Want to admire Paris from above? Here are the incredible places with the best views of Paris that are worth seeing even if you’re in Paris for a day.
Paris is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. But even with its general beauty as a city, there are some specific spots that stand out and are worth taking a pause to appreciate.
You can very much appreciate Paris from the ground, but if you go higher or see it from above, it’s even much more impressive.
So in this post, I will show you some of the places that give the best views of Paris! I promise you’ll be blown away as I still get mesmerized regardless of how many times I visit these particular places.
Psst… If you don’t want to be stuck in lines while visiting some of these places to enjoy the beautiful views of Paris, then check out the best ways to skip lines in Paris.
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Before You Go, Here’s How to Plan Your Visit To Paris: Practical Quick Tips
WHERE TO STAY
Best Eiffel Tower Views: Hôtel Le Walt (9.0)
Luxury stay: Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel (8.2)
Mid-range stay: Hôtel Eiffel (8.7)
Budget Stay: People – Paris Bercy (8.9)
Apartment Rental: Résidence Charles Floquet (9.1)
- Don’t forget to take Travel Insurance. Request a free quote from my favorite insurance, World Nomads. (More on this at the end of the article.)
- Prepare your trip extensively with this Paris Travel guidebook.
- Don’t forget a universal travel adapter, a travel neck pouch, and comfortable walking shoes.
- Consider getting either the museum pass or the Paris city pass if you plan to visit a lot of attractions. The city pass comes with free transportation and access to the hop-on-hop-off bus. You can read my Paris museum pass review to see if it’s right for you.
- Book this private transfer from CDG airport to Paris to avoid the hustle of figuring out how to get to Paris.
Psst… Before traveling to Paris or France in general, make sure that you have Travel Insurance! I always use World Nomads on all my trips and I am happy to recommend it to you. You can easily request a quote from World Nomads from here for FREE!
Where to Find The Best Views of Paris
In no particular order, here is where to get the best views of Paris.
1. From the Top of the Eiffel Tower
Standing at 324 meters (1,063 ft) tall, the Eiffel Tower which is the most famous landmark in Paris and one of the most visited attractions in the city, offers some of the best views in Paris.
The Tower is comprised of 3 levels, with each offering its own observation deck. Even though you can have an incredible view of Paris from each level, in my opinion, the third level (or the summit) offers an impressive sight.
You can honestly see almost the entire Paris from the top of the Eiffel tower but some of the famous landmarks you can easily spot include the Notre Dame Cathedral, Sacré Coeur, the beautiful bridges of Paris with the Seine under them, Arc de Triomphe, Le Champs de Mars, and so many others.
Basically, the only thing you can’t see from above the tower is the tower itself but other than that, you can be sure to get the best view of Paris from the top of the Iron lady.
Not sure how to plan your visit to the iron lady? Check out my practical tips for visiting the Eiffel Tower.
Opening Hours: The Eiffel Tower is open from 9:00 AM – Midnight in Summer and from 9:30 AM – 11:00 PM the rest of the year.
Pro tip* Since the Eiffel tower is a popular Parisian landmark, you can expect to find long queues with people who want to take in the best view of Paris from the top.
So to make sure you avoid the lines, you can buy yourself a skip-the-line entry ticket. You can either opt for one to the second floor or one with direct access to the summit as you wait to be blown away by the beauty of Paris as seen from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
2. From the top of Arc de Triomphe
Many people think that the best view of Paris is from the Eiffel Tower and I can’t argue much since it’s one of the tallest landmarks in Paris, but I personally believe that the best Paris view is from the observation deck of Arc de Triomphe.
With the view of the 12 roads diverging from the junction (known as the Etoile) at the Arc de Triomphe itself, nothing beats this picture-perfect sight from above.
And one of the advantages of seeing Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe is that since it’s not too tall (it stands at a height of 50 metres (164 ft)), you can actually see the city and its popular landmarks easily without them looking like tiny little elements.
