Why is the Eiffel Tower Famous? | With 10 Amazing Facts

Eiffel tower in Paris, France

The Eiffel Tower or La Tour Eiffel is one of the most recognised and famous monuments in the whole world, despite not being the tallest, prettiest or biggest building. But how did it get so famous? Why is it so loved and visited? And is it worth a going even when you know queues are going to be inevitable?

Read on to find out all you need to know about the Eiffel Tower so you can amaze your friends and family with your new-found knowledge and start planning your trip to this world-famous site.

Why is the Eiffel Tower Famous?

It is famous because the tower is in almost every photo taken of the Paris skyline, and in almost every film set in this city. It’s also one of the most unique structures in the world, climbing it is a bucket list experience you won’t ever forget.

One of the main reasons the Eiffel Tower is so famous is because it was a modern, artistic design that was considered ‘crazy’ at the time of construction.

Gustave Eiffel (along with Maurice Koechlin and Emile Nouguier) designed and built the Eiffel Tower as a temporary exhibition, but this quirky building quickly became such an icon that it stayed, and here we are over 100 years later still visiting it today!

Many people had strong opinions about the Eiffel Tower, with some calling it ‘the ugliest building in Paris’ and others falling in love with its design straight away.

Despite this disparity (and the petitions to remove the building), Paris officials decided to keep the Eiffel Tower allowing it to become the most visited paid-monument in the world.

Another reason that the Eiffel Tower became so famous around the world was that, at the time, it was the world’s tallest structure by quite a long way. The Eiffel Tower stands at 986 feet, which was almost double the height of the previous tallest structure (the Washington Monument at 555ft). It therefore towered above everything else in Paris and people were in awe of this metal structure’s ability to stand alone.

The Eiffel Tower stood as the world’s tallest structure for over four decades, until the Chrysler Building in New York was created in 1930.

The Eiffel Tower was proof that a whole building could be created from wrought iron, a material much lighter than stone, and one that allowed an intricate design to be woven into the very being of the building.

Why Was the Eiffel Tower Built, and Why Did That Help Make it Famous?

The Eiffel Tower was constructed between the years of 1887 and 1889 as an entrance into the 1889 World Fair (Exposition Universelle). This expo was a chance for engineers and designers to showcase scientific and technological advances and for artists and performers to display forward-thinking works of art and culture.

The 1889 Exposition Universelle was a particularly important World Fair celebration as it commemorated the 100-year anniversary of the fall of the Bastille in the French Revolution.

It was for this anniversary that an open competition was run to find a fantastic centrepiece for the exposition, and the design by the Compagnie des Etablissements Eiffel was chosen.

As it was an exposition, there were no rules or planning that had to be obtained to create the buildings and architects could be as ‘out-there’ as they liked with their designs. This therefore led to Gustave Eiffel creating a Jules Verne-inspired monument that, among other symbolic features, showcased France’s ownership of iron in the industrial landscape of the time.

This strange creation was unlike anything Parisiennes had ever seen before and became a hit among locals and visitors alike.

The symbolism of the Eiffel Tower appealed to people from all walks of life, who could take what they wanted from this unique design and find meaning in it.

Why is the Eiffel Tower So Loved?

The industrial, metal creation was worlds apart from the traditional buildings that graced the banks of the Seine, and the fact that you could walk up inside of the tower made it even more special.

Visitors, even in 1889, were impressed by the wonderful views of Paris that could be obtained by scaling the Eiffel Tower – even though they would have had to climb up the 1,710 steps to the top!

Today, visitors can climb stairs to the second level of the Eiffel Tower and/or take the lift to the top, which allows them to enjoy the breath-taking views of the city with even less effort!

On a clear day you can see for hundreds of kilometres, allowing you to take in the sights of Paris such as the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, La Defense and the Champs Élysées.

The Eiffel Tower has been used in many works by artists, photographers, and filmmakers, which has led to its status as one of the most famous and romantic destinations in the world.

Many travellers dream of photographing this stunning structure, of standing under the arched legs of the tower and of ascending to the top to take in the views.

