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Wonder#9: Eiffel Tower, Paris , France | Wonder of the World Series by Travelexpro

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About The Wonder

The Eiffel Tower, an emblem of Paris and an internationally renowned architectural marvel serves as a testament to the brilliance of engineering and design. Constructed in 1889 as the centerpiece of the 1889 World's Fair, it initially faced skepticism for its bold and unconventional aesthetic. Yet, over time, it transcended criticism to become an enduring symbol of France, capturing the imagination of people worldwide. Crafted by Gustave Eiffel, this towering structure ascends to a height of 330 meters (1,083 feet), dominating the Parisian skyline and standing as the tallest edifice in the city until the advent of the Montparnasse Tower in 1973. Comprised of three distinctive levels, each offering panoramic vistas of the sprawling cityscape below, the Eiffel Tower serves as an unparalleled vantage point for visitors to behold the beauty and grandeur of Paris. Today, it continues to draw millions of admirers annually, who flock to marvel at its architectural splendor, ascend its lofty heights for breathtaking views, and bask in the romantic aura that envelops this iconic monument. Whether illuminated against the velvety backdrop of the night sky or basking in the golden glow of daylight, the Eiffel Tower remains an eternal source of inspiration and enchantment for all who behold its majestic silhouette.

Location Map

History

The history of the Eiffel Tower embodies a significant aspect of France's cultural legacy, symbolizing the essence of Paris for generations. Initially intended as a temporary addition to the cityscape, Gustave Eiffel's masterpiece emerged in 1889, yet it faced skepticism among Parisians. Despite its humble beginnings, the tower gradually ascended to iconic status, becoming synonymous with the spirit of France and the allure of Paris. For over 127 years, the Eiffel Tower has graced the Parisian skyline, evolving from a temporary structure to an enduring symbol of France. Its pivotal moment came at the 1889 Universal Exposition, where Gustave Eiffel's design triumphed among 107 proposals. Collaborating with engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and architect Stephen Sauvestre, Eiffel's vision materialized into the iconic iron tower we know today. The journey of the Eiffel Tower was fraught with opposition, as critics lamented its intrusion on Paris's aesthetic charm. In a letter titled "Artists Against Mr. Eiffel’s Tower," opponents expressed concerns about the iron structure's impact, fearing it would compromise the city's elegance. Poet Verlaine famously dubbed it the "Skeleton of Beffroi," underscoring its perceived unsightliness and potential to detract from Paris's refined beauty. Despite such objections, the tower persevered, ultimately becoming an integral part of the city's iconic skyline.
Despite the initial resistance, the delicate iron tower emerged victorious. Its construction unfolded in several stages over two years:

  • June 1884: The project commenced, accompanied by initial drawings.
  • January 28th, 1887: Actual construction work commenced.
  • April 1st, 1888: The first stage of construction was completed.
  • August 14th, 1888: The second stage reached completion.
  • March 31st, 1889: The third and final stage saw the tower's completion in its entirety.

On March 31, 1889, the Eiffel Tower was inaugurated, with Gustave Eiffel scaling its 1,710 steps to unfurl the tricolor French flag at its summit. At that moment, the tower stood proudly at a height of 312 meters, marking a historic milestone in architectural achievement. 

The Eiffel Tower is revered as a wonder due to being the tallest man-made structure in the world at the time and is celebrated for its innovative design, engineering prowess, and emblematic representation of French culture, securing its place in global recognition.

How To Get There?

The airports closest to the Eiffel Tower in France are:

  • Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG): Located about 25 kilometers northeast of the Eiffel Tower, CDG is the largest airport in Paris and a major international hub.
  • Orly Airport (ORY): Situated approximately 17 kilometers south of the Eiffel Tower, Orly Airport serves as a secondary airport for Paris, handling domestic and European flights.
  • Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA): Located around 85 kilometers northwest of the Eiffel Tower, Beauvais Airport primarily serves low-cost airlines and charter flights.

Here are the Recommended durations and preferred modes of transportation from each of the major airports to the Eiffel Tower are as follows:

Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG):

  • Duration: Depending on traffic, it takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour to reach the Eiffel Tower.
  • Preferred modes of transportation: Taxi, RER train (B line), airport shuttle services, private transfers, and rental cars are available options.

Orly Airport (ORY):

  • Duration: Travel time is approximately 30 to 45 minutes, subject to traffic conditions.
  • Preferred modes of transportation: Taxi, Orlyval shuttle train to Antony station, then RER train (B line) to central Paris, airport shuttle services, private transfers, and rental cars.

Beauvais-Tillé Airport (BVA):

  • Duration: Travel time varies, but reaching the Eiffel Tower generally takes about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  • Preferred modes of transportation: Airport shuttle buses to Porte Maillot or Porte Maillot to Paris city center, then transfer to public transportation like metro or taxi, private transfers, and rental cars.

Visa Requirements 

For short-term stays (less than 90 days) in France, US citizens do not need a visa, but their passport must be valid for at least three months beyond their intended departure date. Long-term stays (more than 90 days) require a long-stay visa or residence permit obtained before traveling. Due to COVID-19, additional entry requirements may apply, such as vaccination proof or COVID-19 testing. For visa information and application procedures, click here to check out visa requirements based on your requirements.

