Julie France 6 Comments

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 seventeen brilliant spots to try.

Best Views of Paris

In no particular order, here are the best views of Paris. At the end of this list, you can see all of them on a map.

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.

Champs de Mars

View from the Eiffel Tower | Best Views of Paris


Eiffel Tower View Third Floor

View from the top floor of the Eiffel Tower | Best Views of Paris

How to Visit the Eiffel Tower

There are three levels to the Eiffel Tower: the first floor, the second floor, and top floor. Both the first and second floors are accessible by elevator and by taking the stairs. The only way to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower is to take the elevator.
It is cheaper and the lines are shorter to take the stairs, simply because very few people want to do a major stair climb. But it’s also a great way to skip the line or wait in a shorter line at the Eiffel Tower. If you choose to take the stairs, you can also purchase an elevator ticket to reach the top floor (summit).
More Information: Check out our Guide to the Eiffel Tower, which has a lot more valuable information about how to visit the Eiffel Tower, including dining options and how to avoid a long wait in line.

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.

Best Views of Paris

The view from the Arc de Triomphe | Best Views of Paris


Champs Elysees

Champs-Élysées at night | Best Views of Paris

How to Visit the Arc de Triomphe

One of the best ways to visit the Arc de Triomphe is to book a skip-the-line ticket, which is available through GetYourGuide.

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.

Crowds at Sacre Coeur

Paris Crowds

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

Pont Alexander III | Best Views of Paris

From Quai de la Tournelle, get a unique perspective of Notre Dame Cathedral.

Notre Dame and the Seine


For a relaxing experience, take a cruise on the Seine River and enjoy the view as the landmarks of Paris drift by. Cruises are offered all day, but for the best experience go at twilight so you can watch as Paris lights up around you.

Seine River Cruise

The view of Notre Dame Cathedral on a Seine River cruise

If you want to cruise the Seine River and not spend a small fortune, this tour includes a Seine River cruise and tickets to the Eiffel Tower, this evening cruise includes three wine tastings, and this one-hour cruise is one of the cheapest ways to cruise the Seine River.

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.

Musee DOrsay View

Paris with Kids

How to Visit Musee d’Orsay

Musee d’Orsay is open Tuesday through Sunday. Get updated pricing and hours on the official website and book your tickets in advance to avoid waiting in the ticket line.

6. Rooftop Bars and Restaurants in Paris

There are quite a few rooftop bars and restaurants that offer breathtaking views of the Eiffel Tower, Seine River, Montmartre, and the Paris skyline.

For a list of the top spots, take a look at our Guide to the Rooftop Bars and Restaurants in Paris.

Best Rooftop Bars Paris

Le Jardin du Raphael

Some of our favorite rooftop bars include Sequoia Rooftop Bar (great views of Palais Garnier and the Eiffel Tower), Le Jardin du Raphael (a gardenlike rooftop terrace), and Bar Sur le Toit (rooftop bar on top of Hotel Rochechouart with a view of the Sacre Coeur).

Several of our favorite rooftop restaurants include Les Ombres (this restaurant gets our vote for best view of the Eiffel Tower from a restaurant), L’Oiseau Blanc (2-star Michelin restaurant with an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower), and Langosteria (Italian rooftop restaurant with a view of the Seine River and Notre Dame Cathedral).

Best Rooftop Restaurants Paris

L’Oiseau Blanc

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.

Pompidou Center View

View from the Pompidou Centre | Best Views of Paris

There is also an upscale restaurant, Georges, on the top of the Pompidou Centre. We dined here and had a mediocre experience (an overpriced meal with very slow service), so we recommend skipping this and just go for the much cheaper view from the top of the elevators instead.

8. Notre Dame Cathedral

IMPORTANT NOTE:  On April 15, 2019, Notre Dame suffered a devastating fire. It is predicted that Notre Dame will reopen in December 2024.

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 December 2024.

Gargoyle View of Paris

Paris from Notre Dame

View from Notre Dame | Best Views of Paris

9. Printemps Rooftops

Printemps is a shopping mall in Paris, just a short walk from Palais Garnier. There are two sections to this mall, Printemps Men’s (Printemps Homme) and Printemps Women’s (Printemps Femme). Both have rooftop restaurants with a view.

Perruche Restaurant is a gardenlike oasis that sits on top of Printemps Men’s. It is a beautiful setting and from here you get views of the opera house and Eiffel Tower.

