Curiously, Paris’s most famous landmark was only saved from demolition by the sudden need for “wireless telegraphy” aerials in the first decade of the twentieth century. The tower’s role in telecommunications – its only function apart from tourism – has become increasingly important, and the original crown is now masked by an efflorescence of antennae. After dark, the tower is particularly spectacular, an urban lighthouse illuminated by a double searchlight and, for the first ten minutes of every hour, by thousands of effervescent lights that fizz across its gridlines.
Though you may have to wait a while for the lifts, it’s arguable that you simply haven’t seen Paris until you’ve seen it from the top. While the views are almost better from the second level, especially on hazier days, there’s something irresistible about going all the way to the top, and looking down over the surreally microscopic city below.