The most famous sight in Paris is a surefire hit with kids – and with parents lucky to have an excuse to go up it.
Today it’s hard to imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower (1). The iron structure has come to symbolize the city – not bad for something that was originally meant to be a temporary monument erected by Gustave Eiffel for the 1889 World’s Fair to celebrate the centennial of the French Revolution. At the time, it was the tallest building in the world at 1 024 feet 6 inches (it is now 1 063 feet, including the radio antenna).
It draws more than six million visitors a year, so be prepared to wait for a ticket (no advance reservations). If there are two adults, one can take kids to explore the pools and playground in the nearby Champ de Mars gardens (2) or for a ride on the carousel (3) near Pont d’Iena while the other stands in line (lines are shorter in the evening and a overcast days).
Take the elevator up to the first and second levels. On level 1, stop for lunch or a drink at the Altitude 95 brassserie (those with smaller kids may prefer the self-service cafeteria on the opposite side, which has an outdoor terrace); send home postcards postmarked Tour Eiffel from the post office; visit the Cineiffel; look into the Feroscope to see how the tower was built; and see how many monuments you can recognize before checking their names on the photo panoramas. Then take the elevator up to the top. On a clear day you can see more miles, but it’s also pretty at night, when the city is lit up. Try to be there on the hour, when the entire structure sparkles with thousands of tiny lights.
Metro Station : Bir-Hakeim (Line 6), Trocadero (Line 6,9)