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Eiffel Tower (Paris, France)

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The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel, /'tur,e'fel/) is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the River Seine in Paris, France. It is the tallest structure in Paris and possibly the most recognized monument in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, it is the most visited monument in the world; 6,428,441 people visited the tower in 2005 and more than 200,000,000 since its construction. Including the 24 m (78.7 ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1063 ft) high (since 2000) which is about 81 stories. In 1902, it was struck by lightning, which caused builders to reconstruct 300 feet of the top. The lights illuminating the tower also had to be replaced since they were damaged by the high energy of the lightning.

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      07.09.2013 16:37
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      3/5

      I was lucky enough to go on a day trip to Paris with my family for my Birthday - it was a very long day leaving home at 6am and getting back after 1am, but it was a really exciting day and we got to do so many things in Paris.

      As well as the trip itself, my Dad bought the whole family tickets to the summit of the Eiffel Tower. For reference I visited on the 1st September 2013 - so nearing the end of the summer season, but still a busy time. We were booked to go up at 3pm and made our way there after a quick stop at the Arc de Triomphe - the metro station for the Eiffel Tower is Bir-Hakeim and the tower itself is about 5-10 minutes stroll from the station.

      When we arrived we went to the information desk to enquire about which pillar we should go to with our tickets and then waited by the flag we were told to wait at. The staff that checked our tickets were very friendly and let us through at 2.50pm into the queue to get our bags checked - a very basic check and not entirely convinced that they would have found anything that shouldn't be there!

      The process of getting on the lift was quite unpleasant; you're squashed right up against the doors and a voice over the loud-speaker told us to 'keep moving forward' until we were so squashed I couldn't even get my phone out my pocket - and it was so hot in there! When we got in the lift it was slightly less squashed and as it went up the view was amazing already! The lift was very smooth - I hate jolty lifts, but this one was fine.

      We got off at the second floor - there are no wire grates at this level so you get a clear view of the city. When we decided we wanted to go up to the summit we looked for the lift only to see the queue for it snaked almost all around the perimeter of the second floor! We groaned and joined the queue - with a very misbehaving 3 year old brother, this was not ideal! The queue took about 45 minutes, but for most of that we were against the railing so we could take in the view and take photos while we waited.

      I must say, although not afraid of heights, the lift up to the summit did make me feel a little on edge - it's very very high! I felt safe, but I guess it's human instinct to be a little wary of being that high off the ground. The view is honestly astounding! We luckily went on a beautifully clear day and could see right to the edge of the City and beyond. I could see all the roads leading off from the Arc de Triomphe as well as the Pyramid at the Louvre and everything else Paris has to offer. There are two levels here - one indoors with a glass window and one outdoors with a wire grate which makes photos a bit tricky!

      At the summit there is a champagne bar, but a glass was far too expensive for me to buy (8 euros for the cheapest one) - even on my birthday! The second floor has a buffet-style canteen and a fine dining restaurant - neither of which I tried. There are toilets both on the second floor and at the summit, but I didn't use them so cannot comment on the cleanliness or condition of them - I can't imagine they bring a cleaner up their too often!

      Overall I give it 3/5 - the views are amazing and the experience is unforgettable, but the crowds and queues are very unpleasant. It is well recommended to book ahead - this way you can skip the queue which can be over an hour long. It's a toss up between 3 and 4 stars, but I think the lack of good organisation drops it to a 3.

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        21.04.2012 10:20
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        absolute must if youre in Paris

        I have been to Paris twice and on both ocassions i have returned to the Eiffel Tower! I absolutely love it, and considering how much it is to ride the London Eye i think the entry fee is really rather reasonable! You can access all floors of the tower and the view from each floor gets better the further up you go. A 360 degree view of the city of love and its nothing short of breathtaking! I am going back this summer with my boyfriend and i can assure you i shall be, once again, visiting the Eiffel Tower. Yes, the queues are quite big but they go down rather fast and your on your way up to the first floor before you know it! Theres a restaurant on the first floor which is absolutely gorgeous to eat in overlooking the sights of the city, especially at night when everything is lit up. I have been to many cities of the world and visited many attractions but this is definately up there as my favourite!

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          17.09.2011 15:16
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          worth doing once, but not really my idea of fun

          My fiancé recently took me to Paris for my birthday and whilst there we visited Paris' most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower (La Tour Eiffel).

          ==About the tower==
          I'm not going to bore you with a history lesson or a long description of the tower as being one of the most famous landmarks in Europe I'm sure you're all familiar with what it looks like! I will however give a quick rundown of background information.

          The tower was built in 1889 by Gustav Eiffel and was only supposed to be there for a short time, as an attraction for the world exhibition. It was nearly pulled down 20 years later, however the fact it had a radio aerial saved it and it's still there to this day.

          It is 300m tall (that's 984ft) and when it was built it was the tallest building in the world. The tower needs to be repainted every seven years - a job that takes two years to complete each time.

          ==Getting there==
          The Eiffel Tower is located just off the banks of the river Seine. We had purchased a weekly ticket that allowed us to use all Metro and RER train services (I would strongly recommend doing this if you're visiting Paris, it saved a hell of a lot of walking) and got the metro from our hotel at Leige, changing at Invalides and getting off at Champ de Mars/Tour Eiffel which is literally a two minute walk from the tower.

          ==Buying tickets==
          We purchased our tickets online prior to leaving, something I would strongly recommend that you do. When we arrived there were two queues - one for those with pre-paid tickets and one for those paying at the door. The pre-paid queue had approximately 20 people in it. I'm not exaggerating when I say the other queue for people paying at the door had around 500 people in it. It may be worth bearing in mind that we went in early August during the school holidays, which may have had some bearing on the number of people queing, although I assume being such a famous landmark it will always be fairly busy.

