When you think of Paris we bet the first thing that comes to mind is the Eiffel Tower. Quintessential symbol of the City of Lights, it is the most visited monument in the world, and in history.
It's hard to imagine that this monument, built in 1889 for the World's Fair (Exposition Universelle) celebrating the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution, was only supposed to stand for twenty years.
In fact, one of the original criteria stipulated for the Eiffel Tower by the city of Paris was that it could be easily demolished. Thank goodness that by 1909 the tower proved valuable for radio communication and so was allowed to stand.
Good thing, too, because during the Battle of the Marne in 1914 the French military sent signals from the tower to the Parisian taxis that shuttled French troops to the front line, where they stopped the German advance toward Paris.
The ET is so popular that images and replicas of it appear all over the world, most notoriously the one in Las Vegas.
And, after 125 years of adoration, replication, vilification and exploitation, there was renovation. The first floor of the Eiffel Tower (Stage 1) underwent a major refurbishment in 2012, to create an even better visitor experience.
As we mentioned, the Eiffel Tower is the most visited monument in the world, and that means the line-ups are daunting — usually 2-hours or more. Don't worry, though, we have Paris Insiders Secret for you.
The best way to avoid the lines is to book a tour before you leave home. You meet your guide at the foot of the tower and he whisks you past the crowds, into the elevator and up the tower. You're in Paris, your don't want to waste your valuable time waiting in lines!
A great monument like the Eiffel Tower in Paris is going to have a great history.
Learn about the $800 design award for the first place entry. Read about the 1887 protests by leading authors and writers. Marvel at the bungee jumps, parachute jumps, radio signals and balloon launching!
250 workers. 2 years 2 months 5 days. 200,000,000 people. 300 meters…
A great monument also has fascinating stories, facts, details and more information than you probably ever need to know!
Three different colors of paint?
The Eiffel Tower is open every day, so you can visit at your leisure.
Just remember, though, that a lot of other people will have the same leisure and the line-ups will be long. There are a couple of ways to help reduce the wait. Our favorite is to book a guided tour and avoid all other hassles of tickets and line.
Alternately, you can buy your tickets online in advance of your visit. You're able to buy tickets up to two weeks in advance, and to choose from about 20 specific times of day, from morning to 9:30 at night. You can then print out your tickets before you leave home. Online ticket sales »
Adult ticket prices are about 10€ for the elevator to the 1st and 2nd Levels, or about 15€ to get you all the way to the top. Stair tickets (which only get you to Level 2) are listed as around 5€. (We've been there in the off-season and found the it was free to climb the stairs. You might get lucky! That is, if you're the type of person who considers climbing 704 steps a lucky thing.
Climbing the stairs is not only a great workout, but a chance to see the tower in a unique way. You get a real feeling for the construction of the tower and even what it must have been like to work on it. And the views are fantastic!
Put these things together:
2. Top of the Eiffel Tower
And what do you get? We think the answer might well be bliss.
There is a champagne bar at the very top of the Eiffel Tower where you can take a glass of brut or rosé while gazing over the City of Light, the City of Love and the City of Champagne!
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