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WHY YOU MUST SEE THE CHARMING IRON LADY
You must see the Eiffel Tower when you go to Paris, or your visit won’t be complete and that would be a real tragedy! Let me explain why, plus I’ll give you all the Eiffel Tower facts you need to know before you go.
If you haven’t yet been to Paris, you really should 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? I think we all do. Recently, I spent 10 delightful days in Paris and that was not enough for me. I wanted more; I needed more! Alas, I had fallen for its charms.
I am fortunate to have seen many beautiful things in this delightful city, as you can see from my little slideshow above. 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. The Eiffel Tower is the symbol of Paris.
The Iron Lady
You must see Le 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. The tower 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. It kept playing peek-a-boo with me between buildings, as we were driving around the city. I was madly taking snap shots at every possible opportunity. I became a bit obsessed, I’m not ashamed to admit.
Built in 1889, the Eiffel Tower is 324 metres high and named after the Engineer, Monsieur Gustave Eiffel, 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. Hilarious! Don’t you think?
In actual fact, it was quite an engineering feat for those days, as something like this had never been built anywhere before in its time. Furthermore, 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. This is a prime reason why you must see the tower. It represents the modern world, technology, engineering, innovation and power.
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. All provide you with a breathtaking view of the city and beyond. Spectacular indeed. I only went as far up as the 1st level, and that was high enough for me, as it was very windy.
There are many copies built around the world. In actual fact, it is one of the most imitated monuments in the world, with some copies being almost identical. For example, in Tianducheng, China there is an exact replica. In Tokyo, Japan there is a similar one, but taller. In Berlin, Germany there is one and even in Lahore, Pakistan there is a tower virtually the same.
There are now dozens of similar structures to be found. It’s truly amazing!
Fact: Currently, it’s still the tallest building in Paris and is used as an observation tower, and 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!
Useful information & Tips
- It is open everyday, from 9am.
- Access for an adult costs from € 10.20 up to € 25.50 for access to the top floor with lift.
- It’s not part of the Paris Pass, unfortunately.
- There are 3 levels you can visit – 1st level you can access via stairs and 2nd and 3rd levels via lift.
- In case you get peckish or thirsty, there are several restaurants and a champagne bar up the tower also, thank goodness!
- There are gift shops on each level to enjoy a spot of shopping.
- Do not bring luggage items or large bags, as you will not be allowed to take them up the tower, and there is no where to leave them safely. Bring small bags only please.
Please note: You can’t avoid waiting in queues, as there is always people here. But, if you go in Winter, as I did, there aren’t too many tourists and the short queues are bearable. Also, bag checks here are very thorough, as is to be expected.
Important tip: 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.
Tours of the Eiffel Tower
If you are interested in taking a tour to see the Eiffel Tower, here are some I recommend for you to choose from.
Now you know why you must see the Eiffel Tower.
Please leave me a comment below, if you wish.