          My fiancé actually purchased the tickets, rather than me, but he tells me the ordering process was fairly easy. The website address is www.eiffel-tower.com and you will need to change the language to English at the top of the page, assuming of course that you aren't fluent in French! When you pay you will need to specify whether you want to go just to the second floor or right to the top. You will also need to select a time slot. These are normally 30 minutes and you need to turn up within the allotted time as they may not allow you entry if you're late. Payment is by Visa or Mastercard and tickets can either be printed out or if you have a smartphone the barcode can be sent to your phone and will be scanned on arrival.

          ==Prices==
          I'm sure prices may vary, but at the time of writing (August 2011), the prices are as follows:

          Adult: 13.40 euros to top / 8.20 second floor only
          Baby (0-4 years): free
          Child (age 4-11): 9.30 euros to top/ 4.10 to second floor only
          Youth (age 12-24): 11.80 euros to top/ 6.60 to second floor only
          Disabled person: 9.30 euros to top / 4.10 to second floor only
          Person assisting a disabled visitor: 9.30 euros to top / 4.10 to second floor only

          As far as I am aware there is no difference in price between booking online and buying tickets on the day, and as tickets need to be printed out at home, no postal or booking charge is applicable.

          ==Our experience==
          When we arrived the first thing that struck me was the sheer size of the tower. I had been to Paris before, I had even seen the Eiffel Tower before, but I didn't remember it being so big! I'm not good with heights and my immediate thought was 'I'm not going up there!' After some gentle persuasion from my fiancé I eventually agreed to it, after all we had already paid for the tickets and I didn't want to let him down.

          We arrived slightly earlier than our allotted time slot, so had a bit of a mooch around before we actually went up the tower. There are lots of little stalls selling food and drink beneath the tower, but if possible I'd recommend eating beforehand or taking a drink with you because most of them are fairly expensive - one was charging 3 euros for a can of coke (that's about £2.60 at the current exchange rate!). As well as these, there are of course the street sellers with their various tacky plastic Eiffel Tower souvenirs. There are actually more official Eiffel tower shops as well also selling Eiffel Tower memorabilia and I saw a huge number of kids with Eiffel Tower shaped lollipops which looked quite fun, but we didn't buy anything ourselves.

          One thing we were warned of a lot when going to Paris was to be aware of pickpockets. We had also been advised not to speak to anyone with a clipboard as apparently these people approach you asking questions and whilst you're distracted by speaking to them someone else is rifling through your bags/pockets. We did get approached by about four or five people carrying clipboards and just ignored all of them.

          Once our time slot approached we joined the short pre-paid queue to the lifts. The barcode on our tickets was scanned and we then had to queue to go through security. This is similar to airport security - all your bags and possessions are scanned and you have to go through a metal detector. There is even one of those racks they have in the airport to measure your bag - if it's bigger than the allotted size (the same size as airport hand luggage) you will not be allowed through. It all seemed a little dramatic really and a sad sign of the times, but they actually had a cabinet in there with all the weapons they had seized and it's quite frightening to see what some people carry around with them.

          Once through security our tickets were scanned again before getting into the lift - you can of course walk up the tower, but having blistered feet from spending the previous day walking around Disneyland I didn't fancy the 1700 steps to the top! The lift was quite cramped as there were a lot of people in it at once, but I didn't feel claustrophobic or crushed. The woman who operated the lift spoke in English, French and Spanish and tells you when to get off, despite this being pretty obvious due to the lift stopping and the doors opening! To my recollection the lift went straight to the second floor on the way up and did not stop on the first. Here we got out to admire the views (not as terrifying as I thought) and I had a little look around the shops up there. There is a place where you can get Ben and Jerry's ice cream and some buffet/snack type places, as well as a few more souvenir shops and a place where they can etch pictures into glass for you as well as the famous Jules Verne restaurant. I must admit, whilst my fiancé enthusiastically took pictures of the view, I did sort of find myself thinking 'what's the point of being up here?' and to some extent I stand by that. My mother actually said she thought the same thing when she went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, so perhaps I have inherited a miserable streak, as everyone else seemed to be enjoying themselves! In my personal opinion if you want to go to the Eiffel Tower you should really have a meal whilst you're there (we didn't) as you can only spend so long looking at a view.

          Next step was to queue for the lift to the top floor. This was a really long queue and seemed to take forever especially with my poor blistered feet. Once the lift arrived and we had got in, this is when my fear of heights took over. What did it for me is the huge gaps in the steelwork as you go up. Once we were actually at the top, I was slightly troubled by the fact the tower seemed to be swaying. It was a beautiful clear day with no winds and my fiancé assured me this was all in my imagination. As soon as we left he told me he had lied to keep me calm! There is a champagne bar at the top and the distances between the Eiffel tower and various countries are printed around the top above the windows. I must admit my phobia of heights meant that I spent a large proportion of my time at the top sitting on a bench gripping the sides for dear life! It's all quite safe though (at least it seemed to be) at the top there are windows so no risk of falling over the side.

          As we went down, the lift stopped on the first floor, where there are more shops and restaurants, but by that point we were both a little bit bored and as we had already decided to spend the rest of the day on a cruise down the Seine, we did not get off here.

