The Eiffel Tower was built as the centrepiece of the 1889 World Fair. It was built by Gustave Eiffel based on a design by Maurice Koechlin and Émile Nouguier.
Work began on the foundations at the end of January 1887 and the tower was completed just 25 months later. The tower is 324 m or 1,063 feet tall. At the time it was built, it was the tallest man made structure in the world, a record it held until it was surpassed by the Chrysler Tower in New York in 1930. In 1957, the addition of a TV antenna allowed the tower to surpass the height of the Chrysler building.
Originally intended as a temporary structure that would be demolished after twenty years, the tower became such a cultural symbol of France that it was made a permanent addition to the Parisian skyline. With nearly 7 million visitors a year, the Eiffel Tower is the most visited paid for attraction in the world.
There are three levels accessible to visitors with restaurants on the first and second levels. Lifts serve all floors and it is possible to walk more than 300 steps to the first stage and a further 300 steps to the second stage.
The tower is renowned for the queues to get in. If you prefer not to queue, book online for a timed ticket. These tickets sell out very quickly, so book well ahead of your visit.
For obvious reasons, a walking ticket to the first or second floor usually involves less queueing. If you feel fit enough, this may be an option.
If all timed tickets for the day of your visit have been sold, you could try booking a meal at Restaurant 58 on the first stage of the tower. The price of a 3 course meal includes timed access to the first stage.
The following link gives an indication of projected waiting times for 2016.Eiffel Tower waiting times...