Experience the Eiffel Tower at night, and don’t forget the champagne.
A brash structure in the heart of a graceful city, a soaring tower of metal, an ugly magnet to digital lenses and the tourists operating them; whatever you think of the Eiffel Tower, I promise that nothing is as you know it after the sun goes down.
When those ticket booths slam their shutters down and the hotdog stands stop churning out bread and meat to hungry tourists, a magical transition takes place. The Eiffel Tower becomes a romantic symbol of love and just seconds before you see those dazzling tower lights turn on, all you will hear is the sound of champagne glasses clinking.
A Sunset Picnic at the Eiffel Tower
The French have always been much more sophisticated than the Brits. Whilst we’re guzzling beer and salted peanuts at our Friday night pub quiz, they’re sipping Merlot and snacking on Escargot by the Seine, and whilst we’re flooding the streets of Britain with fancy dress outfits, they’re toasting friends and family at an evening picnic outside the Eiffel Tower.
As soon as the tour buses drive off into the distance, the grassy area outside the Eiffel Tower is suddenly lined with picnic blankets. There’s a great mix of families, students and tourists, all hoping to claim the perfect spot to lay out their finest local cheeses, cured hams, French bread and wines. An no diner is complete without a flute of the country’s finest bubbles.
Watching the sun go down over La Tour Eiffel is a great way to end the day and more importantly, it doesn’t cost a penny. They say that the best things in life are free, so bring a picnic basket and enjoy the best show in Paris.
Watch the Eiffel Tower Lights Turn On
As the redness in the sky fades and the dark blues start to set in, the air becomes a little tense. This is the part where everyone waits for the Eiffel Tower lights to turn on and flash into the night sky, afraid to turn away at the wrong second.
On the hour for ten whole minutes, the sparkling lights transform an audacious metal structure into a beautiful light show.
You may not love the long queues and sardine-like crowds going up and down the Eiffel Tower, but I promise that there is nothing overrated about the international picnic which takes place almost every night outside of it. But it’s not just the spectacular view that makes the experience so worth it; it’s the electrifying atmosphere when everyone stands up and claps that even the biggest Eiffel Tower cynic can’t deny.
People will say that you just have to experience the views from La Tour Eiffel – and I agree. But if I had to choose, I’d much rather be watching the tower with a glass of champagne than watching the rest of the city from the top. Any day.
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