          ==Conclusion==
          To conclude, I am glad I went to the top of the Eiffel tower as at least now I can say I have done it. The actual experience however, for me, was really a little underwhelming. I think it's one of those touristy things that most people visiting Paris will want to do - but I think it really depends on the person as to whether you will enjoy the experience or not. I would strongly recommend going to one of the restaurants up there to pad the visit out, as if you want to just go up and look at the view you will probably spend more time queuing than you will looking around. Personally I only went to keep my fiancé happy and he loved it, but I can tell you this much, as someone not fond of heights now that I've done it, I will not be doing it again!!

          *Also posted on Ciao under username pink_champagne

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            25.05.2011 19:19
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            A must experience either for romantics or every day tourist.

            The Iconic Eiffel Tower. Paris.

            Mention the word Paris and one immediately conjures up a picture of one of the most recognisable tourist attractions in the world. Yes you have it in your mind already, it's the magnificent Eiffel tower which was built initially for the World Exhibition held in Paris in 1889 to celebrate the 100th years of the French Revolution and was supposedly given a license to stay up for four years, although initially it was thought that it could stay up for twenty years in total.

            It was designed by Gustav Eiffel and named after him. It took just over two years to build and for forty years it was the worlds tallest man made structure until the record of being the tallest structure was lost to the great sky scrapers in New York.

            Wherever you are in central Paris you may catch a glimpse of the magnificent structure that stands beside the River Seine. It looks particularly magnificent at night when it is lit up and at various times there have been special lighting to mark different events for example its 100 years celebrations and for the Millennium celebrations where the Eiffel tower was central to the Paris celebrations. It is like the national monument of France and wherever you are in France you can buy cheap plastic tatty souvenirs of 'La Tour Eiffel' as it is affectionally known in France.

            The tower.

            There are three tiers to the Eiffel tower and tickets are sold to reflect this. On the two first tiers of the tower there are a variety of shops, restaurants and even a cinema. You can reach these tiers either by lift or walking up the three hundred stairs to reach the first tier and a further 300 to reach the second tier. Access to the top floor is via a lift or stairs although you would need to be pretty gutsy to walk up the 700 odd stairs. The stairs to the top level are not always open to the public.

            The four footplates of the tower are built on hydraulics in order to prevent the tower from snapping had it had been a static tower. This enables the tower to move according to the wind direction. The tower design is such that the wind passes through the girders. When standing at the top you can physically feel the swaying of the tower although it is slight there is definitely a swaying. Inside at the top you can see the movements of the tower on measuring instruments that record the speed of the wind and the towers resistance and movement.

            The tower is made up of 7,300 tons of iron girders and two and a half million rivets that hold the structure together. The paint alone weighs in at a hefty 60 tons and every seven years it needs a touch up. The paint protects the structure from corrosion from the elements. From the top you can see all over Paris and around the edges of each floor there are maps pointing you in the direction of and identifying other famous places in Paris.

            Events.

            Over the years unusual events and occurrences have taken place both legal and illegal for example the legal events have included displays of ice rinks, racing up and down the stairs the record is 3 minutes up to the second floor and other exhibitions and activities. There has even been an elephant up the tower, a bungee jumper, parachutists, an errant pilot who flew through the Eiffel tower and sadly a couple of suicides.

            There have been brilliant firework and laser light shows and at various times it has been the focus for French celebrations by having clocks and a variety of adverts on the side of the tower. Other notable events have been in connection with radio transmissions the first notable one being the interception of Mata Hari during the First World War which lead to her capture, television broadcasting and entertainment shows from the tower.

            The visit.

            I have visited the Eiffel tower on many occasions when I have been in Paris it has usually been to show other guests who have been staying with us and we have taken them to Paris. You can pre buy or buy your tickets on the day. There are usually queues for the tickets and queues for the lifts but the queues move pretty fast. Normally we go to the first floor first then the second and then from the second floor change lifts to go to the top. We then return to the first floor for a final look around.

            The first floor platform is quite large and gives an amazing insight into how big the Eiffel tower is. It is nice to walk around the whole of the first floor getting your bearings and taking in the sights from this level. Once you have finished here you can go to the second floor and waiting for the lift you do not have too long to wait although but invariably you must join the queue.

            The second floor.

            We have eaten only on one occasion at the over inflated priced restaurant and much to my amusement and my guests the following was on the menu. 'Dick a l'orange' whether that was an intentional mistake or a slip of the typists finger we will never know however we did not partake of this dish! Personally unless you were after a romantic meal one evening for a very special occasion I would save your money and find one of the many splendid restaurants around Paris at half the price.

            The top floor.

            The top floor is reached by lift and it offers spectacular sights of Paris however it is not for the faint hearted. Although I am not keen on heights and I don't particularly like it the views are spectacular from the top. You can look out over Paris from the comfort of an inside Panoramic observatory or you can also go outside into a caged platform. The cage was erected to prevent people from jumping off and doing mad stunts. The views are phenomenal whether it be the Trocadero and its superb fountains, the River Seine, the Louvre and Notre Dame in the distance or towards Les Invalids. You can also catch sight of a miniature copy of the statue of Liberty which is Identical to that of the great lady in New York given to America as a gift from France.

            If you really want to impress your lover/wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend/you can treat your beloved to a glass of overpriced Champagne on the top floor prices from 10 euros a glass. Personally I would not bother despite the fact that it can be romantic but at that price you could buy your own bottle for not much more or do something a bit more romantic like present a rose and a poem or propose or chuck up at those suggestions!!!!

            It does not matter what time of day you go because you are guaranteed a brilliant time at the tower. I like to go both during the day and at night because Paris glows at night although you do benefit more during the day as things are that much clearer.

            Opening times.