Paris Rooftop Restaurant View

The view from Perruche Restaurant | Best Views of Paris

Printemps Gourmet is located one level below Perruche Restaurant. You can order food from the various stalls selling a wide variety of cuisines and dine indoors or sit outside and order off of the table service menu.

Café Messika is a rooftop bar and restaurant that sits on top of the Printemps Women’s shopping mall. It has a very similar view as Perruche Restaurant but is a more laid-back experience.

10. Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette is another famous shopping mall in Paris. It’s well known for its stunning stained-glass ceiling but it also has a rooftop terrace and restaurant.

For free, visit the rooftop terrace and take a photo with the Je t’aime Paris sign. Sitting on the corner of the rooftop is Creatures, an outdoor restaurant with a view of Palais Garnier.

Paris J Taime Sign

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 of Paris

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.

Pantheon Paris

View from the Pantheon | Best Views of Paris

Get hours, pricing, and purchase your ticket online in advance to skip the ticket line, on the official website.

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.

Montparnasse Tower

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

La Maison Rose


Le Refuge Montmartre

Lamarck Metro and Le Refuge Restaurant


Montmartre Paris

Rue de l’Abreuvoir | Best Views of Paris

France Travel Guide

15. From the Louvre

From within the Louvre, there are several places to look out over the glass pyramid and courtyard.

From room 704, which sits next to the Apollo Gallery, you get a view of the courtyard through the windows.

View from Louvre Museum

View from room 704

For an even better view, visit Café Molien or Terrasse Colbert, two restaurants with outdoor terraces that overlook the glass pyramid.

Louvre View

View from Terasse Colbert

Don’t miss our Guide to the Louvre, which lists the must see sights and has a quick, efficient walking tour to the Louvre’s must-see artworks and a longer route for those who want to go deeper into the Louvre.

16. The Trocadéro

The wide terrace at the Trocadéro is one of the best places to photograph the Seine River and the Eiffel Tower. It’s busy all day, even more so at sunset, but it is a great place to capture the Eiffel Tower and the colorful evening sky.

Trocadero Sunset

The Trocadero | Best Views of Paris

17. 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.

Brighton Hotel Paris View

View of Eiffel Tower

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 of 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.

Our Favorite Views of Paris

If you have limited time in Paris and can only visit a few places, we narrowed down the list to our favorite views of Paris:

  • Eiffel Tower
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • From a rooftop bar or restaurant
  • Notre Dame Cathedral
  • The streets of Montmartre
  • Along the Seine River
  • Musee d’Orsay
  • From the Trocadéro

Arc de Triomphe View Paris

View from the Arc de Triomphe

If you have any questions about where to get the best views of Paris, or if you want to share your favorite spots, let us know in the comment section below.

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, a guide to the best rooftop bars and restaurants in Paris, advice on visiting Paris with kids, and advice for visiting Paris at Easter.

MUST-SEE SIGHTS IN PARIS: Don’t miss our guides to the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and Versailles, which cover important things to know as you plan your visit.

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.


Best Views of Paris Instagram Spots


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Comments 6

  1. Avatar for SK

    Hi Julie,

    Have been a big HUGE fan of your blog. We are in Paris, for less than 48 hours.
    If I had to pick one spot for viewing, which would you pick ?
    Eiffel Tower or Arc De Triomphe ?

    Lastly, if we could manage, another spot, which would you pick?
    Views from Pantheon, Sacre Couer Basilica or Galeries Lafayette ?

    Thank you so much. Love your blog and recommend it to my friends 🙂

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello SK. Nice to hear from you again! I prefer the view from the Arc de Triomphe over the Eiffel Tower (I like looking along the Champs Elysees and getting a view of the Eiffel Tower). For another spot, you could do the Eiffel Tower to get that experience. But of the 3 you have listed, I’d pick the Sacre Coeur because it is also very nice to also walk through Montmartre. Have a great time in Paris! Cheers, Julie

      1. Avatar for SK
  2. Avatar for Lisa | Waves and Cobblestones
  3. Avatar for Adrienne

    I just discovered your website and blog and I am obsessed with it. I love it so much and am planning two of our vacations (Las Vegas and Europe) around your recommendations. Please keep publishing and know it’s appreciated.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post

      Hello Adrienne! This is so nice to hear (thanks for writing in). Have fun in Las Vegas and Europe! 🙂 Cheers, Julie

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