Discover the best places to see Paris from above, where to get some height and discover the city's skyline and old building rooftops. The list include free and paying locations, photos and practical information to help you decide.
Paris is a great city to discover by just walking around. But if you want to embrace the whole city at once or discover those buildings from another angle, here is a list and photos of the best sites and rooftops to get views of Paris from above.
I included conditions and waht you can expect to see to help you choose where to go.
Navigate back to the complete Paris Travel Guide
For me, this is the best location to get views of Paris from above.
- Access: limited to pre-booked people on certain days during the summer months
- 360° views of Paris
- Amazing views which includes all the main buildings
If you want to visist check out the Saint Jacques Tower article for practical information and many more photos.
Normally I avoid big shopping mall. But I made an exception to get up to the terrace of the Printemps Haussmann.
- Free entrance and long opening hours, no queue
- 360° views of Paris
- No views of Notre Dame or everything around the Seine river
If you want to visist check out the Printemps Haussmann article for practical information and many more photos.
Notre Dame Cathedral Towers
A classic, like the Eiffel Tower, climbing on top of the Notre Dame Cathedral requires patience and Stamina but it gives you a great panorama
- Access: all year long, entrance fee, long queues
- 360° view from the second level
- Many sites have a hard net so takings photos is sometimes difficult
If you want to visist check out the Notre Dame Cathedral Towers article for practical information and many more photos.
Don't forget to bring binoculars to make the most of those views!!!!
Check out my guide to find the best travel binoculars for your needs.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is strong significative monument of Paris. You can admire it for free. However I recommend you climb inside and to the top for great panoramic views of Paris.
- Access: all year long, entrance fee, long queues (although not as long as the Eiffel Tower)
- 360° view
- Closer to the Eiffel Tower but further away from the rest
If you want to visit check out the Arc de Triomphe article for practical information and many more photos.
The Montparnasse Tower itself is hideous. But getting inside allow you to get to the 56th floor and then the terrace.
- Access: all year long, entrance fee
- 360° view with holes between glasses to take pictures
- The positive is that you are really high and the ugly Montparansse tower is not in the photo, the negative is that it is too high so really see the street and old housing
If you want to visist check out the Montparnasse Tower article for practical information and many more photos.
IMA Museum Terrace
The Institut du monde Arabe (Arab World Institute Museum) is located near the Seine river. At the 9th level, accessed via 6 elevators) are 2 restaurants and a terrace.
- Access: all year long, free, no queue, 10am to 6PM or 7PM
- 180° view
- Mostly view of the back of Notre Dame Cathedrale
- 1 Rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard, 75005 Paris
I visited on a rainy day with white sky, not good for picture. So I gave them a little effect...
Other sites with high views of Paris
There are other locations to see Paris from above. I have not been there yet, but I will go and update this post.
- You get get up in the Tower via lifts or stairs (entrance for a fee). You just have to be ready to queue
- The drawback of taking a picture from there is that the Eiffel Tower itself is not on it
- At the foot or at the top of the Sacré-Coeur
- A little bit far from the main monuments but really nice
- Really appreciated for sunset and right after you can enjoy a visit to the Moulin Rouge Paris
- The Center has a rooftop terrace with 360° views
- Entrance for a fee
Grand Arch La Défense
- Lifts can take you to the top
- Views are mostly of the CBD district
Dome of the Pantheon
- Closed at the moment
- Orsay Museum Terrace (but not very high)
- From the Dome of the Pantheon (closed at the moment)
- From the big wheel at the Tuileries Garden
- From the big Balloon in Parc André Citroen
- At the top of the Belleville park (but less central)
- Valérien hill (but a lot further away)
- From the Hyatt Regency Bar at Etoile
Want to see MORE of FRANCE?
Discover more things to do with planning information and photos in my online Paris Travel Guide.
Do you like getting some height to see a city?