Paris is full of unique charm and magnificent monuments that can be admired both up close and at a distance. To enjoy its beauty to the fullest, it is worth looking at the city from a variety of angles. Walk through its elegant streets, visit and explore the sights, and be sure to admire the city from above. There are many points in the French capital with excellent views. Where do the best views of Paris come from? Where to go to enjoy panoramic views of the city? Exploring the observation decks of Paris!
Observation Decks at the Eiffel Tower
The tower has several observation decks with views of Paris – they are located on three different levels. The first level is at a height of 57 meters. When you reach the second one, you will find yourself at an altitude of 115 meters. And the third will allow you to look at Paris from a height of 276 meters above the ground. An elevator rises to all three floors of the tower, but the lift is paid. You can hike up to save € 5 and avoid queuing.
The first tier impresses visitors thanks to the transparent floor, through which you can contemplate Paris right under your feet. And along the terrace there are computerized information stands. You can also see the remains of the stairs that once led to the office of Gustave Eiffel. In addition, there is a restaurant The 58 Tour Eiffel , buffet, gift shop, relaxation area.
Order lunch at 58 Tour Eiffel on the Eiffel Tower
On the second tier there is an observation deck, from where a beautiful panorama of Paizha opens. It is worth finding a small staircase here and going up a little higher – a beautiful view opens up, practically not spoiled by lattice fences, which, for safety reasons, entwine the entire tower. The second floor also has a buffet, souvenirs and another restaurant – ” Jules Verne “.
You can only get to the third level by elevator (you will have to stand in line). But you will be rewarded with a great view from the upper observation deck. Plus, there you will find the Champagne Bar, a 1:50 scale model of the original tower from 1889 and a recreated room of Gustave Eiffel (with wax figures) – a tiny apartment designed by the architect personally, where he loved to spend time and receive distinguished guests.
Visiting the Eiffel Tower: Useful Tips
- The cost of visiting the tower depends on the floor, as well as on the age of the visitor and the method of ascent (by elevator or on foot)
- To avoid queues at the ticket office, book your tickets in advance on the official website.
- Remember that tickets purchased online cannot be returned back, even if the access to the top is closed in bad weather.
- When booking lunch or dinner at one of the tower’s two restaurants, there is no need to stand in a common queue – there are separate elevators for visitors to these establishments.
- Beware of pickpockets – the main Parisian attraction attracts not only tourists but also thieves.
- Dress practical – consider the weather, choose comfortable shoes. Be aware that the tower sways slightly in windy conditions.
Eiffel Tower: interesting facts, tips and secrets
Montparnasse Tower is the only skyscraper in the center of Paris. It is not surprising that an observation deck is located on it, at an altitude of about 210 meters. The high-speed elevator will take you upstairs in 38 seconds. This rise is paid, but worth it – from the top of the skyscraper, an exceptional 360 ° panoramic view of the city opens.
Buy a ticket for the Montparnasse Tower
Arc de Triomphe
Napoleon began to build the Arc de Triomphe, wishing to perpetuate his victories. True, he did not manage to finish building it during his lifetime – the monument was opened after his death in 1836. The Arc de Triomphe completes the famous avenue of the Champs Elysees and is the center of the Place de la Star, or Place Charles de Gaulle.
284 steps or 50 meters – and now at your feet is an area with 12 beams-streets diverging in different directions. The ascent does not take much time, and at the top you will find the Attica Hall with a souvenir shop, a drinking fountain and a toilet. A few more steps – and now in front of you on one side the Champs Elysees, and on the other – the La Defense quarter.
You can get to the Arch through underground passages, there is also a ticket office. Alternatively, tickets for the Arc de Triomphe can be booked here.
The Arc de Triomphe in Place Charles de Gaulle (Stars) is the final destination of our Route of Triumph audio tour, which also passes through the Louvre, Place Carrousel, Champs Elysees and other legendary sights of Paris.
