Paris Viewpoints: Free and Paid

Paris Viewpoints: Free and Paid

Paris sights

Eiffel Tower, goodbye! How to see Paris from above and spend 0€? Learn about the best free lookouts in Paris. Okay, we’ll tell you about the paid ones, too. Take your pick!

Look for interesting tours in Paris on Sputnik and Tripster. Here are the most popular ones:

Free Paris sightseeing sites

Printemps Shopping Center

A free observation deck in Paris with a minimum of tourists. Beautiful views of the Opera House, the Church of Madeleine, the rooftops and the Eiffel Tower. Although the observation deck is very cramped, we loved it!

How to find. You need a building with men’s clothing – Printemps Homme. There are two viewing rooms – on floors 8 and 9, but the view is better on the latter. Take the elevator or escalator to the 8th floor and then take the stairs or another elevator to the roof. There is also an outdoor restaurant terrace on the 8th floor.

The address is Boulevard Haussmann, 64, metro Havre – Caumartin. Look for the tag on MAPS.ME – Terrasse du Printemps.

The free viewpoint in Paris is the department store Printemps. The view is good, not many tourists. View of the Madeleine Church and the Eiffel Tower from the roof of the Printemps department store.

Galleries Lafayette

The view from the roof of the Printemps over Paris is not much different. However, the viewing platform in Galleries Lafayette is much more spacious and popular – there are a lot of people. Take the escalators up to the 9th floor and you will get right to the roof.

When you go down or up, don’t miss the Art Nouveau dome on the 3rd floor. There’s a glass bridge there, but it was closed during our visit. Also, stand in the center of the dome on the 1st floor – the view is amazing. I can imagine how beautiful it is at Christmas. Although it’s much prettier!

The address is Boulevard Haussmann, 40, metro Chaussee d’Antin – La Fayette. Look for the MAPS.ME tag – La Terrasse des Galeries Lafayette.

A view of the Opera from the roof of the Galeries Lafayette. It’s pretty crowded, but it’s a cool view of the rooftops. The Art Nouveau dome of the Galeries Lafayette.

Institut du Monde Arabe

From the free observation deck on the 9th floor of the Institut du Monde Arabe you can see the center of Paris: Saint-Louis, Notre Dame, the Seine. You can get there by elevator.

The address is Rue des fossés Saint-Bernard, 1. Look for the tag on MAPS.ME – Institut du Monde Arabe and Rooftop view (free access via the bar).

Trocadero (Esplanade du Trocadero)

The most popular viewpoint in Paris overlooking the Eiffel Tower! From here it looks majestic and elegant at the same time. That’s why the tourists are full of tourists and sellers of souvenirs. If you want to make a photo shoot, come at dawn when there are as few people as possible.

Address: Metro Trocadero. When you get out of the subway, you almost immediately get to the square.

Paris Observation decks

Lookout Trocadero – always crowded, but the view is great.


The viewpoint in front of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica in Paris is as crowded as the Trocadero. It seems that all tourists gather here. It is not very clear why – the view is not too remarkable, because everything is too shallow (of course, the height of 130 meters).

You can also go up to the basilica itself, but it is already paid, in addition, you must stand in a queue to enter.

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Address: Place in front of the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur.

Paris sights

View of Paris from viewing platform in front of the Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. Even more people than on the Trocadero!

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

A romantic park where mostly locals walk. From the gazebo there is a beautiful view of the Sacre-Coeur Basilica and the Eiffel Tower. The gazebo is tiny and there are a lot of people who want to get in.

Locals and tourists like to meet the sunset in the Parc du Bois-Chaumont. View of the Sacré Coeur. A romantic gazebo overlooking Paris.

Paid Observation decks in Paris

We didn’t go to the pay-per-viewpoints in Paris – the free ones were enough! Moreover, they are not cheap, and the pleasure is not always comparable with the cost of time and money. Still, let’s list them in case you decide to go up.

Eiffel Tower.

Yes, yes, the only place where you can’t see it. Everyone knows the story. To get to the most famous observation deck a lot of people dream. We on principle did not: expensive, long, hordes of tourists, at the top – cloudy glass and a feeling that somewhere have spent the wrong money, because everything is too shallow.

But if you absolutely want to get to the tower, we have a very detailed article on how to save on tickets to the Eiffel Tower.

Montparnasse Tower (Tour Montparnasse)

The only advantage of this ugly tower, sticking out like a stake in the middle of the historic buildings, is a panoramic observation deck overlooking Paris on the 57th floor. Admittedly, there is a charge.

