Ah, la tour Eiffel. One of the most iconic monuments in the world. It evokes feelings of wonder and romance, and this beautifully ornate tower attracts more than 7 million visitors from around the world each year.
It should go without saying that having a view of the Eiffel Tower from your apartment significantly boosts your Parisian pad's real estate value. After all, who wouldn’t want to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle and shine from their window every single night? But there’s one incredibly desirable apartment in Paris that doesn’t have a great view from the Eiffel Tower — and that’s because it’s inside the Eiffel Tower.
The Eiffel Tower opened in 1889, and word of Eiffel’s penthouse apartment spread like wildfire throughout Paris. The city’s elite wanted what they couldn’t have (as they always do), and many of them offered Eiffel “a small fortune” to rent the apartment out, if only for one night.
Eiffel turned each offer down, because, well, he could. And do you blame him? You wouldn’t want a bunch of pretentious rich Parisians and looky-loos flooding into your apartment, would you?
5. Only The Lucky (And The Brilliant) Scored An Invite
While Eiffel didn’t entertain offers to rent out the space, he did invite a variety of prestigious guests to him home. For instance, Thomas Edison visited the apartment. This small little flat high up in the Parisian sky must have witnessed some of the most fascinating, progressive conversations of the time.
Eiffel’s apartment may have had the best address in all of Paris, but the space itself was nothing fancy. It was small (it’s located nearly 1,000 feet above ground in a steel tower, after all) and it was “furnished in the simple style dear to scientists.”
So in other words, the interior design choices of the apartment weren’t the big selling points of the place.
This one-of-a-kind Eiffel Tower apartment has been closed to the public for years (which is likely how Eiffel would have liked it). Now, however, the apartment is finally open for visitors. This means that you could take a peek at Paris’ most coveted apartment from the late 19th century.
Many of the furnishings that you see on display are original pieces from when Eiffel chose the décor. The creepy mannequins of Eiffel and Edison, however, are new additions and have not been hanging out in the apartment for the past century.
You can visit Gustave Eiffel’s hidden apartment, but you can’t rent it out on Airbnb or VRBO. A few lucky contest winners, however, recently had the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to stay in another apartment in the Eiffel Tower.
In July 2016, a temporary apartment popped up a few stories below Eiffel’s private apartment. The rental company HomeAway converted a conference space in the tower into a pop-up apartment. Four contest winners scored the chance to sleep in this temporary designer apartment in the Eiffel Tower, and right now I have to go wallow in sadness because I did not know about this contest, thus I did not enter, and thus I did not win.
Once you come to terms with the fact that you weren’t one of the four kissed-by-an-angel, born-under-a-lucky-star contest winners, you can still experience a bit of Parisian wonder by visiting Eiffel’s penthouse apartment and enjoying the sweeping views of Paris. Or you can just sit on the Champ de Mars with a baguette, some fromage and a bottle of wine and enjoy the view of this architectural masterpiece.