Spend a few minutes roaming around the internet, and you're bound to find numerous lists breaking down the top restaurants, hotels, museums, and crepe stands in Paris. And while I'd love to imagine that a list of the top 5 views in Paris is purely original on my part, I'm sure Google could point you to numerous websites that have come before me. Since I only take a small corner of the internet, and I have you as a captive audience, I'm going to take this opportunity and join the crowd anyway.
If you're looking for a great view in Paris, here's where you go...
5. Tour Montparnasse
I will make a confession...I've never actually been to Tour Montparnasse. I just can't bring myself to set foot in something so ugly and out of place, when there is so much beauty to be found in Paris. As the second tallest building in France, however, the observation deck at Montparnasse is said to offer one of the best views in the City of Lights. Although, some will maintain the view is great because it's the only place in Paris where the tower is not visible.
|This is all that is good about Tour Montparnasse|
4. Sacre Coeur
There are three things you need to be prepared for when visiting the Sacre Coeur. First, you'll need comfortable shoes for hiking up the never ending steps to this beautiful basilica. Next, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for the countless scam artists attempting every trick in the book to separate you from your wallet. Finally, when you reach the top, prepare to be amazed.
|I promise the view is better than this...|
The view from the Sacre Cour is incredible, and perhaps the best place in the city to enjoy a sunset. Unfortunately, on our visits the weather has always been hazy and overcast, taking away some of the view's luster, but it is always worth making the hike.
3. Notre Dame
Taking in the view of Paris from atop Notre Dame cathedral is not for the faint of heart. More specifically, it's not for those which are claustrophobic like me. The staircase leading to the top of the cathedral is narrow, winding, and has steps which, judging by their size, must have been built by the Lilliputians. The discomfort doesn't last for long, however, and eventually leads to one of the best views in Paris. Plus, it allows you to get up-close and personal with the cathedral's gargoyles.
|The wretched Tour Montparnasse ruins another photo...|
2. Eiffel Tower
Some might question how the view from the Eiffel Tower can land anywhere but the #1 spot, but as usual, there's a method to my madness. To state the obvious, the view from the Eiffel Tower is, well, breathtaking. Too dramatic? Maybe...but it's true. One of the most memorable meals of my life was at the tower's Altitude 95, and of course it was the view which stole the show. The Eiffel Tower finds the #2 spot, however, because of one thing...the lines.
|Gotta do it once...that should be enough.|
Getting to the top of the Eiffel Tower requires a huge investment of time, and in my case, patience. It doesn't matter what time of day or year, I can assure you there are thousands of people in the city that day with the same idea. So while the view is incredible, one can bypass the time and stress by taking in one of these other amazing spots. Not to mention that your photos of Paris from here will have one key thing missing....the tower itself.
1. Point of the Ile de Cite
I'm a big fan of quiet places where I can sit, soak in the beauty of my surroundings, and do so without anyone else around to bother me. If I can do so while eating a chocolate eclair, all the better. Just beyond the Pont Neuf on the Ile de Cite lies just such a place.
|The Best Spot in Paris|
Granted, this is not a typical "view" in that you are not high up and able to see for miles on end. Yet with the Seine River on three sides, the Louvre, Musee d'Orsay, and Eiffel Tower in the distance, and few if any tourists, there's good reason why the tip of the Ile de Cite is my favorite view in Paris.
Whether you're up high on the Sacre Coeur, or your down low on the Ile de Cite, there are no shortage of amazing views in Paris. I highly recommend sharing them with someone special, and putting on a dramatic public display of affection.
~Insert Dude-like Closing Here~