Like the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower is a must-see for any first-timers to Paris. The Iron Lady, as the tower is nicknamed by the French, is the most-well known building in all of Paris and has become synonymous with the city. If you’re thinking of paying this Parisian landmark a visit, check out this guide before you head out — it contains everything you need to know about the Eiffel Tower, from who built it to how much it cost to go to the top floor with a glass of Champagne in hand.
- Who built the Eiffel Tower, when, and why?
- The Eiffel tower in numbers
- When does the Eiffel Tower open and close?
- When does the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle?
- How much does it cost to visit the Eiffel Tower?
- Are there bars restaurants in the Eiffel Tower?
- Where to stay in Paris to be near the Eiffel Tower
Who built the Eiffel Tower, when, and why?
The plans for the iconic Eiffel Tower were created by Gustave Eiffel, a French civil engineer and entrepreneur, with the help of two engineers (Emile Nouguier and Maurice Koechlin) and an architect (Stephen Sauvestre). Their design was selected among 107 other projects to be the star of the 1889 World Fair, an international exhibition that would commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution and demonstrate France’s industrial prowess to the world. The tower was built in just two years between 1887-1889.
The Eiffel Tower in numbers
- In 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was erected, it measured exactly 1000 feet. Soon after, however, a flag pole bearing the French flag was affixed to the top, adding a little over 39 feet to the tower. Over the years, various radio and TV antennas were added to the top of the tower, making it ever taller. Today, the tower measures 1083 feet.
- It took exactly two years, two months and five days to build the Eiffel Tower, from January 26, 1887 to March 31, 1889.
- With seven million visitors every year, the Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid-for monument in the world.
- The Eiffel Tower consists of 18,038 iron parts held together by 2,500,000 rivets.
- At time of writing, the Eiffel has received 20 coats of paint since its erection. Each coat requires 60 tons of paint. Initially, the tower was painted a bright shade of red.
When does the Eiffel Tower open and close?
The Eiffel Tower is open from 9:30 AM to 11 PM every day in the winter, and from 9 AM to 12 AM (midnight) in the summer (mid-June to September).
When does the Eiffel Tower light up and sparkle?
As soon as it gets dark, the lights of the Eiffel Tower come on. They are switched off at 11.45 PM every night. The tower sparkles on the hour for five minutes from nightfall until 11 PM.
How much does it cost to visit the Eiffel Tower?
The cost of your visit depends on how far up the tower you want to go and how you intend to get up there. No matter what you choose, it is strongly recommended that you book your ticket online in advance on the official website.
Taking the stairs
Note: You can only go as far as the second floor via the stairs. There are 674 steps to reach the second floor.
- Adults $12.30 (11.30 €) / youth (between the ages of 12 and 24) $6.10 (5.60 €) / children (between the ages of four and 11) $3 (2.80 €) / children under the age of four enter for free.
Riding the elevator
Note: Those who go to the top floor, where the wind picks up and the temperatures drop, should wear appropriate clothing.
- To the second floor: Adults $19.75 (18.10 €) / youth (between the ages of 12 and 24) $9.80 (9 €) / children (between the ages of four and 11) $4.90 (4.50 €) / children under the age of four enter for free.
- To the top floor: Adults $30.80 (28.30 €) / youth (between the ages of 12 and 24) $15.30 (14.10 €) / children (between the ages of four and 11) $7.75 (7.10 €) / children under the age of four enter for free.
- To the top floor with a glass of Champagne: Adults $51.60 (47.30 €)
Taking the stairs, then riding the elevator
Note: With this ticket, you will walk up the stairs to the second floor (674 steps) and then ride the elevator from the second floor to the top. It is always windy on the top floor, so make sure to have appropriate clothing.
- Adults $23.45 (21.50 €) / youth (between the ages of 12 and 24) $11.60 (10.70 €) / children (between the ages of four and 11) $5.90 (5.40 €) / children under the age of four enter for free.
Are there bars and restaurants in the Eiffel Tower?
There are places to eat and drink at every level of the Eiffel Tower and for every budget.
There are two seat-in restaurants, Madame Brasserie on the first floor, and The Jules Vernes, a Michelin-Star establishment, on the second floor. It is recommended that you make a booking before your visit to the tower.
There are three buffet-style restaurants, one on the ground floor, one on the first floor, and one on the second floor of the tower.
There is a Champagne bar at the very top of the tower.
Where to stay in Paris to be near the Eiffel Tower
We hope you love the hotels we recommend in Paris! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay.
One of many luxury hotels to be found in Paris, Shangri-La Paris distinguishes itself from the pack with its amazing views of the Eiffel Tower. This hotel is located across the river Seine from the tower, but it’s only a lovely 15-minute walk away via the Debilly footbridge. The Shangri-La Paris has everything you’d expect from a five-star hotel: A stunning historical building formerly owned by royalty, two exquisite restaurants one of which has a Michelin star, an indoor pool, a spa and wellness center, Guerlain toiletries in each of the 100 rooms and suites, impeccable service throughout, and much more to make your stay as comfortable and luxurious as possible.
Also a 15-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower, Le Parisis is an affordable, modern hotel with a sleek, minimalist decor. Although the views of the tower are not as good as the ones at the Shangri-La Paris, you’ll still get to admire the Iron Lady if you book with a room with a tower view. The hotel has a fitness center, a bar, and is highly rated for its delicious breakfast.
Le Marquis Eiffel
Le Marquis Eiffel is a clean, bright, and colorful hotel that’s just a 10-minute walk to the Eiffel Tower. There’s a bar and a library on site. The breakfast, served on the outdoor terrace, is reputed to be fabulous. Le Marquis Hotel is located right by the metro station Dupleix from where you can reach the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysées direcly.
If you prefer a private rental to a hotel, check out Matador‘s selection of Airbnbs near the Eiffel Tower.