The Iconic Eiffel Tower – What is the Fuss About?
I have been to Paris twice. I have walked along the Seine, I have shopped on the Champs Elysées, and I have, of course, climbed the Eiffel Tower in the morning and at night.
Blessed to return for a second round of macarons, baguettes, and other calorific delights, I decided to make the second trip more educational, learning the history of the city and its monuments, soak up the local culture, and, on the side, count the beret-wearing women taking their newly-sheared poodles for a walk.
As mentioned above, I have of course climbed the most iconic landmark in France, if not the world: The Eiffel Tower. I have done the elevator version. I have done the climb of hundreds of stairs. I have done the combination of both. After completing both trips to the top, I can honestly say that no matter what way you choose, it is worth every penny, every breath, every drop of sweat. Every ache endured.
The majestic structure standing in central Paris is the symbol of bucket lists, desires, romance, love, and Europe how we know it. Even if you haven’t done the impressive climb, you may still have a little model of the tower adorning your dresser at home. It seems to be the norm. Pictures of the Eiffel Tower infuse wanderlust, changing frowns to smiles. It is indeed magical.
Constructed in 1889, The Eiffel Tower’s design and architecture were initially disliked by resident artists; however, since then, the 324-metre tall structure has become the cultural symbol of Paris attracting nearly 7 million visitors in 2015.
Planning Your Visit:
As the Eiffel Tower is pretty much essential on every Paris itinerary, plan your trip accordingly. Keep in mind that crowds flock to the tower. Prepare for lengthy waits if you do not go early or in the evening.
When you arrive, the admission into the tower varies depending on how luxurious you wish your visit to be. I don’t mean having a bottle of champagne waiting for you; I mean elevator vs. staircase luxurious.
The first time I visited the tower, I opted for the elevators. There are two variations of the elevator ticket. The first takes you swiftly up to the first level of restaurants. That is all. If you wish to ascend further, this will incur additional fees my friend. Nope, that leisurely ascension comes at a price i’m afraid… VIP ticket holders are taken up to the third level – the highest observation deck of the tower with incredible views of the city.
The second time I went, I decided, since I had been up there before, to go on the cheap and climb the tower. Uh-huh. Well, I could proudly eat my French pastry for breakfast as I’m sure after climbing the 300 steps to level one, I had burned it off easily.
But it doesn’t stop there. If you wish to climb to level 2 or level 3, there are 300 steps between them! In the end, should you wish to go all the way to the top, you will need to be prepared to climb 900 stairs.
A bottled water stop on level 1, a small rest and many a forehead wipe, I made it and proudly announced my accomplishment to the world. I can assure you I slept mighty well that night…
Amenities at the Top:
Inside the Tower, visitors can enjoy a meal in two different restaurants: Le 58 Tour Eiffel on the first level, and Le Jules Verne, named after the famous author of Mobey Dick. This Michelin star restaurant is all its own on the second level and offers an exclusive elevator service.
Climb only: 8 €
Elevator halfway: 11 €
Elevator to the highest observation deck: 17 €
Once you have wined and dined after a 900-step climb (the keeners anyway!) wouldn’t you like to learn some weird and quirky facts about what you just experienced? Here’s some trivia for ya!
- When Adolph Hitler visited Paris during the second world war, the French cut the cords for the elevator in the tower so he was forced to climb the stairs to go to the top.
- Originally the Eiffel Tower was destined for Barcelona Spain; however, it was rejected and built in Paris instead.
- 20,000 light bulbs make up the Eiffel Tower’s nighttime illumination.
- It took 300 employees with 18,038 pieces of wrought iron to construct the tower.
- In 1967 there were talks to move the Eiffel Tower to Canada…interesting!
- In 1909 France was going to destroy the tower; however, this changed when they decided it could pass as a radio antenna.
- There are 30 Eiffel Tower replicas around the world. Where are they? I know of the one in Vegas…
- There is approximately 60 tonnes of paint on the Eiffel tower. (Whoa!)
- On today’s economic scale, it is estimated that the Eiffel Tower would cost approx. $30 million to build.
- The Eiffel Tower is deemed one of the most romantic backdrops for proposals – heck Tom Cruise did it there when he proposed to Katie Holmes so many years ago….
Want more trivia about the Eiffel Tower and Paris? Do you want to head to Paris but not sure what to pack or you hate packing altogether? Subscribe for a limited time to our Newsletter and get our stress-free packing e-book FREE 🙂 Subscribe today on the home page!