The 130-meter hill in the north of the French capital is its highest natural point. It is crowned with the famous Basilica of the Sacre-Coeur . In this snow-white church there is a paid observation deck, from where a beautiful panorama of Paris opens up. But you can admire the city for free – from the observation platforms next to the basilica.
It is at the observation deck at the Sacré-Coeur that our Montmartre audio tour ends. This is the perfect end to a walk through the charming streets of this area of Paris.
Montmartre in Paris: interesting places and walking route
Notre Dame de Paris
Before the terrible fire that happened on April 16, 2019, Notre Dame was one of the most popular observation decks in Paris. The restoration is in full swing, so let’s hope that in the future, tourists will have the opportunity to admire the center of Paris from the upper gallery when it is restored.
Gothic masterpiece, which is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The cathedral was erected over 800 years ago and has survived many historical cataclysms, including the revolution of 1789. Victor Hugo saved the temple from destruction in the turbulent revolutionary years, who dedicated his famous novel Notre Dame Cathedral to him. Today, about 20 million people visit the cathedral every year. Many of them climbed the famous Gallery of Chimeras – an observation deck at a height of 45 meters, connecting the North and South bell towers.
Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral: history and interesting facts
Center for Contemporary Art Georges Pompidou
There is another interesting observation deck on the roof of the Georges Pompidou Center. It overlooks Notre Dame and the Sacre Coeur Basilica.
The entrance to it is paid. At the same time, it is not necessary to purchase a ticket to the museum – it is enough to pay 5 euros for access to the site.
In the very center of the Latin Quarter, on the hill of Saint Genevieve, rises a neo-Gothic church in which the great sons and daughters of France are buried.
You can explore Paris from the colonnade of the dome of the Pantheon, where access is paid. Interestingly, for almost the entire 19th century, this colonnade was practically the only such place from which one could admire the views of the city.
Institut du monde arabe)
There is a free observation deck with excellent views of Notre Dame de Paris.
The Galeries Lafayette building next to the Opera Garnier is an attraction in itself and worth a visit, even if you are not a fan of shopping. The store opened in 1893 and was significantly rebuilt in 1906. The unique interiors of this department store, its Byzantine-style glass dome will impress anyone.
Climbing to its roof will cost you nothing, and you can see many of the city’s attractions from it, including the Eiffel Tower.
Department store Prentam (Au Printemps)
Situated close to the Galeries Lafayette in the 9th arrondissement of Paris and is also one of the most prestigious and largest Parisian department stores. It was founded in 1865.
The panoramic terrace offers views of the Opera building, the Sacre-Coeur Basilica, the Eiffel Tower and a number of other iconic places in Paris. There is also a cafe and just benches where you can sit and enjoy the views.
Balloon in Andre Citroen Park
This original way to see Paris can be found in the Parc André-Citroën in the 15th arrondissement. The park got its name, by the way, after the Citroen plant and its founder, which was located exactly on this place.
The balloon rises to a height of 150 meters, allowing you to see the most famous sights of Paris from a bird’s eye view. The flight duration is 10 minutes.
This attraction runs every day until the park closes, but flights may be canceled in bad weather.
Parc des Buttes-Chaumon
Urban park in the 19th arrondissement, one of the largest in Paris and the most romantic. It appeared on the map of the city during the transformations carried out by Baron Haussmann, during the reign of Napoleon III.
The park was built on the site of a quarry where gypsum and limestone were mined, on the edge of a former landfill. About 1000 workers worked on its arrangement, about 20 thousand green spaces were planted here, and the opening took place in 1867.
Today it is an area of about 25 hectares with gardens, an English and French garden, lakes, grottoes, small waterfalls and hills. Here, in the middle of an artificial lake, there is a chalk rock, on top of which there is a gazebo, reminiscent of the ancient Roman temple of the Sibyl from the Italian city of Tivoli. This Belvedere of the Sibyl, as it is called, offers spectacular views of Paris, including the Sacre Coeur Basilica and the Eiffel Tower.
