There’s nothing quite like that final evening glow signaling the end of another day. Sunset is always beautiful, and of course, in Paris, it’s no different… Stroll down the Seine, or grab your camera and head to the base of the Eiffel Tower: Here’ your definitive guide on where to see sunset in Paris! (And I promise you, all the spots and locations listed here are the very best!)
- Tips and tricks for capturing the sunset in Paris
- Best places to see the sunset in Paris
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Tips and tricks for capturing the sunset in Paris
Sunset pictures work best when there are at least a couple of clouds in the sky. This will ensure better candy colours when the sun is setting. If you’re looking to do a sunstar, then I recommend reading this article.
When you want to get the best colours from the sky, you should underexpose the photo so that you don’t lose any definition. Shoot at as low as an ISO number as possible in order to reduce noise. In order to counterbalance this lack of light, you’ll need a longer shutter speed (and maybe even a tripod).
If you shoot your images in RAW, then you’ll have ore ability to manipulate the image later on and draw out the colours. For more information and ideas, be sure to check out our recommended travel photography gear guide.
Best places to see the sunset in Paris
I’ve already said that Trocadéro is most definitely the best spot in Paris to watch the sunrise… But it also has to be said that it’s great to watch spot to watch the sunset!
Bring a picnic, grab a friend and head here early in the evening to secure one of the best spots at the base of the Eiffel Tower. Towards the bottom of Trocadéro, you’ll often find live music performances and other entertainment in the evening.
#2 Arc de Triomphe
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?
With views over the Eiffel Tower, and over towards La Defense, there’s perhaps no better place to watch the sunset in Paris than at the Arc de Triomphe. If you’ve only got time to see one viewing point for sunset in Paris, make it the Arc de Triomphe… Just be sure to queue up early enough to catch the sunset though; as you can often queue for up to 45 minutes to reach the top!
Visitors who are planning to visit the city in the late spring should also note that, instead of opting to climb up the Arc de Triomphe around the 10th May, it’s better to actually head to the Champs Élysées and watch the sunset through the centre of the Triumphal Arch instead!
#3 Montmartre (in front of the Sacré-Coeur)
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.
Head up the steps of Montmartre towards the Sacré-Coeur and you’ll immediately see why many tourists and locals alike flock to Montmartre to catch the sunset. For, it offers the most magnificent views of the glowing Haussmannian rooftops spread out below you. J
ust before golden hour, be sure to discover all of the beautiful places Montmartre has to offer. After all, the 18th arrondissement of Paris offers cobbled lanes, tiny museums, and some of the most beautiful streets in the city!
#4 Along the River Seine
Picture this: Pretty in pink, the golden hour is reflected perfectly in the Seine. You can hear locals laughing in French, birds circling up overhead and you’re enjoying a nice glass of rosé bought at a local supermarket…
Like the sound of this? Well, pack a picnic, grab a friend and head to the most popular spot for locals enjoying a picnic in Paris. From along the Seine on Île Saint Louis (next to Île de La Cité), you’ll find a spot to watch the sunset behind Notre Dame Cathedral. I also particularly enjoy watching the sunset in Paris from Pont Neuf, which paradoxically in spite of its name, is actually the oldest still standing bridge in the city.
#5 Pont Alexandre III
Often touted as ‘the most beautiful bridge in the world‘, Pont Alexandre III was built at the end of the 19th-Century and has continued to wow locals and visitors alike since its completion in 1900. Named after Tsar Alexander III (who had formed a strong alliance with the French a few years prior), it’s easily one of the best places to watch the sunset in Paris.
#6 Galeries Lafayette Rooftop Terrace
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.
Galeries Lafayette is not only a chic department store (one of the four ‘grands magasins’ of Paris) located near the city’s iconic Opera House but also home to a free-to-visit rooftop terrace at the very top of the flagship building’s top floor.
Boasting panoramic views across the city, from the top you can enjoy picture perfect views of the Eiffel Tower, Palais Garnier Opera House, and many more Parisian landmarks! I particularly recommend going at sunset as this way you can marvel at the entire city bathed in a stunning warm glow.
#7 Centre Georges Pompidou
Centre Georges Pompidou is an incredibly modern building surrounded by a sea of Haussmann Architecture. Located in the very middle of Le Marais (the district of the city which is famed for its medieval scene and architecture), it’s home to one of the best rooftop terraces in the city.
The Georges Pompidou Center is a library, modern art museum and also houses a restaurant. It’s here you’ll find paintings and images by many of the greats; including Picasso, Braque, and Hockney among others…
Head to the museum for sunset to catch views over Le Marais and beyond. The Museum is open until 10 pm on a daily basis, making it the perfect evening activity if you don’t want to go to a restaurant, or to the theatre.
#8 Tour Montparnasse
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)!
At the very top of Tour Montparnasse (the highest skyscraper in Paris, and the second tallest man-made building after the Eiffel Tower), you’ll find one of the best views the city has to offer. There’s usually not more than a twenty-minute wait to ascend the tower, so you won’t need to worry about potentially missing the sunset!
#9 Jardin des Tuileries
The Jardin des Tuileries are on the site of what was once a tile factory. Today, the pretty landscaped gardens are probably some of the most famous green spaces in the city, as well as being home to the Orangerie (which houses Monet’s acclaimed Waterlilies).
Head to the end of the Jardin des Tuileries closest to the Champs Élysées and you’ll find a set of golden gates. From here, you’ll get a fantastic view of the Concorde Ferris Wheel, as well as the Eiffel Tower basking in the golden glow of the final rays of sunset.
#10 Louvre Museum exterior
Ok, so the Louvre may not be the first place you think of when you’re considering where to see sunset in Paris… but I promise it’s worth it! For, many tourists head to other spots in the city, preferring to see the Eiffel Tower during golden hour.
However, this means that the Louvre is largely devoid of the throngs of people who gather here during the day. The water glows golds, pinks, and purples in the final sunlight hours, making for a great photo spot! For more information about the largest museum in the world, check out my top Louvre travel tips!
#11 Top of the Eiffel Tower
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)…