You already know that the Eiffel Tower is the most popular monument in history, and that she receives nearly 10 million visitors each and every year. Having that many fans means there are always going to be lineups of visitors trying to get to the top. And, really, who doesn't adore a celebrity who is so popular, so thin, so tall?
Let's take a look at the Eiffel Tower information that will not only help you plan your visit, but will also make your visit even more interesting. Did you know that the techniques used to build the tower were first used by Gustave Eiffel to build bridges? Did you know that the Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year?
You can choose to simply make your way over to the Eiffel Tower, or you can sign up for a skip-the-line guided tour that avoids the very long queues. We say this again — the best way (to our minds, the only way) to get up to the top of the tower is by booking a skip-the-line tour before you leave home. That's how we do it, and there's nothing better than the feeling you get when your guide walks you to the front to the priority-access line and you catch the next elevator.
We've written a guide to help you choose the best fast-access tour.
The Eiffel Tower has three levels. Level One, at about 200 feet above the ground, is where you'll find restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel and perhaps even a skating rink in the winter. Level Two is up around 400 feet and for many visitors is the main viewing platform. There is where you go to eat at the Michelin-starred Le Jules Verne. Instead of using the elevator, you can climb up to Level Two — if you don't mind the nearly 700 steps. (We've done the climb and can say that it is… invigorating!)
It's Level Three, the very top of the Tower that affords the longest views. (Although there are stairs that go to the top, they are not open to the public.) While there are no restaurants up here in the stratosphere, there is a champagne bar. It's Paris, after all!
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The design for the Eiffel Tower came out of the workshop of Gustave Eiffel, a company most well known at that point for fabricating iron bridges, in France and around the world. The idea came from essentially putting two bridge sections back to back, supporting each other. It was a striking and original idea, nothing like it had ever been seen before.
Of course, not everybody takes kindly to new ideas, and the cultural-crowd of Paris hated it, signed petitions trying to stop it, railed against this Iron Lady. Luckily, though, it was built in time for the 1889 World's Fair in Paris and had been the symbol of the city ever since.
The tower sways slightly in the wind, but don't worry, it was built that way and you absolutely will not notice it when you're on top. The sun, too, has an effect. Metal expands with heat, so the sun not only causes the tower to grow, the sun-facing side of the tower grows more, moving that side of the tower away from the sun by up to 18 centimetres. It's an interesting fact, but nothing that you will be able to detect as a visitor.
There are actually three different shades of paint on the tower. To avoid rusting it's repainted at least once every seven years, adding something like fifty tons of paint weight to the structure.
Eiffel Tower Guide
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• Visiting The Eiffel Tower…
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