The Eiffel Tower is the symbol of the city and one of the top attractions in Paris, located on the Champ de Mars on the banks of the River Seine. We collected together some of our favourite facts about the Eiffel Tower to show why you should make it part of your next trip to Paris.
Located on the banks of the River Seine, the Eiffel Tower is one of the top attractions in Paris
The Eiffel Tower was only supposed to stand for 20 years
Built for Paris’s Exposition Universelle in just over two years, between 1887 and 1889, the Eiffel Tower has survived long beyond those two decades and has been a landmark of Paris for well over a century.
The tower is named for its creator – Gustave Eiffel
Gustave Eiffel was the brilliant engineer and architect responsible, and you can find a bust of him on the corner of the north pillar at the base of the tower.
It is the tallest building in Paris
The Eiffel Tower stands at 1,063ft (324m) from base to tip, and was the tallest structure in the world until the Chrysler Building in New York overtook it in 1930. It also grows and shrinks with the weather. In the depths of winter, the Eiffel Tower can be up to 6in shorter than in the summer.
The Eiffel Tower is the most visited public monument in the world
Seven million visitors climb the tower each year – an average of nearly 20,000 a day. Queues can be long, especially if you want to take the lifts, so it’s a good idea to book your ticket in advance.
The Eiffel Tower is open every single day of the year
Opening times for the tower are 0930 until 2345 (though the last entry is at 2300), with extended hours between June and early September.
As well as being the most popular tourist attraction in Paris, the Eiffel Tower is used for communications
It was the tower’s potential as a telegraph transmitter that guaranteed its survival beyond its original 20-year lifespan, and the Eiffel Tower is still home to radio and television transmitters today.
The tower serves many purposes: it has two restaurants, a bar, its own apartment, and is even home to radio and television transmitters
The tower is repainted every seven years
Altogether it takes 60 tons of paint to cover the tower, and it is painted in three different shades to fit in better with the Parisian sky. Since the Eiffel Tower was built it has been completely repainted at least 19 times.
There are three floors open to visitors
Attractions of the first and second floors include the tower’s restaurants, souvenir stalls and a glass floor that gives you the feeling of being suspended in mid-air. If you want to go to the top you’ll need to buy a special ticket and change lifts on the second floor. The cheapest way to visit the tower is a staircase entrance ticket to the first and second floors.
During the colder months of the year you can go ice skating on the Eiffel Tower
Each winter an ice rink is created on the first floor for a unique skating experience with views across the Paris rooftops.
The Eiffel Tower has two restaurants… and a bar at the very top
Ever since it opened there have been restaurants keeping visitors to the Eiffel Tower fed and watered. The two restaurants are on the lower levels, and there are also outlets for grabbing a quick snack. At the top of the tower you’ll find a champagne bar, the perfect place to toast the spectacular view.
Gustave Eiffel had his own apartment for receiving visitors at the top of the tower
The apartment has been restored to its original condition for visitors to the tower and is now occupied by wax figures of Gustave Eiffel, his daughter Claire and a famous visitor from America – Thomas Edison.
The Eiffel Tower survived the Second World War relatively unscathed… but only just
During the German occupation of Paris in the Second World War the tower was off-limits to the public. In 1944 as the Germans prepared to retreat in the face of the Allied advance, Hitler ordered the tower to be demolished. Thankfully, the military governor of the city refused.
20,000 lightbulbs are needed to illuminate the tower each night
Although the Eiffel Tower and its design have long been in the public domain, the illuminations are copyrighted. This means that photographers need permission to sell or publish any photographs of the tower at night.
Every night, the Eiffel tower is the scene of an impressive light show…which requires an impressive amount of lightbulbs
You’ll find the Eiffel Tower not only on the Champ de Mars, but throughout the city
The Eiffel Tower may have been built as a temporary addition to the Parisian skyline over a hundred years ago but it has long captured the hearts and minds of locals and visitors alike. You’ll see representations of the tower throughout the city, including on the badge of local football team Paris St Germain.