The Eiffel Tower is getting a golden makeover ahead of the 2024 Olympics

Paris’s most famous monument will be painted a shiny ‘yellow-brown‘ hue before it serves as a backdrop to Summer Games

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver
UK Editor
Eiffel Tower being repainted
Photograph: Vernerie Yann /

For more than 50 years, the Eiffel Tower has looked a little rusty. However, its distinctive brownish colour isn’t just what happens when you leave the world’s tallest iron structure out in the rain – it’s a very deliberate paint job that gets redone every seven years or so.

But now, as Paris gears up to host the Olympic Games in 2024, the tower is undergoing the most extensive renovations in its 130-year history – and is being painted a dazzling new shade of gold.

As part of the huge new makeover, all 19 previous coats of paint are being removed, and the current colour is being replaced with the ‘yellow-brown’ shade that Gustave Eiffel himself wanted for his monument. ‘It’s going to give the Eiffel Tower a bit more of a gold hue than the colour that we’re used to seeing, in time for the Olympic Games,’ said the boss of the firm that operates the tower.

It’s thought that Eiffel chose the colour because he wanted the 324-metre-high tower to reflect the yellowish limestone architecture of the city around it. (But of course, the nod to Olympic gold medals is a nice touch too.)

The work, which began in 2019, is expected to cost a whopping €50 million ($60 million or £44 million) overall. The paint job will be complete by 2022 – well in time for the 2024 Games – and an extensive renovation of the park just to the south is set to follow.

The tower will serve as the backdrop for the triathlon and open-water swimming events in the Seine. The surrounding quais are also expected to play host to a series of shows, concerts and other entertainment.

While you may well have avoided it on recent trips, this latest glow-up could put the Eiffel Tower back on the must-visit list whenever you next make it over to the City of Light. Either way, it’ll be hard to miss that shiny new beacon on the horizon.

From sweeping car bans to vast urban forests, here’s how Paris plans to become Europe’s greenest city by 2030.

And if you fancy a trip back in time? These amazing colour photos show Paris in the 1960s.

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