The Eiffel Tower, Paris

The Eiffel Tower: all you need to know about the world’s most famous monument!

The Eiffel Tower: Amazing Facts

– The Eiffel Tower was built by Gustave Eiffel for the Exposition Universelle (World Fair) of 1889 which was organized to celebrate the first centenary of the French Revolution. Now, in 2019, the Iron Lady is celebrating her 130th birthday! At 324 meters tall and located In the heart of Paris, she has long stood as a beacon to those coming to Paris in search of romance and magic!

– May 28, 2019: To coincide with this year’s French Open at Roland Garros, a giant zip line has been installed on the second level of the Eiffel Tower; for a lucky few it’s going to be a thrilling way of descending from the Eiffel Tower in record time! The 800-metre long zip line is sponsored by Perrier and will be open until June 2nd. A draw decides what lucky individuals get to step off the Eiffel Tower at 115 metres above ground level and zoom over the Champ de Mars at up to 90km/h before being brought to a gentle stop and back to reality at the Place de l’Ecole Militaire. So, not only do you get a thrilling ride, but the view is amazing too! To be in with a chance to win you’ll need to tweet the hashtag #smashPerrier as often as possibleThe goal? To find out what a tennis ball feels like during a smash!

– During the inauguration ceremony held at the Tower’s summit on March 31st, 1889, Gustave Eiffel was awarded the Legion of Honour.

Gustave Eiffel and the Eiffel Tower
Gustave Eiffel and the Eiffel Tower

– The Royal Family and Buffalo Bill werethe Eiffel Tower’s first official visitors.

– The Iron Lady, weighting in at a total of 10,100 tons, took 2 years, 2 months and 5 days to build: A genuine feat of technical and architectural prowess!

Construction of the Eiffel Tower
Construction of the Eiffel Tower

– The Eiffel Tower was originally designed to last only 20 years, with its dismantlement planned for 1909. Eiffel put forward strong arguments for her preservation however, citing the Tower’s usefulness as an observatory, laboratory, a communications office and meteorological station. In the end though, it was largely thanks to the significant role it played as a telecommunications platform during the First World War that would save it from being torn down.

– From the ground to the tip of its antenna, the tower measures 324 meters high! The Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world until 1929, the year the Chrysler Building in New York was completed.

– The Iron Lady has been repainted no less than 18 times over its lifespan! It is painted on average every 7 years and requires 60 tons of paint to cover its entire structure!

– It has changed colour several times over its life time before arriving at the current “Eiffel Tower brown”. It was first painted red, then yellow and followed by several shades of brown. It would be 1968 before it would first be painted with the particular shade of brown that we see today.

– In June 1940 Hitler came to Paris and wanted to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. But the cables of the elevator were sabotaged in order to force him to climb the tower by foot and so hopefully discourage him. Faced with the prospect of climbing 1665 steps, he changed his mind and so never climbed the tower. 

– Nearly 30 replicas of the Eiffel Tower exist in the world today. If you think that’s a lot, it’s still a lot less than the Statue of liberty which has over 400! The largest of these copies is in Las Vegas but even that is only half the height of the original.

Replica of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas
Replica of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas

– Sensitive to temperature variations, the Iron Lady loses up to 8 cm in height during prolonged bouts of cold weather. When temperatures rise, it expands again to its original size. Very hot weather on the other hand causes dilation of the metal that can result in the tower tilting to one side. The most tilt ever recorded was 18cm in 1976.

– At the time of their construction, the Eiffel Tower’s lifts were considered a major feat of technical prowess. Ever since the opening of the Tower in 1889, and right up until today, they have been the most efficient way of getting to the tower’s different levels. You don’t have to take the lifts to the second level though. If you’re feeling energetic, there are “only” 674 steps to climb from ground level. In total, there are 1665 steps from the ground to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but from the second level and up these are closed to the public so if you want to go the summit, you’ll need to take the lift.

– “La Verticale de la Tour Eiffel” is a competition that brings together the world’s best professional and amateur athletes. The goal? Climb the 1665 steps to the summit of the Tower in record time – Piotr Lobodzinski from Poland won this year for the fifth time with a time of 7 minutes 53 seconds!

The Eiffel Tower’s lighting system includes 336 orange-yellow lamps. Every evening, and for five minutes at the beginning of every hour, the lamps are set to twinkle creating a short but beautiful spectacle that can easily be seen from far away.

– With an estimated value of 434 billion Euro, this world-famous monument and emblematic symbol of Paris welcomes 7 million visitors a year with another 20 million admiring it from the streets and river below. 

How to get there?

Address: Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris

The different ways of getting there:

  • Metro stops Trocadero (Lines 6 and 9), BirHakeim (Line 6) or École Militaire (Line 8)
  • Suburban train stop Champ de Mars / Eiffel Tower (RER Line C)
  • Bus lines 42, 69, 82 and 87 to the Champ de Mars or Eiffel Tower bus stops.
  • There are also “Vélib” bike-hiring stations in the vicinity.
  • Batobus (water bus) stop: Eiffel Tower
  • Car: the nearest car park is at the Quai Branly Museum quite close by.

Good to know: If you arrive by Line 9 and get off at Trocadero metro station, you’ll be able to take some great photos from the esplanade. This is one of the most celebrated views of the Eiffel Tower. From there, it’s a short 10-minute walk to the base of the Tower.

Why book your ticket in advance?

For most people visiting the Eiffel Tower is a very memorable experience. The Eiffel Tower is also one of the most visited paid monuments in the world with over 7 million visitors per year. To make the most of your visit and avoid surprises it is best to plan in advance, especially if you’re coming from afar!

