The urban landscape of Paris ranges from the imposing French Gothic architecture to the opulence of the Beaux Arts – and everything in between – not to mention the meandering River Seine and modern skyscrapers that break up the silhouette of the city.
Although Paris is stunning from the ground, if you head up high you get a completely different perspective. From unparalleled views and stretching horizons, we’ve listed our top 3 summits where you can get the best views of Paris.
The Sacre Coeur is one of Paris’ most impressive religious buildings. Mounted on the top of the Montmartre hill, this pearly turn-of-the-century basilica benefits from uninterrupted views over the city from its vantage point at 130m high. Take a picnic and recline on the sloped front garden, looking down on the city and you can spot Paris’ most famous landmarks and monuments. It’s nothing short of romantic… While you’re in the area, explore the streets and cafes that were the old haunts of the bohemian artists who lived there, too.
From old to new, the Montparnasse Tower is the power house of Paris and one of the most expensive addresses in the city. At 209m high it’s the only skyscraper in Paris and with a viewing gallery on the 56th floor and a roof top terrace, you’re guaranteed unprecedented views over the city. Not great for those with vertigo, but if you’re not afraid of heights it’s not to be missed! Don’t forget your camera, you can even see up to 40kms away on a clear day.
The Catholic Cathedral Notre Dame is one of Paris’ most famous French Gothic landmarks. With a history that dates back to the mid-12th century, it’s a goldmine of stunning architecture, stained glass and elaborate carvings (yes we’re talking about the gargoyles!) If you climb the two towers, you can get great views over Paris from this central spot, not to mention a great aspect of the River Seine. At 61m – and 387 steps – you can walk around the top of the famous cathedral and get up close with the chimera.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the nation’s most important monuments as a military symbol for both the past and present. Standing in the centre of the ‘étoile’, the star-like historic cross roads, it’s great for the best central views – especially at night when you can see the sun setting over Paris and see the city illuminate under dusk. At 50m high it’s not the tallest monument in the world, but it’s arguably one of the most influential in French history.