during high season and at least 30 minutes during low season. When purchasing them online, you get to select both the date and time.
A ticket to take the glass elevator to the 2nd floor is about $18 and to the summit is about $28. A ticket to climb the stairs up to the 2nd floor is about $11 (674 total steps). The combined ticket that allows you to climb to the 2nd floor then take the elevator to the summit is about $21, but can only be purchased onsite.
Take The Stairs
This is how to get the full experience of the tower! The elevator lines tend to be long and you don't want to spend your time waiting in line instead of enjoying the tower.
If climbing up the stairs doesn't sound all that great, consider taking the elevator to get up to the 2nd floor and the stairs to get back down. The stairs between the 2nd and 3rd levels are closed to tourists, so if you want to visit the summit, you'll have to take the elevator between those two levels.
How To Get The Best Pictures
It really is all about location, with a little touch of editing. Here is some info about our favorite presets (the easiest way to slap on a good edit) and a list of the best apps to use for tweaking your favorite pictures!
As for location, there are quite a few no-fail photo spots that will give you the perfect chance to smile with the iconic Eiffel Tower backdrop:
Champ de Mars: The area at the foot of the tower is usually covered in tourists, but you can still get some fun angles.
Neighborhood Streets: Pay attention when you're walking around, because some of our favorite pictures of the Eiffel Tower include a bit of those classic Parisian apartments. We think the best place to get this shot is where the Rue de l’Universite and Avenue de la Bourdonnais meet at a dead end.
Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck: Want a bird's eye view of the Eiffel Tower? Go to the top of the Montparnasse Tower for what just might be the most stunning view on our entire list! Heads up, it does cost about 15 euros to go up to the observation deck, so make sure you plan for that.
La Basilique du Sacre Coeur : This basilica is quite a bit farther away than some of the other photo spots, but the broad views of the Paris skyline are unmatched. Most people enter the church for free and then just look at the view from the steps outside. But, the best pictures are taken from the top of the dome, 300 steps up. It costs about $5 to climb to the top, and you definitely won't regret it. Especially if you get there in time to catch the sunset.
The Bridges: Pont des Arts, Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Pont Alexandre III, and Passerelle Debilly. The views from each are unique, so take pictures on every single one. Bonus points if you stand a bit away from the bridge and can actually get both the bridge and the tower in the same shot.
Carousel de Tour Eiffel: Cross the Pont d'Iéna to the other side of the Seine and capture dreamy shots that include both the tower and the carousel.
Place du Trocadero: Just beyond the carousel you'll see the stairs leading to this viewpoint. It is easily the most popular place for tourists to take photos so be prepared for lines. But worth it! Check out the cute picture below of an ILP volunteer.
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