Today the Eiffel Tower illuminations have also become an icon and something everyone relates to when they think of the tower, and it has always had lights ever since it was first inaugurated, which incredibly, were the most powerful beacons in the world at the time.
But things have progressed over the years from gas lighting to electricity and of course environmental factors are also key points that the Eiffel Tower has to consider. So although there are still the floodlights for the golden lighting, the twinkling lights now sparkle for 5 minutes on the hour every hour of an evening until 1am, although there are still the beacons that light up this monument in Paris.
Something else that you will discover, is the fact that there have always been restaurants at the Eiffel Tower, even from when it was first opened and although there were originally four restaurants, today there are two main restaurants called the 58 Tour Eiffel on the first floor and the more well known Jules Verne restaurant for gourmet dining on the second floor. However, there is also a Champagne bar at the top of the Eiffel Tower, which is great if you are on a romantic weekend break in Paris, along with snack bars and buffet bars on the ground floor and first floor that are ideal for all the family.
Also, Eiffel Tower also hosts exhibitions and different themed events like the ice skating rink during the festive season, plus there are permanent exhibitions that provide a greater insight into the history and facts on the Eiffel Tower, its designer, along with its technology and much more. Plus if you decide to visit whilst you are on a family camping holiday in Paris, then you will be pleased to know that there is even a free guided tour for children with game books available as well.
And, yes, most people decide they want to go up the Eiffel Tower for the views and they are spectacular as you have a viewing gallery, the glass elevator, the stairs up to the first floor and even a viewing window that lets you look down, but some of these in our opinion are not for those that are scared of heights! However, with the incredible panoramic views all around you will be able to see lots of different monuments and tourist attractions like the Champs Elysees, The Louvre museum and the Tuilleries Gardens, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Sacre Coeur Basilica, The Invalides, the Opera Garnier and many, many more.
Opening times of the Eiffel Tower
Now the Eiffel Tower is open 7 days a week all year round, however the times do vary depending upon the time of year. Also, access to the top of the tower may be stopped due to adverse weather conditions, so this is something to bear in mind.
The summer opening times from the middle of June through to the end of August are..
Lifts open from 9am through to 12.45 am with the last entrance to the top being at 11.30pm, however the staircases are open from 9am to 12.30am.
During the rest of the year the times are as follows..
Lifts open from 9.30am through to 11.45pm with the last entrance to the top being at 10.30pm, but you can still access the 1st and 2nd floors up until 11pm. Yet the staircases are only open from 9.30am through to 6.30pm.
Buying tickets for the Eiffel Tower
Tickets can be purchased in advance online directly from the Eiffel Tower website that you can then print off or save on your mobile phone, but you do have select a date and time. Alternatively, if you do not know when you are likely to reach the tower there is a ticket office, which is positioned at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, yet you will obviously have to end up queuing longer.
Also there are different rates for the Eiffel Tower depending upon what you want to do, but we would like to point out at this stage, that even if you have opted to purchase the Paris Pass whilst you are on holiday in Paris, unfortunately this will not cover you for the admission fee into this monument in Paris.
As of 2012, the most expensive ticket you could purchase was a lift ticket to the top for an adult at a cost of €14 whereas a staircase entrance ticket to the 2nd floor was only €5 for an adult, but you would need to climb 704 stairs, so this is not really an idea for the faint hearted or unfit!
However, we would like to point out that there are slightly reduced rates for people between the ages of 12 and 18 and a further reduced rate for children and the disabled, plus the carer of a disabled person also gets the admission price at the reduced rate. In addition to this, children under the age of four have free entry to the Eiffel Tower.
Getting to the Eiffel Tower
There are numerous ways in which to get to this iconic monument in Paris, whether it be by boat, train, car, etc.
If you choose to take the Metro, the Eiffel Tower can be reached on Line 9 Trocadero, however, if you take Line 6 to the Bir-Hakeim station you will be above ground on the metro and get a view of the tower as you approach.
Then you have the RER train that enables you to get to the Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel stop via Line C.
Also, there are a few different buses that will be able to get you close to the tower including the 82 and 42 with a stop at the Tour Eiffel or the 69, 82 and 87 that stop at the Champ de Mars.
We did quickly mentioned this, and yes, you can even reach the Eiffel Tower by boat, as it is located very close to the River Seine and the Batobus is like a ferry bus that stops very close by.
But if you really do fancy travelling around Paris by car, although not one of the easiest cities to navigate, the nearest underground car park is at Quai Branly, which is only around 350m away.
Known throughout the world, the Eiffel Tower in Paris located in the Ile de France region, has become the icon of France and a major tourist attraction in Paris which has had well over 200 million visitors since it was first opened after its inauguration on the 31st of March 1889, with around 7 million people still visiting this landmark in Paris every year whilst they are on holiday in Paris.
When you look back at the history of the Eiffel Tower, you will find that the original idea started out as a competition to build a structure for the 1889 Universal Exposition to commemorate 100 years since the French revolution and this Paris monument was only meant to be a temporary structure that would be demolished after a maximum of 20 years!
The winner of the competition was the engineer Gustave Eiffel who was awarded with the winning design for the his tower, which of course is why it has the name it has today, but throughout its construction, which started in January 1887, there were extreme protests to the design.
However, Gustave Eiffel counteracted many of the protests and produced lots of brilliant ideas for ways in which the Eiffel Tower could be utilised when constructed, like for scientific experiments and communications that meant many people eventually changed their minds.
And because of the technical achievements like the elevators at the Eiffel Tower along with the tower illuminations and advances in technology, plus the way in which the Eiffel Tower was utilised for communications, we are still privileged to be able to admire this wonder of technology and incredible feat of engineering.
Also, it is often referred to as the Iron Lady because it is made of iron, but did you know that at the time of construction the Eiffel Tower became the tallest structure in the world at a height of 312 metres? That was until the Chrysler Building in New York overtook it. Yet today, it is now 324 metres high due to the antennas on the very top, although we will take a closer look at the science and communications at the Eiffel Tower and additional facts on the Eiffel Tower in another article.