According to reviews, it is better to go to Montparnasse than to the Eiffel Tower: almost no queues, almost the same price, ticket can also be bought online, you can see all the iconic sights, quick elevator, plus you get great photos of the tower.

Price: 18€. There is a ticket for 23€ with the right to come twice within 48 hours.

When: all year round, 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 9:30 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Where to buy: At the official Tower website. Tickets are valid 30 days from purchase, with no time or date stamp. Print it out is not necessary – you can drop it on your smartphone.

A tip: Tourists are advised to arrive in such a way as to catch the day and evening Paris, when the lights on the Eiffel Tower are lit.

Montparnasse Observation Point in Paris

Montparnasse observation tower in Paris. There are few tourists and the views are great – at least it makes some sense.

The Georges Pompidou Center

Not only can you visit the exhibitions, library and cinema, but also the observation deck!

Price: 14€ to enter the museum. But you can also go to the observation deck for €5.

When: 11:00 to 22:00, except on Tuesdays.

Address: Place Georges-Pompidou.

Paris sights

In Pompidou you can buy a separate ticket for the observation deck only for 5€.

Arc de Triomphe

Take a stroll through the Arc de Triomphe and see the avenues radiating out from it, the high-rises of the Defans, the Champs-Élysées and the Eiffel Tower.

Price: 12€.

Where to buy: At the ticket office or online without queuing on the official website.

When: From 10:00 to 23:00 in summer, at other times until 22:30.

Address: Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile metro.

Saint-Jacques Tower

The Gothic tower is 52 meters high (300 steps) and is all that remains of the church of Saint-Jacques-la-Boucherie. It was once the start of the Santiago pilgrimage route. They say the view from it is worth the money they ask for! However, you can only climb it tentatively from July to September, and only with a guide. And you need to book tickets in advance.

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Price: 10€.

When: from May to September (according to other information, from July – check on the site). Tours are conducted every hour from 10:00 to 17:00 on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Address: Square de la Tour Saint-Jacques on rue de Rivoli. Metro Châtelet.

Paris Observation decks

Saint-Jacques is only accessible with a guide on certain days.


The tomb of eminent people of France, in appearance almost our Isaac’s. According to the reviews, the view from the top is good, but a bit expensive.

Price: 9€. And it seems that you have to pay another 2 € for the dome, but it’s not sure.

When: April to late September 10:00 to 18:30, other times until 18:00.

Address: Place du Pantheon, metro Cardinal Lemoine.

Paris Observation decks

Saint-Jacques is only accessible with a guide on certain days.

Basilique du Sacré-Cœur

The view from the basilica is said to be spectacular and different from what you see from the foot. It is the second highest after the Eiffel Tower. The basilica is lush and unusual, a must visit. Entrance to the church itself is free.

Price: 7€ per view. The ascent is to the left of the church entrance.

When: Entrance to the church daily from 6:00 to 22:30. It is best early in the morning or in the evening when there are few tourists. Climbing upstairs is from 8:30 to 20:00 (May-September) and from 9:00 to 17:00 (October-April).

Where to look down on Paris from above

Admission to the Sacré Coeur is free and to the observation deck is 7€.

Musée d’Orsay

Cool interior, chic clocks, great artists and a bonus is the observation deck.

Price: 14€.

When: daily from 9:30 to 18:00, except Mondays. Until 9:45 p.m. on Thursday.

Address: rue de la Légion d’Honneur, 1.

La Grande Arche de la Défense

La Grande Arche de la Défense – it’s such a giant “P” surrounded by high-rises. The terrace of the arch is panoramic. It’s about 110 meters high and is accessed by an elevator.

Price: 15€.

When: 9:30 to 19:00, except Saturdays and Sundays.

Address: Parvis de la Défense, 1. Metro La Défense.

Where to look down on Paris from above

The Grande Arche de la Défense with a panoramic terrace.

Sightseeing platforms in Paris.

Where to see Paris from above


We will touch on all the best viewpoints in Paris, which can be visited either for free or for a modest fee. We will find places where you can see the panorama of the city at night, where to go at sunset and just a bird’s eye view of the French capital. Be sure to mention sightseeing tours in Russian, which will be useful to tourists with a small experience of independent travel.

Tours of the French capital can go on for weeks. However, people do not always have the necessary time. Yes, and the view from the top opens the great city from a qualitatively new side. You just need to know where to go.

