10 Most Breathtaking Views in the World

Top of the Eiffel Tower
The top of the Eiffel Tower is a great place to pop the question. iStockphoto/Thinkstock

What the Empire State Building offers New York tourists, the Eiffel Tower matches in Paris. And while the City of Lights doesn't have the kind of jaw-dropping skyscrapers that Gotham does, it's still a breathtaking view once you take the elevator ride up the tower to the observation deck. At 984 feet (320 meters), the tower is the second tallest structure in France, behind the Millau Viaduct, and was the tallest in the world until the completion of the Empire State Building.

While there are 1,671 steps that go to the top of the tower, visitors can only climb to the first and second tiers at 189 feet ( 57 meters) and 379 feet (115 meters) [source: Discoverfrance.net]. In order to go to the top lookout for the most breathtaking view, you need to ride one of two elevators that make the trip every eight minutes -- about 100 per day [source: Tour-eiffel.fr]. For the best viewing, show up about an hour before sunset and take in the "magic hour" before the sea of yellow lights come to lifeĀ as darkness falls.