The domination of Insta by Eiffel photos, the keychains, and all the postcards cannot serve justice to the magical vertigo of standing underneath the arches of crisscrossing metal and looking up, or the almost dangerous feeling of walking up a never-ending flight of uncomfortably thin stairs in a giant, see-through, metal cage.
Construction on the Eiffel Tower began in 1887 as preparations were underway for the 1889 World’s Fair. Despite heaps of criticism from the most influential quarters of the Parisian who’s-who, and many competing proposals for the project, what we know as the Eiffel Tower was completed and has gone on to become the global symbol of Paris.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower + Where to Eat/ Drink Something
Tickets will allow you to take the stairs or an elevator up the tower for an unparalleled look over Paris. There are several options for dining and the better ones, of course, require a reservation, but there are takeaways on the first level if you can’t wait for something better than sandwiches. If you’d rather eat with your feet on the ground, there are a few cafés nearby for lunch or dinner that have a view of the Iron Lady (most are not recommended so stick to our Eiffel Tower neighborhood guide here.) Oh, and one more thing. Before you leave, make sure to see it twinkle at night; on the hour after sunset for 5 minutes.
There’s also a champagne ‘bar’ (more like a takeaway window, no seating), a wine bar (in the winter it’s in a cozy bubble) which is the most accessible in terms of price and reservations — except standing up with a sandwich from the takeaway station, as well as Madame Brasserie (posh, reservations generally needed, first level) and le Jules Verne (uber-posh, reservations needed in way in advance, 2nd level). You can also find historical exhibits about the construction of the Iron Lady and of course, the requisite gift shops. In the winter, you can even skate around on an ice rink (sometimes) in the winter (if it’s not there, look to the Montparnasse Tower, they have been putting up ice rinks recently on the roof). There’s something for everyone, except those afraid of heights.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower is something every aspiring Parisian should do at least once, and for those wanting a repeat or an alternative type of visit, check it out at sunset to see the city begin to twinkle and the tower broadcast it’s golden glow.
For those of you who count it as just another tourist trap not worth your time (I used to be among you, I spent my first 44 (!) days living in Paris without seeing the Eiffel Tower, except for the searchlight that comes on after dark), you can always use the bathroom at the summit and say you made a pi-pi 906 feet high in the sky. It’s not quite the mile-high club, but it’s still a .0000001.% of humanity experience.
Also, just visiting the Iron Lady would really piss off Hitler, if he were still Hitlering around, as he tried to have it blown up in 1944 along with almost everything else in Paris besides the croissants (obv, he didn’t succeed).
So do your part to stick it to the Nazis and visit the Eiffel Tower. Even wear a Black Lives Matter t‑shirt if you wanna rile up the contemporary ones.
Champ de Mars, Paris Museum of Modern Art, Invalides, Musée de l’Armée, Rodin Museum, Palais de Tokyo
9:30am to 10:45pm
If you have a few month’s advance notice you can try to get the tickets from the official Eiffel Tower site
-for adults: €28.30 for the top or 18.10 for 2nd level,
-€9 to €14.10 for youth (12–24) and
-€4.50 to €7.10 for children.
-Free for children aged 4 and under but they still need a ticket, so make sure to book one!
Taking the stairs is the equivalent of 12 storys so (insert joke about eclairs…) those tickets have a shorter line on the spot at the tower but the stairs only go to the 2nd level. From there you will switch to an elevator — those will cost €11.30 to €2.80 for the 2nd level and €21.50 to €5.40 for the summit