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My Bucket List Review of Watching the Eiffel Tower Sparkle
|My Overall Rating||5/10|
|Who Needs to Add This to Their Bucket List?||Paris-loving travelers who wants to see the |
Eiffel Tower in a unique way.
|Best Time to Go||Anytime|
|Wheelchair Accessible||Can be depending on the location you choose.|
If you need more information, you check out all you need to know about my Bucket List Reviews.
Why should you watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle?
Oh, Paris. It’s the city we’ve seen in movies growing up and every girl’s dream of one day visiting. Although I have to admit that the city can be overpopulated with tourists and a little cliché, Paris still has its appeal.
There are many iconic activities to do in Paris: the Arc de Triomphe, the hills of Montmartre, the art of the Louvre, and the bells of Notre Dame. Nothing quite compares to the site of the most famous landmark in all of Paris: the Eiffel Tower. It is an attraction that is known to everyone and whenever it is shown, everyone will lean back and say, “Oh, Paris!”
So is this overdone touristy activity still worth it to put on your bucket list? I’d say yes because why not?
And also because you can see it a million times in pictures and movies, but it never quite compares to the real thing. But here at The Bucket List Mermaid, I want to give you inspiration about things that you might not know about!
And sure you know about the Eiffel Tower and all of its glory, but what you may not know is that you shouldn’t go back to your overpriced hotel once the sun goes down!
In my humble opinion, the Eiffel Tower may even be more of a sight to behold after the sun goes down when it performs a dazzling light show and truly sparkles.
Some quick Facts About the Eiffel Tower’s Sparkle
The Eiffel Tower has been illuminating Paris since December 31st, 1985. Invented by Pierre Bidaeu, it started with 336 projectors that have high-pressure, yellow-orange sodium lamps.
These beams of light illuminate the entire structure from the bottom to the top and from the inside out.
In 1958, these were replaced by 1,290 projectors, and then again in 2004 to save 40% in energy consumption.
Today, it takes about 22 megawatts of electricity to run per day! And interestingly, besides its beautiful display, it also serves as security for the late-night operation of the tower.
These projectors are activated by sensors. The recognizable beacon was later added in 2000 and reaches 80km both ways. Today, there are 20,000 lightbulbs that light up the Eiffel Tower for your enjoyment!
When does the Eiffel Tower Sparkle?
The projectors, beacon, and dazzling lights of the Eiffel Tower entertain Paris for 5 minutes every hour on the hour. This starts at dawn and as of 2022, the last show is at 11:00pm.
Where to see the Eiffel Tower Sparkle?
Arc de Triomphe
Let’s start with my favorite: the Arc de Triomphe.
This way you hit two birds with one stone with these two famous landmarks of Paris. If you choose this option, you are going to buy a ticket to climb the Arc (it was 13 euros when I went).
You will then proceed to climb 284 stairs (two landmarks AND you get a workout? Lucky you!). I believe there is a lift to the first point but I do not believe that it is wheelchair accessible to get up to the actual roof where to magic happens.
From there, it is another 64 steps to the roof. Once at the top, you will be dazzled by a bird’s eye view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
Highlights are the Champs-Élysées, Montmartre in the distance, and (of course) the Eiffel Tower.
I would recommend making your journey in the late afternoon/dusk so that you can see the city in the light, watch the sunset, and then watch the first lighting of the Eiffel Tower.
Back to my point, the roof of the arc provides a fantastic and unique viewing point for the lights. This is easily my favorite view of the tower and the city—if you are up for the slightly claustrophobic climb and workout.
The Base of the Eiffel Tower
My second pick for watching the Eiffel Tower light show is at the base of none other than the Eiffel Tower.
It might seem obvious, but sometimes the best places are the obvious ones. There are lots of open grassy areas around the Eiffel Tower that could easily be used as spaces for your viewing.
Be warned though, depending on the season there might be a vast amount of people there for the same reason as you. If you don’t mind the crowds and want something easy and simple, then this might be for you!
Just tell a taxi cab driver to take you to Champ-de-Mars and you should be all set!
Although I have not personally done this one, it is definitely getting added to my list. Apparently, there are numerous riverboat cruises that will take you around the Seine to admire the tower from several different viewpoints.
I have done a river cruise before but I clearly didn’t get the memo for this specialized one. When I go back, you will be the first to know about the verdict.
In the meantime, Viator offers some great deals on Seine River cruises:
Another one of my favorite places to view the Eiffel Tower is the famous Trocadero.
This space offers a dreamy view of the Tower. It also has different levels and provides different angles of the Eiffel Tower.
You can view it from the steps, the garden, or the fountains of Warsaw. I personally prefer to be higher to get the best view, but I would recommend going early and trying out all of the angles to see which one is your favorite. Or better yet, snap a photo on one of the stair ways = less crowded!
As a bonus, it can be a nice walk from Champ-de-Mars (around 30ish minutes).
If you are looking to get a view from higher up, I would suggest the observatory deck on the 56th floor of the Montparnasse Tower.
This is an open-air observation deck that offers 360-degree views of all of Paris (and by extension the Eiffel Tower). The elevator takes 38 seconds and it also offers a rooftop bar and a cafe.
Fun fact: the citizens of Paris think this is the ugliest building in the city…so I guess if you are on the 56th floor admiring the view then you don’t have to see it among the Paris skyline? Win-win.
Tips and Recommendations for visiting the iron lady
Dress for the occasion
As you may know, Paris is a very fashion-forward city! Although you might look stunning in your jeans and t-shirt, why not experiment a bit and wear your best outfit? Trust me—your photos and confidence will thank you later.
Expect a LOT of tourists
This is a very popular tourist spot, especially for Americans.
I would keep this in mind and mentally prepare yourself for navigating the crowds. I found Paris in general to be very touristy, but the Eiffel Tower was especially congested around the “Iron Lady” due to its popularity and iconic nature.
Again, this might change if you go during the winter (between October and April) when it is colder and there are fewer tourists.
And it goes without saying but in those highly touristy areas, watch your belongings extra closely! Paris is notoriously known for pick picketers and other tourist scams. Stay safe out there!
If you want to take videos/pictures, practice in low light first
Keep in mind that if you want to capture this memory, make sure that your devices have low-light capabilities.
You also might not be able to get a good shot unless your camera has a good zoom or you are very close. I would think about this before you decide where to view the lights.
If you want to skip the stress and it is within your budget, I would recommend hiring a local photographer for the best results. Or ask someone in your group if you are on a tour.
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