As much as Paris is all about the beautiful little details, the city doesn’t lose an ounce of charm when it is admired as a whole. For some reason, no one seems able to get enough of those perfect Parisian views.

Olof Grind

Whether it’s the spanning city vistas from the timeless stairs of Montmartre, the lovely Parc des Buttes Chaumont, the newly discovered (for me, at least) terrace at L’Institut du Monde Arabe, the top floors of the Galeries Lafayette and Printemps, Paris always manage to make my jaw drop a little when I see it from above.


Paris’s panoramas have played a supporting role in countless movies, fairy tales, and historical events, and have become unforgettable for many of us. How many film sets and design campaigns haven’t used the Place du Trocadero as a backdrop at one time or another? Savvy dream-weavers understand that if you want to get the essence of Paris in one shot, you go for the views.

Sara Berger

One might even go so far as to say that the views of Paris are almost as iconic as the monuments that populate them. On my first trip to Paris, I was just as eager to lay my eyes on the Arc de Triomphe as I was to see the view from the top.


When I stopped by the Institut du Monde Arabe for the first time, I actually skipped the museum visit (oops!) and went straight to the top floor to enjoy the view from their gorgeous rooftop terrace.

Carin Olsson

To my delight, the city continues to take advantage of its best vantage points. And for those, like me, who consider the view on their plate to be just as important as their view from it, I can recommend a few wonderful foodie perches: le Ciel de Paris on the Tour Montparnasse’s 56th floor, where you can have a three-course meal among the clouds; Hôtel Meurice’s rooftop terrace, which is perfect for sipping a glass of champagne while keeping an eye on all of Paris between the Jardin des Tuileries and the Eiffel Tower; and lunch at Georges at the Centre Pompidou, where you can see all the way to the Sacré-Cœur.


No matter the season, weather, or time of the day, I’m always on the hunt for stunning perspectives over this magical city. Do you have a favorite Parisian view? Please share!


Related links:

  • If you want to enjoy Parisian views while sipping on a cocktail, BBC Travel has some great suggestions
  • Looking for more restaurants with a great view over Paris? Girls Guide to Paris shares a few tips

Written by Carin Olsson for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.


Carin Olsson

Carin Olsson left both her job and family back in Sweden to pursue her longtime dream of moving to Paris. A big passion for food, sweets, the city itself and photography resulted in her blog, Paris in Four Months, where she shares her time in the city of light.


  1. The 360 degree view from the dome of The Pantheon is spectacular! It was a free guided tour up through the rafters to the dome. One can see the layers of the city in its rooftops from that vantage point.

  2. My fave views so far are definitely the rooftop of les Galéries Lafayette and the top of the Tour Montparnasse – no need to even go to the resto….
    The view from Sacré Coeur doesn’t do it for me – too much ‘industrial sights’ and too far from the real stuff. I did however like and appreciate the view from some friends’ balcony – at the one’s family we were about on eye-height of the restaurant of the ET; at the others we could just sort of reach out and touch it… (both have moved away sadly…, the friends, not ET!)

  3. I enjoy many of the views shown above. Personally, I don’t like to get too high. The roof of La Samaritaine is perfect. You get the city view, but also a glimpse into the windows, courtyards and rooftops around you. And of course, both banks of the Seine. While the top of Montmartre has some great scenes, the perspective of the city itself is a bit too remote for me. I also enjoy the top of the Parc des Buttes Chaumont.

  4. I like the view of the Left Bank from Notre Dame, in particular the church of St Julien le Pauvre and its little park. From that vantage point, you really see the contrast between the neat rows of Haussmann-style buildings and the remaining medieval architecture.

  5. there are some nice views from the T2 tramline, the Grande Arche at la Defense, Mont-Valérien (the view from the American Cemetary is good) and the bluffs at St Germain-en-Laye (you can see all of Paris from there)

  6. Every morning I go for a run along the Canal Saint Martin and will often head up to Parc de Buttes Chaumont. Usually I have the look out to myself and can stand and take in the view across Paris to Sacre Coeur all on my own. I feel as if I have Paris to myself!
    Another great view (and an interesting perspective) is from Parc de Belleville. The grand monuments of Paris suddenly seem so much closer together from this eastern perspective and it gives you an entirely different understanding of the layout of the city.

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