I went to book the tour of the Eiffel Tower three weeks before visiting Paris. I was disappointed to see all the tickets for the dates I wanted were taken, so I was forced to look elsewhere, and saw Cultival's tour.
The start meets outside the Gustav Eiffel statue in front of the North Pillar. It's really easy to find, despite the large crowds. The groups are separated into two - one for the English speaking and one for others.
The tour is true to what it describes - truly a backstage tour. The tour initially takes away from the proximity of the tower, to a bunker which was used in the history of the Tower, when it acted as a radio mast. This part of the tour gives the history of the tower and how it was used to deliver messages.
The highlight for me, however, was seeing how the lifts are operated. You taken underneath the tower and see the how the lifts are powered by giant mechanisms which are still in use from the time they were built at the end of the 19th century. It's fascinating.
By doing this, we got to skip the lien for the lifts, and took our journey to the second floor, where the guide gives you more information about the history of Paris and points out landmarks. You can then purchase another ticket to the next floors - this is 9 Euros each.
This was a great tour as we saw and learnt more than we expected.
The overall cost is more than we would have paid if we could booked a standard ticket. However, there are plenty of discount codes online (we served 10%) so the extra cost doesn't feel too bad.
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