            The tower is open every day of the year and is open from 09:30 to 23:45 or in the summer months from 09:00 to 00:45 from June until the end of August. Be prepared to queue for tickets remember they have approximately 7 million visitors a year to the tower and sometimes it feels as if those 7 million have come on the same day as you.
            I would advise pre booking tickets so that you can just turn up and jump part of the queue at least.
            Be prepared to be searched before going up the tower and guess what yes there is another queue.

            Prices are as follows:-
            First and 2nd floors 8 Euro 10 cents
            Top floor including 1st and 2nd floors 13 Euro 10 Cents.
            Child prices are about 2 Euros less than the adult price.

            Getting there is fairly easy you can get there by car, RER, Bus, Boat and on Foot and I have used all these means to get here. I actually prefer the walk rather than public transport but it depends on time constraints.

            Warnings!!!

            There is a great feeling around the Eiffel tower but do be careful of pickpockets where there are crowds. Everyone seems in a happy mood but just remember that there are people out there who may want to con you. There are plenty of traders around selling tat and nick nacks. Just watch your wallets and purses and your change. There are usually uniformed and plain clothed policemen patrolling the area by foot and in cars.

            Be especially careful when crossing the roads as the traffic is quite mad and Parisians drive like maniacs. On one occasion I nearly got run over on a crossing and I had right of way fortunately for me a lady pulled me out of the way just in the nick of time.

            The Eiffel tower is a must visit attraction even if you only do it once!
            I would rate this as a five star attraction.

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              06.03.2011 21:40

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              A must see in Paris

              The Eiffel Tower is synonymous with Paris and situated by the River Seine. As the tallest structure in the French capital it is visible from a number of places and a huge tourist attraction.

              A trip to Paris is nothing without a visit to the Eiffel Tower. Up close, it is quite a magnificent structure and tourists are able to go all the way to the top. There is of a course a lift for those who aren't quite ambitious enough to scale the 324 metres of tower via the stairs.

              Before your visit it is important to check the opening times. As I discovered upon my first visit a number of tourists will arrive dead on the time of opening and the queues build incredibly quickly. Alternatively, you are able to buy tickets online before going which is highly recommended. My queuing time was at least one hour and can become quite tedious with a number of salesmen about trying to flog just about everything to do with the Eiffel Tower. I was also asked to take part in various surveys and offered all kinds of food when queuing which got a little annoying.

              Although I visited during the day, I'm told a night time trip is much better with the Tower looking quite spectuclar when lit. However, again, buy tickets prior to your visit as queues at night tend to be even longer.

              It is quite a pricey day trip but worthwhile. The lifts to each level are quite quick and the views are amazing throughout with a panaramic across the whole of Paris. If you like to endulge there is champagne available at the top level.

              The Eiffel Tower is a must see if you go to Paris but make sure you plan the trip beforehand to get the best tickets and times.

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              06.03.2011 03:45
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              awesome

              Eiffel Tower

              For Valentines Day my wonderful girlfriend booked a trip to Paris and a trip up the Legendary Eiffel Tower. I was extremely excited to get to Paris as I had never been before and couldn't think of a better way to celebrate Valentines Day.

              We staying in the centre of Paris, about a 15 minutes taxi ride from our hotel to the Eiffel Tower, the taxi ride were amazing we drove past some famous landmarks and some beautiful parts of the city.

              We spotted the Eiffel tower from the taxi window and what a sight it looked amazing all lit up with white lights flashing all around it, the white lights stopped flashing after a while but they did come back on later. When we got of the taxi we immediately looked up at the fabulous sight before us. We had our trip up the tower booked for 9.30pm since we were early we had a walk around underneath the tower which was full of salesmen selling illegal merchandise which can bought for a steeper price at the official souvenir shops for the tower. We took the opportunity to take some photos while we waited to go up the tower which we allowed to do at around 9.20pm, there was a warning sign saying poor visibility at the summit above the entrance.

              After showing our tickets we had to walk a short way where a man greeted us asking what we had with us, after a light search we proceeded up some steps to the lift which had two separate floors each floor able to contain around 30-40 people. After a short while the lift stopped at the first floor where we were told to stay on if we have summit tickets. After a couple got off we continued a short way up the tower to the second floor where we were told we needed to transfer to another lift to get to the summit.

              We got out on the second floor and decided to have a walk around this level land take in the fantastic Paris skyline. The visibility was slightly foggy in the distance but we were still able to see Paris all lit up was amazing. I was slightly on edge as it was a long way up, we creped around the outside getting a 360 view of Paris, and taking lots of photos.

              After a while we decided, despite being a bit nervous due to how high were, we bravely entered the lift that would take us to the summit. What felt like a few minutes in the lift we reached the summit the visibility was very poor and despite being a lot higher we were a lot more comfortable at this height due to the fact we couldn't see much. We decided to do a lap at the top before heading back down. On our way around we saw there was a little shop where you could buy glasses of Champaign, we thought about getting some but for 20 Euros for two small glasses we decided to leave it.

              On the way back down we got off once again at the 2nd floor having a little wonder around and look in one of the souvenir shops before heading down to the first floor. When we got off at the first floor we where shocked to see an ice rink, we seriously considered having a go but it seemed to closing and we didn't know how much it would be. Also on the second floor there was a restaurant and a cinema both were rather expensive. We had a little walk around before heading back to the ground floor. We had another small walk around the tower taking some photos and getting pestered by the salesmen, before leaving.

              In conclusion the Eiffel Tower was amazing and I loved every minute of it, it was made all the better by being with my girlfriend. It was a great evening and would love to go back there.