Think of booking your tickets on-line up to 2 months in advance! This a great way of guaranteeing the time and date of your visit and is especially important in the summer months, easily the busiest time of year.

(Access is free for children under the age of four but they’ll still need a ticket!)

What exactly can be seen from the different levels of the Eiffel Tower?

Depending on how much time you have and your own preferences, there are various different options to choose from. Rest assured however, there is an Eiffel Tower ticket to suit everybody. Choose from the following options: from the ground, take the stairs or the elevator to the second level, skip-the-line ticket or queueing, guided tour or self-tour, with the interactive experience or without, go only as high as the second level or go all the way to the summit

Depending on how high you decide to go, different views await you. Here’s what you can expect from each level.

Ground level:

The base of the Tower
The base of the Tower

Look up and enjoy a spectacular view of the Iron Lady, which rises majestically 324 meters above you! Access to the first and second levels is via the Eiffel Towers pillars. How you want to go up will determine which pillar to go to.

1st Level:

Glass floor, 1st level
Glass floor, 1st level

The Tower’s unique architecture makes for a memorable experience! Wander across the glass floor while admiring the crowds milling about, a vertiginous 68m beneath your feet! The first level is well equipped for taking it easy with places to sit and relax, restaurants and shops; it’s an ideal place to get your breath back if you climbed the stairs, while enjoying a great view! To celebrate the 130th birthday of the Eiffel Tower, a new Adventure Game has been organised. This plunges you into the very history of Tower, and you can do it alone or in teams, with family or friends!

2nd Level:

Prepare to be blown away by the unobstructed panorama out over Paris affording amazing views of the city’s many iconic sites and monuments. You’ll get to gaze out over the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs Elysées, the Trocadero gardens, the Louvre, the River Seine, the Sacred Heart Basilica overlooking Montmartre, Notre Dame Cathedral on the Ile de la Cité, the Grand Palais, Les Invalides… the list goes on and on! In between views, you’ll also find a number of shops and restaurants including the Jules Verne restaurant, with Michelin-starred dining by Alain Ducasse.

The Jules Verne
The Jules Verne

The summit:

You’ll need to get into the glass lifts to reach the last level of the Eiffel Tower, located 276 meters above the ground!

The view awaiting you is beyond words! Being so high up is a real thrill, unless you suffer from vertigo! The noise of the streets way down below fades away leaving you to enjoy that of the wind!

View from the summit
View from the summit

The top of the Eiffel Tower remains one of the most sought-after spots by romantic couples, who come from the four corners of the globe to make their declarations of love here!

At the summit you’ll also find a reconstruction of Gustave Eiffel’s office in addition to signs pointing out the directions and distances to major cities around the world! Admire the 1:50 scale model of the top of the Tower from 1889 and enjoy a delicious glass of champagne!

Reconstruction of Gustave Eiffel's office
Reconstruction of Gustave Eiffel’s office

How much time will I need?

We recommend that you set aside about an hour and a half if you’re visiting just the 1st and 2nd levels. Add an extra hour if you plan on going to the summit. (You’ll need to add a little time to factor in the wait for the summit elevator.)

Visit the Eiffel Tower at Night 

The Eiffel Tower at dusk
The Eiffel Tower at dusk

If you thought that seeing the Eiffel Tower from below was already a spectacle in itself, just wait until you’re spell-bound by the beautiful views you’ll experience up top: if you’re lucky enough to be there at sunset, you’ll witness that magical moment of transition when the sun says its last goodbyes for the day and the city lights take over. And of course, the Iron Lady herself puts on her evening dress too, with her amazing night-time illumination. Lovers, photo enthusiasts and anyone who wants to explore the city from a different angle will undoubtedly fall under her charms!

Romantic Eiffel Tower
Romantic Eiffel Tower

In December, the city’s Christmas lights are added to the show and illuminate both the Christmas markets and the Grands Boulevards and Avenues of the city like the Champs Elysees.

Eiffel Tower in the snow
Eiffel Tower in the snow

Accessibility

People in wheelchairs can access the first and second levels via the lifts.  For safety reasons, however, wheelchair access to the summit is not possible, notably due to the complications for disabled people in the unlikely case of an emergency evacuation. The toilets (also with wheelchair access) are located on the ground level (behind the East pillar) in addition to further facilities on the 1st and 2nd levels.

Opening hours 

The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year!

From 14 June to 31 August / Lift / Stairs

The tower is open from 9am in the morning to 12.45am at night with last entry just before midnight. Last entry for the summit is one hour earlier at 11pm.

The rest of the year / Lift

From 9.30am to 11.45pm Last entry just before 11pm. Last entry for the summit is half an hour earlier at 10.30pm.

                                    /Stairs

From 9.30am to 6.30pm with last admission just before 6pm.

Please note: Access to the top may be temporarily interrupted due to adverse weather conditions or in the case of overcrowding. Weather or special safety restrictions permitting, visits are possible until midnight from mid-June to early September, and up to 11pm the rest of the year. During spring break and the Easter weekend, access is also extended to midnight. With a visit of the Eiffel Tower at night, you’ll soon understand why Paris is called the City of Light!

Precautions

The Eiffel Tower, like all major tourist sites has its fair share of pickpockets, hawkers and con-artists who prey on unsuspecting tourists. Keep your personal belongings safe at all times, don’t hand over your phone or camera to anyone, don’t sign any petitions, or join in on any games of chance, no matter how good you think the odds of winning are; you won’t beat them at their own game! Avoid putting your handbag / backpack down on the ground, even briefly: they tend to disappear quickly when you do! Don’t let yourself be duped! Pickpockets are especially numerous and operate both near the monument and inside the Eiffel Tower itself! Use common sense and you’ll have a safe trip!

Enjoy your visit!