Everyone has a mental image of the Eiffel Tower. It is one of the most photographed and revered monuments in the world. Visiting it is on many people’s bucket lists. The lasting popularity of this more than a century old tower, built as an entrance portal for the 1889 World exhibition, was perhaps a shock for living Parisians during its construction. The artists and intellectuals of the time called the Tower “monstrous” and led a general outcry against it, publishing a manifesto of 300 signatures expressing their objections in the name of “threatened French taste, art and history” .
Standing 984 feet tall, this complex collection of towers far exceeded the height of the tallest structure in the world to this point, the 555-foot Washington Monument. Building such a tall structure was considered a feat of engineering at the time, with the biggest challenge being the possibility of it being blown over by the wind. The Eiffel Tower remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for the next 41 years, when it was topped by the 1,046-foot Chrysler Building in New York City.
The original plan called for the dismantling of the Eiffel Tower after 20 years. But before that deadline arrived, it had proven useful as a communications tower during WWI to spot enemy zeppelins, and again during WWII, to intercept messages transmitted by the Nazis. So the decision was made to allow him to stay. Today, the Eiffel Tower is one of the best-known structures in the world and is considered an architectural masterpiece and an icon of Paris.
So, of course, someday you have to visit the Eiffel Tower yourself. When you do, live the full experience. It means making plans to see it in each of its five incomparable ways, none of which is to be missed. Observe the tower from a boat on the Seine, where you can see all of its shape and stature. Stand below, surrounded by its four powerful feet. Ride it halfway up, to run around its circumference and look down through the transparent floor. Take the elevator to the top, to sip champagne while contemplating the river and the city, like a toy under your feet.
After seeing the Eiffel Tower from all these angles, you are still not done. Saving the best for last, come back in the evening to see it glisten with golden lights, lit from within to showcase its structure, with a five-minute glittering spectacle every hour, hour, and sometimes a full moon background.
Here’s how to accomplish each of these five essential ways to experience the Eiffel Tower, while making the most of them and avoiding the frustrations of waiting through the intimidating lines.
View from the river
Plan to have your first view of the Eiffel Tower from the Seine. This will allow you to understand it in its entirety, which you can only do from a distance. The best way to do this is to take the Batobus (Boat Bus) to the tower instead of the metro and get off at the dock at its base.
If you buy a two-day pass on the Batobus, you will have access to a wonderful way to travel around the city, hop on and hop off at will and see along the way, all the spectacular buildings and monuments on the banks of the river, as well as the many magnificent bridges that span it. The river is the city’s main artery and offers a better sense of direction, as well as better views, than the metro. The Batobus departs from the Hôtel de Ville and makes a complete circuit of the river, with stops at the Louvre, the Champs-Elysées, the Eiffel Tower, Orsay, the Latin Quarter, Notre-Dame and the Jardin des Plantes. Using the river as a means of transport, the get there will be as memorable as the be there.
As you approach the Eiffel Tower by Batobus, you will pass under the Alexandre III Bridge (named after Tsar Alexander III), with his cherubim and nymphs, and his richly gilded figures and his winged horses (representing the mythological “Fame” – Art, Science, Commerce and Industry). This will be your best opportunity to take a photo of the entire tower in daylight. You will come back later to see it glow gold with the light after dark.
When your boat crosses the Seine to dock in front of the tower, beware of the reduced version of the Statue of Liberty passing through the small island. It is one of the three models of the Statue of Liberty which are held in Paris, all created by the same sculptor who built the life-size version that France gave as a gift to the newly formed United States.
Look at him under his legs
After disembarking, climb to the massive feet of the Eiffel Tower and under those feet. This will put you where visitors to the 1889 Paris World’s Fair in awe upon entering the fairgrounds. The Paris Universal Exhibition was held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the fall of the Bastille, launching the French Revolution. To commemorate this historic date, Paris wanted to create a structure that would amaze the world as “a monument to French genius, to the inextinguishable spirit of the French people and proof that France was always, as always, at the forefront. of the progress of the world “(of The wonders of engineering. Over 100 artists were invited to submit ideas. The winning design was that of Gustave Eiffel, who was also the engineer who completed the Statue of Liberty. You will see the office Gustave built for himself on top of the tower when you visit the top.
