You can get stunning views of Paris from many places, and you don’t have to pay for all of them.
Many dream of traveling to Paris and staying somewhere with views of the Eiffel Tower. If you have a budget to splurge for a room with a view, go for it. But if you need to watch the pennies, you will be relieved to know that there are many places in town where you can catch incredible Paris views.
Whether you are into photography or just want to enjoy the pleasure of recording an image in your mind, Paris won’t disappoint you. Always carry a camera or a smartphone with you to take at least a quick snap of the best Paris views.
Curious to discover the best places for views of the Ville Lumiere? I have you covered!
The photos in this post were shot using either my Nikon D3300 with a 18-105 mm lens; or my iPhone 11 Pro. In some cases you may want to use a longer lens for better results.
14 Places For The Best Views Of Paris
Think about the best views of Paris and chances are that the first thing that comes to mind is the Eiffel Tower. Paris’ most iconic attraction is not only a fantastic sight in and of itself, but also a great vantage point to take in all the views of the city. I don’t think I need to convince you to get on the Eiffel Tower – I am sure this will likely be the first place you visit in town.
Now, the big question is: should you make the effort (and pay) to get all the way to the summit? Some will tell you that you can get incredible views from level one. Others will try to convince you that the best views are from level two. I actually believe that the views you get from the summit of the Eiffel Tower are by far the best.
Another question is whether you should go up for sunset or at night, or simply during the day. That is completely up to you. Surely, if you want to get views of the illuminated city, going after dark is a great idea. Whether you go for sunset or not is a matter of weather too. I was perfectly happy with the morning views I got!
The Eiffel Tower is open daily. Opening hours vary with the season so make sure to check the official site for that.
Get tickets to the second floor here; and tickets to the summit here.
Champ de Mars
Right behind the Eiffel Tower, you can freely access the Champ de Mars, a park which was opened in 1780 next to the École Militaire. It’s a great place to get views of the Eiffel Tower, to hang out, to spend an afternoon with family and friends. And it’s 100% free to visit.
Across the Seine river from the Eiffel Tower you will get to the Trocadéro. This is one of the undisputed best places for Paris views – especially if you are keen on taking photos of the Eiffel Tower.
The Trocadéro can be accessed freely throughout the day. You may find that it is rather crowded – there were a lot of people when I went, at around 12:30 pm. If you want to have the place to yourself, and an incredible light to capture the Eiffel Tower, make sure to go at sunrise.
Arc de Triomphe
The views from the Arc the Triomphe are simply stunning. You get to see the Eiffel Tower, the Champs-Elysees all the way to the Louvre and La Defense, Paris’ modern district packed with skyscrapers.
The Arc de Triomphe is open every day from 10:00 am to 10:30 or 11:00 pm, depending on the season. It is closed on 1 January, 1 May, 8 May (morning), 14 July, 11 November (morning) and 25 December. Get tickets in advance here or here.
Le Grande Arche de la Defense
You can see La Defense from the Arc de Triomph and even from the Eiffel Tower, but did you know you can get incredible views from the Observatory Deck of the Grands Arche de la Defense too? This 110 meters tall skyscraper was built in the 20th century – inaugurated on July 14th, 1989, and has the largest terrace in Paris, with great views of central Paris – including of the Eiffel Tower.
It’s a bit of a trip to get there – but it’s worth it, as this is really a non-touristy spot.
Le Grande Arche de la Défense is open Monday to Friday from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm. You can get tickets here.
Easily the ugliest building in Paris, the good thing about getting on Montparnasse Tower is that once you are in, you don’t get to see it! There are two levels you can visit: floor 56, which is basically all enclosed with glass windows, and the Terrance, which is also closed but there are a few openings so you can dodge your camera for views. There also are telescopes to get closer views.
Montparnasse Tower is open every day from 9:30 am to either 10:30 or 11:30 depending on the day and the season. Get your tickets in advance here.
The steps of Sacre-Coeur Basilica in Montmartre are supposed to be one of the best viewpoints in Paris. Unfortunately, when I visited the weather was overcast and as there was a fair in Montmartre, so it was terribly crowded (even more than usual) and I couldn’t get to a decent place for photos. Even then, I was able to see the Centre Pompidou and Notre-Dame on the right. I know, my photo isn’t the best – so if you do go make sure to send me yours for comparison!
You can access those steps for free.
The streets of Montmartre
A walk around Montmartre may not reward you with the sweeping views you may get from higher viewpoints, but the views of the colorful buildings, of Sacre-Coeur Basilica, and even of the city in the distance are great.
You will find great views along the Seine River – the many bridges (especially Ponte Alexandre III), Notre-Dame Cathedral (which used to be one of the best places to get Paris views but was unfortunately hit by a fire in April 2019), the Eiffel Tower and much more can be seen walking along the banks of the river or even during a Seine river cruise.
In case you want to opt for a cruise, you can book it here or here.
Make sure to also read my post How To Pick The Best Seine River Cruise In Paris.
The Pompidou Center is a National Museum of Modern Art and Europe’s largest modern art museum. Inside you will find the work of artists such as Picasso, Matisse, Kandinsky. But to make your experience even better, you can ride the elevators and get to the upper level from where you can enjoy views of the Eiffel Tower.
Pompidou Center is open Wednesdays to Mondays from 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. It closes at 11:00 pm on Thursdays. You can get your tickets here.
The Musee d’Orsay is one of the best museums in Paris, with a fantastic collection of impressionist art with works of the likes of Monet, Manet, Renoir and more. What many don’t know is that you can actually get incredible views from there, through the clock on the upper level.
Musee d’Orsay is open every day from 9:30 am to 6:00 pm. On Thursdays it closes at later hours. It is closed on Mondays. Make sure to get tickets in advance before you go. You can get them here.
Last but not least, for views of the Latin Quarter, Luxembourg Gardens, Eiffel Tower and even Notre Dame, get on the Dome of Paris’ Pantheon.
The Pantheon is open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 or 6:30 pm depending on the season. You can get tickets here.
The upper level of this shopping mall offers great views spanning from the Opera to the Eiffel Tower. The Brasserie Printemps is a great lunch spot – nothing better than a meal with a view!
Your hotel room
Ok, so this is not a given. You will have to really look for a room with a view and chances are you will have to pay dearly for that – but if you can afford it, definitely opt to wake up to the best views of Paris!
For a selection of hotels with views of the Eiffel Tower, click here.
If you are planning a trip to Paris, you should definitely read these other posts:
- 33 Incredible Places To Visit In Paris
- The Best Paris Travel Tips
- The Best Museums In Paris
- Seven Smart Ways To Get Versailles Tickets And Skip The Line
- Seven Smart Ways To Get Eiffel Tower Tickets And Skip The Lines
- Nine Smart Ways To Get Tickets To The Louvre And Skip The Line
- Eight Incredibly Smart Ways To Get Musee D’Orsay Tickets And Skip The Lines
- 27 Cool Things To Do In Montmartre, Paris
- A Week In Paris Itinerary: What To See And Do
- A Wonderful Itinerary For 5 Days In Paris
- A Fantastic Itinerary To See Paris In 4 Days
- Paris In 3 Days: A Great Itinerary To Make The Most Of It
- A Fabulous Itinerary For 2 Days In Paris
- The Perfect Itinerary To See Paris In A Day
- 15 Amazing Day Trips From Paris
- A Guide To The 5 Best Cities To Visit In France
- How To Avoid The Most Common Paris Scams
- How To Get From Charles De Gaulle Airport CDG To Paris