Eiffel Tower 5 December 2015 08 © French Moments
  • Home
  • Blog
  • The Eiffel Tower by Night: A Photographer’s Dream

Last Updated: 17 April 2024


In the heart of Paris, where history and romance intertwine, there stands an iconic landmark that captivates the world with its enchanting transformation after sunset—the Eiffel Tower. Join me on an extraordinary journey as we explore this symbol of Parisian elegance in the magical embrace of night. Together, we’ll delve into the enchanting world of the Eiffel Tower by night—a world where history, architecture, and sheer magic converge. Prepare to be transported to the heart of Paris, where lights twinkle, dreams come alive, and the Eiffel Tower stands as a timeless testament to the enduring allure of the City of Lights.


The Eiffel Tower at Night: Historical Background

The Eiffel Tower, or La Tour Eiffel in French, is undoubtedly one of the most recognizable landmarks globally and an iconic symbol of Paris. However, its history is as captivating as its shimmering nighttime appearance.

Eiffel Tower at night © French Moments
The Eiffel Tower and Pont Alexandre III © French Moments


The Architectural Wonder

Designed by engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was constructed for the 1889 Exposition Universelle (World’s Fair), held in Paris to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution. Eiffel’s design, characterized by its intricate iron lattice structure, was chosen as the winning entry for a competition to create a monument showcasing France’s engineering prowess.


Monument of Innovation

When completed, the Eiffel Tower stood as a testament to architectural innovation. It was not only the tallest man-made structure in the world at the time, but also a marvel of engineering. Its construction involved over 18,000 individual iron pieces assembled with precision.


Temporary or Permanent

Initially, the tower was intended to be a temporary structure, set to stand for just 20 years. However, due to its radio transmission capabilities, it was allowed to remain standing. The Eiffel Tower played a crucial role in World War I as a wireless telegraphy station.


Evening Transformation

While the Eiffel Tower was impressive during the day, it was at night that it indeed came to life. In 1900, the tower was equipped with electric lighting, creating a spectacle that was unprecedented at the time. The use of electric lights allowed the tower to be illuminated in various colours and patterns, a tradition that continues today.

The illumination of the Eiffel Tower in 1900 (public domain)


Symbol of Paris

Over the years, the Eiffel Tower has become synonymous with Paris itself. It has been featured in countless films, novels, and works of art, cementing its status as an international icon of romance and culture. It’s no wonder that millions of visitors flock to the tower annually to witness its nighttime transformation.

Stay tuned as we delve deeper into the enchanting experience of visiting the Eiffel Tower at night, and I share with you the mesmerizing photos I captured during my journey.


The Evening Experience

As the sun dips below the Parisian skyline, a magical transformation occurs around the Eiffel Tower. The atmosphere becomes charged with a palpable sense of anticipation, and the Eiffel Tower’s lights start to twinkle, casting a radiant glow that bathes the city in a romantic ambience.

The Eiffel Tower at night © French Moments
View from Pont de la Concorde © French Moments


The City of Lights

Paris, often called the “City of Lights” (La Ville Lumière), truly lives up to its name when the Eiffel Tower begins its nightly illumination. The cityscape takes on a whole new character as iconic landmarks such as the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Seine River banks are bathed in the soft, golden glow of the Eiffel Tower’s lights.


The Gathering Crowd

As evening descends upon the Eiffel Tower, a diverse crowd assembles. Couples on romantic getaways, families with children in tow, solo travellers seeking solace, and photographers poised with their cameras all come together to witness this nightly spectacle. The tower draws people from every corner of the globe, creating a sense of shared wonder and unity.


Street Performers and Vendors

Surrounding the Eiffel Tower, street performers and vendors often add to the lively atmosphere. Musicians serenade the crowd with melodic tunes, artists create captivating chalk drawings on the pavement, and souvenir vendors offer an array of Eiffel Tower-themed mementoes. It’s a sensory experience that immerses you in the vibrant culture of Paris.


A Glittering Icon

As twilight deepens, the Eiffel Tower starts its nightly light show. Thousands of shimmering bulbs twinkle in harmony, creating a mesmerizing dance of light. The tower appears as if it’s adorned with a galaxy of stars, casting its enchantment over those at its base and the entire city.


Strolls and Selfies

Many visitors take leisurely strolls in the Champ de Mars park beneath the tower, while others prefer to capture the magic through their cameras. Selfies, group photos, and creative shots juxtaposing the tower’s lights with the city’s landmarks are all part of the experience.


