EIFFEL TOWER facts

Read on to discover fascinating Eiffel Tower facts you never thought you needed to know . But also essential Eiffel Tower information you must know if you intend to visit this amazing Paris landmark.

When the tower was being designed by Monsieur Gustave Eiffel, he can have had no idea how his creation would become a global and much loved icon. Read our 20 amazing Eiffel Tower facts but don't forget to read the visitors information we've included to help you make the most of your visit to the Tower.


20 amazing Eiffel tower facts


© Atout France/Franck Charel


1. The Tower was built in 1889. It was built as the star attraction for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair). This event was held to commemorate the centennial of the French Revolution. The tower itself was completed on March 31, 1889.

2. Incredibly the Eiffel Tower wasn't intended to be a permanent structure.

3. The tower was going to be demolished in 1909, but was saved because it was used as a giant radio antenna.

4. The first visitors to the Eiffel Tower were the British Royal family and Buffalo Bill.

5. Even then it made headlines – it was the world’s tallest man-made structure for 41 years until the completion of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930.


© Atout France/Cédric Helsly


6. The Eiffel Tower is 324 metres tall (including antennas) and weighs 10,100 tonnes. That’s about forty times the height of the Statue of Liberty. The height, however, varies by almost 6 inches due to temperature changes.

7. Repainting the tower, which happens every seven years, requires 60 tonnes of paint, as much as 10 elephants. 

8. In 1960, Charles de Gaulle proposed temporarily dismantling the tower and sending it to Montreal for Expo 67. The plan was rejected which must have made a lot of people breathe a sigh of relief.

9. A con artist, Victor Lustig, sold the Eiffel Tower to a scrap metal dealer.

10. If you’ve ever been up the tower in the wind and thought it was moving – you’re probably right, it sways around six to seven centimetres (2-3 inches) in the wind.


© Atout France/Nathalie Baetens


11. Every evening, the Eiffel Tower is lit up and literally sparkles for 5 minutes every hour on the hour, thanks to 20,000 light bulbs. Energy saving projectors are used to light the “The Iron Lady”.

12. Photographers can take pictures of the tower by daylight without problems, but a court has ruled that the light show using 20,000 light bulbs is a copyright design.

13. The famous Beacon emits a light beam which reaches out for miles, scanning the skyline of Paris and reflecting the tower’s position as a universal and symbolic landmark.

14. The Chamber of Commerce of Monza and Brianza (Italy) valued the Eiffel Tower at €434 billion in August 2012.

15. Around 7 million people a year visit the tower (6.98 million in 2011), it is the world’s most visited, paid monument.


16. When Hitler visited Paris, the French cut the lift cables to that if he wanted to reach the top, he would have to climb the stairs, all 1,665 of them.

17. A woman, named Erika La Tour Eiffel, married the tower in 2007.

18. In 2010, the tower had its 250 millionth visitor. 

19. Without its antenna, the tower is the second highest structure in France: the Millau viaduct is higher.

20. There is a replica of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas, Nevada (half size), and in Tokyo, Japan (full size).


Eiffel tower information


The Eiffel Tower is located on the Champ de Mars in Paris.  It's both a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognizable structures in the world.

The tower is the tallest building in Paris, and the most-visited paid monument in the world; more than 7 million people ascended it in 2011. The tower received its 250 millionth visitor in 2010.

During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to assume the title of the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in New York City was built in 1930. Today, it is the second-tallest structure in France, after the Millau Viaduct.

In 2014, the Eiffel Tower underwent a €30 million refit, that has modernised the pavilions on the first floor, introduced access to the outer platform with its spectacular panoramic views of the city to those in wheelchairs. A cinema room shows historic and recent film of the tower.

The project aimed to reduce the tower's carbon footprint by repositioning glass panels to reduce air-conditioning costs in summer, introducing solar panels, installing a rainwater collection system, and using LED lighting.

The renovated floor, however, has a new attraction that is not for the faint-hearted or those with vertigo. Visitors can now stand on a glass floor and see straight down to the ground from a height of 57 metres, rather as they now can on the Aiguille du Midi above Chamonix, although in Chamonix the drop is rather greater.




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EIFFEL TOWER VISITOR INFORMATION

The tower has three levels for visitors. Tickets can be purchased to ascend, by stairs or lift (elevator), to the first and second levels. The walk from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the walk from the first to the second level. The third and highest level is accessible only by lift - stairs exist but they are not usually open for public use. Both the first and second levels feature restaurants.

There is a ticket office at the foot of the Tower, open every day, but you can buy tickets online. These electronic tickets - which you can print at home or save to your mobile phone - allows you to go directly to the queue for those with tickets. But be aware, that these tickets are date and time specific.

Also, check the website for information about anything that might be causing delays: www.eiffel-tower.com.

Open: all year, daily: mid Jun-early Sept 0900-0045; rest of year 0930-2345, but with extended opening hours at Easter and during Spring holidays.