The Bottom Line
- It's a must-see if you visit Paris
- Cheap to go up, free to visit
- A spectacular work of engineering
- Overcrowded with long lines
- A little out of the way
- Top is not handicapped-accessible
- Paris' most-visited attraction
- Too crowded much of the time
- Send friends and family postcards from the post office on the first level
- Over 204 million people have visited since 1889
- Weighs more than 10,000 tons
Guide Review - Eiffel Tower Review
Few things symbolize Paris like the Eiffel Tower. It is found on postcards, paintings, books, tee-shirts, and even home furnishings like lamps are fashioned into the recognizable shape. Of course, a trip to Paris simply isn't complete without a trip to the Eiffel Tower.
It really isn't the most amazing thing in Paris, though, despite its fame. There are many attractions that are far older with a much richer history. There are more romantic (and less crowded) spots. There are even better views of the city (climb the stairs at Notre Dame, go up the Tour Montparnesse, or go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe).
You also do not physically HAVE to visit to Eiffel Tower to see it. Anywhere in central Paris is almost sure to feature a view of the architectural wonder.
If you do go, you can climb to the second floor, or take an elevator to the top. You will have to stand in line for one of the two elevators, although trips are around 8 minutes apart between the two. Avoid the masses by going early in the morning on weekdays.
Visit the first floor for displays on the tower's history, to send a post card right from the tower (there is a postal branch there) or to dine at the Altitude 95 restaurant. On the second floor, visit the more upscale Jules Verne restaurant. Both levels have souvenir shops and Internet kiosks.
At the top, get a view of the city (and there are panoramic guides to tell you what you are seeing). This is so high-up, though, it can be difficult to make things out.