The unmissable Eiffef Tower
You must have seen its shape from other parts of the city, now discover it from the inside. The Eiffel Tower dominates Paris with its 325 meters height. Its 20 000 bulbs enlighten every night for five minutes at each turning hour. The tower was designed by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 Universal exhibition, and was supposed to be dismantled after twenty years. But Gustave Eiffel wouldn't agree and fought hard: he constructed a Weather office at its top. Later, he would launch experiments, like the very first phone calls and some wireless telegraphy. And then, the radio would be born, and antennas were added to the top. For these various scientific and technical reasons, the Tower would remain erected. It was used in both World Wars to send coded messages through its waves. The contemporary fame of the Eiffel Tower was born in the second half of the Twentieth century. The present architecture is slightly different from the original one: the tower has been refurbished in the Seventies and the Eighties to lose some structural weight.
For a visit on your own, choose if you want to use the elevator or the staircases. You'll have to queue a little for the first option, but you have to be very healthy for the second (115 m up to the second floor).
You may want to book a table at the Altitude 95 (restaurant on the first floor), or for a top-notch honeymoon dinner to try the famous Jules Verne. This restaurant, managed by the famous French Chef Alain Ducasse, is a must-see and was renovated in 2007 (Internet booking only: www.lejulesverne-paris.com ).
You can also choose to join a tour. Cultival organizes special visits which include a tour behind the scenes of the tower. You will discover the engine room and a former secret bunker. The tour can be linked to a river cruise (lunch or dinner).
Below the Tower, you'll find numerous boats for any possible kind of river cruises. Check the Bateaux Parisiens (port de la Bourdonnais, dinner or Kids Cruise), or the Vedettes de Paris (port de Suffren) for a Champaign cruise every day at 6PM. You can also take a Batobus: it's a shuttle serving eight major places of the city every 15-30 minutes from Port de la Bourdonnais.
You can also decide to enjoy a stroll or even a picnic in the Champs de Mars . These Gardens, which were at the centre of the French Revolution, now welcome Parisians for a tan, a jogging, or a game with their kids. It also hosts concerts – 21 June as the Music Day is especially famous. The view over the Eiffel Tower is magnificent.
Cross over the gardens up to avenue Bourdonnais, and go to Quai Branly. At n°37, the Musée du quai Branly was imagined by former president Jacques Chirac. It gathers African, Asian, Pacific and Indian Arts and it's the newest Parisian museum. Enjoy its building – another Jean Nouvel design – and have a drink at its bar. You can also book a table at Les Ombres, a beautiful restaurant with glass ceiling and a fantastic terrace overlooking Paris.