Tour Eiffel. That is how the iron lady is known here in Paris. The metro prominently display this name against the station to be disembarked to reach the tower for the convenience of tourists. Tour in French means Tower. It was confusing for me in the initial phases as I mistook it for the English word!
If you are visiting the tower, then you should get down at the Trocadero Metro station instead of Bir-Hakeim Metro station. Bir-Hakeim is officially listed as the Metro Station for Tour Eiffel. But, If you get down at the Trocadero, you will enjoy a clear view of the tower standing tall majestically exuding elegance. Moreover, the base of tower is not far from this point. You can reach there in 5 minutes by walking.
Tour Eiffel is divided into three levels. There are two options to reach the first and the second level; stair or escalators. A separate escalator is available for going to the third level from the second level. Three of us formed the unlikely trio to climb the tower on the day after Christmas. We opted for the stairs. The climb to second level was 650 odd steps. For us, It was a slow climb but not tiring.
From the second level, the city and some of the landmarks are clearly visible. There is audio visual tour available on the second level. The audio visual tour is an iPad loaded with an application which has a 360 degree view from the second level with landmarks highlighted. On clicking on the landmarks, a short video appears with the history of the landmark. The application also has other videos describing the Tower, the history and the architect. If you are new to the city, then you can choose a position on the second level and use this tool to learn more. Although the rental charge is only 7 Euros for this iPad, your credit card is used to lock 500 Euros for damage or theft. This is cancelled when the equipment is returned.
The tickets for third level are sold on the second level. After purchasing the ticket, you can use the elevator to go up to third floor. This elevator is covered with glass and is situated in the middle of the tower. Hence, the ascent is scary especially if you are not too comfortable with heights. On top of it, you are thinking of various scary scenarios!
The third level provides a good view of the city and the adjoining areas. The distance to the major cities are written overhead indicated how close or further away are from these cities! I saw Bangalore, Calcutta and Chennai displayed there. Frankly, I wasn’t even bothered about cities in other country. At the summit, they also sell champagne by the glass. This is useful if you are in the mood to commemorate your achievement!
See below for pictures and videos.