Tag Archives: Montparnasse

The Best Places to See the Eiffel Tower

As my train pulled in to the Gare d’Austerlitz station and I set foot in Paris for the first time, I had one thought in my mind: When would I get to see the Eiffel Tower?

I couldn’t go to Paris and miss out on seeing the Eiffel Tower, the city’s begrudgingly adopted icon.

While wandering around Montparnasse, I found myself heading towards the golden dome of Les Invalides. I happened to look to my left and there it was, peeking out from behind a row of trees: 312m of iron. I just wanted to spend all afternoon staring at it. How lucky I was to be in Paris, right next to the Eiffel Tower?

As I tore myself away from the view and began exploring Paris, I realised that I shouldn’t have worried about missing out on seeing the Eiffel Tower. As it’s one of the tallest buildings in Paris, it can be seen from almost anywhere.

If you can see the Eiffel Tower from almost anywhere, where should you go?

Up close

The Eiffel Tower
Seeing the Eiffel Tower up close lets you realise how much work was put in to constructing it

To fully appreciate the Eiffel Tower, it’s best to visit it at ground-level. Look up at the 10100 metric tons of iron above your head, and think about how many components (2.5 million rivets and 18000 metal parts!) the tower is made up of. Gawk at the omnipresent lines of people (be on the lookout for scammers!), and while you’re here, why not climb up the Eiffel Tower?

The Eiffel Tower
Getting right up close to the Eiffel Tower lets you see a different side of the tower

From the Champs de Mars

The Eiffel Tower from the Parc du Champs de Mars
The Eiffel Tower from the Parc du Champs de Mars

The Parc du Champs de Mars is a area of lawn that stretches out between the Eiffel Tower and the École Militaire. It is a popular place for tourists to bring some baguettes and cheese and have a picnic with a backdrop of one of Paris’s most iconic views.

From the Trocadéro

The view of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro
The view of the Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro

Across the Seine from the Eiffel Tower is the Trocadéro. You’ll find plenty of coaches dropping their tour groups off here for photo opps, but don’t be deterred (after all, it is one of the best places for photographs!).

From the Seine

The Eiffel Tower from the Pont de la Concorde
The Eiffel Tower from the Pont de la Concorde

Whether you’re floating down the Seine on a boat cruise or crossing one of the famous bridges of Paris, you can’t miss the hazy view of the Eiffel Tower.

From the Towers of Notre-Dame

The Chimera Gallery
The stryga, one of the chimeras, looks out over the Eiffel Tower from the Chimera Gallery from the Towers of Notre-Dame

While you’re whispering in the ears of the chimeras as they stare wistfully out towards the Eiffel Tower, ask them what they were staring at before the tower was constructed! The view from the towers of Notre-Dame de Paris will give you a sense of just how much taller the Eiffel Tower is than the rest of the cityscape.

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

One of the closer vantage points to the Eiffel Tower, if it’s busy at the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you’ll have to wait (or push your way to the front) to get the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower nestled amongst apartment buildings.

From Montmartre

Glimpsing the Eiffel Tower while wandering around Montmartre
Glimpsing the Eiffel Tower while wandering around Montmartre

Looking out from the top of the Montmartre, you can catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. While it’s too far off to the right to be seen while standing in front of the Sacré-Cœur, the Eiffel Tower reveals itself just as you turn from the Parvis du Sacré-Cœur on to the Rue du Cardinal Guibert.

From the Tour Montparnasse

The Eiffel Tower sparkles
Montparnasse Tower provides the ultimate view of the Eiffel Tower

My favourite view of the Eiffel Tower is from the top of Montparnasse Tower, where you have an unobstructed view of the city skyline and, if you’re there at the right time, the sparkling tower.

Where’s your favourite place in Paris to gaze at the Eiffel Tower? Share it in the comments!

A View Over Paris: From Montparnasse Tower

The French writer Guy de Maupassant reputedly said that the best view of Paris was from the Eiffel Tower, because he could look out over Paris and not have to see the tower itself. Many people hold the same view of Montparnasse Tower (Tour Montparnasse) – the sleek black skyscraper, that looks out of place amongst the older buildings of Paris.

Montparnasse Tower
Montparnasse Tower: a skyscraper consisting of mostly offices. The 56th floor and the terrace are open to visitors.

While I do feel sorry that the tower gets such a bad rap, the truth is that these people are right: the views from the topmost floors of the tower are amazing, and you could spend hours here picking out the landmarks.

Les Invalides from Montparnasse Tower
Les Invalides as seen from Montparnasse Tower

Make sure you get out on the terrace for the best view

Montparnasse Tower is essentially an office building, with the 56th floor turned in to a panoramic viewing area for tourists. From here you can see iconic buildings such as Notre-Dame de Paris, Les Invalides, the Louvre, the Sacré Cœur, the twist of railway lines beyond the Gare Montparnasse and, of course, a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower. There are also interactive panels, a photo exhibition, a gift shop and a café.

While the view from the 56th floor is great, if you want to take photos you have to deal with potential glare and windows smudged with fingerprints. If you turn right as you walk in, you will find a staircase that will take you up on to the terrace and allow you to look over Paris without trying to shoot around bars and through windows.

Eiffel Tower at twilight
Go to Montparnasse Tower just before sunset to see the sky change from daylight to twilight

Time your visit for sunset

My tip for visiting Montparnasse Tower? Go an hour before sunset. That way, you can enjoy the view in daylight, then watch as twilight settles over the city and the yellow glow of the streetlights appear, and then once the sky has darkened you can catch the ultimate view of the Eiffel Tower as it sparkles in the night.

The Eiffel Tower sparkles
Montparnasse Tower provides the ultimate view of the Eiffel Tower

Plan to spend at least an hour taking in the views here and to fully enjoy the experience!

Do you have a favourite view of Paris? Share it in the comments!

What you need to know:

  • Montparnasse Tower is located across the road from the Gare Montparnasse and can be reached by Metro at stop Montparnasse Bienvenüe
  • Further details can be found at the Montparnasse Tower website