1. the Eiffel Tower

The view opens from 3 levels. The cost depends on the target floor and whether you ascend on your own or by elevator. Clearly visible are the Champ de Mars and wonderful houses. Experienced tourists try to go upstairs and in the daytime, and when Paris is filled with electric lights. The color of the city during this time drastically changes. Tourists explore the Champ de Mars to the east, the military school and the Place du Trocadero.

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The Paris Metro has two closely spaced stations, the Trocadero and Bir-Hakeim. They are placed respectively on the M9 and M6 branches. By train you need to go to the station Tour Eiffel. Take a bus to the stop of the same name or to the Champ de Mars on lines 82 and 69. The official address is Champs de Mars, 5 Avenue Anatole France.

Climbing to the viewing area will cost at least 7 euros. The earlier you come to the opening, the less you stand in line.

The French capital from above

View from the Eiffel Tower

2. Notre Dame

  • Description and what to see, details of the visit.

From above you can see the gargoyles located on the facade. And also the panorama of the old part of the city. Already climbing up makes the old cathedral one of the best viewing places in Paris. There are 387 stairs leading down to where you want to go. The temple is open from 7:45 am to 6:45 pm; on weekends from 9 am to 6 pm.

In addition to the Saint Michel Notre Dame metro station, you can also get off at the Cité. The official address of the building is 6 Parvis Notre Dame – Place Jean-Paul.

Tickets start at 8 EUR.

the gorgonne

View from Notre Dame.

3. Montparnasse viewpoint

  • Description and what to see

There is no bigger building in the European Union than this one. The panorama opens from a height of more than 200 meters. There the guests of the city are taken by a fast elevator that covers the way in 40 seconds. From above one can see the majestic Cathedral, the Tuileries Gardens, the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Pompidou Center, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower. Some tourists prefer to take pictures of the Maison des Invalides, the Opéra Garnier or the graceful thickets of the Luxembourg Garden. By default, you can go up from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm. But on Friday, Saturday, every official holiday and any winter day, access is closed 60 minutes earlier.

The official address is 33 Avenue de Maine. The Montparnasse-Bienvenue station is nearby. Stop here 28, 88, 92, 95, 96 buses. On the city train tourists go to the station, which is called – “Montparnasse”. At the foot of the tower is public parking, which is available for a fee.

To enter the elevator booth of the Montparnasse Tower is allowed for 13 euros. For those under 19 years old, inclusive, the rate is 9.5 euros. Up to and including 14 years old 7.5 euros. Persons with disabilities will be allowed to go up for 6 EUR, regardless of age.

business roof


4. Free viewpoint at the Arc de Triomphe.

80% of tourists are people who have to count their money and balance all the time. For them, the free viewing platforms of Paris will prove to be a rational choice. Climb to the top of the arch (50 meters) allows 284 steps. Once at the top, it is easy to see the square, from which the streets diverge in a twelve-ray star. You can interrupt the sightseeing and photographing the surroundings by visiting the souvenir store, located a few steps away from the site. The entrance to the Arch is underground, and there is a ticket office along the way. You can see the Champs-Elysées and the Defence quarter in different directions.

Parisians and visitors to the French capital reach the Arc de Triomphe by getting off at the Charles de Gaulle – Etoile subway station. It is reached by trains on lines 1, 2 and 6. For those who choose the RER express train, take line A. The property does not have a house number. Its address is designated by the two names of the main square – Charles de Gaulle and the Star.

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Where to go in Paris

Arc de Triomphe

5. Arab Peace Institute

From the panoramic area of the site, the islands of Cité and Saint-Louis are clearly visible. People will also enjoy the spectacle of the Saint-Mare quarter, Notre Dame, and the waters carried by the Seine. The stage is raised to a height of 9 floors. The mode of operation is as follows: on Friday access is open until 9:30 pm. Visitors to the viewing complex can visit a comfortable cafe. On the way up it is worth visiting the corridors of the institute, reflecting the past and present of 22 Arab countries.

The institute is located on rue Fosse-Saint-Bernard, 1. From the metro stations Jussy and Cardinal Lemoine you have to walk 10 minutes. At the nearest stops you can get off the buses 24, 63, 87, 89.

Climbing up is free. For the entrance to the museum itself you pay 8 euros. The cost of visiting specific exhibitions and expositions should be specified additionally.


