At the summit of the Iron Lady...

It alone symbolises Paris and France abroad and, along with the Statue of Liberty, is one of the best-known monuments in the world. It is, of course, the Eiffel Tower. This great iron tower, which today measures 324 metres with its antennae, was originally only 312 metres high, but that didn't stop it from remaining the tallest monument in the world for 41 years. With almost seven million visitors a year, the Eiffel Tower is the third most visited monument in France, behind the Louvre and the Château de Versailles. From the top, visitors can enjoy a privileged view of Paris and its surroundings while sipping a glass of champagne or enjoying a delicious meal. Firework displays for the bank holidays, concerts, illuminations, an ice rink... the Eiffel Tower is also the venue for a number of major events.

The Eiffel Tower on the banks of the Seine.

- © saiko3p / Shutterstock
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The history of the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is a true technical feat, a summary of the genius of French engineering at the beginning of the industrial era and a demonstration of French know-how. It was designed by Maurice Koechlin (head of the design office at Eiffel & Cie) and Emile Nouguier (head of the methods office at Eiffel & Cie), and the plan was subsequently improved by the architect Stephen Sauvestre.

Gustave Eiffel bought back the patent registered on 18 September 1884 and succeeded in "selling" the project, which eventually won unanimous approval from all the other candidates proposing projects for the 1889 Universal Exhibition. Work began on 28 January 1887 and in just two years, two months and five days, the people of Paris saw the world's tallest tower rise.

The Eiffel Tower on the Champ de Mars.

- © Catarina Belova / Shutterstock

Although from the very first ground-breaking, there were protests from artists such as Charles Gounod, Charles Garnier, Alexandre Dumas fils and Guy de Maupassant, who cried that Paris would be disfigured, from its inauguration to the close of the Universal Exhibition, the tower never ceased to amaze the public, welcoming two million visitors. Today, the Iron Lady still attracts just as much interest, and is visited by seven million people every year, 75% of whom are foreigners.

Why visit the Eiffel Tower?

Whether you climb it on foot, for the more athletic, or in one of its three lifts that cover more than 100,000 kilometres every year, reaching the second floor of the Eiffel Tower is always a source of magic. From this second floor, the panoramic view over Paris is extraordinary, and the most adventurous can experience even more thrills by taking the lift to thetop of the tower.

The Eiffel Tower with La Défense in the background.

- © mapman / Shutterstock

Once on the top floor, visitors will discoverGustave Eiffel's former office, which has been preserved in its original state. There's also no better occasion to share a glass of champagne while taking in the extraordinary panorama.

Another magical moment to experience on the Tower is to share a lunch or dinner at Madame Brasserie, the bistronomic restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower, or at Jules Verne, the starred restaurant where you can discover Paris and French gastronomy.

The Eiffel Tower offers a breathtaking view of the whole of Paris.

- © ColorMaker / Shutterstock

When night falls, visitors have two options: they can stay on the Tower and contemplate the City of Light from above, or they can move away to admire this fabulous iron structure, whose illumination adds to the romanticism of the capital. Every hour, the Eiffel Tower sparkles for five minutes, offering a veritable spectacle of light to those who stop to admire it.

Our favourite hotel with a view of the Eiffel Tower

Terrass" Hotel 4* - Paris Paris
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Terrass" Hotel 4* - Paris

In the 18th arrondissement, this 4-star hotel offers one of the best views in Paris from its comfortable rooms and its super rooftop, a favourite with Parisians.
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Practical information for the Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is one of France's main monuments, so it's an absolute must-see when you're in Paris! Allow around two hours to make the most of it.

🚌 How do I get to the Eiffel Tower?

Located in the 7th arrondissement of Paris, the Eiffel Tower has excellent transport links. Metro line 6 serves the Bir Hakeim station, metro line 8 stops at École Militaire and line 9 serves the Trocadéro stop. The RER C also stops nearby at Champ de Mars station.

Bus routes 90, 42, 72 and 82 stop at Tour Eiffel, and routes 69 and 86 stop at Champ de Mars. Hop-on hop-off buses and the Batobus also serve the Eiffel Tower. There are also several Velib' stations nearby.

⏰ Eiffel Tower opening times

The Eiffel Tower is open every day from 9.30am to 10.45pm, with the stairs closing at 6pm. However, opening times may vary depending on events and school holidays, so don't hesitate to consult the official Eiffel Tower website for more information.

👛 Eiffel Tower prices

Lift ticket for the second floor:

  • Full price: €17.10
  • Under 25s: €8.60
  • Under 12s: €4.30
  • Under 5s: free
  • PRM: €4.30
  • Go City / Paris Passlib' / Explorer Pass: free

Lift ticket to the summit :

  • Full price: €26.80
  • Under 25s: €13.40
  • Under 12s: €6.70
  • Under 5s: free
  • PRM: €6.70

Staircase ticket for the second floor :

  • Full price: €10.70
  • Under 25s: €5.40
  • Under-12s: €2.70
  • Under 5s: free
  • PRM: €2.70
  • Go City All-Inclusive Pass: free

To find out all the prices and book your ticket online, go directly to the official Eiffel Tower website.

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A few tips for your visit

  • As one of the most visited monuments in France, the Eiffel Tower is very busy. Remember to book your time-stamped ticket online to avoid the crowds.
  • The tour starts at the highest point (top or second floor, depending on your ticket) and continues on the lower floors.
  • The first two floors of the Eiffel Tower are accessible to PRMs, but this is unfortunately not the case at the top.
by Faustine PEREZ
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