There are few things quite like viewing a city from above. From watching cars and pedestrians pass below, to pointing out attractions that seem so small once you’re sky high. There are plenty of places to view Paris from above and this guide showcases some of the obvious as well as lesser-known locations. You can view the various points and more in the Google map below as well as where to eat before or after your visit.

Arc de Triomphe

Although it is not the tallest building in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe boasts one of the best views of Paris because of its prime location. Located at the end of the Champs-Élysées, the twelve avenues departing from the Place Charles de Gaulle (also known as the “Place de l’Étoile) can be viewed from the rooftop. The huge roundabout that surrounds the attraction can seem daunting but fear not, the path to the Arc de Triomphe is actually underground via a clearly signposted tunnel on the Avenue de la Grande Armee side of the circle where you can purchase tickets.

The panoramic view at the top is one of the best in Paris and is best experienced on a clear day or at dusk when the city lights up with the setting of the sun. There are 284 steps to reach the viewing platform. For those who can’t climb the stairs, there is a lift that takes you to the gift shop followed by 40 steps.

Opening Times: 2nd January – 31st March (10am – 10.30pm every day), 1st April – 30th September (10am – 11pm every day), 1st October – 31 December (10am – 10.30pm every day).
Closed: 1st January, 1st May, 8th May (morning), 14th July, 11th November (morning) and 25th December. Last admission 45 minutes before closing time.
Metro: Charles de Gaulle-Etoile

Tickets: Adults €12, Youth from non-EU countries (18 – 25 years old) €5.
Free entry: under 18s, 18-25s from the European Union, no entry fee for all visitors on the first Sunday of the month from 1st November to 31st March.
Paris Museum Pass: Yes

Recommended restaurants nearby: Le Crystal or Le Butcher

View of the Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe

View of the Champs-Élysées from the Arc de Triomphe

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

View of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc de Triomphe

Towers of Notre-Dame Cathedral

If you walk up 422 steps to get to the towers of the Notre-Dame you will find a spectacular view of Paris. Entrance to the cathedral itself is free however tickets are needed for the towers. These can be purchased at interactive terminals located to the left of the main entrance of the cathedral. The terminals allow you to print a paper ticket or enter your mobile number and your visit time will be sent to you via text. When climbing up the stairs, you will first arrive at the gift shop where you have to collect a ticket once handing in your receipt. If you are under 25 and an EU citizen, entry is free for you but you still have to queue at the desk to show your ID and get a free ticket that will allow you to ascend to the top. Once you walk up the remaining steps you will find yourself in the North Tower. A narrow path then leads you to the South Tower where you can view the gargoyles and head inside to view the bell.

Opening Times: 1st April to 30th September (10am – 6.30pm every day – closes at 11pm on Saturdays and Sundays in July and August). 1st October to 31st March (10am – 5.30pm every day). Last admission is 45 minutes before closing time.
Closed: 1st January, 1st May, 25th December.
Metro: Saint-Michel / Cité

Tickets: €10 adults, €8 under 26s from non-EU countries, €8 group price (minimum 20 people)
Free entry: Under 18s, EU citizens under 26 years old
Paris Museum Pass: Yes

Recommended restaurants nearby: Cook’n Saj or Le Wok Saint Germain

View from the Notre-Dame Towers

View from the Notre-Dame Towers

Centre Georges Pompidou

The Pompidou Centre is Paris’ leading modern art museum, displaying works of artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and more. The viewing platform on the sixth floor of the Pompidou Centre offers views of Le Marais with the Scare-Coeur to the East and the Eiffel Tower to the North-West. You can purchase tickets to access the exhibitions in the museum or if you’re just there for the views, you can purchase a ‘View of Paris’ ticket for €5.

Opening Times: Every day except Tuesdays from 11am to 10pm (exhibition areas close at 9pm). Ticket offices close one hour before closing time.
Thursdays until 11 p.m. (only exhibitions on level 6)
Closed: Tuesdays and 1st May
Metro: Châtelet / Rambuteau / Étienne Marcel

Tickets: €14 full price or €11 reduced price (museum and exhibition entry), €5 view of Paris ticket
Free entry: Under 18s, EU + EEA citizens between 18-25 years old (viewing platform and museum entry only. Exhibition entry is at a reduced fare). On the first Sunday of every month, admission to the museum, the View of Paris and the Galerie des enfants is free for everyone.
Paris Museum Pass: Yes

Recommended restaurants nearby: Osè African Cuisine or take a walk to Rue de Paradis for a falafel pitta from Chez Hanna. If you’re looking for something sweet, head to Glace Bachir for Lebanese inspired ice cream.

View from the Centre Georges Pompidou

View from the Centre Georges Pompidou

Musee d’Orsay

The Musee d’Orsay is one of the most famous museums in Paris with the works of Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir showcased in the rooms of the museums. If you head to the fifth floor, you’ll catch a view of the Louvre and the Scare-Coeur from the window. Behind the face of the clock in the restaurant on the fifth floor, you can also get a glimpse of the Sacre-Coeur.

Opening Times: 9.30am-6pm every day except Mondays. Late night closure on Thursdays at 9.45pm. Last tickets sold at 5pm (9pm on Thursdays).
Closed: Mondays, 1st May and 25th December
Metro: Solférino

Tickets: €12 full rate, €9 18-25 non-EU citizens and for everyone from 4.30pm daily (except Thursdays where it’s €9 from 6pm).
Free entry: Everyone on the first Sunday of each month, under 18s, EU citizens aged 18-25, disabled visitors with a guest, unemployed visitors.
Paris Museum Pass: Yes

Recommended restaurants nearby: Cook’n Saj or Le Wok Saint Germain.