Park Belleville (Parc de Belleville)
In Belleville Park, next to Bute Chaumont on the 108-meter hill of the same name, also has its own observation deck. The park was opened in 1988, there are few tourists here, and therefore this place is chosen by lovers of quiet rest, away from the tourist bustle and surrounded by beautiful views.
Tower Sep – Jacques ( Tour Saint-Jacques)
Located in Place Saint-Jacques, this bell tower of the same name is all that remains of the old church Saint-Jacques-de-la-Bouchery, which was the starting point of the path of Saint James to the city of Santiago de Compostela in Spain and the tomb of the Apostle James.
The church was dismantled during the turbulent revolutionary years, and the bell tower built in 1523 was adapted for the ebb of hunting shot – hot lead was poured from a 50-meter height through a special grate.
The bell tower is known for the fact that here in 1648 the scientist Blaise Pascal measured the atmospheric pressure. Today a monument to him is erected in the tower.
It has become possible to visit the tower since 2013, when the reconstruction was completed here. But it is worth knowing that the admission of visitors to the tower is limited and it is worth booking your visit in advance. But once you get here, you will not regret – the top of the tower offers a breathtaking view of the surroundings – primarily the Seine, the buildings on the Ile de la Cité, Notre Dame de Paris, the Latin Quarter and the nearby Châtelet Theater.
Musée d’Orsay clock ( Mus é e d ‘ Orsay )
When you go to the Musée d’Orsay, which occupies a former train station, do not forget to look at its observation deck. The museum is located almost opposite Luva, and the view from here is appropriate. At the same time, the former royal palace can be viewed both from the upper observation deck, and from the inside, through the dial of the huge clock, inherited by the museum from the former train station.
You can buy tickets to the Musée d’Orsay online: on the official website (booking in French) or through intermediaries (booking in Russian).
Large arch La Grande Arche de la Défense
The 110-meter building in the La Defense quarter was erected in 1989; it is the extreme east-west point of the so-called “historical axis” of Paris. More about
The Terrace of the La Defense Arch is perhaps the largest observation deck in Paris, with an area of over 1000 square meters, and it provides a 360-degree view. The entrance is paid, but from here the whole center of the capital of France, at a glance – the La Defense quarter, the Arc de Triomphe, Champs Elysees, Tuileries Garden, Arch on Carrousel Square, Louvre.
We have already talked about the fact that the Eiffel Tower is probably the most famous observation deck in Paris. But many tourists are also interested in the views of the tower itself. After all, everyone wants to bring beautiful photographs of the famous “iron lady” from the trip. So where does the best view of the Eiffel Tower come from, where will the best photos come from?
Trocadero is the name of a Spanish fort in the Gulf of Cadiz that was captured by French troops in 1823. The top of this hill remained completely undeveloped for a long time. The French rulers had different plans for this place, but these plans could not be realized for a long time. Catherine de Medici wanted to build her palace there, later the English queen Henrietta built a monastery, and Napoleon started building a palace for his little son, the King of Rome. But this palace remained a dream, although the square was called that way until 1978 – the square of the King of Rome.
Since 1937, the top of the hill has been occupied by the Chaillot Palace. It was erected on the foundations of the palace that preceded it, built for the World Exhibition of 1878. The central hall of the Palais de Chaillot was not built – instead of it there is now an esplanade, which offers a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower and a garden and park ensemble with a cascading fountain descending from the hill.
From the Place du Trocadéro, from the esplanade next to the Palais de Chaillot, one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower opens up. This is a great place for a photo shoot with the backdrop of the main Parisian landmark. This is also where our Parade Paris audio tour, available in the Travelry mobile app, begins.
Bridge Bir – Aceim ( Pont de Bir-Hakeim)
This two-level bridge, formerly known as the Passy Bridge, is valued not for its height, but for its beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower. One of the most romantic places in Paris has been the subject of many films. For example, appearing in the films “Last Tango in Paris”, “National Treasure: Book of Secrets”, “Inception”.
From here you can also go down to the bulk Swan Island, where the Parisian Statue of Liberty is installed.