              Prices (euro)
              Summit - 11.50 (age 12-24)
              Standard Adult to Summit - 13.50
              Children - 9 (age 4-12)
              Under 4 free entry

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                22.02.2011 12:58
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                Definitely worth a visit

                Well as Valentines Day was last week, my boyfriend and I decided to take a romantic trip to Paris. Of course, no trip to the French Capital is complete without venturing up the famous Eiffel Tower, so we booked tickets online before we went.

                The Eiffel Tower, located on the Champ de Mars, is a whopping 324 metres tall, and is a metal structure which was completed in 1889. It is actually the most visited (paid) monument in the world and I think most would agree it is the most recognised symbol of France or Paris. The tower is named after its designer Gustave Eiffel and it was the world's tallest building until 1930.

                The tower has three levels, and when you book tickets you choose which level you want to go up to and pay accordingly. We chose to go to the highest level (Sommet) and this cost us Euro11.50 each as we are both aged 12-24. A standard adult ticket to the top is Euro13.10, children aged 4-12 are Euro9 and children under 4 are free. Prices are cheaper if you only go to the first or second floor.

                Booking online was easy; I just entered a few details, paid by card, and then had to print the ticket. It is also possible to book on the phone or in person when you get there. Our tickets were booked for 9:30pm as we decided it would be nice and romantic to see the tower and the city all lit up! We arrived at around 9pm and took some photos to kill the time until we could go up the tower. I have visited the Eiffel Tower before but was still amazed at how magnificent it looks, and how beautiful it is. My boyfriend who has never been there absolutely fell in love with it too, and we were getting excited for our time to get in the lift!

                Unfortunately there was a sign next to the entrance warning us that visibility was reduced that night due to adverse weather conditions. This was a shame but as we already had our tickets booked and were only in Paris for one night we couldn't go the next day or another night.

                Just before 9:30pm we went to the entrance where we showed our e-ticket, had our bags searched, and were directed to a lift. The lift was large-there were about 40 of us in there, and it set of smoothly up to the first floor of the tower. We were not given the option to get out here, and carried on to the second floor, where we were told we would have to transfer to a different lift in order to get to the sommet. When we got out on the second floor we decided to have a look round before going up to the sommet. To be honest I nearly didn't bother with the sommet as I had forgotten how scary and high the second floor was! Once I got over my nerves I took in the amazing views of Paris at night and we took lots of pictures as visibility was still good at this level.

                After a while pottering about on the second floor I stopped being a wimp and we got in the lift that would take us to the sommet. A much smaller lift this time, as a lot of people seem to only venture up to the first and second floors! We seemed to be in that lift for such a long time going up and up but eventually we did stop at the top! Unfortunately visibility was significantly reduced at this level and we couldn't see the view all that well. On the plus side this meant it was less scary, but it would have been nice to take some awesome pictures. We contemplated buying a glass of champagne each at this level, but at Euro20 for two small glasses, we couldn't really justify it!

                On the way back down the lift we stopped at the second floor again, but this time we also stopped on the first floor. We got out of the lift and were surprised to see an ice rink! After a quick look round we noticed a cinema and restaurant too, everything was rather overpriced but still nice to be able to do these things in the Eiffel Tower! We were going to do the ice skating but it was closing as it was around 10pm by this time so I don't know how much it would have cost. After a few more pictures and exploring we got in the lift again and were returned to the ground floor.

                On the ground floor there is a gift shop selling the usual overpriced souvenirs and merchandise, some of it was quite nice but we didn't buy any. The area under and around the Eiffel Tower is absolutely swamped with illegal merchandise sellers who get really irritating after a while. There are literally hundreds of them, mostly selling cheap versions of the souvenirs that are sold in the gift shop. They are extremely pushy and some of them will just put something in your hand and then try and charge you for it. I don't understand how they get away with their illegal behaviour but they do!

                In conclusion I love the Eiffel Tower, it's a beautiful structure. We nearly went back again the next day as it's a really different experience in the daytime, but we decided to leave it for next time we're there. There is more to see in the daytime, but we loved being able to see Paris all lit up at night, not to mention the Tower itself lit up and covered in glittering, flashing lights.

                A lot of people say it's too expensive but it's not like we're going to do it every week, so I don't think the prices are too bad just for a treat. After all they do need to make money to keep it looking amazing as well as pay all the nice and helpful staff that dealt with us. I would definitely say it's worth a visit if you've not been, and if you're going to Paris then it's not to be missed. As I said it was a shame that we couldn't see as much from the top as we normally would be able but I suppose no one can change the weather and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves all the same.

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                  11.07.2010 14:07
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                  A great place to go

                  The Eiffel Tower was built in 1887-1889 for 1889 Universal Exhibition and Centennial. It stands at near 1,000 feet tall and took from 23 January 1887 to March 1889 (2 years, 2 months,5 days) to build. During this time 300 steal workers were used; one of which died. The tower can change height up to 15cm depending on the air temperature. To reach the top of the tower, there are 1665 steps.

                  Entrance to 1st, 2nd and 3rd floor is every day 9.30 am - 11 pm. Prices are very reasonable at under 10 Euros to go to the top in the lift. But if you do go to the top, and the weather's not to warm, make sure you wear a number of layers as it can be very cold and windy; it was for me the beginning of May.

                  The only thing I do not like about when I visited the Tower, was the number of people trying to sell things, from Eiffel Tower Models and scarf's.

                  I would recommend going up the tower to anyone, but if your scared of heights, it would be better to go at night because its harder to judge the height.

