Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)

#3 in Best Things To Do in Paris
Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) picture
Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel)
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Key Info

Parc du Champ de Mars

Details

Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.8scorecard
  • 4.5Value
  • 4.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Designed and constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (the World's Fair), the Eiffel Tower was always meant to be a temporary structure, but it skirted demolition talks twice. The first time, at the beginning of the 1900s, the tower was kept around because of its transmission talents. Gustav Eiffel, chief architect of the Eiffel Tower, had a variety of scientific experiments tested on the tower with the hope that any discoveries would help prolong its lifespan. One of these included a wireless transmissions test, which the tower passed with flying colors. During World War I, the Eiffel Tower's transmission capabilities enabled it to intercept communications from enemies as well as relay intel to troops on the ground. The second time the Eiffel Tower was almost destroyed was during the German occupation of France during World War II. Hitler planned to get rid of the tower, but never ended up going through with his plan. 

Today, the Eiffel Tower is still used for communication transmissions but is chiefly regarded for its grandeur. If you can believe it, many Parisians initially found this architectural marvel to be nothing more than an eyesore. Regardless, the Eiffel Tower today stands as one of the most visited tourist attractions in the world. Visitors can walk up to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower or take the elevator all the way up to the top, where they'll be treated with vast panoramic views of the city. While some recent visitors complain of long lines  especially during the summer  you can bypass the wait by booking your tickets online at the Eiffel Tower's website. And though some travelers aren't crazy about the price to get to the top, many agree that the views are worth it. Visitors also strongly recommend making an additional trek at night. That's because every hour on the hour, thousands of flickering light bulbs make the Eiffel Tower sparkle, leaving tourists in complete awe. 

You can reach Paris' most famous landmark from the Bir-Hakeim, Trocadéro or Ecole Militaire métro stops, serviced by lines 6, 8 and 9. The Eiffel Tower, located on the western side of the city, is open every day of the year, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. from mid-June to early September, and from 9:30 a.m. to 11: 45 p.m. the rest of the year. Admission prices vary depending on how high you wish to go and how you choose to get there (elevator or stairs). Most visitors choose to ride the elevator to the top, which costs 17 euros (about $19) for adults, 14.50 euros (roughly $16.27) for visitors between the ages of 12 and 24, and 8 euros (about $9) for children ages 4 to 11. Access to the stairs and the elevator to the second floor is cheaper. For more information, visit the landmark's website.

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More Best Things To Do in Paris

Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)
Musée du Louvre
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)

Note that the cathedral sustained significant damage as a result of a fire on April 15, 2019. Its wooden roof and spire collapsed during the fire. It remains closed until further notice.

Like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is seen as a Parisian icon. Located right along the picturesque River Seine, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered a Gothic masterpiece and is often regarded as one of the best Gothic cathedrals of its kind in the world. Construction of the famous cathedral started in the late 10th century and final touches weren't made until nearly 200 years later. And once you get an eyeful of the cathedral yourself, you'll start to understand why it took so long.

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