Finding FREE (and mostly clean) restrooms in Paris

Finding-a-restroom-in-Paris

Finding a restroom in Paris when you need to go can be tricky. Unlike in the United States, you can’t just walk into any place in Paris and use the restrooms. Restrooms are reserved for patrons and are sometimes hidden in the back of the establishment or down in a basement.

Luckily, there are a few places where you can use the restrooms for free.
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5 things not to miss when visiting the Eiffel Tower

Visiting-the-Eiffel-Tower-must-see

When visiting the Eiffel Tower, there is more to see than just the magnificent iron structure. Here are 5 things not to miss when visiting the Iron Lady:

1.) Gustav Eiffel’s bust.
Located on the ground floor at the north pillar.
Makes a great meeting location.

bust-of-Gustav-Eiffel

2.) Glass floor.
Located on the first floor.
Are you brave enough?

Eiffel-Tower-glass-floor
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Budget tip: Buying water at the Eiffel Tower

budget-tip-buying-water-at-the-Eiffel-Tower

This budget tip is short and sweet!

Conventional wisdom states that you never buy anything at a tourist spot since prices are usually inflated. Surprisingly, this is not the case for bottled water at the Eiffel Tower.

Bottled water is actually sold cheaper at the snack shop on the 1st platform in the Pavillon Ferrie (south side of the tower) than by the vendors on the street. Shocking, I know!

If you have taken the stairs, you will definitely want to stop and purchase a much needed bottle! It is also a good idea to buy one even if you didn’t take the stairs just in case you get thirsty exploring the rest of the tower. And…it is not a bad idea to purchase a bottle before you leave the tower especially if you plan to walk around Champs de Mars or Trocadero. You don’t want to get stuck overpaying.

A bonus tip: Also in Pavillon Ferrie are nice clean (and somewhat hidden) restrooms.Take the stairs next to the information window which is located next to the snack shop and across from the gift shop.

Bises (kisses),

Kimberly

 

This post is part of the weekly #MondayEscapes hosted by My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase.

Also part of the monthly #AllAboutFrance hosted by Phoebe of Lou Messugo.

Why you should skip the 3rd floor summit of the Eiffel Tower

Eiffel-Tower-Summit

If you are visiting the Eiffel Tower, you will want to see all of it! But really, the 3rd floor summit isn’t worth the money or the wait and here is why.

First, it costs extra. You can buy a lift ticket online to include the summit but it does cost an extra 6 Euros (accurate at time of posting). If you decide to take the stairs or buy a lift ticket to the 2nd floor, there is a dedicated ticket booth on the 2nd floor to buy summit tickets but you’ll have to wait in line that will circle around the 2nd floor. Then wait in line again for the elevator (see point 2). You can not take the stairs to the summit.

Second, you have to wait in line again. There is no fast-pass options for this even if you bought your ticket online to include a lift to the summit. This line for the lift will be really long. At best, it will take at least an hour to buy your tickets and wait in line for the lift to the summit.

Third, it will be really, really crowded. While the 1st and 2nd floors are rather large and people can somewhat spread out, the 3rd floor is really, really small and thus super crowded. Think wall to wall bodies. This makes it extremely difficult to see anything of interest on the floor. You sort of get caught up in the movement of the crowd not to mention the extra opportunity this brings for pick-pocketers.

Here is what is on the 3rd floor/summit and my experience:

  • Gustave Eiffel’s office: Situated behind glass is a replica of Monsieur Eiffel’s office. This is the only thing I was actually able to see and capture a picture of. It is pretty amazing that he had his office on the top floor. A small little place he used to get away from it all.
Office-of-Gustave-Eiffel

Gustave Eiffel’s Office

  • Panoramic maps: There were so many people, I could hardly get near the edge to even see the landscape let alone view the panoramic maps.
  • Scaled down model of the original 1889 Eiffel Tower: Too crowded to view it. But, while I was waiting in line to take the elevator back down to the 2nd floor, I was able to view these blueprints.
Blueprints-of-the-Eiffel-Tower

Eiffel Tower blueprints

  • Wall height gauge to measure your exact altitude: I love this sort of stuff but with the movement of the crowd, it was simply impossible to stop and get a picture.
  • Champagne bar: I love champagne and was looking forward to sipping a glass on the Eiffel Tower. How French! I was most disappointed by this. It was just a little window with no place to stand. I don’t know how you would even enjoy the champagne.

In my opinion, the “juice isn’t worth the squeeze” to go to the summit. I find the views of Paris much better from the 1st and 2nd floors and the exhibits on these floors much easier navigate and enjoy.

Bises (kisses),

Kimberly

 

This post is part of the weekly #MondayEscapes hosted by My Travel Monkey and Packing My Suitcase.

Also part of the monthly #AllAboutFrance hosted by Phoebe of Lou Messugo.

Climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower

Climbing the stairs of the Eiffel Tower

Bonne Annee mes amis! Happy New Year my friends!

I see no better way to kick off 2016 than with THE icon of Paris – the Eiffel Tower. Nearly everyone who plans a visit to Paris, at the very least, plans to see the Iron Lady if not explore the site. But with 7 million visitors each year, waiting in line to ascend the Eiffel Tower can easily eat up tons of precious sightseeing time.

You can, of course, book in advance your lift tickets which is a must if you plan to take the elevator up the tower but this does restrict you to an exact day and time with no option to change in case of rain or a cloudy day.

However, if you like to maximize your time AND have flexibility in your schedule, I recommend taking the stairs up the Eiffel Tower. Now, before you pass out, it is not as bad as it sounds and is a fantastic way to see the intricate iron work up close. Continue reading