Top 10 viewpoints and their views in Paris

I tell you the ten points with the best views to enjoy Paris, the City of Light.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

11 min read

Top 10 viewpoints and their views in Paris

Paris at sunset | ©Luca Micheli

In Paris there is so much to see that it is better to know where to look. In this post I tell you ten essential places from which to enjoy unique views. If you want to know where to take the best panoramic photos of the city or from where to take an unforgettable souvenir, read on!

In this list you will find tourist viewpoints and other more hidden, points to enjoy the heights or at ground level, from monuments or outdoors. What they all have in common is that they offer a unique and spectacular view of one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Enjoy them all!

1. The Eiffel Tower: second floor and summit

View from the Tower| ©Chris Yunker
View from the Tower| ©Chris Yunker

The Eiffel Tower is the most famous monument in Paris and the one that for no reason you can miss when you travel to the French capital. With its 324 meters high, it also offers two unparalleled viewpoints over the city.

To enjoy the views of the Eiffel Tower you can go up to the second floor by elevator (there are hydraulic elevators that you can take on the "legs" of the tower) or dare to walk up. Of course, there are quite a few steps: exactly 704. In my opinion, each one of them is worth it.

You can not miss the views on the second floor of the tower: it is 115 meters high and is so big that you can share it with up to 1600 people. From there, the 360º perspective of the city is impressive. To make sure you don't miss anything, you can hire a guide who will tell you all the information and anecdotes about the Eiffel Tower.

If you have already enjoyed the viewpoint on the second floor, it is likely that your body is still asking for more height. Don't worry, you're in the perfect place! At the Eiffel Tower there is a second observation deck located right at the top: at the top of the Tower you can enjoy the view from the restaurant Le Jules Verne.

It is a place that has an impressive window overlooking the city. There is also a small bar where they serve champagne ... and it is a typical place for proposals. If you stay there for a while in high season, you will surely return home with a love story in addition to the views.

The height of this second viewpoint is 276 meters. Although it is a little narrower than the second floor, you can still share the views simultaneously with 400 people. To enjoy these views you can decide to eat at the Eiffel Tower restaurant, but you can also simply pay the entrance fee to go up and enjoy the observation deck. By elevator, going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower costs approximately 26€, and by stairs, more or less 20€.

Interesting facts

  • Where is it: It is located on the Champ de Mars. It is very easy to get to the Eiffel Tower, because it is easily visible from the surrounding area. It is also very well connected with public transport services in Paris.
  • Opening hours: Every day from 09:30 to 22:45.
  • Price: The elevator to the second floor costs about 17€. You can also take the stairs, then the entrance fee is about 10€.
  • Reservations: You can make a reservation online (I recommend it to avoid queues and not waste time on your trip) or go to the ticket office. I recommend that you book your ticket with a guide to enjoy the full experience.

Book your ticket for the Eiffel Tower

2. Viewpoint of the Quai du Branly museum

Quai du Branly Museum| ©PaisajismoDigital
Quai du Branly Museum| ©PaisajismoDigital

The Quai du Branly museum offers visitors a selection of non-western art, with pieces from regions of Oceania, America, Asia and Africa. It is located on the banks of the Seine, near the Eiffel Tower.

Besides the fact that the objects you can find there are very interesting (from musical instruments to textiles), I recommend that you enjoy the building, especially the view from the observation deck on the top floor. There you can have lunch or dinnerwith one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower.

Interesting facts

  • Where is it: At number 37 Quai Branly. You can also enter from 218 rue de l'Université.
  • Opening hours: 10:30 am to 7:00 pm, except on Thursdays when it is open until 10:00 pm. Closed on Mondays.
  • Price: The entrance to the museum costs approximately 10€. The price of meals in the restaurant depends on what you order, of course, although it is not a cheap place.
  • Reservations: If you want to have lunch or dinner there, it is best to make a reservation.

Book a private tour of Paris

3. The towers of Montparnasse

View from the Montparnasse Tower| ©Guilhem Vellut
View from the Montparnasse Tower| ©Guilhem Vellut

It is the second tallest building in Paris, so imagine the views. It is in the 14th arrondissement (Paris neighborhoods are numbered) and from its observation deck you can see the neighboring Eiffel Tower, the Invalides, Montmartre, the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur, the Latin Quarter...

The observation deck is on the 59th floor, 210 meters high, and offers a 360 degree view of the city. The elevators are said to be among the fastest in Europe. It takes 18 seconds to go up.

