When I first started writing about Paris on the now-defunct website VirtualTourist, I announced that my Paris page was going to be “ET-free” — on the grounds that VirtualTourist already had 1,178 tips on the Eiffel Tower (this was in 2006; a year later there were 82 more). I wanted to present a less-stereotyped view of Paris, and even went so far as to crop the tower out of my photos when it happened to pop up in the background.
But after a couple years I decided this was a silly restriction, since the Eiffel Tower really is a quintessential symbol of Paris, right up there with the Arch of Triumph, the Wallace Fountains and the Vélib’ on-street rental bikes.
In 2008 — the year VT was sold to TripAdvisor — I made this collage showing the four Paris attractions that had (by far) the most ‘tips’ on VirtualTourist. At that time, there were 1,325 ‘tips’ on the Eiffel Tower, 1,015 on the Louvre, 923 on Notre-Dame and 920 on Montmartre/Sacre-Coeur. Needless to say, there was a high level of redundancy on the site, especially about these four places.
In September 2011 we had a large VirtualTourist meeting in Paris — organized by the members, as always. The meeting included a picnic by the Eiffel Tower in the park Champ de Mars, followed by dinner at a nearby restaurant and a return to the park to see the tower all lit up at night.
The nearest opera venue to the Eiffel Tower is the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées, which is across the river on Avenue Montaigne, near the Alma Bridge. My photo shows audience members leaving the theatre after a performance of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, with the Eiffel Tower in the background.
A short distance upstream, the Alexandre III Bridge is a popular place for taking photos of the Eiffel Tower, with a muscular ‘nymph’ in the foreground.
Another popular vantage point is the Trocadéro, on a small hill just across the river from the Eiffel Tower.
On warm summer evenings, a pleasant place for tower-watching is the café on the roof of the Au Printemps department store.
The author Honoré de Balzac (1799–1850) would have had a great view of the tower from his house in Passy, except that he lived there several decades before the tower was even built.
I haven’t gone up the Eiffel Tower since Wednesday, October 26, 1966, so I don’t have anything current to report about it. But I do have every intention of going up again sometime, especially since it is now possible to buy tickets online, and the tower’s website includes information on which months of the year, days of the week and times of day are most suitable for people like me who are not fond of lengthy queuing.
My photos in this post are from 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2018.
I wrote the text in 2022.