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!
Engineer Gustave Eiffel
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 of the Tower.
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.
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.
There are also the fabulous gardens that extend either side of the Eiffel Tower that have water features and much more, and classed as historical gardens and Listed Wooded Spaces, additional landscaping has been sorted out, which are now a major part of the entire Eiffel Tower experience.
Located along the Allee Leon Bourgeois and Allee Paul Deschanel sides, there is now a perimeter fence and glass panels so as not to obscure views on two sides that surround the Eiffel Tower and grounds. With two security checkpoints you have to go through in order to enjoy the gardens or visit the icon itself, which is great for visitor safety reasons and still no charge to access the gardens, get up close to the feet of the Eiffel Tower, etc, you can also see the access plan of this on our how to get to the Eiffel Tower page.
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.
Summer opening times from the middle of June through to end of August are..
Lifts open from 9am through to 12:45am with the last entrance to the top being at 11pm. However the staircases are open from 9am to 12:30am, with the last ascent having to be made to the second level before midnight.
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 with a last ascent having to be made before 6pm.
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 to select a date and time in addition to providing the names of all people that will be with you entering the Eiffel Tower, although this option is only for certain tickets.
E-tickets can be booked up to two months in advance and save time upon arrival, but there are also last minute ticket sales available online as well, although they still have to be printed off or saved to your phone, yet this is a highly recommended option during peak times, especially summer.
Alternatively, if you do not know when you are likely to reach the landmark, you will be pleased to know that there are ticket offices, which are positioned at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, yet you will obviously have to end up queuing longer. But for stair access tickets or the combination stairs and lift to the top tickets, these are only able to be purchased at the ticket office on the day.
Also there are different rates for the Eiffel Tower depending upon what you want to do, but we would also 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 2020, the most expensive ticket you could purchase is a lift ticket to the top for an adult at a cost of €25.90 or a stairs and lift ticket for €19.70. Whereas a lift ticket to the 2nd floor is €16.60 and a staircase entrance ticket to the 2nd floor is only €10.20 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 between the ages of 4 and 11 in addition to the disabled, plus the carer of a disabled person also gets the admission price at the reduced rate. Additionally, children under the age of 4 have free entry to the Eiffel Tower, but still must have a valid ticket and be accompanied by an adult. Proof of eligibility may be requested to receive any reduced rates or free entry, and the top floor is not suitable for those with reduced mobility, plus it does sometimes get very windy and cold at the top, so even on a nice day, it is advisable to have additional clothing.
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 Lines 6 and 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 unusual stained glass installation plus the Eiffel tower as you approach.
Then you have the RER trains that enables you to get to the Champs de Mars-Tour Eiffel stop via RER Line C.
Also, there are a few different buses in Paris that will be able to get you close to the tower including the Paris bus lines 42, 82 and 86 that stop at the Champ de Mars, or on the opposite side of the Champ de Mars you have the Rapp - la Bourdonnais bus stop for lines 42, 69 and 86.
Alternatively, there are additional bus lines at Ecole Militaire such as bus 28, 80 and 92, in addition to there being another Metro station located here for Metro line 8. Yet by crossing the water heading towards Trocadero gardens you could utilise the Paris bus lines 30 and 72 along with a few others.
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, as you go from the foot of the tower down the steps to the right of the Pont d'Iena to the quay.
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.
Address and contact details
Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, 5 Av. Anatole France, 75007, Paris, Ile de France, France GPS: 48.858282, 2.29447