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                    19.10.2009 16:14
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                    Amazing, worth the time and money

                    What trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the icon that is the Eiffel Tower?

                    We were really lucky with the weather when we went. It was clear and bright, but absolutely freezing!

                    First off, the worse thing about visiting this attraction, is the crowds. There are people everywhere. Lots queueing for tickets, a few others trying to sell you tat. (Helpful Tip: Don't speak near them then they don't know where you're from, so they can't talk your language!)

                    Lots of queueing. And I mean LOTS. You queue to go through 'security' where they look in your bag and make you walk through a scanner like at the airport.
                    You queue to buy tickets to go up the tower (8euro each for level two, 13euro for the top)
                    You queue to get in the lift to go up to level two.
                    You queue to get the lift to the top. THEN you queue to get back down again!

                    Is it really worth it though? Yes.

                    My advice would be to go straight to the top. Level Three (or the summit) is split into two levels. One inside, one open to the elements. The views are astounding - providing you have a clear day of course.

                    The inside part of level three provides you with labelled pictures, so you can identify the sights you are seeing out of the window. Very useful. It stopped a discussion before it got started (I told him that was Notre Dame waaayyy-over there, but he only believed me when he saw the labels! Ha!)

                    Surprisingly, the open part of level three was pleasent. I may have mentioned it was bitterly cold, and up there the wind is evil, but it was quite nice standing outside gazeing at the view.

                    Down on level two, it was not pleasent. People were inconsiderate to the point of rude. The wind was biting, and I was frozen.
                    There is a cafe type place on two, that sell sandwiches and coffee. A souvenir shop selling overpriced Paris items including Mini-Towers. Oh, and a loo. And yes, you queued for those too!

                    Having been and survived the people, I still say this is a must-do attraction. If you're in the French Capital, how can you not go?

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                      30.09.2009 20:41
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                      The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France

                      The Eiffel Tower is really a beautiful statue to be seen, quite imposing on the banks of the Seine and definitely Paris's number one tourist attraction.

                      A bit of background from an article I read, The Eiffel Tower is is a 19th century iron lattice tower located on the Champ de Mars in Paris that has become both a global icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower, which is the tallest building in Paris, is the single most visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair.

                      I visited Paris two weeks ago and I have to say that a visit to the tower was definitely top of my list. I first saw it in the day time and although impressive it's definitely way more impressive at night time so I do recommend a visit at both times of day. In the day time you can see it very well if you are interested in actually looking at the structure of it and all the iron works. There was some cleaning/construction going on whilst I was there so one of the towers was actually shut and had netting over it which spoiled the look a little but not badly. We used the metro to get to the tower and the nearest station for us was Trocadero. Once you come out of that station, turn left and there in front of you is the tower. You get some nice views because at this point you are up quite high. There are loads of men around (approximately 50) selling minature statues of the tower for a Euro each. They are ok as a little souvenir and seem well made but each guy has hundreds and hundreds of them and how they ever make any money is astonishing to me! Also in this square area there are quite a lot of young street performers, it seems like this is the place for young Parisien people to hang out. There are guys doing breakdancing, stunts on their bikes, skateboards etc and it's really quite entertaining so I do recommend staying around for a while for a watch.

                      You can then walk down the steps and across the street to get up close to the Tower. We went on a Saturday and the place was absolutely packed. Here is where you buy your tickets to go up to the top of the tower. THe queues were unbelieveable, at least a 2 hour wait to get up to the top so on this occasion we decided not to go up but it is something I will do in the future. There are four towers and you can go up in each tower. The tower has three levels for visitors. The walk to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level so if you want to do this I do recommend being fairly fit although the steps are quite shallow and not very steep. I thought the ticket prices were fairly reasonable. To take the lift to the second floor is 8 Euros per person and to the top floor is 13 Euros. To walk to the second floor it's 4.50 Euros.

                      There are a couple of restaurants in the tower. If you feel like spoiling yourself, Le Jules Verne on the 2nd floor is very nice but will set you back about £160 per person on average. A friend has been and he said it was really great food as well as giving you great views. One the first flower is the 58 Tour Eiffel which is about £60-80 per person. With both restaurants you must make a reservation in advance. There are also a couple of buffet stands two which sell snacks and cheapish (this is Paris afterall!) food.

                      At night, in my opinion is when the tower really looks quite magical. It is lit up with yellow lights and really lights up the whole area. At one point (11pm) the night we were there, the tower has lots of lights flashing on and off and made it look like the whole thing was a big firework which was beautiful. This is one tourist attraction in Paris that you cannot miss!

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                        28.09.2009 17:35
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                        A must do when in Paris!

                        History
                        ---------
                        The Eiffel Tower is now 120 years old, it took 2years, 2months and 5days to make, the period was January 1887 to March 1889. The Eiffel Tower is 300.51 meters or 986 feet in height with a 15 cm positive or negative depending on the temperature.

                        Arguably one of the most famous structures worldwide I have been here on every visit to Paris without fail. It is something I feel like I just have to see. Every time I do see it, I don't feel disappointed.

                        The last time I visited Paris was the first time I had not gone up it, this was due to the circumstances for being in Paris.


                        The Attraction
                        -------------------
                        The tower itself has opening times which can be seen below and these do vary for different elements of the attraction. The Eiffel Tower offers more than one viewing platform.

                        I would recommend going to the top if you can stomach heights, it is well worth it as the view of Paris is quite spectacular, if you're not stuck in cloud. Every time I have been to the top it has been clear and offers great views. If you do not like heights or are worried about looking down, it's ok, the floor is NOT transparent and the top is almost like a cage, there is no way to go over the edge, it's all fenced in.