View from the from the 5th floor of the Musee d'Orsay

View from the from the 5th floor of the Musee d’Orsay

View from the restaurant on the 5th floor of the Musee d'Orsay

View from the restaurant on the 5th floor of the Musee d’Orsay

Institut du monde arabe

Perhaps a lesser known gem, the ninth floor of the Institut du monde arabe features great views over the city. View the Notre Dame, La Seine, Ile de Cité and more from the terrace. There is also a Lebanese restaurant called Le Zyriab on the same floor if you want to grab a drink and enjoy the view (we haven’t checked the halal status of the restaurant).

Opening Times: 10am to 6pm, Tuesdays to Sundays.
Closed: Mondays.
Metro: Cardinal Lemoine

Tickets: N/A
Free entry: Yes
Paris Museum Pass: Yes

Recommended restaurants nearby: Joe Burger

View from the Institut du monde arabe

View from the Institut du monde arabe

Eiffel Tower

Despite it being the highest viewing point in France, the Eiffel Tower isn’t a must visit in our opinion. You have the choice to look over Paris from the second floor or head to the top. Paris’ monuments are visible in detail from the second floor whereas the top is better for a view over the city ranging to the suburbs and outskirts of Paris. Two downsides to the Eiffel Tower as a viewing platform are one; ridiculously long queues during the day to purchase tickets and two; the Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous monuments in Paris but going up the tower to look over the city means you won’t get the Eiffel Tower in your view of the city. Note that all ticket holders need to be there when purchasing tickets for the tower (yes, that means you all have to stand in line). If you visit late in the evening, the queues are much smaller.

Opening Times: 7 July – 1st September 9am – 12:45am (last entry is at midnight for the stairs or lift to the second floor. Last entry is 11pm for the lift to the top). Rest of the year – 9.30am – 6.30pm by stairs, 9.30am to 11.45pm (last entry by lift is 11pm for the second floor or 10.30pm for the top).
Closed: N/A
Metro: Bir-Hakeim

Tickets: 2nd floor via stairs: €10 adult, €5 groups and 12-24 year olds, €2.50 concessions. 2nd floor via lift: €16 adults, €8 groups and 12-24 year olds, €4 concessions. Top floor via stairs and lift: €19 adult, €9.50 groups and 12-24 year olds, €4.80 concessions. Top floor via lift: €25 adults, €12.50 groups and 12-24 year olds, €6.50 concessions.
Note: concessions refers to children aged 4-11 years old or people with disabilities.
Free entry: Under 4’s (children under 4 must be in possession of a ticket for free. Their companions pay the adult individual fare). Free entry for visitors on unemployment benefits (RSA in France) upon presentation of valid certificate (within past 6 months).
Paris Museum Pass: No

Recommended restaurants nearby: Hop on a train and try any of the restaurants in our guide to the best halal restaurants in Paris.

View from the second floor of the Eiffel Tower

View from the second floor of the Eiffel Tower

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

View from the top of the Eiffel Tower

Sacré-Cœur

If you can brave the hilly streets of Montmartre, the view from the top of the Montmartre Hill is one of the best in Paris. If you want to skip walking up the hill, take the funicular using your metro pass. Visitors have the option to climb to the dome of the Sacré-Cœur for a 360 degree view over Paris. On a clear day, the panoramic view is incredible. Access to the dome is outside the basicila on the left but be warned – there are over 300 steps and no lift!

Opening Times: The Basilica is open every day from 6am to 10.30pm. The dome is open every day from 8.30am to 8pm (May to September) and 9am to 5pm (October to April).
Closed: N/A
Metro: Anvers, Pigalle, Abbesses.

Tickets: Joint ticket to dome and crypt €8 adults, €5 ages 4–16, free under 4.
Free entry: Yes (for the Cathedral for all). Children under 4 get free entry to the dome.
Paris Museum Pass: No

Recommended restaurants nearby: Hop on a train and try any of the restaurants in our guide to the best halal restaurants in Paris.

View from the Sacré-Cœur

View from the Sacré-Cœur

Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

A seemingly unknown viewpoint in Paris is the roof terrace of the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann. Giving the visitor a view over Paris, particularly over Haussmannian buildings, monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré Coeur can also be seen.

Opening Times: Every day 9.30am to 7.30pm.
Closed: N/A
Metro: Chaussée d’Antin La Fayette, Trinité – d’Estienne d’Orves, Strasbourg – Saint-Denis

Tickets: N/A
Free entry: Yes, for all
Paris Museum Pass: N/A

Recommended restaurants nearby: Le Petit Gourmet

View from Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

View from Galeries Lafayette Haussmann

Place du Trocadero

Did you even visit Paris if you didn’t get a touristy shot of the Eiffel Tower from Place du Trocadéro? This area is usually packed with crowds but it’s a great place to see the Eiffel Tower in all its glory, especially in the evenings where on the hour, every hour, it sparkles with golden lights for five whole minutes. Expect to see lots of selfie sticks!

Opening Times: All day, every day
Closed: N/A
Metro: Trocadero

Tickets: N/A
Free entry: Yes
Paris Museum Pass: N/A

Recommended restaurants nearby: Hop on a train and try any of the restaurants in our guide to the best halal restaurants in Paris.