The Eiffel Tower: A Primer for Tourists

The Eiffel Tower, located on the Champ de Mars in the 7th arrondissement, is probably the most iconic symbol in all of Paris. The Eiffel Tower has won international acclaim but the French actually loathed it when it was first erected. The Eiffel's iron lattice tower is Paris's tallest structure, standing 320 meters tall, about the height of an 80-story building. At the top is a set of broadcast antennas and is lit up at night.

Eiffel Tower Lights at Night

The Eiffel Tower's History

The foundation work began in January 1887, and was constructed to become the centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair. Even before the ground work had begun, however, a storm of protests were started while the model was unveiled. The French hated it: they hated the tower's design broke the architectural harmony that was their city's trademark, and the structure also broke up their skyline. When it first opened, however, two million visitors paid to go up the tower, an apparent homage to its spectacular success. It was a forerunner of what was to come, as the Eiffel Tower stays the world's most seen, paid monument to date. It it was the tallest manmade structure until the Chrysler Building was built in New York City in 1930. In 1957, the inclusion of broadcast antennas in its top made it surpass the Chrysler Building's height. In 2004, thee Millau Viaduct, a cable-supported road bridge in southern France, was completed and eclipsed the Eiffel Tower's height. The tower remains the second tallest man-made edifice in all of France.

Visiting the Eiffel Tower

  • You can reach the Eiffel Tower via the Paris Metro (Line 6 or Line 8).
  • Buses 42, 69, 72, 82, and 87 also pass nearby the Eiffel Tower.
  • If you're taking the RER (the suburban Paris express train), take the Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel (Line C).

Eiffel Tower open hours and costs vary according to the season. Be mindful that the tower could be closed down at any given time. During the winter season, it's not unusual for the staff to request visitors already on the tower to leave for security reasons. Take note of the weather report prior to making the climb up the tower: if it's too windy at the top (even though it's not windy at all near the base), then the top will likely be closed for safety reasons. Also, the higher up you go in the Eiffel tower, the more the ticket will cost you.

Avoiding the Eiffel Tower Crowds

In the event you had rather appreciate the tower and never have to stand in a long line, the city's least busy season is from October to March. In the winter months, views may be obstructed by overcast skies. The tower's official site at:
View from the Eiffel Tower Observation Deck.

Getting the Best Rates on the Eiffel Tower and other Paris Attractions

The ""Paris Pratique Par Arrondissment"" (Paris Guide by District) is regarded as the finest map of the city. It is a pocket booklet that features the best destinations in Paris, and describes how you can get to them via public transportation. Updated every year to contain the hottest attractions and events, it costs between €5 and €10. The Paris Pass is handy to have for any tourist. This gives you free passes and reductions at various museums and sites, and enables you to bypass lines at most of them. Fees vary depending on age, and on how many days you mean to remain. Learn more at ""