Some of the landmarks you can easily spot from the top of the Arc de Triomphe include the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Champs-Elysées, Grande Arche de La Défense, and of course nothing beats one complete view with everything together in one picture.
Opening Hours: Arc de Triomphe is open from10:00 AM – 11:00 PM from 1st April to 30th September and from 10:00 AM – 10:30 PM from 1st October to 31st March.
Pro tip* It’s also a popular landmark right in the center with long queues always, so make sure that you book your ticket in advance to skip the lines.
3. From Pont Alexandre III
Pont Alexandre III is not only the most beautiful bridge in the city but also offers some of the best views of Paris.
The Bridge is right on the Seine which creates an amazing view of the Eiffel tower, the Seine, and the opposite side of the Bridge.
The best part about seeing Paris from Pont Alexandre III is that it’s completely free and you can visit any time you feel like it.
So if you’re looking for free things to do in Paris, enjoying the city views from this point is one of them. On top of that, it’s one of the best spots to take stunning photos of the Eiffel Tower.
Related post: How to skip the long lines at Paris’ major attractions
4. From the top of Sacré Coeur
Also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, Sacré Coeur in the Montmartre district is one of the best viewpoints in Paris. Its prime location on a hill plus a dome reaching a height of 83 meters (272 ft) makes it one of the highest points in Paris.
With no presence of a lift, climbing the 300 steps to the top of the Sacré Coeur can be extremely tiring but the panoramic views of Paris it provides make up for it.
While at the top, you can see almost the entire Paris, and since Sacré Coeur is in the north of the city, most of the popular attractions are right “in front” of it.
From the towers of the basilica itself, the le parvis of Sacré Coeur to Notre Dame Cathedral, Invalides, the Eiffel tower, and the business district of Paris, you can see absolutely everything from here and that’s why it makes it to the list of the best views of Paris.
But before you go, be sure to read these fun facts about Sacre Coeur to learn more about this landmark.
Opening hours: Sacré Coeur is open from 8:30 AM – 8:00 PM from May to September and from 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM from October to April.
Pro tip* Visiting the Sacré Coeur is absolutely free but you’ll need to pay 6€ to climb the crypt. You can buy your ticket at the Basilica.
You can book yourself a guided tour to learn more about the Basilica or you can download the Sacré Coeur free audio guide from here.
5. From the Steps of Sacré Coeur
I know I’ve just mentioned Sacré Coeur as one of the places with Paris’ best views, but that requires climbing the 300 steps and paying a few Euros.
And to some people, climbing the 300 steps is not something they would want to do so that’s why I am offering this option.
The first time I visited the Sacré Coeur, it wasn’t yet open so I had a chance to look at Paris from the steps of the Sacré Coeur. The views might not be as impressive as from the top of the dome but they’re still incredibly beautiful.
You’ll be able to still spot the Notre Dame Cathedral, Invalides, the Eiffel Tower, and the beautiful Paris rooftops.
Pro tip* If you don’t feel like climbing to the Sacré Coeur from the lower area, there is a cable car right at the bottom that takes people from the top to the bottom and vice versa.
6. From The Montparnasse Tower
Standing at 210-meters (689 ft), Montparnasse Tower is a business tower that is commonly referred to as the ugliest building in Paris and was once voted the second ugliest in the world since it’s out of sync with the general Paris architecture.
But even with its “ugly look”, Montparnasse Tower offers panoramic views of Paris when you go up to the 56th floor that is open to the public.
Don’t worry about the steps, there is a fast elevator that takes people to the observation terrace of the building.
And if you’re one of the people who “hate” seeing this out-of-place building, you’ll be happy to know that you’ll have one of the best views of Paris without it in the picture as it’s the only place in Paris that you can’t see it from.
While at the top of the Montparnasse Tower, you can expect to see the Eiffel Tower as it glistens in sheer beauty if you visit at the top of the hour at night, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre museum, Arc de Triomphe, the Seine river and the entire Paris skyline.
