Why you must see the Eiffel Tower
If you haven’t yet been to Paris, you really must go, because it is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in the world. And if you are lucky enough to have visited the romantic capital, I am certain you would like to return one day. Am I right? We all do, I think. Recently, I spent 10 days in Paris and that was not enough for me. I wanted more; I needed more! Alas, I had fallen for its charms.
Slideshow of Paree
I am fortunate to have seen many beautiful things in this delightful city, as you can see from my little slideshow here. There are tonnes of famous buildings, museums, cathedrals, monuments and romantic locations to explore in the french capital and beyond, such as the Louvre Museum, Montmartre and the Palace of Versailles.
However, I’m not going to talk about all of them now. I am going to focus this article on just one in particular that literally stands out from the crowd. Yes, you guessed it.
The Eiffel Tower
You must see La Tour Eiffel. Why, you ask? I’ll tell you.
This iconic structure, and probably the world’s most recognisable landmark, is sometimes affectionately called the Iron Lady.
It has been the location of many, many romantic gestures and has become a universal symbol of love. It has also been a source of inspiration for artists, poets, authors and songwriters and has featured in many movies over the years. Concerts and events have been held here too.
Iron-ically (pun intended), it was once hated by the notables in Paris who tried to stop it from being built because they thought it would be an ugly monstrosity. Boy were they wrong.
C’est magnifique! Non?
Located on the Champ de Mars in the 7th arrondissement (district) it is visible from almost everywhere in Paris. I kept seeing it from a distance as we were driving around the city, spotting it between buildings and taking snap shots at every possible opportunity. I became a bit obsessed, I’m not ashamed to admit.
Built in 1889, it is 324 metres high and named after the Engineer who designed it. Made out of wrought iron, it received much criticism and protest at the time as being ‘useless and monstrous’, and ‘humiliating’ to the other french monuments. Too funny.
However, it was quite an engineering feat for those days, as something like this had never been built anywhere before, and it became the tallest tower in the world then.
You may not know this, but the tower was only supposed to be a temporary construction to celebrate 100 years anniversary of the French Revolution. By the early 1900’s it had become the symbol of not only Paris, but all of France.
Now-a-days, the Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited landmarks in the world. An incredible 7 million people go up the tower each year! There are 3 levels you can visit. It provides you with a breathtaking view of all the city and beyond. Spectacular indeed. I only went as far up as the 1st level, and that was high enough for me.
The tower represents the modern world, technology, engineering, innovation and power. Copies have been built around the world.
Currently, it’s still the tallest building in Paris and not only is it used as an observation tower, but it is also a broadcasting tower for television and radio worldwide.
Something else you may not know is that the Eiffel Tower is actually painted. I was not aware of this before; apparently it’s painted to preserve the metal-work. The paint colour has been varied over the years; reds, browns, yellows and currently it is a bronze colour. And I’m astonished that the painting is all done by hand with brushes! This must be a humongous task to undertake every 7 years.
You definitely must see the tower lit up at night. What a glorious sight!
How many lights are there you may ask? Wait for it … 336 spotlights give it the golden glow. But my favourite thing is every hour, on the hour, when the 20,000 little light bulbs twinkle for 5 minutes making it a truly magical sight.
So, what I’m saying is, you really have to visit the tower during the day and again at night. It’s a must!
- It is open everyday.
- Access for an adult costs 25€ to the top floor.
- It’s not part of the Paris Pass, unfortunately.
- There are restaurants and gift shops up the tower for you to enjoy.
You can’t avoid waiting in queues. But I went in Winter so there weren’t too many tourists and queues were bearable. And, bag checks are of course, very thorough.
Important tips: Be sure to choose a clear sunny day to go up the tower to get the best views, and bring warm clothing, as it’s extremely windy up there.
If you are interested in taking a tour, here are some I recommend for you to choose from.
Have you seen the Eiffel Tower? Please leave me a comment below.