Paris (French pronunciation: [paʁi] (listen)) is the capital and most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,148,271 residents as of 2020, in an area of 105 square kilometers (41 square miles). Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe’s major centers of finance, diplomacy, commerce, fashion, science, and arts. The City of Paris is the center and seat of government of the Île-de-France, or Paris Region, which has an estimated official 2020 population of 12,278,210, or about 18 percent of the population of France. The Paris Region had a GDP of €709 billion ($808 billion) in 2017. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit Worldwide Cost of Living Survey in 2018, Paris was the second most expensive city in the world, after Singapore, and ahead of Zürich, Hong Kong, Oslo and Geneva. Another source ranked Paris as most expensive, on a par with Singapore and Hong Kong, in 2018.
The Eiffel Tower (/ˈaɪfəl/ EYE-fəl; French: tour Eiffel [tuʁ‿ɛfɛl] (listen)) is a wrought-iron lattice tower on the Champ de Mars in Paris, France. It is named after the engineer Gustave Eiffel, whose company designed and built the tower.
Locally nicknamed “La dame de fer” (French for “Iron Lady”), it was constructed from 1887 to 1889 as the entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair and was initially criticised by some of France’s leading artists and intellectuals for its design, but it has become a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world. The Eiffel Tower is the most-visited paid monument in the world; 6.91 million people ascended it in 2015.
The tower is 324 metres (1,063 ft) tall, about the same height as an 81-storey building, and the tallest structure in Paris. Its base is square, measuring 125 metres (410 ft) on each side. During its construction, the Eiffel Tower surpassed the Washington Monument to become the tallest man-made structure in the world, a title it held for 41 years until the Chrysler Building in New York City was finished in 1930. It was the first structure in the world to surpass both the 200 meter and 300 meter mark in height. Due to the addition of a broadcasting aerial at the top of the tower in 1957, it is now taller than the Chrysler Building by 5.2 metres (17 ft). Excluding transmitters, the Eiffel Tower is the second tallest free-standing structure in France after the Millau Viaduct.
The tower has three levels for visitors, with restaurants on the first and second levels. The top level’s upper platform is 276 m (906 ft) above the ground – the highest observation deck accessible to the public in the European Union. Tickets can be purchased to ascend by stairs or lift to the first and second levels. The climb from ground level to the first level is over 300 steps, as is the climb from the first level to the second. Although there is a staircase to the top level, it is usually accessible only by lift.