Opening hours: The observation deck of Montparnasse Tower is always open from 9.30 AM – 11.30 PM all year round.
Pro tip* Even if the lines are usually not so long compared to other viewpoints in Paris, it’s always better to buy this ticket online in advance so that you go straight in without queuing.
You can also reserve the Day & Night offer ticket that lets you visit the observation deck twice within 48 hours if you can’t get enough of the views of Paris.
7. From the top of Notre Dame Cathedral Towers
Notre Dame Cathedral is not only an architectural wonder that depicts beauty but also a perfect spot to get the best Paris city view.
Since the cathedral is located right in the center, the climb to its towers which are 69 metres (226 ft) high will treat you to the most panoramic views of Paris with all the famous attractions.
From the Eiffel Tower, Sacré Coeur, the Seine river and how it meanders through the bridges, the city center to its traditional buildings, you can see almost all of Paris if you toughen it out and climb the 387 steps which in my opinion is worth every drop of sweat.
Opening Hours: The Cathedral is open daily from 10:00 PM – 6:30 PM from April to September but stays open up to 11:00 PM on Saturdays and Sundays in July and August. However, it’s open from 10:00 AM – 5:30 PM from October to March.
Pro tip* Due to the devastating fire that burnt part of the Notre Dame Cathedral, it is currently closed off to the public to undergo renovation.
But when the restoration is done and opens to the public again, be sure to check it out as it’s one of the best viewpoints in Paris.
8. From La Grande Arche de la Défense
If you happen to be in the business district of La Défense, head over to La Grande Arche de la Défense to take in the beautiful views of Paris from its observation deck which is 110 m (360 ft) from the ground.
While it might not be as famous as other viewpoints in Paris, the Promenade deck of La Grande Arche de la Défense opens up a large area to take in 360 degrees views of Paris. This makes it even ideal as it’s less crowded since most people flock to other places.
Even though you will not be able to see some of the major landmarks in Paris from its observation deck, you can easily see the entire stretch of Champs-Élysées street as it connects to the Arc de Triomphe which is an incredible view worth seeing.
Some of the other popular attractions to spot out include the Eiffel tower obviously, Notre Dame Cathedral, and an entire view of the La Defénse business district.
Opening hours: The Observation deck is open all year round from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM with the last climb at 6:30 PM
Pro tip* You can buy this skip-the-line ticket online to avoid wasting time in a queue
9. From Buttes Chaumont park
Located in the 19th Arrondissement, Buttes Chaumont park is situated in a hilly region which makes it a perfect spot for the best Paris views.
On top of its beautiful layout which includes caves, an artificial lake, waterfalls, and a suspended bridge, Buttes Chaumont park is not only beautiful with a large greenery area perfect for a picnic or even just a walk to admire all these different features but it’s also one of the few Parisian parks where you can have an amazing Paris scenery if you climb to the top of Temple de la Sibylle which is the most famous feature in the park.
Opening hours: The park is open to the public from 7:30 AM – 10:00 PM from 1 st May – 20th September and from 7:30 AM – 9:00 PM from 30th September – 30th April and entrance is free.
10. From Galeries Lafayette Haussmann Rooftop Terrace
If you want to enjoy the best views of Paris without paying any single coin or even going far, then Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is a perfect choice.
The terrace on the 7th floor of this department store provides spectacular views of Paris which include most Parisian monuments. From the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, to the Garnier Opera House and so much more.
So why not head here to wind up your day by watching a beautiful sunset over the city of love.
Opening hours: The terrace is open to the public all year round from 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM.
11. From the Dome of the Panthéon
Most people usually ignore the Panthéon but it’s one of the best viewpoints in Paris – no wonder it’s referred to as the dome of Paris since it gives 360-degree views over the city.
There is a steep climb of the 276 steps to the dome (which is a fairly easy climb) but when you make it up, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of Paris you didn’t think could be found there.
