The most famous landmark in Paris

Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. There are a variety of reasons for people to come and the majority of those that decide to send postcards to friends and family are likely to pick the most famous image that everyone knows of the French capital.

Looking down

This tower has dominated the Parisian skyline since the late 19th Century. There is no single tower in the world that receives more visitors annually because it is worth closer inspection  Over 250 million people have visited it over its lifetime.

There is an observation point just 40m below its peak giving an outstanding view of this fine city. It actually has three levels and visitors can climb on foot or take a lift. There are 300 steps from the ground floor to the first level and another 300 onto the second level. Beyond that point access is strictly via the elevator.

On the first two levels there are restaurants and Eiffel Tower dinner tickets have proved to be very popular with tourists. They allow tourists to relax and enjoy the fine cuisine of the French capital while having the best views of the city. The first level dining is 95m above ground level and the second is accessed via a private lift.

Avoid disappointment

It is always worth buying tickets for this popular attraction well in advance, particularly as dining space is obviously limited. There are no real seasons in Paris though obviously the numbers rise in the summer. Paris never closes however so even in winter there are many visitors. Some perhaps schedule a trip for Christmas shopping; others may be going for a sporting event and combining that with some sightseeing. The Eiffel Tower is the number one site. It is named after the constructor’s engineer Paul Eiffel.

It cost 6.5m Francs to build, but one fairly astute calculation of what it would cost to build today has been put at £300m with the land valued at £220m. It is repainted every seven years at a current cost of £3.5m. The cost is high but the revenue being created today remains impressive.

Several cities around the world have been inspired to build replicas of the tower. It was the inspiration for the Blackpool Tower while further towers have been built in places as far afield as China and Japan, Las Vegas, Prague and Brisbane.  Two, in Harbin, China and Tokyo are full scale.

They say that imitation is a form of flattery and it is to the credit of the designers that a tower deigned over 120 years ago is still seen as one worth replicating.

No visit to Paris is complete without a visit to the tower. When people think Paris they think Eiffel Tower. Every film that is set in Paris inevitably uses the image to great effect. That applies equally to documentaries and movies; the numbers of movies using Paris as a location are too great to mention. The tower truly defines the city.

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