eiffel tower sparkle, How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle

How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle

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Ready to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle? Ahhhh, 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.

eiffel tower sparkle, How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle
The Eiffel Tower sparkling over Paris. Photo by Rosivan Morais on Pexels.

My Bucket List Review of Watching the Eiffel Tower Sparkle

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 GoAnytime
Traveling DifficultyEasy
Physical DifficultyEasy
Popularity Rating9/10
Group/Tour RequiredNo
Wheelchair AccessibleCan be depending on the location you choose.
Favorite StayRésidence Charles Floquet
Favorite TourEiffel Tower Entry Ticket with Optional Summit Access
Traveler’s InsuranceGet Quote with VistorsCoverage

If you need more information about the categories of this table, please check out the Bucket List Reviews guide.

eiffel tower sparkle, How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle
The view from the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

Plan Your Trip to Paris to See the Eiffel tower Sparkle

Step 1

Find a place to stay

Find the perfect place to stay in Paris.

Step 2

Book Activities

Find Eiffel Tower tours in Paris.

Step 3


a Car

Rent a car to go at your own pace.

Step 4

Stay Safe with Insurance

Always travel safe with insurance!

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.

eiffel tower sparkle, How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle
The Eiffel Tower at night. Photo by Rosivan Morais on Pexels.

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. 

eiffel tower sparkle, How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle
A view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.

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!

Riverboat Cruise

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:

eiffel tower sparkle, How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle
The View of the Eiffel Tower from the third level of Trocadero.


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).

Montparnasse Tower

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. 

From Your Accomodation

There are some incredible options for accomdations in Paris! You might not even have to leave your hotel room in order to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle.

For example, Résidence Charles Floquet stands out for its pristine location-only 0.2 miles from the Iron Lady. And I don’t know about you…but drinking some delicious French wine on my balcony overlooking Paris and the tower seems like a pretty great time to me!

You can book this place through the link below, but make sure to make your reservation early because it tends to fill up quickly!

eiffel tower sparkle, How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle
Looking at the Eiffel Tower from a random grass patch in Paris.

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!

eiffel tower sparkle, How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle
Taking in the Eiffel Tower from across the street.

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. 

eiffel tower sparkle, How to Watch the Eiffel Tower Sparkle
Posing at the base of the Eiffel Tower with my mother.

Adventure Bucket List Resources

I am here to help your travel adventures go as smoothly as possible! That way you can check off that bucket list with minimal complications and spending!

AIRFARE – It is no surprise that like many travelers, I have found that Hopper is one of the best resources to use when finding cheap flights. 

ACCOMMODATION – My two favorites are Booking.Com for hotels and VRBO for rentals. 

GUIDED TOURS –  If you are looking for quick and easy tours, check out GetYourGuide and Viator

MULTI-DAY TOURS –  For more in-depth tours that span several days, TourHub has many great options with reputable travel companies. Use my code (ALEXANDRA1GURU) for up to 5% off your next bucket list adventure. 

TRANSPORTATION –  You can either rent a car yourself with Discover Cars or do a guided bus tours like Big Bus Tours

CREDIT CARD –  I always use my Chase Freedom Unlimited card for all of my purchases. There is no annual fee and you get 1.5% cash back and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel. 

SIM CARDS –  Avoid expensive roaming charges with an eSim card with Airalo.

TRAVELER’S INSURANCE –  Check out VisitorsCoverage for affordable insurance plans.

Visiting Paris? Share it with your Paris bucket list travel buddy!

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