Paris is one of Europe’s loveliest cities. Without a doubt, a trip up the Eiffel Tower or a stroll down the Champs-Elysees tops the list of best experiences in Paris, especially for first-timers. But getting a magical view over the city is also an unforgettable experience, and there are a lot of magical places to try. If you want to have the best views of Paris, here are fifteen brilliant spots to try.
The Best Views of Paris
#1 The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower is the centerpiece of Paris. Sure, you already have plans to see the Eiffel Tower. Who doesn’t? It is one of Paris’ most popular sites. The Eiffel Tower is also the perfect place to get that first view of the city.
View from the Eiffel Tower | Best Views of Paris
View from the top floor of the Eiffel Tower | Best Views of Paris
PLAN YOUR VISIT: How to Visit the Eiffel Tower: Tickets, Tours & Time Saving Tricks
#2 The Arc de Triomphe
This is my favorite view of Paris. There’s just something about looking down the Champs-Élysées to the Louvre, out to La Defense, and of course, having one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower. It’s beautiful during the daytime, but at night you can watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle.
The view on a cloudy April day | Best Views of Paris
Champs-Élysées at night | Best Views of Paris
#3 From the Steps of the Sacre-Coeur Basilica
This is one of the best spots to watch the sunset. The Sacre-Coeur sits on the highest hill in Paris so you can enjoy a stunning panorama of the city. If you want, you can climb the dome of the Sacre-Coeur for an even higher view. Just expect to share this spot with a lot of other people.
#4 Along the Seine River
Stroll or cruise along the Seine River to enjoy more beautiful views of Paris. From Pont Alexander III enjoy stunning views of the Seine River and the Eiffel Tower.
Pont Alexander III | Best Views of Paris
From Quai de la Tournelle, get a unique perspective of Notre Dame Cathedral.
#5 Musee d’Orsay
Really, Musee d’Orsay? Most people come here to see paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, and Degas, but you can get a very unique view through the clocks on the upper level of the museum.
#6 Rooftop Bars and Restaurants in Paris
There are a bunch of great restaurants and bars that offer views over the city. Why not watch the sunset and enjoy a fabulous dinner at the same time? Just a few include Terass en Haute, Le Perchoir, and 43 Up on the Roof.
#7 The Pompidou Center
This is another art museum that offers great views over Paris. Ride the series of elevators up to the upper level for views across the rooftops to the Sacre-Coeur, Notre Dame Cathedral, and, of course, the Eiffel Tower.
View from the Pompidou Centre | Best Views of Paris
Travel Tip: Don’t feel like wandering around the art museum? For just 5€ you can purchase a ticket to the top of the Pompidou simply to enjoy the view of Paris.
Travel Tip #2: On top of the Pompidou Centre is Georges, a French restaurant with views over the city.
#8 Notre Dame Cathedral
IMPORTANT NOTE: On April 15, 2019, Notre Dame suffered a devastating fire. The cathedral and the towers will be closed until further notice.
The iconic gargoyle’s view of Paris is from tower of Notre Dame Cathedral. Unfortunately, since Notre Dame Cathedral is closed, you will not be able to have this view. It is predicted that Notre Dame will reopen in time for the 2024 Summer Olympics.
View from Notre Dame | Best Views of Paris
#9 The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde
From mid November to early May, a giant Ferris wheel sits in Place de la Concorde. The views up the Champs-Élysées and over Paris are well worth the quick ride for this vantage point in central Paris.
#10 Le Printemps
For another panoramic view of Paris, visit the upper level of the shopping mall, Le Printemps. From here you can look out over the Opera and see the Eiffel Tower in the distance. If you’re feeling hungry, have lunch or dinner at the Brasserie Printempes and enjoy a view of the gorgeous, stained glass cupola.
#11 La Grande Arche de La Defense
Journey out to La Defense (and leave the crowds behind) for a view from the top of La Grande Arche. This view may not have the same “wow factor” as those from the Arc de Triomphe or Notre Dame Cathedral, but from here you can most of Paris sprawling out in front of you.
View from Le Grande Arche de la Defense | Best Views of Paris
#12 The Pantheon
The dome of the Pantheon is referred to as the “Balcony of Paris” because it offers 360° views of Paris. Look out over the Latin Quarter to Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and Luxembourg Gardens.
#13 Montparnasse Tower
Montparnasse Tower is the ugly, dark skyscraper that stands out like a sore thumb when you look out across Paris. But from the top of this eyesore you have one of the most spectacular views in Paris. There are two levels to visit, the 56th floor, which is completely enclosed by windows, and the observation terrace on the roof. This is also completely enclosed by glass panels but there are a few strategic openings in the glass for your camera.
View from Montparnasse | Best Views of Paris
#14 The Streets of Montmartre
From the hilly streets of Montmartre you can get glimpses of Paris from between the colorful buildings. You may not get the sweeping, panoramic views like you do from the Eiffel Tower or Montparnasse, but these picturesque streets with their brief glimpses of the Sacre-Coeur and the Paris skyline are a joy to wander.
La Maison Rose
Lamarck Metro and Le Refuge Restaurant
Rue de l’Abreuvoir | Best Views of Paris
#15 From Your Hotel
There are many hotels that offer beautiful views of Paris, either from the rooms or from a terrace on top of the hotel.
On our first visit to Paris we stayed in Hotel Brighton, located right on Rue de Rivoli across from the Tuileries Garden. From our room, we could see Notre Dame, the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe. It was absolutely incredible.
For more recommendations of hotels with amazing views of Paris and the Eiffel Tower, check out our Guide to the Best Hotels in Paris.
Map of the Best Views in Paris
How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each point of interest. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.
More Information for Your Trip to Paris
PARIS: Start with our article Best Things to Do in Paris for ideas of what to do in Paris. Plan your time in the city with our 2 Day Paris Itinerary and 3 Day Paris Itinerary. We also have a Paris Hotel Guide, advice on visiting Paris with kids, a Paris Food Guide, and advice for visiting Paris at Easter.
EUROPEAN ITINERARIES WITH PARIS: If you want to visit Paris plus one to two other European cities, you have several great options. A 10 day trip to London and Paris makes a great trip if it is your first visit to Europe (or if you just want to visit two great cities). With 10 days, you can also visit Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam or London, Amsterdam, and Paris.
FRENCH RIVIERA: Plan your visit to the French Riviera and Provence in our 10 Day French Riviera Itinerary.
TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: For more information about the camera gear we carry, check out our Travel Photography Gear Guide. And tips and tricks for taking great photos in our article How to Take Better Photos while Traveling.
Planning a trip to France? Read all of our articles in our France Travel Guide.
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