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From my family trip to Paris in 2015 when we visited Disneyland and stayed with PGL holidays.
- The Tower is 324 metres tall including antenna
- The wrought iron lattice structure weighs 10,100 tons
- The structure was completed on 31st March 1889 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the French revolution
- It held the title of worlds tallest building until 1930 when it was surpassed by the Chrysler Building, New York
- There are 1665 steps to the top, most people use the lift
- With over 7 million visitors a year, the tower is the most patronised paid visitor attraction in the world
- 2 years, two months and 5 days, that's how long it took to build the tower
- Every 7 years, the tower is painted
- The worlds biggest advertisement, using 1/2 a million bulbs, was on the tower from 1925 to 1934 for Citroen
- The British Virgin Islands have a 125th anniversary $10 coin in the shape of the tower
I didn't expect the Eiffel Tower to be so big, it really is an awesome spectacle when standing under its magnificent iron structure. The Tower area is a very busy place and of course you have to queue. The queue is not too long though and considering we had a limited time there, we still had plenty of time in the tower.
There are 704 stairs up to the second floor, this is where the viewing area over Paris is. The second floor, at 115 metres is less than halfway to the top and you need to use the lift to go to the top which costs extra. There are also lifts that go to the 1st and 2nd floors, three in total.
Walking to the first and second floor gives a real sense of actually being within the metal structure and it is possible to come down in the lift afterwards.
Looking through the glass floors is also fun, if unnerving. The shoppers and passers by below look tiny.
There are shops and restaurants on the tower and also lots of places to grab a baguette in the area around the tower. There is a panoramic view out over the capital city of France. Take in sights such as the Arc de Triomphe,Notre Dame Cathedral and Champs Elysees.
A cruise down the Seine is also a nice way to spend an hour or so when in Paris. It is very close to the tower and fairly inexpensive. The commentary is played via individual speaker in many languages, including English and Chinese. Sites such as Notre Dame are also passed whilst on the cruise and it is a great opportunity to get some photos of iconic attractions.
Built to last twenty years
The tower, built by Gustav Eiffel should only have been up for twenty years. It however became important in broadcasting radio and then telecommunications. It also broadcast television signals for a time.
The tower has seen light shows and advertising as well as scientific experiments. Frances gift to the world, it is as inspiring as it is awesome. Over 3/4 of the 7 million visitors annually are from abroad. In all, 250 million people have been to the tower in its lifetime.
Plan your visit
The tower is open every single day of the year. During the summer months the tower is open until midnight. Tickets to the top can be purchased in advance on the second floor, subject to weather conditions.
Cheapest entry is stairs to the second floor which costs seven Euros for and adult. The lift to the second floor is 11 Euros and for a trip to the top it will cost 17 Euros. You can book online but it makes sense to just pay on the day and not be restricted to the time on your ticket which expires if you are late.
You can get to the tower by bus, car, RER, Metro bike or even by boat. We were actually on an organised coach tour which is another option and you can also get a river cruise ticket thrown in as part of the deal.
Line C : « Champs de Mars - Tour Eiffel » station (the tower is a few minutes walk)
- Line no.6, metro station "Bir-Hakeim"
- Line no.9, "Trocadéro" station
Velib stations for bike
These are available all over Paris. It would be a great way to explore the streets of Paris too.
Quai Branly underground car park is the closest to the tower, around 300 metres away.