It is often said that Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the World. And they’re not wrong. Writing a post on Le Marais recently, I mentioned how Haussmann completely revamped Paris in the 19th Century so that much of it looked very similar. What better way to gaze at the grand boulevards than from a bird’s eye point of view? So here are some of the very best views of Paris (what you’re doing for sunrise tomorrow is totally sorted!)
Arc de Triomphe (entry charge)
It goes without saying that this is my favourite viewpoint over Paris. If you follow me on instagram (@sophieannenadeau), then you’ll probably have noticed that I post more panoramas over Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe than any other location in Paris.
The Arc de Triomphe (full name L’Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile) was built in the early 1800s, having been commissioned by Napoleon following a victory at the battle of Austerlitz. It is sometimes confused with the smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel which lies in a direct line to the East, opposite the Louvre.
Finally inaugurated in 1836, the larger Arc de Triomphe is the centrepiece of a roundabout with 12 avenues. It is one of the only roundabouts in the world where vehicles coming onto the roundabout have priority over vehicles already on it?
Tour Eiffel (entry charge)
For all you Eiffel Tower haters out there (I know who you are), there’s a story that goes a little like this:
The French writer Guy de Maupassant was known to despise the Eiffel Tower.
However, he still sat and ate his lunch under the Dame de Fer without failure every single day.
When asked why he did this, he replied that it was the only place in Paris where he did not have to see it rising up over the skyline. So there you go, if you don’t want to see the Tour Eiffel, sit directly under it (or ascend it)…
Standing at 130 metres high, the district of Montmartre is, without doubt, the highest viewpoint in the city. The jewel in the crown of this historic area has got to be the Sacré-Coeur. The Roman Catholic church was built between the late 1800s and the early 1900s. Some of the best views of Paris (and beyond) can be seen from the top of its steps.
Tour Montparnasse (Entry Charge)
Built in the mid 20th century, this building is not only a fairly recent addition to the Parisian skyline but the perfect place to view the Eiffel Tower from. Two viewing levels allow panoramic 360-degree views over the city of lights. Located in the 15e arrondissement, it was fun to try and spot my house, university etc from the top (with a beer in hand from the café, of course)!
Read more: A quick guide to visiting Tour Montparnasse.
Galeries Lafayette Rooftop Terrace (Free)
One of the most prestigious department stores in Paris, Galeries Lafayette is now an international chain of stores. Established in 1912, the flagship store resides on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9e arrondissement (just behind Opera). Situated on the 7th floor of the store is a viewing terrace offering spectacular views of the city.
Read more: Galeries Lafayette Christmas Tree