Arab World Institute

6. Musée d’Orsay

A stunning feature of this rooftop viewpoint in Paris is that one will have to pass hundreds of prominent paintings on the way up. Those who find themselves at the top will be delighted by the elegant stone columns, railings, and other architectural and structural embellishments. The museum was originally a railroad station, built to an outstanding design. When the profile was changed, its exterior appearance was left unchanged. From above you can see the Seine, its other bank, the Louvre, the Tuileries gardens and the Ferris wheel. Recommend even to choose a sightseeing tour in Paris just with a visit to the Orsay Museum. It stops on Monday. On Thursday it begins at 10 am and ends at 9:45 pm. On Sunday, access is open from 9 am to 6 pm. On other days from 10 am to 6 pm.

On the city map, the museum complex is listed as 1 Legion of Honor Street. The least remote subway station is Solferino. For those inexperienced in navigating Parisian streets, it’s a good idea to head for Boulevard Saint-Germain.

Entrance to the Orsay will open after the payment of 9 euros for adults. Minors and people with disabilities will be admitted without charge.

evening stroll along the Seine

Orsay Museum

7. The rooftops of the Galeries Lafayette and Spring shopping centers

From these viewpoints in Paris overlooking the Eiffel Tower (albeit from afar), you can also see the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, the Pompidou Center, La Défense, the Opéra

Galerie Lafayette occupies the house number 40 on Boulevard Haussmann. Entrances to the building are on either side, which makes life very easy for tourists. Buses 20, 21, 29, 43, 53, 91, 95 go to the right place. Under the ground is required to go to the Route Danten, the Opera or Trinité. The city train gets there on lines A, E. Gallery Spring is located at 64 on the same boulevard.

Access to the top is available without paying a fee.


Lafayette rooftop observation deck.

8. Montmartre Hill

The name shows the essence of the site in a comprehensive way. From any point at the top of the hill there is a lovely view. You can see the dome of the Temple of Peter, the outlying districts, you can also see the Défense.

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The way from the subway stations is not close – so from “Blanche” you have to walk 15 minutes. The address is 35 Rue Chevalier Barré.

Fee for climbing the basilica is 6 EUR. You can climb the hill and see the cathedral from inside without paying more.

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9. Pantheon

  • Description and what to see, details of the visit.

Entrance is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. From early April to early October they add another 30 minutes on top. Climbing is allowed as sessions. Tourists will see the Lycée Henri IV and the tower of Chlodwig attached to it, the church of Saint-Etienne du Mon, Saint-Estache, Notre Dame and the Sorbonne Observatory.

Take the Metro to Cardinal Lemoine station. Passengers of the RER train should get off at the station of the Luxembourg Senate. The address is called the Pantheon Square.

Enter the Pantheon for 8.5 euros, another 2 EUR have to pay extra for climbing.



10. Place du Trocadero

From here you can see the Eiffel Tower more charming than anywhere else. The Palais de Chaillot is also majestic. Streets radiate in different directions.

The subway trains take lines 6 and 9. Buses go on lines 22, 30, 63, 72. The river streetcar also goes there. The address is called the Trocadero Square.

You do not have to pay for the visit.

Eiffel Tower View

View from the square

11. hotels in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower

One of the most successful by location and panoramic view hotels in Paris is Changri-La .

The establishment is located at 10 Avenue D’Iéna, 16th arrondissement: Passy, 75016. It is very easy to reach, it is in the center, 500 meters from the river Seine, and the 16th arrondissement has trendy boutiques, restaurants and streets for evening strolls. Why do we recommend it? If you are going for a romantic getaway for two, a dinner in the hotel restaurant is the best way to spend an evening here. The rooms are cozy and have a view that you will remember for a lifetime. That is what you came to Paris for, isn’t it?

Room price is not small, but the received emotions are much more important than money. A night will cost from 65 thousand rubles. Book a hotel.

Paris hotels with a view of the Eiffel Tower

Viewpoint at the hotel Shangri-La

All viewpoints of Paris on the map

How to save on your trip? Working tiphacks!

  • We recommend searching for the best hotel prices on ROOMGURU . The search engine searches among all the hotel databases on the internet, even from giants like Booking, and compares prices. If you like to use your smartphone, the Lodging Search app is a must. It’s very convenient to open your options upon arrival and book immediately.
  • Advantageous to insure your health and life while traveling will help service TRIPINSURANCE, the search engine shows the results of all major insurance companies. You need to choose only the most favourable option, but we advise you not to save on your health!
  • Airfare? We advise you to use AVIASALES, it is still the no.1 search engine among independent travelers.

My name is Sergei, and I work as a guide in various cities in Europe, Asia, eastern Russia, also work as a manager in a large travel agency. During my travels I have experienced a lot of emotions, learned useful information about rest and prices, saw unique places, about which I hurry to share on the pages of my blog about tourism.

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