One of Tigger’s Dreams Comes True

Before I first met Tigger, he was given a photo album so he could learn more about his new family. In it I included some photos of Paris and mentioned it was my favorite city.

carousel, eiffel tower, paris

While we were counting our final days in Morocco, Tigger kept sharing how excited he was to finally be going to Paris. I was curious why since I talk about a lot of places I enjoy. It turned out he had been wanting to go to Paris ever since he discovered it was my favorite city.

Talk about plucking at your heart strings!

After waiting in the bus terminal in Lyon, a 6-hour bus ride, and a couple of metro rides, we arrived at our hotel in Montmartre, my favorite area of Paris. It was afer 10 PM, but I was still eager to explore. Tigger just wanted to chill. I considered leaving him behind, but in the end we just stayed in the room and relaxed.

boulangerie, Paris

The next day, we had a yummy breakfast at a boulangerie before moving to the apartment we had rented for a few days, and it was time to explore!

Since this was Tigger’s dream, and I had already been here before, I left it up to him to pick our day’s adventures. “The skyscraper” was his top choice.

“Skyscraper?” I asked.

It took a few questions to figure out he was talking about the Eiffel Tower, and that’s where we headed.

paris, eiffel tower

I was a little bummed as we approached the tower because the top was engulfed in clouds. I knew that meant the top floor would be closed for a visit, but he was not deterred.

After our time in the tower, it was time for his first crepe with Nutella, banana, and almonds. Unfortunately, they had hotdogs, and guess what won out for him. He capped his off with hot chocolate to chase away the chill, and I was pretty pleased they had mulled wine. Even if the price was extortionary.

Double decker hotdog, paris, eiffel tower

A double-decker hotdog beat out a crepe for Tigger

As we enjoyed our meal, we had a gathering of birds at our feet. I decided to give them a little bread and quickly discovered they were not shy!

I’m not ashamed to admit I love carousels, and even though it isn’t cool, and he’s clearly much too mature for them at the ripe old age of 11, Tigger acquiesced to my pleas and joined me for a ride. He rolled his eyes and smirked as I elicited a fairly hearty Whhhhhheeeeeeeee! while my ostrich moved slowly up and down.

carousel, paris, eiffel tower

I just wanted to show my preteen it really doesn’t matter what others think about you.

Okay, so I was really having fun. Fine!

I’m not sure if the mom thought I was mental or was enjoying me being silly. She seemed to move a little closer to her infant daughter, though. Party pooper!

eiffel tower at night, paris

Tips for the Eiffel Tower

We were there on a weekday during low season, and there were virtually no lines (except to come back down). However, we came by again on a weekend, and the lines were HUGE. I would definitely recommend buying your tickets online so you can enter the much shorter line for people with reservations. If you’re there during high season (late spring and summer months), you’d be a little crazy not to buy advance tickets. Unless you just really enjoy standing in long lines for hours.

Go at night, too! Beginning at around dusk, the tower is lit up. Every hour, on the hour, lights scintillate all over the tower giving it the appearance of glowing bubbles exploding up and down its surface. It’s really quite lovely. I wouldn’t miss seeing it at least once.

Getting there

There are a few different ways of getting to the tower; however, if you’re going to be coming by the metro, I suggest taking either line 6 or line 9 and getting off at the Trocadero station. Follow the clearly marked signs to exit. It isn’t necessarily the closest metro station, but to me seeing the tower from this vantage point was much more dramatic, especially if it’s your first time. Plus you’ll be able to get really great photos as you walk.

Alternatively, if you take line 6, you can see the tower as you approach the Bir-Hakeim station.

The Batobus is another fun way to tour Paris via the Seine, and the boats make a stop just across the street from the Eiffel Tower.

Costs

There are various ticket costs depending on which floor you wish to visit, if you take the stairs, etc. To ride the elevator to the top floor (recommended), you will spend €14 for an adult (24 years or older), €12.50 for ages 12-24, and €9.50 for ages 4-11, or if you are disabled. Please note their prices are increasing in April 2013.

