No matter the season, the views from the Tower are spectacular, as is the Eiffel Tower itself. In this article, we’ll explore the history of France’s beloved iron lady, and give you practical information to make the most of your visit to the Eiffel Tower!
History of the Eiffel Tower
Initially, the plan was to tear down the tower after 20 years, as it was supposed to be a temporary addition to the Parisian skyline. However, the city council decided to keep it even after 1909, because the tower proved most useful for communication purposes. At the start of the First World War, the radio transmitters on top of the tower even jammed German communications, which slowed their advance on Paris significantly. Over the years, the perception of the tower among Parisians has changed. They, like visitors from all over the world, have come to love the cultural icon of France. Millions of people still visit the Eiffel Tower every year.
Practical Visitor Information for the Eiffel Tower
If you want to visit the Eiffel Tower, you can take the Paris metro to the following stations: Trocadéro (line 9) or Bir-Hakeim (line 6). Alternatively, you can also take the RER to Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel (line C).
The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year, but opening times do differ depending on the season. From June 15th to the 1st of September, the tower is open from 9 am to midnight. The rest of the year, the Eiffel Tower is open from 9.30 am to 11 p.m.
Another way to avoid long lines is to visit the tower during non-peak times. Summer season is the busiest time of year, so visiting the Eiffel Tower off-season is an option. Do note that sometimes the top floor of the tower is closed off in cases of severe weather. When it comes to hours, you’ll also have a better chance of beating the crowds by visiting the tower early in the morning or late in the evening. At those times the tower also has an entirely different charm. For instance, at night you’ll get to see why Paris is called the City of Lights!
If you buy your tickets online or decide to go early in the day or later at night, it’s convenient to stay in an apartment close to the Eiffel Tower, so you won’t have to hurry across town. We have many vacation rental apartments in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris that are even within walking distance of the Eiffel Tower. These vacation rentals will give you the chance to experience Paris as a local, right from your comfortable apartment with a top location. Just imagine staying in an apartment such as this 1-bedroom rental in Invalides, which has an actual view of the Eiffel Tower right from the bedroom and kitchen!
What to Do on the Eiffel Tower
Also don’t forget to bring a camera, as you’ll probably want to take more than a couple of pictures. Do note that if you want to take professional photo equipment up on the tower you’ll need prior written authorization by the Eiffel Tower’s operating company.
Inside the Eiffel Tower there’s also much to see and do. On the first floor of the tower you’ll often find temporary exhibitions. For the kids there’s a free tour where they can learn more about the tower. The first floor also contains a souvenir shop and the 58 Tour Eiffel Restaurant where you can enjoy a tasty lunch or dinner with splendid views. As of September 2012, the first floor is undergoing renovations, so check the official Eiffel Tower website for the most recent info. If all goes according to schedule, the 1st floor will have new public spaces, such as a cultural path, a new pavilion and a new room for events in 2013.
The second floor of the Eiffel Tower boasts no less than 3 souvenir shops, a food buffet and story windows that tell the story of the construction of the Eiffel Tower.
You can also find the exclusive Le Jules Verne restaurant on this floor. The restaurant offers contemporary cuisine, from lunch to dinner. The spectacular views and luxurious setting make it a very romantic option for dining in Paris. If you want to be sure of a table, you can easily make a reservation online at the Le Jules Verne’s official website.
Finally, the top of the tower contains Gustave Eiffel’s office with wax models, and a champagne bar!
Explore the Area around the Eiffel Tower
We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to one of Paris’ most famous landmarks! Have you ever climbed the stairs of the Eiffel Tower?