Paris is full of unique charm and magnificent monuments that can be admired both up close and from a distance. To enjoy its beauty to the fullest, it is worth taking a look at the city from many different angles. Walk its elegant streets, visit and explore the sights, and be sure to admire the city from above. In the French capital, there are many points where you can get a great view. So where are the best views of Paris? Where to go to enjoy panoramic views of the city? Explore the viewpoints of Paris!
Observation decks at the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower needs no introduction. It attracts 7 million visitors every year, making it one of the most famous and most visited structures in the world. And the Eiffel Tower is also a great vantage point for a panoramic view of the capital.
The tower has several observation decks with views of Paris – they are located on three different levels. The first level is at a height of 57 meters. Getting to the second, you will find yourself at a height of 115 meters. And the third will allow you to look at Paris from a height of 276 meters above the ground. All three floors of the tower is lifted, but the lift is paid. To save 5 euros and avoid waiting in line, you can go up on foot.
The first tier impresses visitors thanks to the transparent floor through which you can see Paris right under your feet. There are computerized information boards along the terrace. Here you can see the remains of the stairs that once led to the office of Gustave Eiffel. In addition, the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant, buffet, souvenir store and relaxation area are at guests’ disposal.
On the second tier is the observation deck, which offers a beautiful panorama of Pajíž. You should find here a small staircase and go a little higher – a beautiful view opens, practically not spoiled by fences-grids, with which for safety purposes the whole tower is entangled. On the second floor there is also a buffet, souvenirs and another restaurant – “Jules Verne”.
The third level is accessible only by elevator (you have to stand in line). But you will be rewarded with a great view from the top observation deck. In addition, there you will find the Champagne Bar, a 1:50 scale model of the original 1889 tower and a reconstructed room of Gustave Eiffel (with wax figures) – a tiny apartment designed for him personally, where he liked to spend his time and receive famous guests.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower: useful tips
- The cost of visiting the tower depends on the floor, as well as on the age of the visitor and the method of ascent (by elevator or on foot)
- To avoid lines at the ticket office, book tickets in advance on the official website.
- Remember that tickets purchased online can not be refunded, even if in bad weather access to the top will be closed.
- When booking lunch or dinner at one of the two restaurants in the tower, there is no need to stand in a common line – there are separate elevators for visitors to these establishments.
- Beware of pickpockets – the main Parisian attraction attracts not only tourists but also thieves.
- Be practical – consider the weather and wear comfortable shoes. Keep in mind that in windy weather the tower rocks slightly.
Montparnasse Tower (Tour Montparnasse)
The Montparnasse Tower is the only skyscraper in the center of Paris. Not surprisingly, it has an observation deck at about 210 meters. A high-speed elevator takes you to the top in 38 seconds. There is a fee for the ascent, but it’s worth it – the top of the skyscraper offers an exceptional 360° panoramic view of the city.
Arc de Triomphe
Napoleon began to build the Arc de Triomphe, wishing to perpetuate his victories. However, he did not have time to finish it during his lifetime – the monument was opened after his death in 1836. The Arc de Triomphe completes the famous Avenue des Champs-Élysées and is the center of the Place du Soleil, or Charles de Gaulle Square.
It takes 284 steps or 50 meters to walk up the square with 12 bays of streets. It doesn’t take long to get to the top and the Attica Room with the gift store, the drinking fountain and the toilets are waiting for you. A few more steps and you see the Champs-Elysées on one side and the Défense on the other.
The Arc de Triomphe on Place Charles de Gaulle (The Star) is the final point of our audio tour “The Arc de Triomphe”, the route of which also passes through the Louvre, Place Carrousel, the Champs-Elysées and other legendary Parisian landmarks.
The 130-meter hill in the north of the French capital is its highest natural point. It is crowned by the famous Sacré-Coeur Basilica. In this snow-white church there is a paid observation deck, which offers a beautiful panorama of Paris. But you can also admire the city for free – from the observation decks next to the basilica.
Before the terrible fire of April 16, 2019, Notre Dame was one of Paris’ most popular viewpoints. The restoration is well underway, so hopefully in the future tourists will have the opportunity to admire the center of Paris from the upper gallery when it is restored.
Gothic masterpiece, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral was erected more than 800 years ago and has managed to survive many historical cataclysms, including the Revolution of 1789. Victor Hugo saved the cathedral from ruin during the turbulent revolutionary years by dedicating his famous novel “Notre Dame de Paris” to it. Today, each year about 20 million people visit the cathedral. Many of them climbed the famous Gallery of Chimeras, an observation deck at a height of 45 meters, which connected the North and South bell towers.
Le Centre Pompidou (The Centre Pompidou)
On the roof of the Centre Georges Pompidou is another interesting observation deck. It offers a view of Notre Dame and the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur.
Entrance to it is paid. You do not need to buy a ticket to the museum – you just pay 5 euros for access to the site.
On the first Sunday of the month, admission to the museum and the roof is free.
In the heart of the Latin Quarter, on the hill of Saint Genevieve rises a neo-Gothic temple where the great sons and daughters of France are buried.
You can see Paris from the colonnade of the Pantheon dome, where access is chargeable. Interestingly, for most of the XIX century this colonnade was virtually the only such place, where you could admire the views of the city.
The Galeries Lafayette building next to the Opéra Garnier is an attraction in itself and worth a visit, even if you are not a fan of shopping. The store opened in 1893 and was significantly rebuilt in 1906. The unique interiors of this department store, its glass dome in the Byzantine style leaves no one indifferent.
Climbing up to its roof will not cost you anything, and from it you can see many sights of the city, including the Eiffel Tower.
Balloon in the André Citroën Park
This original way of seeing Paris can be found in the Parc André-Citroën in the 15th arrondissement. The park gets its name, by the way, after the Citroën factory and its founder, which was located on this very spot.
The balloon rises to a height of 150 meters, allowing to see the most famous sights of Paris from a bird’s-eye view. The duration of the flight is 10 minutes.
This attraction is open every day until the park closes, but in bad weather the flights may be canceled.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
A city park in the 19th arrondissement, one of the largest in Paris and the most romantic. It appeared on the city map during the reforms carried out by Baron Haussmann, during the reign of Napoleon III.
The park was laid out on the site of a quarry where gypsum and limestone were extracted, on the edge of a former landfill. On its arrangement worked about 1000 workers, there were planted about 20 thousand green plants, and the opening took place in 1867.
Today it is an area of about 25 hectares with gardens, English and French gardens, lakes, grottoes, small waterfalls and hills. Here, in the middle of an artificial lake, is a chalk cliff, on top of which is a gazebo, reminiscent of the ancient Roman temple of Sibylline from the Italian city of Tivoli. This Belvedere of the Sibylline, as it is called, offers the most beautiful views of Paris, including the Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur and the Eiffel Tower.
La Grande Arche de la Défense
The 110-meter-high building in the Defence Quarter was erected in 1989 and is the extreme east-west point of the so-called “historical axis” of Paris. Read more about
The Terre des Arcs Defans is probably the biggest observation deck in Paris, with more than 1000 square meters, offering a 360-degree view. The entrance fee is paid, but from here you can see the entire center of the French capital – the Defence quarter, the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs Elysees, the Tuileries Garden, the Arch on the Place Carrousel, the Louvre.