Paris trip journal: Photo challenge – new angles on the Eiffel Tower

Whether a first-time visitor to Paris or returning again, you’re going to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower. According to a group of Cornell University researchers who analyzed over 35 million images on flickr, the Eiffel Tower is the most-photographed landmark on Earth, in fourth most-photographed city on Earth. Science!

[Travel nerd tangent: it is a fascinating 10-page read which identifies the most-visited countries, cities, and sights.]

Truthfully, there are endless vantage points for the Eiffel Tower. Paris is a pretty flat city, and anywhere with a clear view toward the western end could give you a good view of the tower. On my recent trip, I challenged myself to find more interesting angles, if only for the sake of my friends and family who do me the honour of suffering through my travel pictures time and again.

In preparation for my trip, I found some great suggestions for gorgeous spots to take photos from Paris expert Theadora of People, Places, and Bling. I attempted most of them, even if the weather didn’t cooperate. (Again, April in Paris – take an umbrella!). For example, there’s a lovely, free panorama of the city from the roof of the Galeries Lafayette department store.

Paris Galeries Lafayette roof

I also stole another of Theadora’s suggestions and approached the Eiffel Tower from La Mur pour la Paix, the far-less-touristy back end near the École Militaire.

Paris Eiffel Tower Mur Paix

When leaving the Eiffel Tower neighbourhood, I did the opposite of what she suggested in the same article and hopped on the Metro at the Bir-Hakeim station (watch your bags!) to ride across the Seine above water. Seconds before the train went underground, I grabbed this shot of the side of the tower I had never seen before. Sure, it’s the mirror image of the rest of my “Seine + tower” pictures, but with this angle, you don’t have to compete with backlighting.

Eiffel tower from the Metro

I like the economy of having many things I like in the same frame. With its richly detailed fountains, the Place de la Concorde is ideal. Positioned on the northwest corner, I caught this shot just before the fountain cycle started again, soaking everything downwind of the light breeze.

Fountains Place de la Concorde Eiffel Tower

As the sun starts to set, the bridges over the Seine provide lots of opportunity for richly-coloured skies. My personal favourite is the garishly adorned Pont Alexandre III.
Paris Pont Alexandre III Eiffel Tower

Darker skies arrive, and even the most cynical of travelers will admit the Eiffel Tower becomes magical. Watching the tower come to life at night is special in its own way.

Eiffel Tower lights up Eiffel Tower lights up Eiffel Tower lights up Eiffel Tower lights up

The Trocadero gives you the most direct head-on shot of the tower, but this time, I set up at the end of Pont d’Iéna to take my very last “postcard shot.” That is, a picture you could easily buy for a euro in postcard form.

Eiffel Tower postcard shot

While a far more traditional perspective, you can’t go all the way to Paris without catching the hourly light show. Instead of trying to catch dark, disappointing images of a smattering of twinkling lights, I went for a long exposure and got this crazy result.

Eiffel Tower Light Show

Like any major landmark, the Eiffel Tower will continue to be the subject of millions upon millions of travelers’ photos. The next time you’re in Paris, however, take up the challenge of finding a new (or new to you) angle on the most-photographed landmark in the world. It will take your travel photo reviews from “oh, that’s nice” to “wow!”

Where is your favourite view of the Eiffel Tower? If I’ve missed anything – from amazing to completely obvious – fire away in the comments!



  1. Oh. Sigh. Dear Krista, from top to bottom, your photographs are spectacular! I love the “Eiffel Tower” thread. Nice! I love the shots of the Pont Alexandre III and Galeries Lafayette, of course. The dark clouds play nicely in the photographs. But wow. I’ll have to try your Place de Concorde location. Isn’t there where Andy quits her job in the “Devil Wears Prada” flick? I also really dig the long exposure portrait. Bravo. Picture Perfect series!! Theadora (Apologies for the delay. I’ve been working “in the field” in New York.)

    • That is exactly where Andy quits her job! Thanks for the comments, I can’t wait to see how your Place de la Concorde tower pics turn out. If I lived there, I’d probably have an ongoing series from the same spot – for different times of day, weather, seasons. Spare no detail about New York! I have to get back, hopefully while the Prada exhibition is on at the Met.

  2. Love all of your shots of the Eiffel Tower. I’ll take some of your ideas on my next trip, because I have way too many Eiffel Tower through the trees shots. My favorite of yours is the École Militaire – beautiful!

    • That place was a great find! If you approach from Av de Suffern, you also go by UNESCO, which has a pile of flagpoles and may provide some interesting framing. I went by on a Sunday, so no flags, but it could be different on a weekday!


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