This may come as a surprise to some but the view from the summit of the Eiffel Tower, as impressive as it is, is not the best viewpoint in Paris. And while the Eiffel Tower is definitely not absent from this list, and some may argue that every view in Paris is the stunning view of Paris, here are my top 5 favorite views in Paris.
#5 The Big Wheel at Place de la Concorde
You know the big wheel in the background of all the photos of the Champs Elysee? Well ironically, it actually is called the Big Wheel and you can take a ride on it for a birds-eye view of the Jardin des Tuileries and the Place de la Concorde. After your two rotations and alternate views of sites such as Cleopatra’s Needle, you’re in the perfect location to take a walk through the beautiful Jardin, and during the summer months, the Fête des Tuileries.
#4 Notre Dame de Paris
The only thing that comes close to being as awe-inspiring as when you first walk into view of Notre Dame while strolling the Ile de la Cité, is the view from the top of Notre Dame. I may be biased since the Hunchback of Notre Dame (a.k.a. the most underrated Disney movie of all time) was one of my favorite movies growing up, but the gargoyles undeniably add something to the view. After getting up close and personal with the gargoyles of Notre Dame, grab yourself some sorbet at Berthillon and spend some time walking through Shakespeare & Co. Probably my best way to spend an afternoon.
#3 Eiffel Tower
Of course I couldn’t leave the Eiffel Tower off of this completely; it still provides one of the most extensive views of Paris. The view also offers you the chance to see the intricate design of the different streets and areas of Paris; you can almost see the breakdown of arrondissements. Highly recommend you purchase a pre-timed ticket when visiting the Eiffel Tower unless you enjoy five-hour lines. Also highly recommend you take the time to fully enjoy each floor (first floor, second floor, summit). You’ll end up spending at least some time waiting for the lift to the next floor anyway, might as well take in the mild change in views and angles from each spot.
#2 Arch de Triomphe
The view from the Arch de Triomphe gives you that same breakdown of the Parisian avenues but also includes a view of the Eiffel Tower, giving you that picture perfect shot. You’re also getting the complete reverse view that you would get from the Big Wheel, looking directly down the Champs Elysee.
#1 Tour Montparnasse
Tour Montparnasse will forever be my favorite view in Paris, until I find one that proves me otherwise. Ironically, the actual Tour Montparnasse is rather unbecoming, standing dark an over-modernized, deck above the Parisian skyline. The view from the observation desk is like no other, with a full 360 degree view of Paris, while close enough but not too close to the tower itself. We visited the observation deck early enough that we were able to capture some daylight photos, as well as stunning sunset photos. I had already felt one with Paris from the moment I arrived, but it was during our few hours sitting above the city that I truly fell in love.
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