Eiffel Tower

Top choice tower in Eiffel Tower & Western Paris
Image by luca_libralato / Getty Images

No one could imagine Paris today without its signature spire. But Gustave Eiffel only constructed this 324m-tall tower as a temporary exhibit for the 1889 World's Fair. Luckily, the art nouveau tower’s popularity assured its survival. Prebook online to avoid extensive ticket queues.

Lifts ascend to the tower’s three floors; change on the 2nd floor for the final ascent to the top. Energetic visitors can climb as far as the 2nd floor via the south pillar’s 720 stairs (no prebooking).

Refreshment options in the tower include two snack bars, the 1st-floor 58 Tour Eiffel, the gastronomic 2nd-floor Le Jules Verne, as well as a macaron bar and, at the top, a Champagne bar. Check the last entry time for the floor you wish to ascend to – it can be more than 90 minutes before the actual closing time in some cases.

A 2.5m-high bulletproof glass wall surrounds the tower (the base is still free to visit after passing through the security checks). It's part of a €300-million modernisation project to reduce queues, protect visitors waiting for the lifts from rain and snow, and improve facilities in general, due to wrap up in 2031. The two entrances to the glass enclosure are on av Gustave Eiffel; the two exits are on quai Branly.