Last Updated on 2nd August 2017 by Sophie Nadeau
So you’re planning a trip to Paris? Maybe you’re going for a long weekend, or perhaps an entire week (lucky you!). Well, there’s one thing that most people suggest you do. However, I highly advise against doing this thing! Don’t go up the Eiffel Tower! Like, seriously, just don’t do it.
Unless you want to go up the Iron Lady just to tick it off your Parisian Bucket List, then it’s just not worth the time (or effort). There are far prettier views available at a fraction of the price and a much reduced waiting time!
To be honest, going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower is pretty over-hyped. The waiting times are regularly between two and four hours long and the place is always entirely packed! This doesn’t even take into consideration that the Eiffel Tower is in the middle of the Champs de Mars so you’re going to miss all of those pretty Haussmann Buildings.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I absolutely love the Tour Eiffel. Even more so since I discovered that there’s a military bunker hiding under the base of the south leg…
But yes, in my opinion, don’t go up the Eiffel Tower because it’s not the best viewpoint in Paris. And isn’t that why you were planning to go up in the first place?
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Go up the Arc de Triomphe instead!
Built between 1806 and 1836, the Arc de Triomphe sits at the very end of the Champs Élysées (you know, that iconic shopping street filled with luxury shops). It’s little known that the original Arc de Triomphe is actually situated in Provence and was built by the Romans!
Napoleon loved the idea of grandeur and had plans to ‘leave a legacy’ behind him that would be remembered for generations to come. And I guess he wasn’t entirely wrong because no ruler of France has shaped Paris to the same extent! So thus the Arc de Triomphe was built to commemorate all his battle victories.
Today, the Arc de Triomphes lies in the very centre of the infamous Arc de Triomphe Roundabout. Famed for being the most dangerous roundabout in Europe, it’s one of the only places in the world where vehicles coming onto the rounabout have priority over the vehicles already on it. And let me tell you from experience that being a passenger in a car on that roundabout is not a pleasant one!
Oh, and you can go up the Arc as well! with queues of roughly half an hour (the max I’ve waited was an hour), these are the best kind of waiting times you can expect from Paris. The views from the top provide 360 degree bird’s eye viewpoints over one of the most historic and best preserved Haussmann quarters of Paris. From here, you can see all the way to the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, La Defense and beyond…