Best Views of Paris From Above

Paris is an extraordinarily beautiful city. You can argue about its people or its government but you can’t argue its exquisiteness. Walking the streets and taking in the architecture, the cafe scene, the people, and the energy of the city is one of my favorite things. As beautiful as it is from the ground, it is breathtaking from above. Seeing the rooftops and monuments from a birds-eye-view is unforgettable. It is so quiet from above and being able to see Paris for miles is something I can’t put into words, it must be experienced for yourself!

Here is my list of the Best Views of Paris From Above:

Arc de Triomphe
Offers an amazing panoramic view of the twelve avenues departing from the Place de l’Étoile. Make your way up to the viewing platform for a great view over the whole Historical Axis – from the Louvre to the Grande Arche in the CBD of La Défense. I recommend heading here at dusk on a clear day to see Paris lit up in a golden light. It is everything you want, and more! If you can’t make it by dusk certainly go for nighttime. The twinkling lights below will be an unforgettable site.

Best Views of Paris From Above

Everybody goes to Montmartre to either see the church, historic Paris, or just to experience a place they have only ever heard about. Whatever the reason they make their way up the hill, they stay for the beautiful 360 degree views of Paris. The view of the Paris skyline from the top of the Montmartre Hill is one of the most famous spots in all the city. **tip: climb to the top of the Sacré Coeur for an unbelievable view of Paris and beyond

Tour Montparnasse
I must admit, this is my least favorite building in Paris. It is new and of modern design, 100% not what you want Paris to be. However, the view from the 56th floor makes up for its awkward placement and out of place design. From the 56th floor you will have a birds-eye view of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Montmartre and the Luxembourg Garden.  The open-air roof-terrace is opened to the public and is best for taking photos of Paris’ most famous monuments and landmarks.

Musée d’Orsay
Believe it or not, there are great views from the rooftop of this superb museum, and they’re included in the regular admission fee.

Galeries Lafayette
Best Views of Paris From Above
A rival to the Printemps department store, the terrace might give it a leg up. Sipping on a glass of wine while staring at views of the Grands Boulevards district, Notre-Dame and Panthéon make the Galeries Lafayette a spectacular place to spend an afternoon.

Eiffel Tower
I am so embarrassed to say that I only just experienced the third platform of the Eiffel Tower. It has some of the most incredible views of Paris, which stretch for 70 km, as far as the outskirts of the French capital, Charles de Gaulle airport and the countryside beyond its suburbs. If you want a more up close and personal view of Paris, stop at the second platform where you can view some of the city’s most famous monuments in detail.  Because the Tower is a pretty far west you will get the true experience of Paris but not as good of 360 panoramic views like the Tour Montparnasse.

Printemps Haussmannian
Although not quite as high as terraces of other monuments, the free-platform of department store Printemps on Boulevard Haussmann gives a fine view over the roofs of Paris, particularly those of Haussmannian buildings. There is a good perspective leading to the Madeleine Church and the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Notre Dame
Best Views of Paris From Above
At 69 metres high, the South tower of Notre-Dame offers magnificent view over West Paris (from the Eiffel Tower to La Défense and Sacré Cœur). You should stay as long as the guards will let you in order to fully appreciate the moment. This extraordinary view also provides a different perspective of the cathedral’s greenish roof, as well as the clocks and the gargoyles.

Institut du Monde Arabe
Best Views of Paris From Above

I was able to experience this spot with a local photographer, Mary Quincy. She shared her secret spot with me and it was so amazing! As well as being a beautiful building, with interesting architecture, there is a great view of the River Seine, Notre Dame, and Ile Saint Louis. There is a really cute cafe at the top where you can sip on tea and take in the views.

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2 thoughts on “Best Views of Paris From Above

  1. What a lovely and informative post!! You have put so much work into this!! I wanted you to know how much I enjoyed your beautiful photos and commentary. You are an amazing photographer and teacher/guide!! Thank you for sharing your insight on this incredible city!! You make me want to travel and explore!!

  2. Your pictures often remind me of very fine paintings…loved my tour of Paris this morning from the rooftops through your eyes and your camera lens 🙂

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