Paris is undoubtedly a beautiful city. Strolling through the streets, you will enjoy the beautiful Haussmanian buildings and cobbled pavements. From shop windows to people to art to food, everything’s beautiful at eye level. But Paris’ true beauty must be viewed from above. The city knows this, which is why they’ve constructed tall structures at strategic locations, so you can enjoy looking down at the city that looks up.
1. Eiffel Tower
With Champs de Mars to one side, Trocadero at the other, you know the view’s going to be stunning even before you reach the top. But from well over 1000 feet high, the view from the Eiffel literally takes your breath away. You may recognise some of the buildings in the distance, buildings that looked so towering when you stood before them, but so small and puny now that you’re here. You’ll see the bright lights of cars snaking through the streets, boats floating leisurely down the Seine, and all of it looks so miniature, it almost seems surreal. Try to get there at sunset, so you can enjoy the best of both – daylight and nighttime. The first Climb up to the summit, and brace yourself as strong winds make your feet unsteady. Notice the beacon as it swirls around the city like it’s trying to catch criminals in its glare.
Level one and two have shops and restaurants, and there’s the summit with the champagne bar. Entrance to the summit by elevator is open from 9 am to midnight and costs 14,00€ per adult.
Tour Eiffel, Avenue Gustave Eiffel 75007 Paris, France Tel: 0892 70 12 39
2. Notre Dame Tower
Located right in front of the geographic centre of Paris, the Notre Dame tower standing at Ile de la Cite, overlooks the Seine, but that’s just the start. Climb the 387 steps up the narrow fan shaped stairwell, using one of the small windows as a breather, preparing yourself for what you’re about to witness. Once you’re up there though, you’re sure to be torn between wanting to take in the beautiful aerial view of the city and gaping in awe at the stunning gargoyles in their strange poses.
The entrance to the tower is located on the outside of the Cathedral, costs 8,50 € per adult, and is open everyday from 10 am to 6:30 pm in the summers and 5:30 pm in the winters.
Tour Notre Dame, 6 bis Rue du Cloître Notre-Dame, 75004 Paris, France Tel: +33 1 53 10 07 00
3. Sacre Coeur
Magnificent enough to inspire a painting by Renoir, the view from the Sacre Coeur Basilica is truly outstanding. Sitting atop a sacred hill in Montmartre, the Basilica offers a fun ambiance as you look onto one of the most popular views of the city that’s been featured in several movies. Listen to the street musicians and sing along if you like, admire the struggling artists, avoid the scamsters and enjoy the vibe.
You can climb up the long and scenic way, or take a shortcut on the funicular and reach the dome from 9 am to 7 pm.
Basilique du Sacre Coeur de Montmartre, 35, Rue du Chevalier de la Barre, 75018, Paris http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com
4. Centre Georges Pompidou
There’s as much to see outside of the Pompidou as there is within. One of Paris’ most controversial structures, has its innards on the outside, and is quite a sight itself. But the views that it offers span from looking over the Place Pompidou, and stretches further across Les Halles and the Louvre. You can even catch a glimpse of the Eiffel in the distance. To get the the vantage point on the top levels, take the escalator (or if you must, the elevator) from the second floor. Marvel at the escalator ride through the tube like structures you’ve noticed whilst in line to buy tickets.
Entrance to the Georges Pompidou costs €11 for the permanent museum, €13 for the Museums and Exhibits and just €3 for the Panoramic View. Timings are from 11 am to 22 pm, closed on Tuesdays.
Centre Pompidou, 19 Rue Beaubourg 75004 Paris, France
http://www.centrepompidou.fr/fr/Le-centre-pompidou +33 1 44 78 47 99
5. Montparnasse Tower
Watch the city down below from the Panoramic terrace on the 56th floor of Paris’ only skyscraper. It faces the Eiffel from its central location, and the 360 degree views it offers can be accessed via a superfast 60 kmph elevator. From within the air conditioned and heated comfort of high plate glass windows, you can grab a bite or a drink and observe the best that Paris has to offer- gardens, avenues, rooftops and more.
Entrance to the tower costs € 13 and is open from 9:30 am to 10:30 pm everyday.
Tour Montparnasse, 33 Avenue du Maine 75015 Paris, France
+33 1 45 38 52 56 http://www.tourmontparnasse56.com
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