The great part about seeing Paris from the top of the Panthéon is that you won’t be competing with many people for the perfect spot to view Paris from above since only 50 people are allowed to ascend at a time.
Opening Hours: The Panthéon is open from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM from 1st October – 31st March and from 10:00 AM – 6:30 PM from 1st April – 31st September.
Pro tip* Please note that you can visit the Panthéon itself all year round but climbing the dome for the best views of Paris is only from April to October. So if your sole reason for visiting the Panthéon is for the panoramic views of Paris, make sure that you visit during those months.
And to make sure that you skip the long lines, purchase yourself this priority entry ticket. However, this ticket is only to the inside of the Panthéon but if you want to also climb to the top of the dome, you can purchase that one as well or this combined guided tour to get access to both. In my opinion, the combined one is much better and cheaper.
12. From the Observation deck of the Pompidou Centre
With its general look designed to give the inside-out kind of architecture, Pompidou centre is another art museum and cultural center that gives the best views in Paris.
Unlike some museums in the city, Pompidou centre gives visitors an alternative to just enjoy the views of Paris if they don’t feel like visiting the museum itself – this is perfect for people who have a few days in the city but don’t want to miss the stunning views this place offers.
So if that’s you, you can grab yourself this particular ticket known as the Panorama ticket which takes you directly to the viewpoint. But if you have time, make sure that you visit the museum as well as it’s pretty impressive.
Opening hours: The museum opens from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM/7: 00 PM from 1st April to 31st October and from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM from 1st November to 31st March.
Pro tip* Since Pompidou center is one of the most visited museums in Paris, you can expect long queues, so to bit them, make sure that you buy a skip the line ticket and if you prefer a guided tour which I highly recommend learning more about arts, then book yourself one <<This is the guided tour I recommend>>. They always have knowledgeable tour guides who will tell you everything you need to know about the museum and Paris in general.
Also, since the museum doesn’t have private parking, you might be better off taking public transport to avoid the stress of parking your car.
13. From some Paris Hotels
Luckily enough, there are some hotels that are situated in the “right” neighborhood offering incredible views of Paris by just standing on the balcony of your hotel room.
If you’re lucky to stay at one of those hotels, just know that the extra hotel fee you’ve paid is well worth it as it will give you breathtaking Paris views.
However, even if you don’t stay at those hotels, some hotels are open to non-residents visiting their observation decks as long you keep the drinks coming.
So some of the hotels you can stay at or even visit to have the best views of Paris include:
- Shangri-La: Shangri -La is one of the most famous hotels in Paris that offer incredible views. It is a high-end hotel since it was once a residential palace for Napoleon Bonaparte’s grandnephew. From here, you can see the Eiffel Tower and most of the Paris skyline. << Book your stay at Shangri-La Hotel from here for amazing Paris views >>
- Hôtel Balzac: Located in the famous Champs-Élysées district in Madeleine, Hôtel Balzac offers stunning views of Paris with a focus on the Eiffel tower and the beautiful roofs of Paris. << Check prices and availability of Hôtel Balzac here so get a chance to enjoy the views of Paris >>.
- Hotel Le Notre Dame Saint-Michel: Facing the Notre Dame Cathedral directly, this hotel offers beautiful views of the Cathedral and the Seine river. So if you plan to stay in the 5th Arrondissement, then booking a room at Hotel Notre Dame Saint-Michel will give you the best Paris views.
- Hotel Le Meurice: When you think of history and incredible views, think of Hotel Le Meurice! This amazing hotel that is located in the 1st Arrondissement between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre Museum offers stunning views of the Eiffel tower, the Tuileries, and beyond. << Book your stay at Hotel Le Meurice for panoramic views of Paris >>.
