If you’re going to France, you really need to make a stop in Paris to see the Eiffel Tower. It is nothing like pictures and the movies and it is a MUST-SEE!! Built in 1889 it is the most visited paid monument in the world attracting seven millions admirers a year. It is what epitomizes the beauty and magic of France. Here are tips for seeing the Eiffel tower.
- Stay astray. There’s no need to plan your hotel accommodations in the same neighborhood as the Eiffel Tower to see the Eiffel Tower. You can see the Eiffel Tower from pretty much anywhere in the 20 arrondissements. You might think you need an Eiffel Tower view to have a true Parisian vacation, but really it’s going to just cost you a lot in a semi-boring neighborhood.
- See it during the day. Have a picnic in the park after you explore the tower. I think the perfect time to go is late day and stay throughout sunset into the night.
- See it at night. At night the Eiffel Tower is truly magical. It lights up around 9 and at the top of the hour until dawn it glitters magnificently for five minutes. Pierre Bideau, an electrician and lighting engineer, is to credit for this beautiful display the first made it’s show in 1985. Take a ride on the merry-go-round, grab a French dessert and stay for the show!
- Be aware of pick-pockets and street vendors. This is a good area to watch your bags and pockets at all times. I personally haven’t experienced anything but the crowds are thick and being the number one tourist spot, people are ready and waiting to take advantage. Especially avoid anyone coming up to you to “sign a petition,” even groups of young kids. Do not even speak to them or humor them just walk away. If they persist say NON! and keep walking. They are using this as a distraction tactic to rob you. The street vendors are just plentiful and annoying and will corner you with their offerings of roses, tower models, and champagne if you’re not paying attention.
5.Avoid eating/drinking in this neighborhood. It is super expensive to dine in this area. I would either picnic for lunch or dine in the neighborhood you’re staying in for a late dinner. The park is a perfect place for a baguette, jam, cheese, and wine. Bon Apetit!
- Take it to the top and splurge on a macaroon. There are different levels to the Eiffel Tower and it includes restaraunts, shops, and bars with staircases and elevators (it’s not just a structure to gawk at!) You will love the view from anywhere in the tower, but you should pay the extra fare to go to the top, even if you’re afraid of heights (just don’t look down on the elevator!) Be sure to have a delicious treat. There’s a champagne bar up there, but I’d seriously go for a Macaroon instead. I had the gold flecked strawberry one and it was to die for.
- Book a tour to skip the line. I once booked an Eiffel Tower Dinner with Sienne River Cruise using Avanti (through my travel agent). It was great because the tour guide picked us up at our hotel, brought us to the Eiffel Tower, and brought us right to the front of a VERY long line. It was awesome! Travel agents that I’ve talked to say booking a tour like that is the only way to really skip a line with any site in Paris. However, I went recently and had not booked a tour and there was actually no line at all. It was a beautiful Tuesday during spring break in zone 3, so I expected it to be busy, but I guess I was in luck!
- Get a really good view. Use the binoculars to see every detail of Paris. Up at the top for 1€ you can use the binoculars and see everything. Like into windows of buildings very far away kind of everything.
- Taking pictures of the tower at night is actually illegal, but I don’t think anyone is going to stop you. Did you know that taking pictures of the glittering light show or of the illuminated tower is a copywrite violation and could cost you a fine? Neither did I. Read more about it here. I have yet to read about anyone actually fined from doing this and given the millions of people that snap pictures of the tower at night in a year, I can’t imagine how they would ever enforce such a law.
9. Take a moment. Just like I tell brides on their wedding day, take a moment away to take it all in. Remove your eyes from your camera and your ears from the crowd and think of how when you go back home, every moment of every day, whether you’re stuck in traffic or eating a bowl of cereal, people are here gasping over this beauty structure creating lifelong memories in a single moment, just like you.
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