As you stand in the shadow of this iconic monument, surrounded by fellow travellers and locals alike, you can’t help but be swept up in the romance and allure of the Eiffel Tower at night. In the next part of this post, I’ll delve into the Eiffel Tower’s legendary lighting ceremony, which marks the climax of this enchanting evening experience.


The Lighting Ceremony of the Eiffel Tower by Night

As the night deepens over Paris, and the Eiffel Tower stands resplendent with its twinkling lights, a moment of pure enchantment approaches—the Eiffel Tower’s nightly lighting ceremony.


Twinkling Symphony

The Eiffel Tower’s lighting ceremony, known as the “Twinkling,” is a breathtaking spectacle every hour after sunset until 1 a.m. This display transforms The tower into a sparkling marvel, with thousands of lights flashing in perfect harmony. The effect is reminiscent of a cascade of stars, a celestial dance that mesmerizes onlookers.


The Sparkling Sequence

The tower’s lights begin to shimmer with a gentle twinkling, starting from the top and cascading down to the base. The entire sequence takes about five minutes to complete, and during this time, spectators below are bathed in the radiant glow of this luminous wonder. The rhythm of the twinkling lights adds a sense of poetry to the Parisian night.


An Iconic Tradition

The tradition of illuminating the Eiffel Tower dates back to the 1900 Universal Exhibition. The tower was adorned with electric lights to celebrate the event and has continued to do so. It’s a symbol of hope, joy, and celebration and a testament to the enduring magic of the tower.


Capturing the Moment

Photographers and visitors eagerly await this moment, their cameras poised to capture the twinkling symphony. Capturing the perfect shot of the Eiffel Tower as it sparkles requires patience and precision, but the resulting photos are nothing short of magical.


The Atmosphere

The Eiffel Tower’s lighting ceremony creates an atmosphere of pure romance. Couples often find themselves drawn together by the sheer beauty of the moment, and proposals beneath the sparkling tower are not uncommon. It’s a time when the ordinary becomes extraordinary, and dreams are illuminated against the Parisian night sky.


Standing beneath the Eiffel Tower during its nightly lighting ceremony is an experience that lingers in the memory long after you’ve left. It’s a testament to the tower’s enduring allure and its ability to captivate the hearts of all who behold it. Stay tuned for the next part of this blog, where I’ll share more about my journey to the Eiffel Tower at night and the captivating photos I captured.


My journey

As the day transitioned into night in the heart of Paris, I remember the first time I was drawn to one of the city’s most iconic landmarks—the Eiffel Tower. There’s something undeniably captivating about seeing this architectural masterpiece illuminated against the inky canvas of the night sky.


Anticipation and Excitement

I embarked on this journey with a sense of eager anticipation. The excitement of witnessing the Eiffel Tower at night had been building since I first set foot in Paris. I’d heard tales of its enchanting transformation and was about to experience it firsthand.

Pont Alexandre III and the Eiffel Tower at sunset © French Moments
At Sunset © French Moments


The Approach

The path to the Eiffel Tower was adorned with soft, ambient lighting, creating a serene and almost mystical atmosphere. The city buzzed with life around me as I walked along the Seine River, each step taking me closer to my destination.


The First Glimpse

And then, there it was—the Eiffel Tower standing tall in all its glory. The sight was even more impressive than I had imagined. Bathed in a golden glow, it seemed to reach up to the stars. I paused momentarily, taking it all in, and realized that this was a moment I would treasure.


The Tower Comes Alive

As night fully descended upon the city, the Eiffel Tower’s lights began their mesmerizing display. It started with a subtle shimmer at the very top, like a star being born. Then, it spread down in a cascade of brilliance, illuminating the entire structure. The twinkling lights danced in perfect harmony, casting an enchanting spell over everyone below.


Capturing the Magic

Armed with my camera, I joined the chorus of photographers capturing the moment. Getting the perfect shot was a challenge, but the effort was rewarded with images that would forever remind me of this night. Each click of the camera felt like an attempt to capture a fragment of the magic unfolding before my eyes.


Shared Moments

I wasn’t alone in this experience. All around me, people from diverse corners of the world were sharing in this moment of wonder. Couples held hands, families gathered for group photos, and solo travellers like myself marvelled at the spectacle.



As I stood beneath the Eiffel Tower, I couldn’t help but reflect on the history and symbolism of this towering landmark. It had witnessed centuries of change and had been a silent witness to countless love stories, triumphs, and moments of human connection.


Enduring Beauty

The Eiffel Tower at night is a testament to the enduring beauty of Paris. It’s a reminder that some things remain timeless and eternally captivating in a constantly evolving world.


In the next part of this blog, I’ll share the photos I captured during this magical night at the Eiffel Tower, each image preserving a piece of this unforgettable experience.


