Eiffel Tower FAQ

Q&A: The Eiffel Tower

Discover more about the history of the Eiffel Tower & useful tips when visiting

The Eiffel Tower is undoubtably one of most recognisable monuments of Paris. Visited by 7 million people per year, it’s an extremely popular monument to visit yet many don’t know much about the Iron Lady. This guide answers frequently answered questions about the Eiffel Tower as well as providing practical tips and information to help you when visiting.

Where is the Eiffel Tower located & how do you get there?

The Eiffel Tower is located to the west of the city centre, in the 7th arrondissement. It lies on the left bank of the Seine, next to the Champs de Mars and within the Jardin de la Tour Eiffel. Crossing the the bridge (Pont d’Iéna) takes visitors to the Trocadéro which provides incredible views on the tower itself.

It’s accessible by Metro Line 6 (Bir-Hakeim on the left bank and Trocadéro on the right), Line 8 (École Military) and the RER C (Pont de l’Alma).

The gardens and the tower is an easy walk from most central areas – count on roughly 25 minutes from the middle of the Champs-Elysées and 22 minutes from Hôtel des Invalides. Note that the centre of Paris, unlike London or New York, is very small and you can easily walk across half the city in 1 hour.

Who built the Eiffel Tower?

Construction first started at the start of 1887 after a lengthy competition to pick a designer. It was Gustave Eiffel along with engineers, Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier, and architect Stephen Sauvestre who were given the task of designing and building the tower.

Engineers Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier had the original idea of tower’s 4 columned design coming together at the top. Not particularly confident of the tower’s looks, they employed architect, Stephen Sauvestre, to design what we now see today.

Why was the Eiffel Tower built?

The Eiffel Tower was built to become the centre piece for the 1889 World Fair. This particular World Fair was planned to be celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French revolution.

The tower having been built on city owned landed, Gustave Eiffel had rights for 20 years to operate the its viewing platforms and restaurants. It was one of the only structures constructed for the world fair not to be knocked down afterwards. After the 20 year lease ran out, it was decided to preserve the tour permanently.

What is the Eiffel Tower made of?

The Eiffel Tower’s lattice structure is built of puddle, or wrought, iron. The iron plates and beams were connected together using rivets and these were preassembled in a factory nearby and then mounted onto the growing structure.

Over 2.5 million rivets were made for the construction of the Eiffel Tower, although not all of these were used. The tower’s iron structure also requires to be covered in thick layers of paint in order to protect the material from rust.

Does the Eiffel Tower have a restaurant?

Yes, there are two restaurants on the Eiffel Tower. On the first floor there is Madame Brasserie which is a traditional French bistro serving up classic, casual French dishes. Open every day, Madame Brasserie has various menus available during lunch and dinner, outside these periods there are snacks available. The menus have been designed by Michelin starred chef Thierry Marx (owner of Sur Mesure.- 2* Michelin). The food on offer includes dishes such as roasted saddle of lamb, chicken fricassee and sea bream.

The second restaurant located on the 2nd floor, the Jules Vernes, has 1 Michelin star and is headed up by chef Frédéric Anton. This fine dining restaurant has three different dining rooms in order to give diners the option of different views over Paris. For either lunch or dinner, there is an option of either a 5 or 7 course tasting menu. The food is classic French with modern twists. Expect sea food, fish, truffle and poultry all prepared with the precision that you would expect from a Michelin starred restaurant.

Where do you buy Eiffel Tower tickets and are they refundable?

You can tickets to access the Eiffel Tower online on the official Eiffel Tower website here. Note that once the purchase is confirmed, the tickets are not modifiable or refundable.

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