• Crowds, Culture, and Cuisine: the Ancient and Modern City

Reflecting on a Night at the Eiffel Tower

On the night of one of our last free days to explore Paris, a group of my classmates and I decided to finally see the Eiffel Tower as it wasn’t a destination in our class outings. I admit that the hype of the Eiffel Tower had gotten a bit old as it’s the first monument that most would identify or associate with Paris. I was glad to be going, but the excitement had been dulled by the beauty of everything else I’d already seen.

We took a damp trek to the metro, umbrellas in hand, and thankfully didn’t get lost since its size makes it hard to miss. At night the only option is to take an elevator about halfway up the tower, and after a long day of exploring the streets of Paris I wasn’t one to complain. You don’t realize just how massive it is until you’re seated directly under it, and even then it’s nearly impossible to take it all in. My camera died just as we were taking the massive elevator to our destination, and although it was disheartening I’m actually quite glad it did.

When we finally reached the landing I was immediately immobilized by how beautiful the view was. Seeing the city at night is a completely different and incredible experience that literally took my breath away. I walked around slowly desperately trying to ingrain what it looked like in my head so I wouldn’t forget. I knew that whatever picture I took would never compare to what I was seeing with my own eyes, and the lack of distraction from my camera made the experience all the more special. 

The tower is constantly lit at night, but each hour a series of twinkling lights flicker throughout it, and we were lucky enough to be at the top when it happened. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, and the reflected lights completely consumed my gaze and I almost forgot where I was. I was shocked to find that I had started tearing up after it ended, but so grateful that I hadn’t been pompous enough to decide not to visit it. The fame that the Eiffel tower holds is well deserved. I would highly recommend saving making a visit, more specifically an evening one.

Matt Helm at Coliseum
Saint Chapelle