May favorite view of the Eiffel Tower is from the 82 bus. Heading north, you first glimpse Eiffel’s masterpiece as you approach the École Militaire, then the tip of the tower slips in and out of sight as you travel along Ave. de Suffren before the bus stops right at the foot of the tower on Quai Branly. Despite being quite serious about enjoying this view, no one visiting Paris for a week or the weekend wants to be told to check out the Eiffel Tower from a bus seat. Two less economical tower viewing options (on opposite sides of the city) are the Tour Montparnasse and the Hotel Concorde-Lafayette.
It just so happens that the 82 bus stops almost in front of Tour Montparnasse so you could start here then take the bus to the more famous tower if you were feeling ambitious. The Tour Montparnasse is an office building with a fancy restaurant containing “the highest panoramic bar in Europe”*, an outdoor observation deck (not accessible, at least I don’t think it is), and an indoor visitor center/shop/cafe/observation area (accessible with accessible restrooms). The view from the 56th floor observation area is impressive. The city looks so tightly packed it seems hard to imagine there’s room to breath down below. Those in wheelchairs are half price but the ticket sellers want to see some sort of identification confirming that you’re officially in the club. The not-as-clearly-marked-as-it-should-be entrance is on Rue de l’Arrivée. The ticket kiosk is here too but can only be accessed via a long staircase. If you’re on your own, as I was, you’ll have to go in the main entrance and ask one of the guards to get someone to purchase a ticket for you. I don’t think unaccompanied wheelchair users are a common sight here but everything went smoothly for me and my ticket was procured and handed over relatively quickly. No ticket is required for Ciel de Paris, the Restaurant/Champagne Bar/Tea Room opposite the visitor center.**
Enter through the main entrance at 3, Place du Général Kœnig. You’ll have to take two elevators to reach the bar but once you’ve arrived there is an accessible restroom and two wheelchair friendly seating areas. An espresso here will set you back 12 euros but the view is worth it, the staff is friendly, and, if you show up early, you’ll have the place practically to yourself. Early meaning before 9:00 pm. This would be the perfect place to sip hot chocolate on a cold winter evening while waiting for the hourly (on the hour) Eiffel Tower light show.
*I’m taking them at their word.
**According to the tower website, meals are by reservation only.