Accommodation Areas

  • Champ de Mars - Located adjacent to the Eiffel Tower, offering proximity and stunning views. (Distance: Walking distance)
  • Invalides - A historic district with upscale hotels and easy access to the tower. (Distance: 1-2 km)
  • Trocadéro - Known for its grand square and museums, offering hotels with Eiffel Tower views. (Distance: 1-2 km)
  • Montparnasse - Vibrant neighborhood with various accommodation options and good transport links to the tower. (Distance: 3-4 km)
  • Saint-Germain-des-Prés - Quaint area with boutique hotels and a charming atmosphere, within a short commute to the tower. (Distance: 3-4 km)
  • Marais - Trendy district with boutique hotels and lively nightlife, accessible by public transport. (Distance: 4-5 km)
  • Latin Quarter - Historic area with budget-friendly accommodations and cultural attractions, a few metro stops away from the tower. (Distance: 4-5 km)
  • Opera - Central location with luxury hotels and excellent dining options, easily reachable by metro. (Distance: 5-6 km)
  • Le Marais - Quirky neighborhood with boutique hotels and trendy cafes, a short metro ride from the tower. (Distance: 6-7 km)
  • Bastille - A hip district with a vibrant nightlife and diverse accommodations, offering a unique experience within easy reach of the tower. (Distance: 7-8 km)

Language 

While French serves as the official language of France, English is widely spoken in tourist hubs, hotels, and restaurants across the country. However, embracing basic French phrases can deepen your connection with locals and enrich your travel experience. Before visiting France, it's beneficial to learn simple French expressions and practice pronunciation. Consider utilizing language apps or carrying a pocket dictionary for assistance. Don't hesitate to try speaking French, as locals appreciate the effort. If you encounter difficulties, politely ask for assistance and use non-verbal communication when necessary. Patience and friendliness are key, and attempting to converse in French can enhance your interactions with locals and enrich your overall travel experience.

Currency 

France's currency is the Euro (). It's widely accepted throughout the country for transactions and purchases.

Some fun facts about the Eiffel Tower

  • The Eiffel Tower was constructed in 1889 as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair, held in Paris to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution.
  • It was initially criticized by some French artists and intellectuals who considered it an eyesore. However, it has since become one of the most iconic landmarks in the world.
  • The tower stands at a height of 330 meters (1,083 feet) and held the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York City in 1930.
  • It was designed by Gustave Eiffel and his engineering company, and it took approximately two years, two months, and five days to complete its construction.
  • The Eiffel Tower consists of over 18,000 individual iron parts, held together by 2.5 million rivets.
  • It has three levels accessible to the public, with elevators and staircases leading to each level. The top level offers breathtaking panoramic views of Paris.
  • The tower's iron structure expands and contracts with temperature changes, causing it to vary in height by up to 15 centimeters (6 inches) depending on the weather.
  • Approximately 7 million people visit the Eiffel Tower each year, making it one of the most visited paid monuments in the world.
  • The tower's lights sparkle for five minutes every hour after sunset, creating a mesmerizing light show that has become a symbol of romance and enchantment.
  • The Eiffel Tower has been featured in numerous films, television shows, and works of literature, cementing its status as a cultural icon and symbol of Paris.

Best Time to visit the Eiffel Tower 

Summer spanning from June to August

  • It is the peak tourist season for visiting the Eiffel Tower.
  • Expect large crowds and long queues, especially during weekends and holidays.
  • Temperatures range from 17°C to 25°C (63°F to 77°F), with occasional heatwaves.
  • High humidity levels can make the weather feel warmer than it actually is.
  • Extended daylight hours allow for more time to explore the tower and enjoy panoramic views.
  • Sunset views from the Eiffel Tower are particularly popular during summer evenings.
  • Consider visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the largest crowds.
  • Purchasing tickets online in advance is recommended to skip the ticket queues.
  • Stay hydrated by carrying water, especially if waiting in line or climbing the stairs.

Winter from December to February

  • This season offers fewer crowds and shorter queues at the Eiffel Tower.
  • Temperatures range from 1°C to 7°C (34°F to 45°F), with occasional rain and the possibility of snowfall.
  • The tower's opening hours may be shorter during winter, so check in advance.
  • Dress warmly with layers, including a coat, scarf, hat, and gloves, to stay comfortable in the cold.
  • The tower is beautifully illuminated at night during winter, providing a magical ambiance.
  • Indoor attractions, such as the viewing platforms, are popular during colder weather.
  • Early morning visits or evening visits after sunset offer quieter experiences.
  • Book tickets online in advance to avoid waiting in line, as outdoor waiting areas can be chilly.
  • Be prepared for occasional closures or limited access to outdoor areas due to maintenance or inclement weather.

Spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) 

  • These seasons offer pleasant weather and fewer crowds at the Eiffel Tower.
  • Temperatures range from 10°C to 20°C (50°F to 68°F), making it comfortable for outdoor exploration.
  • The gardens around the Eiffel Tower bloom with colorful flowers, adding to the charm of the surroundings.
  • Springtime showers are possible, so bring an umbrella or rain jacket just in case.
  • Fall foliage adds a picturesque backdrop to the tower, creating stunning photo opportunities.
  • Crowds are smaller compared to summer, allowing for a more relaxed experience.
  • Visit during weekdays for fewer tourists and shorter queues at the ticket counters.
  • Enjoy longer daylight hours for extended sightseeing and exploration.
  • Sunset views from the top of the Eiffel Tower are particularly spectacular during these seasons.

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