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Eiffel Tower

Listed under Monuments & Landmarks in Paris, France.

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Originally built for the 1889 World Fair, this structure was designed to incorporate the advancement of metallurgy in construction, meaning that an engineer could have a more fundamental role than the architect. In this case, Gustav Eiffel was both engineer and architect, and for 40 years it was the tallest building in the world. The metal latticework is the defining feature of the spire, made from very pure structural iron, so it is very light and able to withstand awesome winds. What is original about the tower is that you do not get the feeling of being in a building - the latticework allows you to look to other floors and at all views with little obstruction.

Written by  George Monkhouse.

Other expert and press reviews

“Pick the world's new wonders”

Monsieur Eiffel engineered perhaps the world's greatest symbol of romance, but the long queues to ascend the tower can spoil the effect. Read more...

Written by press. Telegraph Group Limited 19June 2007

Comments, reviews and questions by other travellers

Eiffel Tower

You can either climb up the Eiffel Towers 600+ stairs or take the elevator to whatever floor makes you nauseous; first, second or third. If you have a time limit take note to what floor you can afford to go up to , seeing as elevators making their way back down can become very time consuming. Sadly, when I visited the Eiffel Tower with a tour group, it was hard to make it to the third floor given the amount of time we had left.

Make sure you see the Eiffel Tower at night as this is when the lights on the Tower begin to flash. It is a beautiful sight and very representative of France.

La Tour Eiffel

There are 650 stairs from the ground to the second floor observation deck. Only 320 to the first floor, where you can buy an elevator ticket if you're too tuckered to go for the second - but walking up the Eiffel Tower is definitely another way to experience it. Up the top the views are the same but there's a bit of a sense of achievement in plodding up yourself and you get a fuller appreciation of the feat of engineering the tower equals.

Taking the stairs as the lights begin to blink on feels like a very Parisian experience - why queue when you can just push up yourself then admire the twinkles as the lights of Paris get going and blanket the city.

Once the tower's lights have gone on you're treated to a frenetic display of crazy flickering for five minutes on the hour, which is a bit hectic to look at, and better seen from afar. From the tower you can see the tiny flashes of the cameras from the Trocadero and then when you cross to the Tokyo palace you can see the same flashes from the second level of the tower - each as useless as the light fades, just another flash of light in the city of lights.

Cheaper than the lift and with less queuing you do need to be able to drag yourself up a minimum of 320 stairs and deal with the heights and the sight of the bare bones of the tower’s structure – but don’t worry, it’s not that precarious, just a warning. And mind the flashing lights.


The Eiffel Tower never looses its charm. It being the second time I've been to it, and I still fell in love with it as much as I had the first time, just shows the magic of the structure and the area. The second floor observation deck is wonderfully high and you can see almost the entire city beneath you. There is a restaurant and gift shop on this floor as well. However, even though it is a bit more pricy, the top is where you need to go. The lift never seems to end as it ascends through the air towards the highest point in Paris. The views are breathtaking and the pictures are worth it. It can get to be a little crowded, and the queues are always bad, but thats to be taken with a grain of salt at one of the most popular travel destinations in the world.

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