100 Words On: The Baffling Allure of the Eiffel Tower

Originally built as the grand entrance to the 1889 World’s Fair, today the Eiffel Tower is the undisputed romantic symbol of Paris and most-visited paid monument on Earth. Even so, that didn’t stop more than 1000 travelers in a recent survey from bestowing la Tour Eiffel with the dubious honor of being the world’s most disappointing tourist attraction. So, are sightseers who diss the Iron Lady philistines — or is beauty in the eye of the beholder?

The bottom line: I always suspected the Eiffel Tower was overrated. After all, just how charming can an old 1,063-foot tall iron lattice radio tower really be?

Photo Credit: Joe C


  1. 1

    Auntjenny7 says

    I disagree. I found the Eiffel Tower to be AMAZING. One of the highlights of my trip to Paris.

    Now, the Mona Lisa portrait, that was a huge letdown. Smaller than I thought it would be and kept behind a glass screen, hundreds of tourists crawling all over each other trying to get a closer look. Not worth standing in line for.

  2. 3

    DianaM says

    I agree with you both. The Eiffel tower is a plain Jane in the morning under grey Parisian skies, but dressed up at night she’s magnificent!

  3. 9

    Edward says

    Had a picnic with about 30 friends on the Champs-de-Mars in the shadow of the Tower. Great experience! The tower’s not so bad–it’s pretty freakin’ big too. What sort of “expectations” do people have of it? One should never go into any experience with “expectations”–that way you can never be disappointed.

    I heard old ladies at Graceland saying they were “disappointed” it wasn’t as big as they thought. I loved that it was a little modest. I heard people in Venice saying they were disappointed at the number of people and the price of the gondoliers.

    Hell, you’re in Venice!! It’s awesome!! Shut up!!

    • 10

      Lola says

      I agree with you completely, Edward! I just cannot believe anyone would be disappointed with Venice! After dreaming of going there for as long as I can remember, when I finally got there – well, let’s just say that any expectations I could have possibly had were NOTHING compared to the real thing! Of course, I’d done my research and knew there would be crowds in St Mark’s, and the Rialto, and that it would be expensive. But I also knew that one of the greatest things about Venice is you can wander away from the crowds at will to find pockets unknown to the general tourist population, and never be truly lost (it is an island, after all).

      Ahhhh, Venice!

  4. 11


    I agree with you – my family got me to go to the top and that was experience I never wish to repeat. However, I find that I am destined to sit below it with a book (in all kinds of weather) because every time we go to Paris my husband and son go up. Humbling! But then I think that Paris itself is over-rated so…

  5. 12


    I remember visiting the Eiffel Tower as kid and was disappointed because it was rusty and the top level was closed. Although I was back when I was an adult, I find Montmartre and enjoyed the view much more. Probably because of what else was there.

  6. 13

    Spedie says

    I have only been to Paris once. I wanted to go to there but traffic was so bad I couldn’t get anywhere near it. I found Paris to be an overall let down….very dirty, trash blowing everywhere, etc. The food was great. Every restaurant meal in France is a multi-course, and hours long experience. I did not care for the flamage served at every meal. I am glad I had time to sit down for three hours every time I wanted to eat. If you want to eat fast it is considered rude.

  7. 15


    I actually had no idea that the tower was built for a fair. It’s a beautiful structure, no doubt about it, but I do tend to find most big tourist attractions a let down. The empire state building was like that for me.


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