The Eiffel Tower has received over 250 million visitors in its 130-year history making it the most visited paid-for attraction in the world. Whether you climb it, ride the lift to the roof, watch it glitter with 20,000 lights at Christmas or just glimpse its 324m-splendour, few other landmarks evoke such passion as the tower once chastised as a “giant and disgraceful skeleton”

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Here are 5 ways to make the most of your tour to the Eiffel Tower

1. Working out an appetite

Step up to 704 steps-or take the elevator to the second viewing platform of the Tower. If you don’t want to queue for the top floor lifts and are happy with a less elevated view, go to Le Jules Verne (00 33 1 45 55 61 44;, instead, for elevated dining. Here, at 125 meters you will dine and toast the 130th anniversary of the Tower in the elegant dining room of Alain Ducasse. The latest Experience five-course menu costs € 190 per user.

2. Breakfast

Wake up to croissants and coffee in a chic apartment on Rue Gaston de St Paul, with a classic Parisian view. It comes with light, quiet interiors and French doors that open onto a balcony with that all-important eye-full, perched just on the Right Bank. Sleeps 2 (020 3642 2208; from €534 per night.

3. From the Water

Bateaux Parisiens boat trips start or end at the Eiffel Tower to give you a breathtaking view of the full might of the landmark. You will also visit Notre Dame, the Palais Royal, Pont Alexandre III and the Musée d’Orsay (from 13 euros; in an hour.

4. From the Air

Share latitude with Gustave’s Ballon de Paris grand project. The giant, tethered helium balloon climbs up to 150 m from the Tower’s Left Bank upriver, Parc André Citroën. At most environmental conditions, you can get uplifting views (00 33 1 44 26 20 00;; €12).

5. In its historical context

The Tower was built for the 1889 World Fair by Gustave Eiffel, to mark the French Revolution’s 100th anniversary. It was a defining moment in the industrial revolution in France which symbolized the height of the Belle Epoque – a period of peace, optimism and progress. This golden age is the subject of a new exhibition opening on 2 April at the Petit Palais: Paris 1900: the City of Entertainment (00 33 1 53 43 40 00;; €11).