Paris enchants visitors with its iconic landmarks, charming streets, and artistic allure. But to truly grasp the city’s grandeur, one must ascend above the bustling avenues and gaze down from a higher perspective.
In this article about the best views in Paris, we will journey to towering monuments, chic rooftop bars, and hidden terraces that offer breathtaking panoramas of the French capital.
Whether you’re a photographer seeking the perfect shot, a romantic chasing the sunset, or a traveler hungry for a new perspective, these elevated vantage points will unveil Paris in a way you’ve never seen before. Join me as we climb to new heights and discover the city’s beauty from above!
This is my personal favorite spot for taking in the best views of Paris. The Saint-Jacques Tower is the only part that survives out of a 16th-century church that was destroyed during the French Revolution.
It is a monument located in the 4th arrondissement in Paris. A Gothic-style tower that is 52 meters tall, it was once part of the Church of Saint Jacques de la Boucherie which was demolished in 1797. Adults are charged €10 for admission but it is free during European Heritage Days in September.
One of the best views in Paris, the Pantheon is a domed secular mausoleum that honors countless national luminaries from long French history with some incredibly famous people on the list. The Pantheon in Paris is not only an architectural marvel but also offers a splendid viewpoint to admire the city. Here’s the general process for going up and enjoying the view:
Visitors to the Pantheon can purchase tickets at the entrance or online in advance. After exploring the main floor with its impressive neoclassical architecture and the crypt, which houses the tombs of many notable French citizens, they can proceed to ascend the building.
The climb to the top requires navigating 206 steps through a narrow and winding staircase. The journey takes guests through the inner workings of the building, offering glimpses of the famous Foucault Pendulum.
Once at the top, visitors are rewarded with an unparalleled 360-degree view of Paris, encompassing iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and Notre Dame. It’s a stunning vantage point that provides a unique perspective on the layout of the city.
The Pantheon’s dome is generally open to visitors from April to October, but it’s wise to check the official website or contact local authorities for exact opening times and any restrictions, as these can change.
Going up Montparnasse Tower to see Paris from a high vantage point is a remarkable experience. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, the Montparnasse Tower offers a clear and unobstructed view of the city, including the Eiffel Tower itself. The 360-degree panorama allows you to see all of Paris’s landmarks.
With a high-speed elevator that takes only 38 seconds to reach the 56th floor, accessibility is quick and comfortable. The terrace on the 59th floor is an open-air space that provides an even more thrilling view. Observing Paris from such a height provides a unique perspective on the city’s layout and architectural styles, helping you appreciate its historical development and urban design.
The tower hosts a restaurant and a café, offering the chance to enjoy a meal or a drink with the breathtaking view of Paris in the background.
Compared to other famous viewing points in Paris, Montparnasse Tower often has fewer visitors, allowing a more relaxed experience. This Parisian quarter is made famous by its art history. As you walk the streets of Montparnasse, gaze upwards and think of all the former artists’ studios in the area.
People always love to take selfies in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, but the real views are from the top! Notre Dame attracted 13 million tourists every year before the disastrous fire that closed it to visitors.
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris is undergoing extensive restoration and repair work following a significant fire in April 2019. This restoration work resulted in the closure of certain parts of the cathedral, including the towers, to visitors.
The world mourned for this iconic Gothic Cathedral which is one of the best views in Paris. It’s an 800 year old icon not only for France but also for the world.
Before the fire, visitors could climb to the top of Notre Dame’s towers for breathtaking views of Paris. Here’s how the process generally worked:
You would enter the South Tower and purchase tickets either on-site or in advance. A limited number of people were allowed to ascend at a time, so there could be a wait, especially during peak tourist seasons.
Once inside, they would climb a narrow spiral staircase of 422 steps. Along the way, there were various levels to explore, including the Chimera Gallery, home to the famous gargoyles and grotesques.
Upon reaching the top, visitors were treated to panoramic views of Paris, including landmarks like the Seine River, Montmartre, and the Eiffel Tower. The descent involved carefully navigating the same narrow staircase.
Soon the view from Notre Dame will be back, with Christian relics still intact, including the tunic of St. Louis and the crown of thorns.
Metro Line 6
Surprisingly, the Paris Metro Line 6 takes a route that gives you some of the best views in Paris. It crosses the Seine and offers a picture-perfect view of the Eiffel Tower. Metro Line 6 was launched in 1906 between the Place de l’Etoile (which is on top of the Champs Elysees) and Place d’Italie (just outside Paris Chinatown).
Since then, the Paris metro line has been extended into Place de la Nation. It is fascinating because it swoops down south across the Seine and stretches between Bir Hakeim and Passy which affords you the best views of the river!
Pont Neuf means “New Bridge” but is ironically the oldest bridge in Paris which crosses the famous River Seine. The views from here are stunning and unforgettable. The bridge was constructed way back in the 16th century and still stands strong and sturdy at 278 meters long and 28 meters wide. It connects the Ile de la Cité with both sides of the Seine.
La Coulée Verte (Promenade Plantée)
If you want to see one of the more unique views in Paris, check out La Coulée Verte, otherwise known as the Promenade Plantée. La Coulée Verte is a public park located in eastern Paris along a legendary rail line. It was saved from demolition in 1993 by the city of Paris and by the local residents by virtue of its being a hybrid public space where everyone can experience art, design and nature at the same time.
