When the Eiffel Tower was first unveiled in 1889 at the Exposition Universelle or Paris World Fair, she was famously slammed by some France’s most elite intellectuals (including Alexandre Dumas and Guy de Maupassant) as an architectural eyesore. The critics were merciless, describing Gustave Eiffel’s structure as a “tragic street lamp” and using adjectives like “deformed,” “monstrous,” “odious” and “ridiculous.”
Little did they know, that 130 years later the “barbarous mass” would become one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the world, attracting 7 million visitors a year. Over more than a century, the Iron Lady has undergone a few facelifts and diversified her features with new dining options, new gardens, and new experiences. Here’s everything you need to know about visiting the Eiffel Tower today, along with a few fun facts about the Iron Lady.