Best Vantage Points of the Eiffel Tower by Night

Choosing the right vantage point is essential when capturing the Eiffel Tower by night in all its illuminated glory. Here are some of the best spots for photographing this iconic landmark after dark:


1. Trocadéro

The Trocadéro Esplanade, directly across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower, offers an iconic and panoramic view. This elevated location provides an unobstructed view of the tower, perfect for capturing the entire structure bathed in light. Arrive early to secure the best spot for your tripod and camera.

Fun facts about the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro © French Moments
Sunset at the Eiffel Tower © French Moments
Sunset at the Eiffel Tower © French Moments


2. Champ de Mars

For a unique perspective, head to the Champ de Mars, the vast green park that stretches out in front of the Eiffel Tower. From here, you can frame your shots with the tower as the central focus and include the sprawling lawn and the glowing iron tower in the background.


3. Under the Eiffel Tower

Don’t forget to explore under the tower itself. Its intricate ironwork and the play of light create excellent opportunities for close-up shots. Experiment with angles and compositions to capture the tower’s details and magical aura.


4. Avenue de Camoëns

This charming dead-end street in the 16th arrondissement offers a picturesque view of the Eiffel Tower framed by beautiful Parisian architecture. It’s an ideal spot for capturing the tower within the city’s elegant streetscape.

Avenue de Camoëns
Avenue de Camoëns and Eiffel Tower © French Moments


5. Square Rapp

Located near the Eiffel Tower in the 7th arrondissement, Square Rapp provides a more intimate view of the tower framed by Art Nouveau buildings. It’s a quieter spot, perfect for those seeking a tranquil setting for their photos.

Square Rapp
The Eiffel Tower from Square Rapp © French Moments


6. Pont (or Passerelle) Debilly

This pedestrian bridge, just downstream from the Eiffel Tower, offers a unique angle for photography. You can capture the tower’s reflection in the Seine River and experiment with long-exposure shots for a dreamy effect.

The Eiffel Tower in Blue White Red © French Moments
The Eiffel Tower in Blue White Red © French Moments


7. Pont de la Concorde and Pont Alexandre III

These bridges, Pont de la Concorde and Pont Alexandre III offer distinct yet equally captivating perspectives of the Eiffel Tower at night. They provide opportunities to capture the tower’s beauty in the context of some of Paris’s most exquisite architectural treasures.

The Pont de la Concorde, spanning the Seine River, offers a magnificent perspective of the Eiffel Tower from a distance. The illuminated tower stands as a radiant beacon in the Parisian night sky. From this bridge, you can capture the tower’s reflection shimmering on the river’s surface, creating a breathtaking scene that epitomizes the city’s romantic allure.

Eiffel Tower at Christmas © French Moments
Eiffel Tower at Christmas © French Moments


Pont Alexandre III is often hailed as one of the most beautiful bridges in Paris. Indeed, the bridge boasts ornate lampposts, intricate sculptures, and a sweeping view of the Seine. As you stand on this bridge, you’ll witness the Eiffel Tower in the distance, framed by the bridge’s elegant architecture. It’s a location that combines Parisian grandeur with the timeless beauty of the Eiffel Tower, making it a must-visit spot for night photography enthusiasts.

Pont Alexandre III, Paris © French Moments
Pont Alexandre III, Paris © French Moments


Tips for Night Photography

  • Use a tripod to keep your camera steady for long-exposure shots.
  • To achieve the desired effects, experiment with different camera settings, including ISO, aperture, and shutter speed.
  • Consider using a remote shutter release or the camera’s self-timer to minimize camera shake.
  • Capture multiple shots at varying exposures for later blending in post-processing (HDR).
  • Pay attention to the surrounding lighting, which can add depth and character to your photos.

Whether you choose the grandeur of the Trocadéro, the romantic ambience of the Champ de Mars, or the intimate charm of Square Rapp, each vantage point offers a unique perspective on the Eiffel Tower at night. Explore these spots, let your creativity flow, and capture the tower’s timeless beauty uniquely.


The Eiffel Tower at Night: More Info

Check out our curated magazine on Flipboard for exclusive stories & insights on France!

Gems of Paris by French Moments
About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

Like it? Leave a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

Transparency: Some blog posts and pages may contain affiliate or sponsored links. If you are planning a trip, the use of these links helps us to run the site. There is no additional cost to you. All you have to do is click on the link and any booking you make is automatically tracked. Thank you for your support!

Escape to France with every email! Get insider insights, travel guides, cultural gems delivered and exclusive offers to your inbox twice a week. Your journey to Paris and France begins when you sign up!



24 Places to See in France in 2024