La Coulée Verte consists of a pleasant and free 5-kilometer stroll from La Bastille to Bois de Vincennes. It’s very scenic and perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of the city without leaving it!
L’Arc de Triomphe
This is one of the most photographed monuments in the world and offers stellar views of the Parisian landscape. L’Arc de Triomphe is a 50-meter arch that rivals the Eiffel Tower as the most quintessential Paris landmark.
It cost more than 10 million francs to build and was commissioned by Napoleon on his birthday in 1806 for its construction. It was his monumental tribute to the French army which was very powerful during that time, owing to its conquest of most of Europe. Sadly, Napoleon died before the Arc was completed.
Visiting the top of the L’Arc de Triomphe in Paris offers an opportunity to appreciate panoramic views of the city’s grand avenues and landmarks. Here’s the general process for ascending the monument and enjoying the view:
You can purchase tickets at the base of the monument or online in advance to avoid potential lines. Once you have a ticket, you can enter the monument and begin the ascent. The climb to the top involves navigating a spiraling staircase of 284 steps! There is no elevator access for the general public, so the ascent requires a moderate level of physical fitness.
Upon reaching the terrace at the top, visitors are rewarded with sweeping views of Paris, including the Champs-Élysées, the Eiffel Tower, and La Défense. The viewing platform is equipped with informational panels describing the landmarks in view, adding an educational element to the experience
After spending time enjoying the scenery, you descend using the same staircase.
Tuileries Ferris Wheel
The Tuileries Garden Ferris Wheel, when installed, offers an enchanting way to see Paris from above. Here’s the general process for enjoying a ride and the view:
Visitors can find the Ferris wheel in the Tuileries Garden, usually near the east side of the park, near the Louvre Museum. It’s typically set up for special events or seasons, such as during the summer or for Christmas markets. Tickets can be purchased on-site at the ticket booth.
Once you have a ticket, you have to wait your turn. The Ferris wheel’s enclosed gondolas can accommodate a small group, allowing friends or family to ride together. As the wheel slowly turns, you are lifted high above the gardens, providing an opportunity to take in stunning vistas of Paris’s landmarks such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and the Seine River. The ride generally lasts for several rotations, allowing ample time to admire the view and take photographs.
The experience combines the charm of a traditional fairground attraction with the unique beauty of the Parisian landscape. Since the Ferris wheel’s presence in the Tuileries Garden is often temporary and tied to specific events, check the latest news for up-to-date details on availability and operating hours.
Centre Pompidou Roof
The Centre Pompidou in Paris, renowned for its contemporary architecture and an extensive collection of modern art, also offers a fantastic opportunity to admire the city from its rooftop and enjoy a meal at the trendy restaurant Georges. Here’s the process to enjoy this view:
Book a table at the Georges restaurant or purchase tickets to the Centre Pompidou museum either online or at the ticket counters on the ground floor.
Once inside, you can take the escalators or elevators that lead up through the building’s iconic exterior tubing. As you ascend, you’ll already begin to enjoy views of the city through the transparent walls. Upon reaching the top floor, visitors can access the outdoor terrace, which offers an unobstructed 360-degree view of Paris, encompassing landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Cœur, and Notre Dame.
Whether stopping for a meal or just the view, the rooftop of Centre Pompidou provides a modern and stylish vantage point from which to appreciate the architectural tapestry of Paris. As with many attractions, check the Centre Pompidou’s official website for the latest news as this museum is scheduled to undergo renovations shortly.
Le Perchoir Bar
Le Perchoir is a well-known rooftop bar in Paris, providing a chic environment to enjoy cocktails and the city’s skyline.
Le Perchoir has multiple locations in Paris, so first, you’ll want to select the one that most appeals to you, such as Le Perchoir Marais or Le Perchoir Ménilmontant. No reservations are usually required for the bar area, but it’s advisable to arrive early, especially on weekends, as these rooftop venues can become quite crowded.
Once you arrive at the chosen location, you may be greeted by a host who will guide you to the elevator leading to the rooftop.
Upon reaching the rooftop, you can find a spot at the bar or grab a table. The atmosphere is often lively with music and conversation, and the views are spectacular, especially at sunset or during the evening when the city lights up. Le Perchoir offers an urban and trendy way to appreciate Paris from above.
The Roof of Le Printemps
Rooftop delights are always fascinating and romantic. On top of Le Printemps, a huge department store famous for its fashion, there is a stunning rooftop terrace and restaurant called Perruche. It is one of the best-kept secrets in Paris!
After shopping, head up to the rooftop and drink in the scenic views of Paris with a bit of brunch or lunch to enjoy. On top of this famous French department store, you can see Montmartre, the Palais Garnier, the Eiffel Tower, the Sacre Coeur, and more famous monuments.
Galeries Lafayette Rooftop
The Galeries Lafayette Rooftop is another best-kept rooftop secret of Paris. Galeries Lafayette is a well-known department store which dates back to 1912. But go up to the top where there are several restaurants, bars, and coffee shops for you to unwind and take in the southern side beauty of Paris in the open air. The best part is that it’s totally free to visit the rooftop. You don’t need to purchase anything to enjoy the natural urban beauty!
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best views in Paris!