In winter it is freezing cold, but the views make up for it. In addition, on the floor just below there is a cafeteria where you can take a break and take refuge from the Parisian cold.

Interesting facts

  • Where is it: Rue de l'Arrivée.
  • Hours: You can enjoy the Montparnasse Tower without rushing: The 360 Café (the highest panoramic bar in Paris) is open until 1 am. There is also a restaurant (Le Ciel de Paris) that closes at 23h.
  • Price: Around 23€ for adults, 9 for children up to 11 years old. The entrance is included in the Paris-Pass card.
  • Reservations: You can buy your ticket online.

Book tickets for the Montparnasse Tower

4. The staircase of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica

View from the Sacré Coeur Basilica| ©Carlos Pinto
View from the Sacré Coeur Basilica| ©Carlos Pinto

On your visit to the Sacré Coeur Basilica do not forget to turn around, turn your back to the monument for a moment and enjoy the view of Paris.

The Basilica is one of the most important monuments in Paris, but also its location on a hill (the hill of Montmartre) also makes it a spectacular viewpoint that allows you to enjoy the view of Paris stretching to the horizon.

The height is about 130 meters above the city and it is free, you can stay there enjoying the view as long as you want. I recommend you to go up at sunset, as the sunset from the steps of the Basilica is unforgettable. Sometimes street musicians also contribute their bit and make the visit even more special.

Interesting facts

  • Where: 35 rue du Chevalier de la Barre, in the Montmartre district.
  • Hours: The viewpoint is located outside the Basilica, so you can visit it whenever you want. The Basilica does have opening and closing hours: every day, from 6 am to 10:30 pm.
  • Price: Entrance to the basilica is free. The belvedere is also free.
  • Reservations: No, the belvedere is open access. I advise you to take advantage of your visit to the Basilica and Montmartre to enjoy the view.

Book a tour of Montmartre and the Sacre Coeur

5. The terrace of the Arc de Triomphe

From the Arc de Triomphe terrace| ©Guilhem Vellut
From the Arc de Triomphe terrace| ©Guilhem Vellut

Don't miss the panoramic view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe

This monument is in thecenter of the city, right where the twelve most important avenues of Paris meet. The Arc de Triomphe is just as impressive: it is 22 meters wide, 45 meters long and 50 meters high.

At the top of these 50 meters there is a terrace from which to enjoy the city. You can reach it from the inside, a 286-step spiral staircase takes you to the highest point, where there is a viewpoint. From the top you can see the city buzzing around you.

Note: If you like to take pictures on this route of the viewpoints of Paris, it is forbidden to enter the monument of Arc de Triomphe the selfie stick or tripod camera.

Interesting facts

  • Where: Place Charles-de-Gaulle.
  • Hours: The monument is open between 10:00 and 21:45. The last admission is at 21:45.
  • Price: The entrance fee is around 13€. Children under 18, disabled people and their companion or young people between 18 and 25 years old can enter for free. It is also free on Sundays.
  • Reservations: I recommend that you buy your ticket online to make sure that there are places at the time you prefer.

6. The 6th floor of the Pompidou Center

Pompidou Center| ©Luis Tamayo
Pompidou Center| ©Luis Tamayo

I recommend that you visit the Pompidou Center, both for the contemporary art exhibitions and for the observation deck at the top of the building. If you do not have time to see the museum, you can go directly to the terrace on the 6th floor. The entrance to this part is free.

The viewpoint of the Pompidou Center is 46 meters high in the center of the city. The entrance to the museum includes the visit to the viewpoint located on the 5th floor, but if you are only interested in the views, you can also go up on your own to the terrace located on the 6th floor.

It is certainly worth it. From there you can see the heart of the city: the Seine, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Palais Royale and the whole network of narrow streets that make Paris an unforgettable city.

Interesting facts

  • Where: Place Georges-Pompidou.
  • Hours: The museum is open every day except Tuesdays. The opening hours are from 10 am to 11 pm.
  • Price: Tickets to the museum cost around 14€ and are included in the Paris PassParisPass. The first Sunday of each month the entrance is free. With this ticket you can enjoy the observation deck located on the 5th floor. If you are only interested in going up to the terrace, you can go on your own to the 6th floor.
  • Reservations: Although tickets are available at the ticket office, I recommend that you buy your ticket online.