Note the color of the Tower, repainted once every seven years for rust protection. Its color began as “Venetian red” before assembly, changing to a more subdued reddish brown, and later to an ocher yellow. Since 1968, it has been painted in “Eiffel Tower Brown”, applied in three progressively lighter shades, from bottom to top, to increase its visual impact on the sky.
Observe the intricate geometry of the angles and struts of the tower, a total of 18,038 pieces, joined by two and a half million rivets. Take at least a dozen photographs, from different angles, to capture the spider web of this phenomenal iron lattice structure. Note the orientation of the tower by the north, south, east, and west designations of the massive four feet, with supports anchored to concrete foundations buried deep in the ground.
Watch it midway and from the restaurants
Now is the time to climb up the Tower, using tickets for the second level that you will have purchased online, well in advance of your trip, on the official website of the Eiffel Tower. It is essential to keep the tickets before your arrival. It will make the critical difference between having a glorious experience or having a nightmare experience.
The pre-booked ticket options give you either priority access to the first and second floors, or access to all three levels, including the top. Once inside, you will be free to spend as long as you like, wherever you like, on the Tower. The final summit lift is at 11:00 p.m.
Tickets are published on the official Eiffel Tower website 90 days in advance and sell out quickly. So book your tickets early. And steer clear of ticket resellers, or you’ll pay a lot more for essentially the same. Lift tickets are for a specific time slot. Be very careful to be on time. If you are more than 30 minutes late, your tickets may be canceled and you will not be allowed entry.
From the second level you will join another line for the elevator to the top. Although you cannot purchase tickets in advance that allow access that includes the summit, you may be able to book tickets for the second level and then purchase tickets for the summit once there.
Better yet than buying pre-booked lift tickets is to reserve a table for lunch or dinner at 58 Eiffel Tower or even more expensive Jules Verne Restaurant. Your lift tickets for the second level will be complementary if you have reservations for lunch or dinner, and you can use a special line of quick-access ski lifts at the base of the tower. Enjoying the view from one of the restaurants, during the day or at sunset or after dark, while being served a phenomenal meal, is an unforgettable experience, albeit a bit pricey. Take it crazy, and do it. You can still balance things out by having picnics instead of restaurant meals tomorrow.
Once the elevator has transported you to the first and second level, take the time to walk around the circumference and look in all directions, but also to see the many exhibits on the history of the Eiffel Tower. Step out onto the clear glass floor on the first level, if you dare. This is your chance to experience walking in the air.
Look at it from its top
And now, it’s time for the grand finale of your visit to the Eiffel Tower. Take the elevator to the top. Yes, there will be a line. And yes, the area at the top is smaller so it can get more crowded. But consider this a once in a lifetime experience. If you decide not to worry about it, you’ll probably still be wondering if you should have made the effort.
A good strategy is to start watching the lift line to the top as soon as you reach the second level. When the line is the shortest, stop whatever you’re doing and jump in. You can always come back to the second level later and pick up where you left off.
Once you reach the top, as you watch all of Paris beneath you, celebrate the moment with a glass of champagne from the champagne bar nestled within the structure. Don’t be put off by the price or the line. The line will move quickly. And the memory of this coronation will last a lifetime. It will be a story you will repeat often after you return from your trip.
See the night
At least once during your stay in Paris, treat yourself to the magical splendor of a boat trip on the Seine at night. Book a ticket with Parisian boats for a one-hour cruise, departing from the quay opposite Notre Dame and sliding, passing under the illuminated bridges, to the Eiffel Tower and back.
Again, it will be a good idea to purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee your choice of time and date. Opt for an alfresco seat at the front of the boat on the left side for the best view of the Eiffel Tower as you approach, spectacularly lit against the night sky.
The view of the Eiffel Tower at night is truly spectacular. You will certainly be tempted to take pictures. But be aware that the tower lighting at night is currently considered a copyrighted work of art. So if you want to post images on social media, you need to get permission from the Eiffel Tower Operating Company (Eiffel Tower operating company), under penalty of paying a fine.
Once you have had the full experience of visiting the Eiffel Tower and its view in all its aspects and vantage points, you will have no difficulty finding a representation to take home with you. Select just the right poster, watercolor, pen drawing or scarf … or even a keychain. Then, every time you look at this souvenir, you will be taken back to when you were there, seeing the Eiffel Tower for yourself.