View from Level 2
Photo by Chris Card Fuller ©2007
As of September 2nd,the Eiffel Tower’s fall and winter visiting hours begin: 9:30 am to 11:45 Daily. (The tower closes an hour earlier than its summer schedule). You need to keep in mind that if you plan on taking the steps instead of going to the top by elevator that you need to have your ticket in hand by 6:30 pm.
Likewise, the last elevator ascent is 11pm. Although the lines in evening hours are less than during the day, plan on at least a one-hour wait at no matter what time of day or evening you arrive.
Did you know that you can send a postcard from the Eiffel Tower Post Office? It’s located on the 1st level. You can also make international phone calls from here if you’ve left your cell phone at home.
Did you know that if you’re a teacher bringing a school group, you should qualify for free admission as a teacher.
You can get to the Eiffel Tower from one of three Metro stops: Trocadero, Bir Hakeim, or Ecole Militaire. Bir Hakeim is probably the closest but Trocadero located next to the Palais du Chaillot would be the most scenic walk.
Did you know that the Eiffel Tower is wheelchair accessible? You and whoever is accompanying you will gain access at a reduced rate if you present papers confirming your handicap status. Seeing eye dogs are also permissible.
For many visitors to Paris, their trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. As mentioned in my past Eiffel Tower trivia post, Gustave Eiffel won the bid to construct the tower as part of the 1889 Universal Exhibition competition but he didn’t achieve this feat alone by any means. He worked on the project with engineers, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier and architect Stephen Sauvestre (who was brought in to stave off some early criticisms of the project). 50 other engineers worked on the project, producing some 5,300 blueprints, yet it’s Eiffel who gets credit for the idea of ensuring the tower’s aerodynamic design would allowed it to ‘sway’ with the wind.
Here’s some more Eiffel Tower trivia:
Did you know that Gustave Eiffel originally intended to build the Eiffel Tower for Canada’s world’s fair – but he was turned down? Looks like Canada really missed out big time.
It’s thanks to Eiffel, that our Lady of Liberty stands strong. He designed the inner structure of the Bertholdi monument which welcomes visitors and immigrants to New York City.
Did you know that the private company which operates the Eiffel Tower has declared it ‘illegal to publish nighttime photographs of the Eiffel Tower after the year 2003’ The explanation for this is due to a new nighttime lighting system which was installed after the 2000 millenium celebration. This ruling has been contested in French courts. (I’m glad my night shots were taken BEFORE 2000).
Finally a word about a recent Expedia survey regarding high tourist disappointment ratings for the Eiffel Tower. All I can say to this is ‘HOGWASH!’
Of all the people we’ve escorted to the Eiffel Tower since 1986, not ONE of them has ever complained about the experience. They’ve waited in lines for hours on end. They’ve docilely allowed themselves to be jammed into elevators at the height of the summer season sweaty body to sweaty body.
They’ve endured sudden microburst downpours – without an umbrella in sight. They’ve hiked from the Eiffel Tower pillars, across the Seine, and up the hill to the Trocadero Metro stop, totally drenched, never once complaining.
Of all the monuments, and all the museums, and all the parks we’ve visited, it’s the Eiffel Tower that remains firmly transfixed in their memory of Paris.
Expedia, you can do all the surveys you like, but I doubt very much that the Eiffel Tower will lose its popularity.
Now, that I’ve said all this – I will make my confession – here and now. Personally, I’d much rather see Paris from the top of the ferris wheel in the Jardin de Tuileries. Now, that’s romantic! But that’s just me. The majority rules.