Renowned the world over as one of the most romantic icons in existence, the Eiffel Tower in Paris has a way of inspiring awe, admiration and quite a few sighs, in all who visit. No matter how many times you see it, or from which angle you first view it, this most grandiose feat of engineering is one mighty impressive site. Whether you happen to hop off the bus and stumble across it, or walk for miles around Paris trying to find its perfect viewing spot, the Eiffel Tower remains the most celebrated attraction in the whole city and quite possibly the entire country.
While most people simply buy a ticket online, join the queues, climb it and then go on their merry way, we’d highly recommend dedicating some serious time to appreciating this illustrious structure. When next in Paris, book a holiday apartment near the Eiffel Tower area (Champs de Mars) and give it the respect it deserves! Follow our very intimate guide to the tower, the ideal spots from where to photograph it, and take home some truly unforgettable memories.
Close or far?
Some people argue that tall structures like the Eiffel Tower are best viewed from afar, when all of their glory can be taken in on one single camera frame. But while we might agree that the best view of the Eiffel Tower is not from its top floor, it does nonetheless gift some of the most spectacular views of greater Paris and, besides, climbing it is still on most people’s list of ‘100 things to do before they die’. Moreover, each floor offers views of a different kind, so taking your time to absorb each step you take may well be the most rewarding thing you’ll do on your Paris vacation. Think it too touristy? Meh. If there’s a reason millions descend here on a yearly basis it’s because it’s worth it, end of story. So go ahead and join the crowds, you’re guaranteed to get a unique experience because no-one will ever see it from your eyes. So stray as far as you like, or get close and personal with it…whichever way you experience the Eiffel Tower it’s bound to leave you speechless.
Step back just a tad
For a grand perspective of the tower, start your tour by seeing it from afar. Even though there are still plenty of Parisians who pretend to be appalled at the attention their ‘ metal asparagus’ gets, they’ll still be more than willing to tell you which parts of Paris gift the best views. General consensus is that you head to the Trocadero area, the more elevated part of town. Get here first thing in the morning on a clear day and you’ll see the sun reflect its magical rays on the Eiffel, and make the effort to come back at twilight too. Not only will the tower look completely different then, but you’ll also be there for the awe-inspiring lightshow! Oh yes, this is something else which appals the locals, but we do think even they get flabbergasted at the sight from time to time.
To get a closer look, head for the wonderful green open areas around the tower; these are the favoured photo spots for most people. Stand far enough and you can fit the Tower in your hand, have it come out of the top of your head, or simply pick it with just a single finger, all with the help of some trick photography.
It’s time to get close and personal…
If you really want to get a sense of how BIG the Eiffel Tower really is, then your best bet is to simply stand under it and just look up. You may have to zigzag your way through the crowds, and the miniature Tower sellers, but when you do find that perfect central position, hold that fort! Take your time and admire the tower from all four pillars, before venturing upwards; the play of shadows on a sunny day can be quite mesmerizing.
From here, you can either walk up the first flight of stairs or, if you already have a ticket to the top, simply take the lift. The first unobstructed views of Paris are just lovely, and the first floor’s area is spacious enough to allow for plenty of movement and photo taking. By now, you’ll be at a height of 187 feet and should be able to see the Arc the Triomphe and the Montmartre Basilica from here too. You can also admire the historic staircase which Mr Eiffel used to climb to his top-floor office, and there’s an information centre to visit, where you can learn all about the tower’s history and construction. If you happen to be here around lunchtime, grab a table at one of the restaurants on this floor and enjoy a leisurely lunch overlooking the Seine.
Stairway to heaven
At almost 1063 feet, the top floor of the Eiffel Tower is one of the most magnificent places to be standing on, anywhere on the world. Not only do you get breathtaking views of the whole French Capital from here, but on a clear afternoon you’ll also be able to see further afield.