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Eiffel Tower

Eiffel Tower

Discover the district surrounding the world's most recognized monument

While France’s iconic structure dominates this neighborhood, its picturesque green spaces and historic museums are also among the city’s most interesting. Bisected by the Siene river, many describe walking alongside it here as one of their favorite memories of their time in Paris. Still, no visit to Paris is complete without a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, where countless wedding proposals have occurred and the collective adoration of thousands of people resides. A view of the tower at night, with all its lights, is unforgettable.

Paris' most beloved monument, once considered an eyesore

Erected for the Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair) of 1889, the Eiffel Tower was initially described as an eyesore and was scheduled to be dismantled in 1909. Sometimes referred to as “the metal asparagus”, many residents were counting the days until it would be torn down, and some of Paris’ most influential artists even organized against its construction, claiming to want to protect “the untouched beauty of Paris.” As Paris’ tallest structure at 1,063 feet, its usefulness as a radio and telegraph tower extended its life. After its role in the capture of infamous spy Mata Hari, there was no more thought of destroying it, and its popularity as a symbol for Paris continued to grow exponentially from that point on.

Host to great celebrations - Bastille Day, Chanukah And New Year’s Eve

The height of Bastille Day celebrations in Paris take place here, with over 250 musicians from the National Orchestra of France and the Radio France Choir serenading the Iron Lady, followed by a fireworks show attended by crowds of over half a million. An annual menorah lighting takes place at the base of the tower on the first night of Chanukah every year, and the New Year celebration is attended by hundreds of thousands of people every year.

Transcendent dining experiences near the Eiffel Tower

Some of the most well-known culinary establishments in Paris can be found in this district.

Consider the intimate Le Violon d’Ingres for a distinctly Parisian meal. This restaurant offers traditional cuisine in addition to more modern offerings, and the quality of its service has received generous compliments as well. The staff speaks English as well as French.  

Seated on the second level of the Eiffel Tower itself, Le Jules Vernes is an appropriately pricey gourmet restaurant known for its five and six course meals, “tasting menu” and 100% French wine selection, with a sommelier to suggest one for each course of your meal. A private elevator means no waiting in line to enjoy unparalleled views of Paris before or after your meal.

Other well-reviewed establishments in this district are the Le P’tit Troquet bistro, Les Cocottes (another, more casual restaurant offering by Christian Constant, the chef of aforementioned Le Violon d’Ingres) and Au Bon Accuil (website in French only, but plenty of additional information in English can be found via TripAdvisor, Fodors and others).

For pastries, try Lenôtre, famed for the lightness of its pastries and Dalloyau, the patisserie known for making the Opera cake, an almond sponge cake filled with coffee and chocolate, known worldwide. For cheese, genteel Barthélémy, though tiny, is jam-packed with cheese and considered one of the best, if not the best, cheese shops in Paris. Its Fontainebleu is made daily.

Eiffel Tower district Attractions

Postcard views and spectacular fountains at the Trocadéro

For some picture-perfect views and photos of the Eiffel Tower, this is the place you want to go as the Trocadéro provides an incredible vantage point. Situated just across the Siene from the tower, if you decide to take advantage of this view, be sure to include some evening hours in your visit so that you can watch the iconic structure light up every hour on the hour after the sun sets. It’s also a great place to watch the Bastille Day fireworks.

It’s worth spending some additional time exploring the Trocadéro itself: the palace buildings now house several museums. The surrounding grounds, the Jardins du Trocadéro, feature the massive Fountain of Warsaw with over 40 fountains and 20 water cannons. These cannons are capable of projecting a jet of water over 160 feet, a spectacular sight from the garden grounds or the top of the Eiffel tower. Here, too, you’ll find one of Paris’ famous carousels. The young as well as the young at heart will enjoy riding horses, cars, or even a hot air balloon on this double carousel, which also offers an incredible photo opportunity with the tower as backdrop.

Rodin, Renoir, van Gogh and Monet

In 1916, the artist Rodin donated all his works to the state of France. Located near the Eiffel Tower, the Musée Rodin was opened in 1919 in the Hôtel Biron, an 18th century mansion and historical monument, to house this tremendous collection as well as the works of many other masters from Rodin’s personal collection. Beautiful gardens surrounding the museum are home to sculptures such as “The Thinker,” “The Kiss,” “The Burghers of Calais,” and “The Gates of Hell”.

The museum also includes a room dedicated to the works of Camille Claudel, an incredibly talented artist and sculptor who began her career under the tutelage of Rodin, eventually becoming his assistant, mistress and muse. Claudel, unfortunately, suffered from mental illness, perhaps encouraged by their tragic relationship, and destroyed many of her works. Begun with four sculptures donated by her brother Paul, the collection was gradually enriched by further donations and purchases by the museum to finally recognize this artist in her own right.

Honorable Mentions

Champ de Mars – beautiful green space directly southeast of and adjacent to the Eiffel Tower

Palais de Tokyo – building dedicated to modern art that is home to the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris

Musée du quai Branly – one of Paris’ newer museums; it features indigenous art from Africa, Asia, Oceania and the Americas

Maison de la culture du Japon à Paris – space dedicated to educating visitors on Japanese culture (their official website, here, is in French and Japanese only)

Les Invalides – complex of buildings that is home to military and contemporary history museums

Statue of Liberty – replica of the famous American structure that is 37 feet high and located on the Île aux Cygnes

Getting There

This neighborhood straddles the Seine with the majority of it, including the Eiffel tower, located on the Left Bank. The Champs-Élysées and its famous shopping street is situated to the north while the world’s busiest museum, the Musée du Louvre, is 2 miles to the east, on the other side of the famous river.

The Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel and Pont de l'Alma stations are located on either side of the famous iron structure. RER C, one of the most popular RER lines for visitors, serves both of these stops; these trains also stop at places such as the Palace of Versailles. RER C trains cross the Seine just before arriving at the Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel stop, curving over the river and the Île aux Cygnes, where a Statue of Liberty replica is located, before heading straight towards the Eiffel Tower.

Bir-Hakeim is the closest Métro stop to the Eiffel Tower. RER C trains travel underneath this station, and the Champ de Mars – Tour Eiffel station is located a short distance north of here.

Line 6 trains stop at the Boissière, Trocadéro and Passy stations on the Right Bank before crossing the Seine; they then pick up and drop off passengers at the Bir-Hakeim, Dupleix, La Motte-Picquet — Grenelle and Cambronne stations before exiting the area. Travelers can catch this train to sights such as the Arc de Triomphe, Montparnasse and Bercy Arena.

Line 9 trains serve the Iéna and Alma – Marceau stops in this community’s northeast section. Popular places served by these trains include the Parc des Princes and Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

In the eastern part of this community, Line 8 trains stop at the École Militaire, La Tour-Maubourg and Invalides. The latter of these three stations is also a stop for Line 13 trains as well as the RER C line.

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