There are a few good reasons I can think of for getting up early and heading into the city in the dark. One is to see the dawn breaking behind the Eiffel Tower. With the city almost silent, and the tower and area surrounding it completely empty, you really feel that you are privileged to be seeing something special.
A bit less silent, but no less beautiful, the tower at night is also spectacular when it’s lit up, especially when it sparkles. It’s actually much nicer from a distance when it’s sparkling rather than close up, the best views are from the Trocadero. Be there on the hour every hour from sunset until 1am and see it sparkling for 5 minutes. It’s impossible not to stop and stare, no matter how many times you’ve seen it.
Built in 1889 for the world’s fair, initially only intended to stay up for 20 years, it was first reviled and is now loved by the Parisians. It’s a monument you can’t miss on a visit to Paris. The lines can be incredibly long, especially in high season. Book a timed entry ticket on the internet to avoid spending half your day waiting, and don’t wait until the last minute to book, they sell out way in advance. Or take a guided tour, not only do you get to skip the line but you’ll be amazed how much you learn – as you can imagine there are many fascinating stories surrounding this world famous icon. The other alternative is to take the stairs, the lines are shorter and it’s cheaper, and as long as you can cope with the views below it’s a fun option!
Open daily all year round 9.30am to 11pm (midnight from June through early Sept).
- Eiffel Tower, Champ de Mars, 75007 Paris. metro Bir Hakeim or RER Champ de Mars. The best way in my opinion is go to Trocadero metro and walk down, you get the best views.