Ah, La Tour Eiffel. Otherwise known as the Iron Lady or simply The Eiffel Tower, there is perhaps no Parisian quite as famous, nor quite as popular. And though the tower was originally only meant to be in situ for a brief stint, the metal structure has since become a symbol for the French capital. Here’s your guide to the best of fun activities and unusual things to do near the Eiffel Tower!
Visit today and you may well be surprised to find that the Eiffel Tower is actually pretty far away from most other Parisian sights. Located in the 7th arrondissement of the city, the structure can be found to the West of Paris. And though the best view in the city is not to be found from the top of the Eiffel Tower (instead, this is from the top of the Arc de Triomphe), if you want to visit the top deck, then be sure to book your priority Eiffel Tower tickets in advance.
#1 Enjoy a picnic on the Champ de Mars
If you’re thinking of visiting Paris on a budget, then one of the most fun activities you can take part in is to enjoy the art of the French picnic. All you need to do is gather together a few friends and pick up some picnic supplies (a bottle of wine, a punnet of strawberries, a fresh baguette, and some authentic French cheese will get you started!) and stake out your picnic location.
One of the very best locations in Paris to enjoy a quintessentially French picnic is Champ de Mars. And it’s worth noting that although Paris often gets accused of lacking in green spaces in comparison with other European capital cities such as London, parks can actually be found in abundance, if only you know where to look…
#2 Enjoy some of the best carousels in Paris
For those who are visiting the French capital with their kids in tow (or for those who are simply looking for a little bit of nostalgia), it’s worth noting that the Eiffel Tower is close to two of the best carousels in Paris. After all, close to the base of La Tour Eiffel, you’ll soon spy the Carousel of Trocadéro, as well as that of the Eiffel Tower itself.
#3 Experience the sunrise from Trocadéro
I’ll say it before and no doubt I’ll say it again: hands down, the best place to see the sunrise in Paris is at Trocadéro. After all, thanks to the position of the Eiffel Tower, the sun rises behind the iron structure from this angle, painting the sky in candy colours and providing wonderful photo opportunities.
One of the other main reasons to head to Trocadéro this early in the morning is that the crowds are that much fewer than at sunset, providing the perfect chance to take stunning photos of Paris. Afterwards, take the time to walk along the River Seine during Golden Hour and soak up the sights of the city without all the people!
#4 Take a River Seine Cruise
If you want to see Paris from another perspective, all the while from the comfort of your seat (perfect for those currently catching up as a result of jetlag!), then a River Seine Cruise may well be for you. And with prices for basic boat rides starting from just €10, this activity near the Eiffel Tower is suitable for almost every budget.
Though most departure points are from close to Île Saint Louis (one of two natural islands in the heart of the River Seine), there are also departure points to be located on the embankment next to the Eiffel Tower. Some of my top picks for River Cruises include this Eiffel Tower, Audio Guided Night River Cruise & Bus Tour combination and this Skip-the-Queue Eiffel Tower & Seine River Cruise.
#5 Go shopping along rue Saint-Dominique
Whether you’re looking to enjoy the glittering lights of the Eiffel tower at night or wish to discover some quirky and luxurious bistros with fantastic views, you can find all this and more along rue Saint-Dominique.
Situated in the 7th arrondissement of the city, this Parisian street is filled with luxury shopping opportunities and boutiques where you can pick up an extra special souvenir from your time in Paris. Some of the more unique shops along rue Saint Dominique include the bakery of Le Moulin de la Vierge and Maison Dubernet, where you’ll find French foodstuff delicacies for sale.
#6 Discover Art Nouveau architecture
When imagining Parisian architecture, there is no doubt that most people dream of the 19th-century Haussmannian style that is so synonymous with the city. However, what you may well not know is that the city is home to a treasure trove of Art Nouveau architecture, dotted across all of Paris.