It’s easiest to take the elevator all the way up, and you can stop at the other floors on your way down, or take the stairs down if you’re feeling adventurous.

The ticket booths accept credit/debit cards (and North American cards without a chip work just fine), and there are also ATMs near the booths in case you need to pick up some extra cash.

Food

There are some restaurants in the tower. As you can imagine, they’re a bit expensive. Unless you’re eating at the Michelin-starred Jules Verne, in which case it’s very expensive (as in €100+ per person). Seriously.

You can bring your own food (but no glass bottles) if you want to enjoy a treat on the tower. There are small creperies located around the base of the tower as well, but you will pay a premium for the location ($28+ for 1 crepe, 1 hotdog, 1 hot chocolate and 1 cup of mulled wine).

Leave the area to find cheaper eats.

Carousels

Yes, I had to throw this in. They are found on either side of the famous landmark. When we went, they charged €3 per person. You get a discount for younger children, and if they’re really young one parent can ride for free.

Have you been to the Eiffel Tower or dream about going? Share with us!

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9 Comments

    • I do, too! I know many people think the Eiffel Tower is underwhelming, but I really enjoy it.

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  1. OK I’m going to come clean; I’ve never been to Paris and it is not on my list of priorities for city visits. The reason for this is quite simply-I don’t know why?! After reading your posts I am warming to the idea, and it is bizarre that I live so close and have visited France many times, but have not visited the capital! Anybody else feel the same?

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  2. I’ve STILL never been to Paris, not unless you count Disneyland…Sounds like I wouldn’t be eating around the Eiffel Tower, not unless someone offered to pay for me! And that’s so sweet that Tigger wanted to go there because it’s your favourite city. Super cute! And good on you for showing him that it doesn’t matter what others think of you. With each year that passes, I give less of a crap what others think, and it feels fantastic. I’d totally ride the carousel.
    Tom @ Waegook Tom recently posted..Slovak Food: The 4 Best Slovak MealsMy Profile

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    • No, Disney doesn’t count. LOL Definitely worth a visit. I just love it there.

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  3. I love all of your stories! I went to the Eiffel tower when I was 13 with a group of schoolkids from the USA (I’m from Alaska). It was a program called People to People, and is pegged as a student ambassador program, but really acted more as a kid’s tour bus that would get you a half-credit of English if you wrote a journal about it. It was cool with me either way – I was in Europe!

    The tower was beautiful. I loved seeing the complexity of the individual pieces that it took to build it. I wanted to walk up so badly, but I had to take the elevator with the group, and the wait was insanely long. (I retaliated by later walking up and down the 500+, oddly spaced, winding steps of St. Paul’s cathedral three times while my group was dallying at the top. A tiring and ineffective payback, I see now.)

    We spent only thirty minutes or so on top of the Eiffel tower, but I was so bored up there; I started looking for coins to throw. So bad, but it was awesome to see things fall from that height. Later another student said that if the coins had hit anyone below, they would have died. I felt guilty for the entire month until I was able to get home and do a google physics investigation! “Whew!” The entire experience was great!

    It’s great to see a parent just being good people with his kid, and helping him grow into who he really is. I’m glad to know you’re out there! I also saw your YouTube camel balls video, which is awesomely funny, and had me giggling at work. Good thing I work alone! Thanks guys! (Oh, also, you mentioned that Tigger plays Minecraft, which I’ve never tried; but League of Legends is a pretty fun online battle game he might like if he hasn’t heard of it yet. They do a pretty good job of keeping it friendly over there too. I like it because it’s like one of my partner’s favorite Starcraft mini games, but prettier, so we can play together. :P.)

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    • I think many places in Europe aren’t that exciting for teens. The things that I love so much just go right over a younger person’s head. LOL But cool that you look back with it in fondness.

      Nope, no killing someone, but OUCH!

      I’m glad you liked our Camel Balls video. That was a lot of fun to put together.

      He hadn’t heard of LoL so will check it out. Thanks for the tip!

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