The Eiffel Tower: the views, the lights, the bubbles
The Eiffel Tower has been reeling in the crowds since 1889, when it opened as the signature building of the Universal Exposition held in Paris that year.
To tour the tower
Eiffel Tower information, online tickets: www.eiffel-tower.com
HURRY UP and wait. At the Eiffel Tower, one of the world's best-known icons, long lines of visitors snake around the base of the Paris monument.
The Eiffel Tower has been reeling in the crowds since 1889, when it opened as the signature building of the Universal Exposition held in Paris that year. Since then, more than 250 million people have ascended the tower, named after its designer Gustave Eiffel, and delighted in the views from on high.
Go by day to gaze over miles of Parisian rooftops, boulevards and the winding Seine River; pick out the Louvre museum, Notre Dame cathedral and other landmarks. Go by night when the tower, and the city, glisten with lights.
The Eiffel Tower's glass-windowed elevators carry visitors up to the top at about 905 feet (the tower's antennas stretch more than 150 feet higher). Stop on lower floors at restaurants and exhibits. Or celebrate with a glass of bubbly — prices start at a high-flying $13 a glass — at the Champagne bar at the top. Or just drink in the view.
To beat some of the crowds, buy tower tickets online and bypass the ticket-office line at the tower's base. You'll still have to line up for the elevators, especially in the busy spring and summer months. But at least it's a scenic place to wait, with the tower's intricate latticework of metal soaring overhead.
Kristin R. Jackson is The Seattle Times' NWTraveler editor. Contact her at email@example.com.