- Other hotels that offer incredible views of Paris include; Hotel Quai Voltaire which gives views of the Louvre and the Seine, Hotel Raphael which gives views of the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, Hotel Brighton which gives views of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Tuileries Gardens and Napoleon Paris for the best views of the Arc de Triomphe. You can also read my previous post to see more hotels with Eiffel Tower views. But if you prefer rental apartments, you can check out my list of Airbnbs with Eiffel Tower views.
14. From a Seine Cruise
There is no trip to Paris that is complete without cruising on the Seine. On top of the feeling of going on a cruise, a cruise along the Seine serves the best views in Paris from all angles – whether you go visit during the day or choose to explore Paris at night.
Most Popular Paris landmarks can be spotted while on the cruise including but not limited to; the Iconic Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame Cathedral, and the entire Ile de la Cité island, the Louvre Museum, both the Grand Palais and the Petie Palais, Musée d’Orsay and so many others.
So if there is one place to go to spot all the Parisian landmarks, a Seine Cruise will be the best spot. And on top of providing the best views of Paris, most cruises come with dinner – so you’ll be feasting your eyes as your feast your stomach as well.
Pro tip* There are so many Seine cruises which can make choosing the best one hard. So as someone who has taken a number of them, I recommend going for this seine cruise if you want it with a dinner, but if you prefer a lunch cruise, this is what I recommend and if you just want to focus on the cruise without being disrupted with eating, then I recommend going with this seine cruise.
Also if you can, try to go for an evening cruise since the sunset as seen from the river is absolutely stunning and it creates a beautiful backdrop of those landmarks. Additionally, as it gets dark, most monuments start to light up creating a magnificent sight of the city lights.
15. From Some Paris’ rooftop bars
Paris is never short of rooftop bars and if you’re all about having a view with a drink in hand, then check out some rooftop bars for the best Paris view.
Some of the best rooftop bars in Paris for the best views include;
- 43 Cocktail bar: The stunning views from this bar will take your breath away! From the views of the Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur, and Notre-Dame, you can never go wrong at 43 cocktail bar. Be sure to book way in advance to get a spot at this fancy bar.
- Terrass” Hôtel Bar: Perched on top of the Terrass” Hôtel Montmartre, Terrass” Hôtel Bar not only offers the best cocktails in the city but also the best views in Paris. While at the top, you can enjoy stunning views of the Eiffel tower and most of Paris’ skyline.
- Khayma Rooftop Bar: We all know that a view in Paris doesn’t come cheap, but what if you can have it for cheap? Yeah, Khayma Rooftop bar on Generator Paris, a popular hostel is the perfect place to go for stunning views of Paris while paying less (be it for drinks or a room if you choose to stay overnight). The bar offers indubitably the most incredible views of Sacré Coeur and the entire Montmartre hill.
16. From Printemps Haussmann Rooftop Terrace
While most people head to Galeries Lafayette as the best rooftop terrace to get views of Paris (since it’s a more popular department store compared to its counterpart), another place that is equally impressive is the rooftop terrace at Printemps Haussmann!
The best part is that it doesn’t have to be one or the other! You can visit them both since they’re not far from each other!
From here, you’ll get a 360-degree view of Paris but some of the landmarks that stand out include; the Opera, Madeleine church, La Defense, Sacre Coeur, and the iron lady herself!
Opening hours: The terrace is open to the public for free all year round from 10:00 AM – 8:00 PM with exceptions on Sundays when it opens at 11:00 AM.
17. From A Hot Air Balloon ride at Parc Andre Citroen
One of the unusual but equally fun things to do in Paris is to go on a hot air balloon ride at Parc Andre Citroen!
While most people don’t know that such an activity exists in Paris, it’s a great way to look over the entire city from a different perspective!
Besides the surreal experience of riding on the biggest hot air balloon in the world, you’ll be able to have a bird’s view of the green side of the city that is rather unseen from some of the other viewpoints of Paris.
While you can take in the views of Paris from other vantage points on this list pretty much any time, unfortunately, it’s not the case for this!
It all depends on the weather! If the weather is good, you’ll be able to ride in a hot air balloon but if not, you’ll have to reschedule!