One of the very best places to enjoy this architectural movement is along Avenue Rapp in the form of the Lavirotte building (29 Avenue Rapp). Nearby, you’ll soon discover plenty of more typically Parisian architecture, as well as some of the best Eiffel Tower views to be found anywhere in the city.
#7 Visit Napoleon’s final resting place at Les Invalides
The glittering and golden dome of Les Invalides is one of the most iconic views of the Parisian skyline. This former place where wounded war veterans would have stayed now happens to be the final resting place of Napoleon, as well as where you’ll find the Musée de l’Armée (Army Museum).
Though Les Invalides can be admired from free throughout the year, the museum and Napoleon’s tomb itself are only available to visit via ticketed entry. Book your Napoleon’s Tomb & Army Museum Priority Entry tickets here in advance.
#8 Admire the cherry blossom and magnolia trees
Should you opt to visit Paris during the springtime, you’ll soon be rewarded by the sheer number of stunning cherry blossoms in Paris to be found throughout the city. However, nowhere is this more apparent than close to the Tower, where one of the best things to do near the Eiffel Tower is to enjoy all of the beautiful pink blooms.
Cherry blossoms tend to bloom from the end of March and right through until the end of April, though the exact dates change year on year on account of varying weather patterns and rainfall. Visit the Champ de Mars around this time and you’ll also be able to enjoy some of the best magnolias in Paris!
#9 Learn all about the history of the Eiffel Tower
Though this activity is not strictly something to do ‘around’ the Eiffel Tower, the history of the Eiffel Tower is fascinating in of itself. Originally constructed for the World’s Fair in the late 19th-century, the tower was only meant to be in situ for a brief length of time, and was only saved from removal thanks to its use as a radio mast!
Some of the more unique aspects of the tower’s history include that, once upon a time, the Eiffel Tower was in use as the largest advertisement in the world (and even painted yellow for the event)! Otherwise, you should know that Gustave Eiffel didn’t actually design the world-famous monument and that beneath the tower, there’s a secret WWII military bunker that’s now used to produce luxury food!
#10 Visit the Rodin Museum
One of the most famous sculptors to have ever lived is Auguste Rodin. Today the Musée Rodin is dedicated to the iconic French artist and lies in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower within the 7th arrondissement of Paris. Open from Tuesday through to Sunday, the mansion turned museum is also home to a secret garden boasting fantastic views of the Eiffel Tower and countless Rodin sculptures.
#11 Enjoy the Eiffel Tower light show
If you’re looking for one of the must-have experiences in Paris, then you surely need to enjoy the Eiffel Tower sparkle at least once during your sojourn in the city. The best place to enjoy the five minute show, which happens every hour on the hour each evening in Paris.
#12 Explore Île aux Cygnes
Home to the largest Statue of Liberty located in Paris (there are, indeed, many versions dotted across the French capital), Île aux Cygnes is a manmade island in the 15th arrondissement of the city. Home to a pretty park with plenty of benches, it’s a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of busy city life.
#13 Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac
One of my favourite museums in Paris is often overlooked in favour of the Louvre Museum or that of the Musée d’Orsay, but is still well worth a visit in its own right. Musée du Quai Branly – Jacques Chirac is an art museum featuring works from Africa, Asia, Oceania, and the Americas.
#14 Stay near the Eiffel Tower!
Of course, if seeing the Eiffel Tower is to be the crown jewel of your Paris trip, then you may well want to consider booking your city accommodation to be close to La Tour Eiffel. This way, you can get up early and see the structure each morning without the inconvenience of taking a cab or using the metro.
One of the most luxurious picks of hotels near the Eiffel Tower is the Shangri-La Hotel. This five-star accommodation even offers some gorgeous rooms with Eiffel Tower views. Otherwise, a more affordable option is this well-reviewed hotel which is just a few minutes stroll away from the Iron Lady. If you want more of a homestay experience while in Paris, then it’s also worth noting that there are a number of airbnbs you can rent out? Sign up here for a discount on your first stay.