7. Arch of Defense

View from the Arc de la Defense| ©Suresh /R
View from the Arc de la Defense| ©Suresh /R

In the financial center of Paris is the Arc de la Defense. I'm sure you've seen it if you've been up to see the view from the Arc de Triomphe. In France it is known as the "Grand Arche de la Fraternité" and from the top of its 35 floors (110 meters high) you have a breathtaking view of the city.

The arch houses among other things a museum of photojournalism, but you can go straight up the elevators to the top of the building and enjoy Paris from the heights. The viewpoint is called "La Promenade", and is an open terrace from which we can see many of the most recognizable monuments of Paris such as the Louvre.

Interesting facts

  • Where is it: At number 1 Parvis de la Défense.
  • Hours: The days it is open, you can go up to the viewpoint between 10:00 and 19:00. The last climb is at 18:30. Check the days you can go up on their website, because it is not always open to the public.
  • Price: Adults pay more or less 16 € and children under 18 years approximately 8 €.
  • Reservations: You can buy the ticket there, but I recommend that you reserve and check availability before going there. It is not a very touristy neighborhood and the ascent to the monument has restrictions.

8. Terrace of the Galeries Lafayette

From the Terrace of the Galeries Lafayette| ©Guilhem Vellut
From the Terrace of the Galeries Lafayette| ©Guilhem Vellut

Look out over Paris from the terrace of a unique building. Near the Place de l'Opera, on Boulevard Haussmann, the Galeries Lafayette is a classic for visitors who want to experience an afternoon of shopping in Paris. In fact, it is the largest shopping area in Europe.

In addition, this building offers an extra advantage: the terrace is a viewpoint overlooking the city. You can look out completely free of charge, no purchase is necessary. From there you will see the back facade of the Opera, the Basilica of the Sacré Coeur and, in the distance, the silhouette of the Eiffel Tower.

The building is also worth a visit: it has been declared a historical monument. Check out the dome and its stained glass windows, it's amazing!

Interesting facts

  • Where is it: 40 boulevard Haussmann.
  • Hours: Monday to Saturday from 10:00 to 20:00 and Sundays or holidays between 11:00 and 20:00.
  • Price: Entrance to the building is free and the climb to the terrace to enjoy the view is free.
  • Reservations: No, as long as the mall is open you can come and enjoy the viewpoint.

9. The highest point of the Saint Jacques tower

View from the Saint Jacques Tower| ©Guilhem Vellut
View from the Saint Jacques Tower| ©Guilhem Vellut

If you are still in the mood for heights, I recommend that you climb the Saint Jacques tower. It is all that remains of the monument to which it belonged, the Gothic-Flemish church of Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie.

Climbing to the lookout, at the highest point of the tower, is an exercise of 300 steps that has a prize: the views are incredible. Mind you, it is a narrow medieval building. If you don't like enclosed spaces, you may find the staircase a bit overwhelming.

This building is also curious for other reasons: it houses a small weather station and is the starting point of one of the routes to Compostela that make up the Camino de Santiago, the road to Tours.

Interesting facts

  • Where it is: Place de la tour Saint-Jacques
  • Opening hours: Between 10 am and 5 pm on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Price: The entrance fee is approximately 12 euros.
  • Reservations: Reservations are necessary because this viewpoint only allows up to 17 people at a time.

10. Terraces of the Louis Vuitton Foundation

At the Louis Vuitton Foundation| ©acazorzi
At the Louis Vuitton Foundation| ©acazorzi

Visit one of the least known and least crowded viewpoints in Paris: The Louis Vuitton Foundation is a museum housed in a unique building with several terraces with spectacular views. You can take advantage of this visit to the heights to take a look at the contemporary art exhibitions housed in the building.

If the building catches your eye, it is not for nothing. It was built by Frank Gehry, the same architect who designed the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. It is a glass and metal building that has created a very special space, playing with light in the City of Light.

Interesting facts

  • Where: The address is Bois de Boulogne - 8 avenue du Mahatma Gandhi.
  • Hours: The museum is closed on Tuesdays. The rest of the days it is open between 12:00 and 19:00, with extended hours on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, when it is open between 11:00 and 20:00.
  • Price: Admission is approximately 9€.
  • Reservations: Although you can get the ticket at the ticket office, I recommend that you reserve a ticket and forget about unnecessary queues.

From these viewpoints you will get an idea of how amazing the city of Paris is, but if you also want to explore the city through virtual reality, I recommend the Flyview Pass experience with which you can see the city from above. You can choose between one or two virtual reality experiences - enjoy your trip!