Paris is a capital with a lot of history and many landmarks to admire (and immortalize, of course). It is also a city that needs to be seen as a whole. In order to do so, you need to find the best spots to see the best views of the French capital. Here are my suggestions in order to get the whole picture! You can easily go to each location by bike or by using the metro and it should take you only a couple of hours to see them all. Small tip, try to go to at least one of them when the night falls to get a nice sunset over the capital.
Located in the 15th arrondissement, the Montparnasse tower is the highest building inside Paris and is home to a shopping center as well as companies and a restaurant at the top of it. If you have the time and the chance, I would highly suggest getting to the top of it. This will offer you a grand view of the whole capital. Bear in mind however that you need to pay to get to the top of it. It costs around 20 euros, but the view is worth it. It was also the filming location of the famous French comedy film, "La Tour Montparnasse Infernale".
The Eiffel Tower is probably the first thing that comes to your mind when Paris is mentioned. Here, it might be the best place to get a 360° view of Paris, from the highest point of the capital. Culminating at 324 metres, you can see the whole city as well as beyond. You can stop at different elevation viewpoints to appreciate the city at different level of precision. It is also possible to visit it during the nighttime, which makes it even more magical!
The Bir-Hakeim Bridge is a spectacular place in Paris as the bridge itself could charm you. However, it is on our list for this reason. It is one of the best spots in Paris to see the Eiffel Tower, as well as the flow on the Seine, the dancing ballet of the famous “bateaux-mouches”, those long flat boats that navigate on the Seine. If you can, I would suggest going on this bridge during the nighttime to see the iron lady (the Eiffel Tower) being lit up. Bonus tip: if you walk all the way to the “Allée des Cygnes”, you can admire a smaller version of the Statue of Liberty, as well as being exactly at the Seine level which will give you a totally different perspective.
The Arc de Triomphe was built under Napoleon’s era. Its purpose was to celebrate the victory of the Emperor during the battle of Austerlitz. It is now used as the main point of celebration for military ceremonies in Paris. It is where the parade on France’s National day (Bastille day) takes place! It is possible to climb the stairs of this monument to get a view of the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champs Elysées. However, be patient, there are 284 stairs to climb before being rewarded by the great view over the French capital.
The Basilica of the Sacré-Coeur is located on the hill of Montmartre, which logically makes it one of the best view points of Paris. If the weather is nice and clouds don’t block your views, you will be able to admire the whole capital and even see the Eiffel Tower, situated miles away. Take the time to admire the ivory-like Basilica and its details. It was built after the Prussian War to forgive all the sins that were committed back then. You will also be able to admire how great it is from different locations in this programme!
During the 19th century, Paris underwent a series of transformations and works to create a greater capital, with great boulevards and buildings. Amongst the different transformations, great department stores were built, such as the Galleries Lafayettes and the Printemps Haussmann. Take your time to stroll around the luxurious aisles of these department stores. Then, go to the rooftop part of the Printemps to admire a 360° view of the central part of Paris. Small tip: take some time to admire its dome, it’s fascinating!
This museum is located on the banks of the Seine, in the center of Paris, almost opposite the Louvre. You can miss it with its giant clock on the front of the building. This building used to be the home of a train station. It was turned into an art museum in the 20th century and you can admire masterpieces such as the Little Dancer of Fourteen Years by Degas and many more. If you’re visiting this place, take the time to get to the top of it, right behind the clock to have yet another great view of a capital, as well as a unique one thanks to the clock’s structure.
The Pompidou center was opened in 1977 by president George Pompidou, who was a fan of modern art and wanted a cultural center in Paris that would display this side of the culture of art. Also called “Beaubourg”, it gathers an exhibition center as well as a library. Its design is atypical and quite unusual as it clashes with the ancient and Hausmanian buildings around the place. You can enter the building freely and get to the top of it to get, yet another view of the French capital!