                        To get to the top, you need to take both lifts up that fair, the first one starts in the leg at the bottom and takes you to the platform where you can then get the next one up the centre of the tower to the top.

                        There is also the option to walk up - I can't say I can comment on this as I have never done it, it is obviously a cheaper option if not a crazier one.

                        The one thing I find with the Eiffel Tower is not matter how warm the weather is on that day, it is always very windy by the Eiffel Tower, and it is a bit of a wind trap. I wouldn't want to walk up in the wind.


                        Prices
                        --------
                        (All prices are in Euro's)
                        Adults/Youths (12-24)/Children and Handicapped
                        Elevator entrance tickets 8.00 / 6.40 / 4.00
                        (to second floor)

                        Elevator entrance tickets 13.00 / 9.90 / 7.50
                        to top floor

                        Stair entrance tickets 4.50 / 3.50 / 3.00
                        (to second floor)


                        Open Hours
                        -----------------
                        Daily Elevators/Steps
                        From January 1 to June 12 9:30am to 11:45pm/ 9:30am to 6:30pm
                        Final lift up at 11:00pm Final admittance 6:00pm
                        (10:30pm for top floor)

                        From June 13 to August 31 9:00am to 00:45am/ 9:00am to 00:45am
                        Final lift up at midnight Final admittance midnight
                        (11:00pm for top floor)

                        From September 1 to December 31 9:30 am to 11:45 pm/ 9:30am to 6:30pm
                        Final lift up at Final admittance 6:00pm
                        11:00pm
                        (10:30pm for top floor.)

                        Overall
                        ---------
                        If you have never been you should visit this historic monument whilst in Paris, if you have, it is quite nice isn't it. I like it, the only things I can moan about it the wind, and the gypsy people that congregate underneath, which is very annoying but unfortunately expected at any tourist attraction.

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                          14.09.2009 20:16
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                          Something to definetly put on the to-do list.

                          I recently went on a trip to Paris as part of a group and as the vast majority of us had never seen the Eiffel Toer we put aside a day to go up it. Imagine our excitement when, as our plane was coming into land we caught a glimps of it through our little windows. as a person who had never seen it before the sheer size of it took my breath away. I couldn't wait to get a closer look at it.....

                          As we got off the bus my first impression was amazement but do not stand there open-mouthed as I did because you will be instantly harassed by the constant swarm of beggars that come up to you. Most of the time they will ask you if you speak English, just nod your head and I find that the best form of defence. It really is a shame though that they are there because you cannot relax as you always have to have your hand in your wallet making sure a pickpocket hasn't already swiped it.

                          You can buy tickets to climb or go up the elevator to the three different floors and I would recommend doing so. However do not waste your money in the souvenir shops in the actual tower as there are many much cheaper and better shops around the general area.
                          Another recommendation would be to see it at night as it lights up in flasking lights and it truly is an amazing sight.

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                            24.04.2009 22:42
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                            Recommended

                            On my recent trip to Paris with a friend I knew that I wanted to go up the Eiffel Tower. I'd been up the Tower about 16 years ago but the last time I was in Paris, about 6 years ago, I couldn't go up as the ex-Mr Tart was scared of heights. My friend and I both made the Tower a priority for our trip.

                            SOME HISTORY:

                            The Tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel for the Paris Exposition to celebrate the centenary of the French Revolution in 1889. It was originally supposed to be pulled down after a few years but the French realised it was good for communication so allowed it to stay up. The Tower is made from over 18000 pieces of metal and 2.5 million rivets. The Tower is painted every 7 years to stop it rusting and it takes nearly 60 tonnes of paint! It is visited by around 6 million people every year. The Tower now stands at 324 metres since a TV antenna was added in 2000.

                            LOCATION:

                            There is a story of Guy du Maupassant who said that he ate in the Tower every day because it was the only place he didn't have to look at it from! While an exaggeration, it is true that the Tower, being the tallest structure in Paris, can be seen from all over the city. It is located on the Champs de Mars, on the south bank of the Seine. The nearest metro stations are Bir Hakeim, Trocadero and Ecoles Militaire.

                            PRICES:

                            The prices depend on age and how far up the Tower you want to go. To go to the top it is Euro13 for an adult, Euro9.90 for a young person (12-24) and Euro7.50 for a child or disabled person. For the second level that goes down to Euro8, Euro6.40 and Euro4 and for the stairs Euro4.50 Euro3.50 and Euro3.

                            THE EXPERIENCE:

                            We approached the Tower from the south. Looking along the park to the Tower it does look very impressive. I could never say that it was a beautiful structure but it is so iconic that you really can't help but be impressed.

                            You can queue to go up any one of the four legs of the Tower, although one was closed for renovation when we went which made the queues longer at the others. You can choose to climb the stairs from the south leg or take the lift from the others to get to the second level. YES - I did just say stairs! Needless to say we opted for the lift (it's about 660 steps to the second level!!). The queue for the south leg was much shorter and costs less but even my famous frugality wouldn't encourage me to do that!

                            The queue was very long. We queued to buy our tickets for around 45 minutes. It was annoying being constantly hounded by men selling flashing Eiffel Towers and Eiffel Tower keyrings. We were there during the Easter holidays so it was understandably busy, although I think it would be busy all year round so prepare to queue! The only way to avoid them seems to be to be part of a group as only large groups can pre-book.

