Paris is panoramic; fact. From the Eiffel Tower to the Arc de Triomphe, Musee d’Orsay and the Montparnasse, everywhere you look there are sights to be seen from every angle.
We’ve travelled high and low in search of the best panoramas in Paris. From historic forts, to riverside art galleries, skyscrapers and rooftops, there’s a wealth – and breadth – of places to go to find those unique perspectives.
Champ de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France, 75007 Paris, France (09.30 – 23.00)
The Eiffel Tower is, some say, the most iconic monument in Paris. Having been erected to celebrate the Exposition Universelle in 1889, it was originally meant to be only a temporary structure. Now, over 125 years later, no one can imagine Paris’ skyline without the familiar Dame de Fer. It’s westerly position means its not one of the best view points in Paris, however, a trip up to the second or third platforms are still worth it – and definitely bucket-list worthy.
Arc de Triomphe
Charles de Gaulle Square, 75008 Paris, France (10.00 – 23.00)
As one of the most recognised roundabouts in the world (and most costly in terms of insurance!), the Etoile boasts one of the most historic and symbolic of all Parisian monuments. This arch of victory was commissioned by Napoleon in the early 1800s and now is one of the most visited landmarks in Paris. Climb to the top of the viewing platform where you can enjoy spectacular views over Paris and watch the sun go down over the city. Set against the headlights of the cars in the distance, it’s a stunning juxtaposition of the old new, and beautiful. Although it’s not the highest monuments in terms of viewpoints, it’s certainly offers some of the most breath-taking panoramas.
The Basilica of the Sacre Coeur
35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018 Paris, France (06.00 – 22.30)
Montmartre, the traditionally artisan and bohemian district up on the summit of Paris, is home to the stunning Sacre Coeur Basilica. It’s considered one of Paris’ most picturesque places, not only for its cobbled streets and quaint and quirky shops and cafes, but for the imposing church that dominates the skyline. Many flock to the tiered steps and gardens in front of the building for uninterrupted views over the city, but did you know that if you go to the top of the dome you can get an even better perspective. On a clear day you can see up to 30kms (if you’ve got good eye sight!) so make sure you take a camera; it’s not one to be missed.
33 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris, France (09.30 – 23.30)
Paris’ one and only skyscraper, the Montparnasse Tower, is the-place-to-go if you want no-nonsense panoramas. Up on the 53rd floor of this modern landmark you can walk around the open top viewing platform and take in the stunning 360 degree views. You’ll be able to see the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Les Invalides – everything! There really is nowhere like it and at over 689ft up, you’ll feel totally isolated, too. If you time it right, watching the sun go down is truly spectacular.
1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 75007 Paris, France (09.30 – 18.00)
The Orsay Museum is one of the most famous galleries in Paris, not only because of its stunning Beaux Arts architecture, but because of its priceless collections of art ranging from 1848 – 1915, featuring Cezanne, Renoir and Monet. What’s more though is that this popular attraction in Paris used to be a busy train station up to the turn of the 20th century, which you can see from the length of the terminus-style vaulted ceilings and original station clock suspended from the ceiling. Where you really want to head is up to one of the two clocks with glass faces, which overlook the Seine and the Louvre, and you can even see all the way out to the Sacre Coeur, too!
Grande Arche de la Défense
1 Parvis de la Défense, 92044 Puteaux, France (10.00 – 19.00)
One of the lesser appreciated monuments in Paris, this modern landmark at La Defense is worth a visit. Its cube-shaped design is unique in itself measuring 110m height, width and depth. Visitors are allowed to climb to the top of the Arche where you can see not only that it completes the line of historic monuments in Paris called the axe historique, but that it also forms part of another axis with two of the tallest Paris landmarks, the Eiffel Tower and the Montparnasse Tower, too.
Centre Pompidou Rooftop
Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France (11.00 – 22.00)
Good food and good views? Why not! Up on the rooftop of Europe’s most important contemporary art gallery, Centre Pompidou, lies Le Georges Restaurant and Bar which boasts some of the most impressive views in central Paris. Although it’s not the tallest rooftop of its kind in the city, its modern glass décor makes it seem like you’re dining in an illusion. Head right to the top terrace in the summer when you can appreciate the open aired bar and catch a few rays at the same time.
Parc de Belleville
47 Rue des Couronnes, 75020 Paris, France
Parc de Belleville is the highest park in Paris at 108m up! So it’s a no-brainer if you’re after a spectacular panorama set in a picturesque park. Set yourself up on the top terrace with a picnic and take in the views. Parc de Belleville is a great place to spend the day and soak it all up; with ping pong tables, an open air theatre and rows of vibrant flower beds and lawns to enjoy it’s by far one of top panoramic perspectives in Paris.
40, Boulevard Haussmann 75009 Paris (09.30 – 20.00)
This prestigious, central Paris shopping centre is one of the most popular destinations for any fashionista. Galeries Lafayette not only offers the latest styles and high street trends, but up on the top floor terrace you can enjoy views over central Paris, including the Opera Garnier at a mere stone’s throw distance. You’ll even be able to see Notre Dame and the Pantheon without much effort, too. So never has there been a better reason to say you need to go shopping!
Mont Valérien, Suresnes
Fort Mont-Valérien, 92150 Suresnes, France
Fort Mont Valérien is slightly outside Paris, but well worth the journey. Overlooking the Bois de Boulogne, this fortress dates back to the Franco-Prussian war and is steeped in history. While there’s much to learn about its past, the real deal comes with the view. Up on the mount, its unique position means that you can get a view over the rooftops of Paris and up to the imposing Eiffel Tower and Montparnasse Tower in the distance. You won’t get a viewpoint like it.
Parc de Saint-Cloud, Saint-Cloud
Chateau de Saint-Cloud, 92210 Saint-Cloud (07.30 – 21.00)
Renowned for being one of the most beautiful parks in Europe, Parc de Saint-Cloud has a somewhat magical and romantic name which eludes to its celestial heights. Parc de Saint-Cloud can be found within the Chateau de Saint-Cloud estate; the site of the old residence which belonged to royal and imperial families. Among Marie Antoinette’s rose garden and other stunning features is the breath-taking La Lanterne viewpoint, where you can take in the uninterrupted panorama of Paris and the suburbs. C’est vraiment magnifique!
See the city from a different angle and challenge your perspective of Paris by climbing up iconic monuments and peering through sky-high windows to seek those truly unique vantage points for an unparalleled view of Paris. From inner city skyscrapers, to suburban historic sites, you’ll be amazed at what Paris has to offer!