It therefore manages to retain its magic despite being one of the busiest monuments in the whole world.

10 Interesting Facts About The Eiffel Tower

  • The Eiffel Tower is known by the French as La Dame de Fer or 'The Iron Lady'
  • The Eiffel Tower is painted every seven years in 60 tons of paint
  • The tower is painted in three different shades of 'Eiffel Brown' that get lighter the higher up it goes
  • The Eiffel Tower grows and shrinks by as much as six inches in the sun
  • There are 20 thousand lights on the Eiffel Tower
  • The Eiffel Tower was once used as a giant billboard, with the company Citroën illuminating their brand name in lights between 1925 and 1936
  • The inventor of the parachute died leaping from the Eiffel Tower in 1912
  • Gustave Eiffel also created the internal frame for the Statue of Liberty
  • Over 250 million have visited the Eiffel Tower since its opening, with around 7 million people visiting every year
  • The Eiffel Tower sways slightly in the wind which is an engineering design to help protect the structure

Why Should You Visit the Eiffel Tower?

If you’re not yet convinced, the main reason to visit the Eiffel Tower is simply because it is so iconic and it would be a shame not to witness this impressive structure in person.

While the Eiffel Tower is arguably more beautiful from afar or in photographs, climbing or ascending the Eiffel Tower is a truly magical experience that everyone visiting France should enjoy.

Climbing the steps inside the Eiffel Tower (NB: visitors cannot climb all the way to the top) is a wonderful experience as you can really take in the Art Nouveau design and look at the intricacies of the structure, marvelling at the fact that this was built over 100 years previous.

If you want an even more in-depth look, you can join a guided climb of the Eiffel Tower with an experienced guide telling you all about the structure and stories of its past. This tour allows you to ascend 704 steps – bypassing the hordes of people waiting for the lifts – while enjoying different views of the city along the way.

Not only is visiting the tower itself a wonderful experience, but the Champ de Mars and Trocadero area around the Eiffel Tower are also great places to explore.

The grassy area at the base of the Eiffel Tower is a perfect spot to enjoy a summer picnic and views from the Trocadero, and the Seine are some of the best spots for taking photographs.

How to Have the Best Experience Visiting this Famous Landmark of Paris

There are a few things to consider when planning your visit to the Eiffel Tower to ensure you have an enjoyable experience instead of a chaotic one!

The main thing to think about is when you are going to go so that you can book your tickets in advance and be there in plenty of time.

If you turn up at the Eiffel Tower to purchase a ticket, you can expect to wait anywhere from one hour to three hours plus, so unless you really can’t make advance plans it is definitely recommended to book ahead.

There are various tickets you can purchase in advance, from specific time slots to guided tours that allow you to skip the queues and head straight to the front.

Aside from your visit up the Eiffel Tower, you’ll also want to find some great locations for photographing the tower from afar. If you don’t want loads of people in the background of your photographs, it’s a good idea to head out for sunrise so that you can enjoy the quietest spots in peace.

Along with the Seine and the Trocadero, Rue St. Dominique, Square Rapp, Avenue de Cameons and Bir Hakeim Bridge are popular spots during the day as they offer some of the best views of the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Now you know all you need to about why the Eiffel Tower is so famous, and if you’re anything like me you’ll be wondering when you might be able to fit in a trip to Paris to see this incredible structure! Let us know if you’ve visited and what you think about the fascinating Tour Eiffel!

If you liked this post please share it on:

Share on pinterest
Pinterest
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on twitter
Twitter

Add items to your ‘Bucket List’ or ‘Done List‘  by pressing the buttons where you see them throughout this website.

Related Bucket List Items

Add to Done ListDONE
Climb the stairs up the Eiffel Tower

Add to Done ListDONE
Try 10 flavors of french macaroons

Add to Done ListDONE
Kiss at the top of the Eiffel Tower

Add to Done ListDONE
Become fluent in French

Close Menu

Keep All Your Bucket List Items in One Place