Opening hours: Rides are from 9: 00 AM – 8:00 PM
Pro tip* If you want to take this experience to the next level, you can instead book a hot air balloon over Fontainebleau Chateau. This one is more expensive than the former but the idea of flying over one of the stunning castles near Paris is out of this world. If that’s you, then you can book this hot air balloon ride from here.
18. Parc De Belleville Offers Some of the Best Views of Paris
One of the beautiful parks in Paris is Parc De Belleville located in the 20th Arrondissement.
Besides offering green spaces for a Parisian picnic and a long fountain to relax at, the park also offers stunning views of the city given the fact that it’s located on a hill — it’s actually the highest park in Paris.
From the summit of the park, you’ll be able to spot the Eiffel tower, and Paris’ roofs!
So grab your camera or even pack a picnic to explore one of the best parks in the city while enjoying the panoramic views of Paris!
The best part about visiting this part is that it’s not crowded like other Parisian viewpoints.
Opening hours: The park opens at 8 AM during the week, and at 9 AM on weekends and public holidays. The closing time however changes with the season. It ranges from 5:45 PM – 9:30 PM
19. From Tour Saint-Jacques
Located in a small garden of the same name, at the intersection of rue de Rivoli and Rue Nicholas Flamel (which is one of the prettiest streets in Paris), Tour Saint-Jacques is an architectural marvel with intricate details worth checking out!
And while this gothic tower harbors lots of history, one of its focal points is the views it provides!
If you can brave the 300 steep steps to reach its viewpoint, you’ll be welcomed by a 360-degree view of Paris that can’t be found anywhere else!
From the Eiffel Tower, the Seine River, Montparnasse Tower, Invalides, Notre Dame, to so many other famous landmarks of Paris!
Pro tip* While this is a perfect viewpoint in Paris, it’s closed most of the time but every once in a while it opens its doors to visitors. So I advise you to keep checking this website to know when they re-open their doors to visitors.
20. From The Musee D’orsay
Most people visit Musee d’Orsay because of its impressive art since it’s one of the best museums in Paris but what some people don’t know is that it also offers pretty views of the city — you just have to know where to go.
If you head to the upper level of the museum near the clock and look out, you’ll be greeted by some of the best views of Paris with an emphasis on the Sacre Coeur.
Of course, the main reason for visiting the museum may not be for the views but when there, you might as well take advantage of that opportunity to take in the Paris city views.
But if you’d rather have a guiding hand telling you all there is to know about the museum and its objects, then you’re better off booking this guided tour by a knowledgeable tour guide.
Opening hours: The museum is open Tuesday – Sunday from 9:30 AM – 6 PM but it closes at 9:45 PM on Thursdays. The museum is closed on Monday, May 1, and December 25.
Map of the Best views of Paris
How to Use this Map: Just click on the Camera icon on the map above and the location will be displayed on the left side of the screen.
You can choose to either “view on google maps” and save the location for later or you can click on the itinerary arrow to get directions on how to get there.
Final Thoughts on The Best Views of Paris
There are so many places to get the best views of Paris but these are the ones you should check out even if you just have a couple of days.
But you should also know that Paris is a stunning city whereby most areas are bound to give you a sight worth capturing. Whether it is the famous attractions or just the city roofs and its skyline, you’ll not be disappointed by the city of lights.
Have you gone “views chasing” in the city of love? What was your favorite viewpoint in Paris? Let me know in the comment section which places you’ve been to on this list and if you went to one that is worth checking out but it’s not on this list, also leave it in the comments section and I will add it.
Check out these posts to help you plan your trip to Paris
- The Complete Guide to Visiting Paris in Spring
- Where to Find Cherry Blossoms in Paris
- What to Wear in Paris in Spring
- The best Parisian desserts you should try
- What to do in Paris at night
- Places to Get the Best Views of the Eiffel Tower
- Things not to do in Paris
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