Wednesday, January 9, 2013

European Tour 2.01.a - Eiffel Tower

Actual date of this event: 27 December

For our first day in Paris, we had to do the most touristy thing before anything else: the Eiffel Tower!

Did you know the Eiffel Tower...
Is 1,036 feet tall, like an 81-story building?
Was completed in 1889?
Has 3 levels and 9 elevators?
Was built for the World's Fair?
Had an Austrian man die after jumping off the first level with his homemade parachute?
Had its cables cut by the French so Hitler and the Nazi's would have to take the stairs to hoist the Swastika?

Now that you are all knowledgeable and stuff about the Eiffel Tower, let's move on to our visit...

We left the apartment around 10am and went straight to the Parc du Champs-de-Mars (name of the Eiffel Tower park). We started at the opposite end, so we could take plenty of pictures as we got closer. After having a bad luck streak while traveling, we were due for some sunshine. Praise the Lord for bringing it to us for our climb! 
(Note: Online research suggests not purchasing tickets online days in advance because the weather changes day to day. If you are going to purchase tickets online, do it the day before or that morning to make sure you have clear weather for clear views. But of course, its up to you :-])

These two pictures were taking with two different cameras. The color difference is interesting to me.
Arriving at the tower, you will see 4 locations to take you to the top. We just so happened to get into the "stairs" line which was not a big deal to us, but we saw many others frustrated for waiting in the line only to find out they were in the incorrect line. The tower has 3 levels which you can "enjoy". We waited approximately 15 minutes to purchase tickets (€5) and then go through security (bag check and metal detector).  And we began our climb of 704 steps.
Right: The line behind us while we purchased tickets. It had grown quite a bit since we entered the line.
Shows the dimensions and three different levels of the tower.
 LADIES: If you dont wear some type of hat while going up the tower, your hair will become a mess.
Taking the stairs allows you to enjoy the views and take more pictures.
This is a picture of Parc du Champs de Mars, the Eiffel Tower park.
We arrived at Level 1 which had a very large deck with posters of the Eiffel Tower history and other signs explaining what you were viewing in the distance. This level also includes a restaurant, snack stand, a gift shop and a small museum. Oh, and bathrooms! Free bathrooms!! 
Left: looking west
Right: view of the Jardins du Trocadéro and Palais de Chaillot
We then kept climbing to Level 2. This level was much smaller and much more crowded. Yes, the tower gets skinnier as you move upward, but that's not the only reason why its packed. When you reach Level 2, the elevators stop here and all elevator people get off. So all stairs people and all elevator people gather here before going to the third level. And then the only option to the top is by elevator, no stairs. And to take that elevator, you gotta fork over more cash if you took the stairs from the ground (approx €5). While on this level, I got attacked by a group of tourists. A tour guide with a megaphone, decided to come and stand 3ft away from me which brought a crowd of 20 folks around me. So then, I was stuck, trying to break free of this crowd which resulted in me throwin' some 'bows.
Right: another view of Parc du Champs de Mars
looking north
Anyway, Luke and I enjoyed as many views as possible on Level 2 and with clouds rolling in and a long elevator line, we decided not to go to the top. The line to purchase lift tickets was forever long and then the elevator line was forever long, and we figured it would not be worth the time, the money and the aggravation of being on the teeny tiny top level. We made our way back down those 704 steps. As we got closer, we could see how much more the lines at the bottom had grown. Our 15 minutes of waiting earlier was nothing compared to what we witnessed at the bottom. Perfect timing because it started to rain as soon as we stepped back onto the ground level. 

This is one of the four entrance lines to go up the Eiffel Tower.
I feel we did the tower just perfectly. We had a great day that allowed us to see the city. And it is a beauty at night time! Must watch the video below...

Even though the Eiffel Tower is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the world, it is a must when visiting Paris!

Plan to visit with kids? I found this website when doing research online. It has some great advice!

Other Posts from Paris: Day 1Eiffel TowerDay 2CatacombesVersailles, Day 4Wrap-Up

For 41 years, the Eiffel Tower was the tallest building in the world until New York City's Chrysler building surpassed it.



  1. Great pics! Due to my fear of heights and large crowds I decided to pass on this experience during my Paris trip. Thanks for letting me take in the view through your eyes:)

  2. Lauren and I approve of how you cited your sources for the Eiffel Tower photographs. Wouldn't want to plagarize your blog - haha! Pictures are fantastic - Luke really is a great photographer!


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