The Eiffel Tower is the most visited tourist attraction in Europe and a symbol of romance around the world. But it didn’t start out that way. There’s a lot more to know about Paris’ iconic monument. Here our local guides answer the questions visitors ask most often about the Eiffel Tower:
How tall is the Eiffel Tower?
It’s 324m or 1,063 feet tall. It was the tallest structure in the world for the first 41 years. Nowadays though, it’s pretty modest compared to the 829.8m of the world’s tallest building (Burj Khalifa in Dubai, in case you’re curious!). There are an exhausting 1,710 steps to get to the top, but there’s an elevator too;-)
What does ‘Eiffel’ mean?
Gustave Eiffel was the owner of the company that designed and built the tower. It was an incredible feat of engineering for the time, putting together 18,000 in 2 years, 2 months and 5 days! Gustave called his creation ‘the 300m tower’ but she quickly became known as ‘Eiffel’s Tower’. Over time, the locals affectionately named her la dame de fer, or The Iron Lady.
Why was the Eiffel Tower built?
The Eiffel Tower was the main attraction at the Paris World’s Fair in 1889 and the plan was for it to be dismantled after 20 years. The 1889 World’s Fair focused on iron and steel that were the great industrial advancements of that time and the tower was a symbol of French industrial power.
So why is it still standing?
Because it turned out to be useful for more than just tourism. By the time 1909 rolled around, the Parisians had worked out that the tower was the perfect place for a telegraph antenna. During the First World War, the wireless telegraph transmitter helped stop German communications and slowed their advance on Paris. It is fascinating to climb a monument with so much history.
How many people climb the Eiffel Tower each year?
More than 6 million people visit the Eiffel Tower each year! Even in 2020, 1.16 million people climbed to the top of this iconic monument. Thousands come to Paris each year to propose at the top of the Eiffel Tower or in front of it on the Champ de Mars.
Is the climb worth it?
Yes! We can’t stress enough how wonderful the views are, but they aren’t all that the tower offers visitors. The first level (189 feet up) has an observation area, souvenir shops, a restaurant, and a transparent glass floor. This is a perfect spot to enjoy a nice meal and experience being in the Eiffel Tower!
The second floor (379 feet) includes an observation area and another restaurant. This is the perfect spot for an Instagram photo-shoot.
The top level has breathtaking panoramic views at 905 feet high. The top of the Eiffel Tower is very romantic as you look over the entire city with a glass of champagne in hand. (There is a champagne bar located at the top that offers a glass of white or rosé).
Got more questions about the Eiffel Tower? Let us know in the comments below.