Thursday, December 8, 2016

Where to Find The Best Skyline Views in Paris (My Top 15)

Ask any one of my travel buddies and they'll tell you how I am obsessed with city skylines. While in Paris, I was determined to stand on all observation points that offer spectacular views over the City of Light, however, after a quick research, I knew it wasn't possible to do everything in 4 days.

Here I've revealed my list of the best spots to photograph the best skyline in Paris. If you know more places, feel free to comment down below, and I'll be sure to check them out during my next visit! ;)

1. On top of the Centre Pompidou (a.k.a. Beaubourg)

view from Centre Pompidou
Paris sunset view from Centre Pompidou
Photo shared by Sophie from Sophie Voisin

The Centre Pompidou (Beaubourg) is not just a gallery housing impressive collections of modern artwork, it is also a spot offering kick-ass skyline views of Paris featuring the Marais. Just go up to the top floor and snap away. 

2. On top of the Tour Montparnasse

view from MontparnasseTower

The 56th floor of Tour Montparnasse is the best spot to get your bearings. From above, you will have a chance to identify all the famous landmark from a birds' eye view. Unlike many other viewing platforms, you don’t have to climb til you cry, the tower boasts one of the fastest life in Europe. (Amen.)

3. On top of the Notre-Dame

Paris view from Notre Dame

This is the postcard view of Paris you’ll never ever forget: gargoyles looking over the city. But there’s a catch. to appreciate it, you have to overcome the windy never-ending narrow staircase. The good news is, there are some parts of the staircase where you can step into the “hole in the wall” and catch your breath without having to block everyone's way. I recommend everyone to go after 1pm for a chance to access the highest part of the tower, however, you’ll have to face a very and I mean VERY long line. Don’t miss the interior of the Cathedral after climbing the bell tower, if you are lucky, you’ll be able to enjoy an organ recital. 

4. On top of the Arc de Triomphe

Paris view from Arc de Triomphe
Atop Arc de Triomphe is the most reputable spot to see the lights of the city at night. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see the Louvre at one end and the modern version of Arc de Triomphe in La Defense on the other side. The best activity here is to set your camera exposure and capture the night view, you can take some pretty impressive photos of moving lights dashing across the city. 

5. On top of Montmartre Hill/ Sacré-Coeur

Paris view from Montmartre Hill

I went without expectations and it swept me off my feet. From the top of Montmartre Hill, you thought this skyline view of Paris is unbeatable, but no, walk further up. The view from the dome roof of Sacré Cœur basilica is the least well known, but in fact, one of the most amazing. After about 300 steps, you’ll be rewarded with a spectacular vista.

6. On the top of the Eiffel Tower

view from Eiffel Tower

1 friendly reminder: book tickets in advance, book all the way to the top. The iron tower built for the 1889 World Fair had become the icon of Paris, thus, the line could be terrifying.  Although the 3rd platform offers a much more impressive view (until the outskirt), it is the view from the 2nd platform that captured the hearts of many. Note that you won’t see the Eiffel Tower in your photograph (obviously), if the view of the Eiffel tower is what you are after, check out this article instead: Where to find the best view of the Eiffel Tower (A Closer Look). 

7. On top of the Museum Orsay

view from Museum Orsay
After a day appreciating Monet, Van Gogh and other impressionist artists, head to the top floor to enjoy the Instagram-worthy view of Paris through a giant clock. 

8. On top of the Printemps

Paris view from Printemps
View on top of Printemps . Photo shared by Hannah from Hannah International. 
If you have the means, yeah, shop til you drop in the department store Printemps on Boulevard Haussmann. But if you can’t afford it, there is another way to enjoy Printemps. Go to the free viewing platform where you can photograph the skyline of the area with Eiffel Tower in the background. 

9. On top of the Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette

Another high-end department store in Paris has its says about skyline view as well. The panoramic terrace of Galeries Lafayette gives an incredible view of the Grands Boulevards district, featuring Notre-Dame and Panthéon in the frame. 

10. Along Line 6 on Paris Metro System

view from Paris Metro 6
image via Wikimedia Commons
I remember riding on the Paris Metro and suddenly realized that I could see daylight. Unlike other metro lines, metro on line 6 travel above the ground and treat its passengers to an incredible view above the roof of Paris. and as the metro reach Bir-Hakeim station, behold the Eiffel Tower! Also, take some time to walk on the Bir-Hakeim Bridge and see the Eiffel up close. 

11. Rooftop Restaurants and Bars

Paris restaurant with a view
image via
A few suggestions: Maison Blanche on Avenue Montaigne, Café Richelieu in the Richelieu wing of the Louvre and more. 

12. On top of the Ferris Wheel at Concorde

paris view from Ferris Wheel at Concorde

View from the Concorde Ferris Wheels. Photo shared by Magaly from Border Free Adventures
This is a good place to bring out the kid in you and at the same time marvel at the view over Paris. Come hop into one of the 48 pods and experience the magic yourself! At the top, you’ll be able to see most of the geographical center: from Champs Elysees to Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre. 

13. On top of Mont Valérien, Suresnes

Paris view from Mont Valérien
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
Standing at 162 m above sea-level in the west, Mont Valérien is naturally a good observation point for Paris skyline, extending from La Défense to the Eiffel Tower and beyond. 

14. From Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Butte Chaumont. Photo shared by Hannah from Hannah International.  
Load up your picnic basket with baguette, cheese and a bottle of fine wine, then head up to Buttes Chaumont park located on one of Paris’ highest peaks. The walk in the park itself is an enjoyable one but the experience of you sipping wine overlooking Paris is pretty hard to beat. 

15. From Your Hotel

place best Paris skyline view
Here are some examples of hotel offering not just a good night sleep, but also a truly unforgettable panoramic view over Paris: Hyatt, Shangri-la, Hôtel Raphael. 

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Thank You for Reading! 
This post is based solely on my honest opinion or personal experience. 
If you have more suggestions, feel free to share your thoughts with me by commenting below!

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