Around the globe, Paris is considered to be the city of love or—in French—“la ville de l’amour”. Not only is it perceived to be extraordinarily romantic to visit but also—internationally—people are excited to encounter its well-known cultural beauty, taste the celebrated French cuisine, and explore the “authentic” Parisian life by walking around the city’s hidden streets and corners.
Nevertheless, why not take a moment to enjoy the city of Paris from above while exploring? Here are the best spots to do that, aside from the mainstream tourist attractions!
For those interested in combining it with other major visits, look here: La Ville Lumière: Where to see Paris from Above.
Let's get started:
33 rue Piat
Found in Belleville, on the right bank of the river Seine and in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, this street borders the Parc de Belleville. This point is quite magical: right in front of a descending stairwell and under an iron arc surrounded by lush trees, you can get a uniquely beautiful view of a plethora of colorful houses with a background of the city where the Eiffel Tower is easily distinguishable. After enjoying the view, I prompt you to take a walk in the park—it is wonderful.
Photo Credits: parislightsup.com
Rue du Mont Cenis Staircase
Except for the magical view, one can get from the famous Sacré-Cœur—or the stairs right in front of the church—that I mentioned above, Montmartre is characterized by several spots from which the whole of Paris is visible. One of the best is the Rue du Mont Cenis staircase. At the top of the hill and close to the Place du Tertre—with all the cute restaurants and multiple artists creating their works—the view from this street justifies all the walking you need to do to get there!
Photo Credits: stock.adobe.com
Terrace of Galeries Lafayette (Haussmann)
Most likely, you’ve already heard about the biggest in Europe upmarket department store chain. Even though nowadays, there are galleries all over France, the first one to be founded was built in the 9th arrondissement of Paris on Boulevard Haussmann. Thankfully for you, on the upper floor of that Galleries Lafayette store, there is a terrace that has opened its doors to the public for free. On the rooftop, there is also a restaurant bar, prompting people to take a break and enjoy. Just a reminder: the rooftop is open from 10:00 to 20:00 from Monday to Saturday, and from 11:00 to 20:00 on Sundays.
Photo Credits: haussman.gallerieslafayette.com
Printemps (Haussmann)—7e Ciel Rooftop
Similar to Galleries Lafayette, Printemps on Boulevard Haussmann has recently opened a rooftop for the public as well. Printemps is another famous French department store chain. Again, open from 10:00 to 20:00 from Monday to Saturday, and from 11:00 to 20:00 on Sundays, La Terrasse du 7ème Ciel offers sitting space where you can enjoy drinks.
Photo Credits: doitinparis.com
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont—Temple de la Sybille
This beautiful park lies in the 19th arrondissement of the city and is open daily from 07:00-20:00. Comprised of lakes, waterfalls, bridges that lead to a small island in the middle of the park, and hills, this natural paradise is made for the people. On warm days, the park is filled with families, friends, and couples who are looking for a place to relax, have a picnic, walk, or play. Temple de la Sybille—a 19th-century roman-style monument—is further found there and offers exclusive views of Paris. Although it might feel quite a strain climbing to its top, it’s worth it!
However, unfortunately as of January 2023, access to the temple is closed due to safety concerns. Please search the website if you’re planning on visiting it to confirm it is open to the public again.
Photo Credits: theculturetrip.com
Memorizing the City
Unfortunately, even a plethora of pictures does not compensate for the beauty of la ville lumière. Nevertheless, what if I told you that I discovered a way to bring a piece of Paris “home”?
Toit de Paris—a handcrafted artwork, made in France from recycled Parisian roof zinc sheets—has become the topic of discussion in multiple French TV shows and national press articles, including BFM PARIS, France 2, La Stampa, and Le Parisien. Being totally sustainable and elegantly decorative, its design offers a unique portrayal of Parisian maps on authentic French rooftop material.
If you’re interested, it is readily available at the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Musée Carnavalet, and obtainable through the company’s website: https://en.toitdeparis.com/.
So, if you are on a budget and/or have some days to spend in Paris, now you know where to go for the best views of the city from above while walking around it!