Gustave Eiffel employed two engineers, Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier, who are responsible for the design of the famous tower. The reason for building the tower was the 1889 World Exhibition. They began building in 1887 and the monument was ready for the exhibition in 1889. The original plan was that the tower would be demolished after twenty years. Because the tower had an important communication function, this was luckily never done and until today you can still visit the Eiffel Tower.
Before you visit the Eiffel Tower, it may be interesting to know something more about the building. How high is the Eiffel tower actually, and how many kilos of steel are used? The top of the Eiffel Tower is 317 meters high or 1040 feet, if you count in the antennas as well you’ll reach 324 meters or 1063 feet. At the time of construction, the tower was the tallest building in the world, nowadays it’s only the highest building of Europe. Well… At least if we don’t count in some communication towers. The total weight is over ten million kilos, or 10,000 tons. Of these, more than 7,000 tons consists out of metal.
Climbing the eiffel tower
If you’re in Paris, it’s nice to be prepared for your visit to the Eiffel tower. The tower is divided into three floors: the first at 91 meters (298 feet) above sea level (58 meters or 190 feet above ground), the second at 149 meters (489 feet) high (116 meters (380 feet) above ground) and the third at 310 meters (1017 feet) of altitude (276 meters (905 feet) above ground ). Via 1665 stairs you can reach the second floor, the remaining 180 meters can only be taken by elevator. Of course it’s also possible to reach the first and second floors with a little help.
What can you see?
In addition to a unique view of the city of Paris, there is much more to see while climbing the Eiffel Tower.
The first floor
Due to the wind and temperature, the tower moves continuously. That might be a frightening idea, but in fact you probably don’t even notice it. On the first floor yo’ll find a glass floor that allows you to look down. Quite a special experience! If you want to have a snack or have a drink, you can go to ‘Restaurant 58 Tour Eiffel’. On the menu there is a variety of dishes with a wink to the French cuisine. Little ones can start the ‘Follow Gus’ tour here. This doll teaches them all about the tower and the surrounding area. Another nice attraction is the spiral staircase that originally led to Gustave Eiffel’s office. Visitors who want to take a permanent reminder of the tower can buy a souvenir in the souvenir shop.
The second floor
If you have decided to climb the Eiffel Tower by staircase, you’re now reaching the final steps. From the second floor the view is really impressive. Hungry or thirsty? In Restaurant ‘le Jules Verne’, named after the famous explorer, you have plenty of choice. Also for a quick bite you are in the right place here. There’s also a souvenir shop with replicas of the Eiffel Tower and T-shirts.
The third floor
On the third floor you can look very far when the weather is bright. Also here is the original office of Gustave Eiffel, which is completely set up as the original design. The wax statues make the office extra realistic, like walking into a time machine. With one of the panoramic photos you can find on the third floor, you can imagine what world cities you look at from a certain point. The scaled model of the tower is a useful tool to see how the tower was built and with the measuring bar you can see how high you’re actually standing. Finally, you can have a drink in the champagne bar.
Opening hours and tickets for the Eiffel Tower
If something is annoying during your holiday or city trip, it’s waiting in line. Certainly at a busy monument such as the Eiffel Tower, queues can be several (!) hours long. Fortunately, you can buy a lot of time from these gigantic waiting lines if you buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower beforehand.
You can buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower for each day of the year. With a few exceptions, like the national holiday on July 14, the tower is open all year long. The doors open at 9:00 am in the morning and close at 00:45 at night.
Tickets for the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is accessible to all, so also for people with disabilities or with injuries. The prices are divided into three categories: adults, children from 12 to 24 years old and a discount group, including disabled people and 4 to 11 year old children.
For an elevator ticket up to the second floor they pay 11 euros, 8.50 euros and 4 euros respectively. An elevator ticket to the third floor, the highest point you can go, costs 17 euros, 14.50 euros and 8.50 euros. Are you going to the second floor? Then you pay 7 euros, 5 euros or 3 euros.
Are you staying in Paris for a while and you don(t want to lose hours waiting in line? Then you can buy a ‘skip-the-line ticket‘. These start at 30 euros per person. Quite a lot more expensive, but I think it’s definitely worth the extra money!
Book tickets for the Eiffel Tower
It’s best to book your tickets for the Eiffel Tower or purchase them in advance.
It’s no exception that you have to wait two hours or more to get a ticket for the Eiffel Tower. In my view, the small extra cost for a priority ticket is definitely worth it…
The different tickets (and some combination tickets with other attractions) can be found here:
At night or during the day?
The view from the Eiffel Tower is impressive both in the evening and during the daytime. If you can climb up the Eiffel tower around sunset, you can see the monument in three fabulous ways. During daylight, sunset and in the evening lights of Paris. Don’t forget to bring your camera with you when you visit the Eiffel Tower, so you can capture this magic experience in every possible way.
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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.