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The Eiffel Tower is one of the most recognisable landmarks in Europe, if not the world. It is an iron structure built in 1889 for the Universal Exhibition of that year in Paris. It is named after its designer, the famous engineer Gustave Eiffel. The co-architect of the tower was Stephen Sauvestre and the engineers in charge were Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier.
It took over 2 years to build the tower. Standing at 324 metres tall, it was built by 300 workers who joined together 18,038 pieces of puddled iron (a very pure form of structural iron), using two and a half million rivets. It is still the highest building in Paris and one of the most visited (paid) buildings anywhere on planet earth. More than 243 million people have visited the tower since its construction for the Exposition Universelle of 1889.
The tower is repainted every 7 years, and each round of repainting takes between 15 to 18 months. Approximately 60 tons of paint are used and 25 painters are commissioned to carry out the work.
The tower is illuminated daily from sunset until 1:00am (2:00am during the summer months). Every hour, on the hour, during the illumination timespan, the tower also sparkles for aproximately 10 minutes.
The Eiffel Tower is open every day of the year:
During Easter weekend and the spring vacation the Tower will remain open until midnight. Access to the top of the tower may temporarily be closed if the weather conditions are unfavourable or if there are too many visitors at any given moment.
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There are three levels on the Eiffel Tower for visit - the first (57 metres), the second (at 115 metres) and the top (276 metres) floors. Visitors may either climb the stairs or take the elevators to go up the Eiffel Tower.
The stairs are open to the public and go up until to the second floor. There are over 300 stairs from the ground to the first floor, and similarly another over 300 stairs from the first to the second floors. Three elevators (north, west and east pillars) go up to the first and second floors. Only one or two will be in service on any given day due to maintenance and security reasons.
To reach the top of the tower, visitors must take another elevator from the second floor. During the peak seasons, the wait may be considerable as the number of visitors allowed at any time is controlled for comfort, safety and security purposes.
Ticket price for the tower varies, depending on the level and method of access (valid until 31 March 2012):
|Adult (standard ticket)||€13.40||€8.20||€4.70|
|Youth (age 12-24)||€11.80||€6.60||€3.70|
|Children (age 4-11), Disabled persons||€9.30||€4.10||€3.20|
1. Children under 4 can enter for free, with accompanying adults paying the standard rate.
2. The reduced rate for disabled persons is also applicable for accompanying persons.
3. Group rates available and advance reservations are required. For rates, check here.
4. Paris Museum Pass is not valid for the visit of Eiffel Tower.
A 90-minute behind-the-scenes tour is available and it must be booked in advance. The tour runs on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at 10:00am and 5:30pm. It will take visitors inside the Eiffel Tower without queueing. It costs €20 per person, guided by a qualified English-speaking guide in a group of no more than 15 people. Group rate for groups of 15-20 people is €17 per person. Time, day and language arrangements may be organised accordingly.
Price does not include entrance/visit beyond first floor of the tower. Separate tickets for the second and the top floors may be purchased from a vending machine on the first floor.
Reservations must be e-mailed or faxed:
If you can't make Wednesday or Saturday, there are a number of other tour operators that run Eiffel Tower tours including a look behind the scenes, a meal in one of the on-site restaurants and skip-the-line tickets.
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The closest métro and RER stations (and their corresponding lines) to the Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars are:
For best clear views in approaching the tower:
The closest Vinci carpark is Joffre École Militaire (2, place Joffre 75007). The rate is €2.60 per hour and the 24 hours rate is €26. Alternatively on-street parking is possible in some of the streets around the area.
Buses that go near the tower include bus numbers 42, 69, 72, 82, 87 and the Paris Open Tour bus.
Batobus stop can be found at Port de la Bourdonnais, which is the quay along the River Seine just in front of the Eiffel Tower, slightly to the right (when facing towards Trocadéro).
There are two main restaurants at the Eiffel Tower. 58 Tour Eiffel can be found on the first floor and is a more affordable option. Le Jules Verne, a 1-star Michelin restaurant under the direction of chef Alain Ducasse, is located on the second floor and comes with an expensive price tag. Reservations are essential.
Les Buffets de la Tour Eiffel are snack bars that can be found on the ground, first and second floors of the Eiffel Tower, selling items like sandwiches, salads, pizza, pastries and the likes, usually as quick and cheap(er) eats. Food may be consume at the premises or to takeaway.
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