                            The lift took us up the leg of the Tower to the second level. This lift was a double lift which carries a lot of people. You then have to queue again to get to the top of the Tower. At the bottom it had said that it would take another 45 minutes of queuing once we were on the second level, but we only waited about 15 minutes which was a relief! The second lift was much scarier than the first. It was a lot smaller and a lot faster. I was feeling a little jittery in the lift! For me, it's the getting to the top that bothers me. I don't mind being high (oh dear...that sounds wrong!) but I mind the journey up!

                            Once at the top there is an indoor viewing area. This has photographs where you can see exactly what you are looking at from the Tower. You can then walk up a flight of stairs to the outside observation deck. This is where you really see how amazing the view is. You can see for absolutely miles and can spot all of Paris' landmarks laid out below you. Look out for Notre Dame, Les Invalides and Sacre Coeur. You really can't help but be inspired by this view.

                            Also up the Tower there are two restaurants, 58 and Le Jules Verne. We didn't try these out as they are hugely overpriced. 58 costs Euro65 for dinner with no drinks and Le Jules Verne costs Euro200 (!!) for dinner. There is also a snack place on the ground, first and second floors which does hot dogs etc, which cost around Euro7.50. No thank you very much! There are also gift shops at the base and on the first and second floors.

                            The main trouble with the Tower is that you have to queue so long to get up the flipping thing! Once you're up there you walk around the top, see all the views, take the obligatory cheesy photos and then you have to start the queuing process again to go down. When we saw the sign saying 45 minute wait on the second floor for the top floor lift my friend asked if it was worth going all the way to the top. I was insistent as I don't think you can only do half of something and you have to do the Tower when in Paris.

                            CONCLUSION:

                            Ok, so I think the Tower is not very attractive, the queues are hugely frustrating and it is quite expensive if you take the lift and yet I'm giving it five stars. In reality, despite its flaws, I think the Eiffel Tower is one of THE icons to visit in the world. If you are going to Paris, unless you are terrified of heights, it is a must see. The views are absolutely amazing and it really is worth the queues. Recommended!

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                              20.02.2009 18:35
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                              Iconic landmark

                              The Eiffel Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in the world and certainly one place any visit to Paris has to include, it is often said that the best views of Paris can be gained from the Eiffel Tower however I do not agree for the simple reason that any view from the Tower does not include the tower in it therefore for me the best views are from either the top of Montparnasse Tower or Sacre Coeur both of which give you a view of the tower and the wonderful Parisien skyline.

                              The Tower itself is a metal construction located right on the banks of the Seine and can be reached by walking from a few metro and an RER station, we alighted at Trocadero and walked down from the other side of the river which gave us a lovely view of the tower. At night it is spectacular with the spot lights radiating from the top and ever hour on the hour there is a five minute light show where the tower is illuminated by flashing lights.

                              There are three levels in all and while you can be adventurous and walk up the stairs on the outside to the lower levels there is a lift to the upper observation tower, in fact the stairs are good exercise and afford a good view however from the top the views are breath taking and well worth the long queues you have to endure to buy tickets and to then access the lifts.

                              There is lots of information on the levels about the history and construction of the tower which is fascinating and quite informative and it is one of those locations where you cannot help but feel in love with the city even if you are sharing the moment with the heaving throng of tourists and school trips.

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                                07.01.2009 07:32
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                                If you visit Paris, you simply must go

                                Despite being one of the most recognised landmarks in the world, one can never truly understand the sheer size of the Eiffel Tower until you are standing beneath it. It is massive an little wonder, it used to be the tallest structure in the world.

                                My first tip is to avoid visiting the Eiffel Tower at peak periods. So, if possible, avoid lunchtimes, afternoons, weekends and public holidays. Doesn't leave much time to play with but, this way, you can avoid waiting for anything up to two hours, twiddling your thumbs in a queue. By the time I eventually made it up the Tower, I was so knackered from standing in a queue, I didnt really enjoy the visit as much as I could have. Bare this in mind, if you have elderly people with you.

                                The other tip is to make sure you choose the correct entrance to ascend the Tower. There are four, not-so-clearly marked entrances. Don't be confused though; two entrances only allow you to ascend via a long and winding staircase (near on 1700 steps), which takes a long time and only serves to add injury to already-tired legs. That was another mistake I made.

                                Once I had ascended the Tower, I was sore and aching. Luckily, there was a delightful cafe (expect premium prices here) and a free cinema (no Die Hard movies; just a pleasant documentary about the building of the Tower). The views were spectacular and commanding. To be honest, the view from the first "plinth" (there are 3 stages), was better than the top. I prefered being able to see people and cars moving around, rather than straning to see anything happening below from the very top of the Eiffel Tower.

                                Prices are astonishgly cheap; especially if you opt to walk up the Tower, I found out to my cost. You are looking at about £4 for the trip. Be aware though, it is time-consuming, it is cold at the top and the trek can really take it out of you.

                                Try and visit during daylight hours; but also come back at night, when the lights are switched onm creating a spectacular sight all around Paris.

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                            • Product Details

                              ""The Eiffel Tower (French: La Tour Eiffel, /'tur,e'fel/) is an iron tower built on the Champ de Mars beside the River Seine in Paris, France. It is the tallest structure in Paris and possibly the most recognized monument in the world. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, it is the most visited monument in the world; 6,428,441 people visited the tower in 2005 and more than 200,000,000 since its construction. Including the 24 m (78.7 ft) antenna, the structure is 324 m (1063 ft) high (since 2000) which is about 81 stories. In 1902, it was struck by lightning, which caused builders to reconstruct 300 feet of the top. The lights illuminating the tower also had to be replaced since they were damaged by the high energy of the lightning.""