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It may come as a surprise that at the most recognizable monument in Paris, there are Untapped things to do. But the Eiffel Tower is actually full of amazing little finds if you look closely enough.

10. The Tower Was Supposed to Be Torn Down After 20 Years

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Like many architectural gems built for World’s Fairs, the Eiffel Tower wasn’t intended to be a permanent structure. A plaque in the military bunker states that since Eiffel knew he needed to attach functional uses to the tower, he allowed it to be used for many experimental, scientific purposes. Wireless transmission turned out to be the key, and the Eiffel Tower became the site of the first radiotelegraph broadcasts.

9. There’s An Apartment in the Eiffel Tower

Within a year of the completion of the Eiffel Tower, it was reported by writer Henri Girard that Gustav Eiffel “the object of general envy.” But it wasn’t for his engineering and design feat, it was for an apartment he had at the third-to-highest level of the Eiffel Tower (285 meters above the ground, on the fourth level). Girard wrote that the famous apartment was “furnished in the simple style dear to scientists.

Eiffel used mostly for meeting important guests like Thomas Edison, who visited in September 1889, rather than for debaucherous parties. Here is a lovely essay on the apartment, describing how the apartment embodied many of the philosophical dreams of 19th century thinkers. Today it also contains mannequins of Eiffel and Edison.

8. There Are Vintage Spiral Staircases, No Longer Used By The Public

Visitors to the Eiffel Tower now use a different exterior staircase, but you can still see the original spiral staircase, encased in glass.

7.  There Are Names on the Eiffel Tower

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Thanks to restoration on the Eiffel Tower, the engraved names of 72 French scientists and engineers from the original design are visible again. Most of the scientists were active during the French Revolution and the early 19th century.  The engravings were covered over in the early 20th century and restored for the first time in 1986-1987, and again last in 2010. More details here.

6. Cafe La Bonbonnière de Marie

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This little outdoor cafe with red and white checkered table cloths is a Parisian “secret.” Grab a leisurely drink, crepe or ice cream, or pizza and salads for lunch.  There’s a carousel, playground and sandbox just near by so it has the pleasant air of happy children.

5. Don’t Miss the Overlooked English Romantic Period Gardens

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Two picturesque parks with Romantic Period landscaping–meandering pond, rocky crags, lush greenery, quaint bridges and weeping willows–are right next to the pillars and woefully overlooked.

4. There’s a Military Bunker Underneath the Eiffel Tower

Below the South Pillar is a former military bunker! It connects to existing military tunnels, but the bunker itself today is used as a mini museum open to small tour groups.

3. There Was a Post Office in the Eiffel Tower

Visitors used to be able to send a postcard from La Poste and get it stamped with an Eiffel Tower postmark! Sadly, the post office closed in 2016.

2. There’s An Industrial Chimney with a Medieval Turret

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This brick chimney is hidden amidst the trees just near the West Pillar along Quai Branley. It’s older than the Eiffel Tower, built to assist the construction efforts. The chimney was constructed for the machine room below the South Pillar.


1. Bus Hideout

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Ever wonder why you don’t see tour buses near the Eiffel Tower? They’re cleverly concealed along the banks of the Seine River.

Next, read about 10 hidden apartments in NYC and Paris. Get in touch with the author @untappedmich.