Although just about every part of Paris is scenic, there are a few spots that offer the best views over (and fantastic photos of) the City of Light—if you know where to find them. Here are some of the best places to find panoramic views of Paris.
The Eiffel Tower Summit
Take the elevator up to the Eiffel Tower observation deck to see an unobstructed 360-degree view of Paris that makes it look like a living map. A nighttime trip to the top can be just as atmospheric as a visit during the day.
Montparnasse Tower Observation Deck
The tallest structure in France, the Tour Montparnasse hides a semi-secret observation level. A trip to the the 56th floor costs less than a visit to the Eiffel Tower, involves shorter lines, and boasts a lovely view that has one major thing the Eiffel Tower summit doesn't—a panorama that actually includes Paris' most famous tower.
The Seine River
Admire Paris' World Heritage–listed riverbanks and major sights from the water on a Seine boat cruise. A hop-on, hop-off ticket lets you visit the attractions that most interest you on your own schedule, while a lunch cruise allows you to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.
The Arc de Triomphe Terrace
From the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Élysées to the iconic rooftops of Paris, the views from the Arc de Triomphe are sweeping. Reach the arch via the city's underground walkway to avoid trying to dodge the traffic at street level.
The Notre Dame Cathedral Towers
Perch yourself among the somber gargoyles at the Notre Dame's famous bell towers for a splendid view of Paris. A skip-the-line ticket ensures you'll spend your time admiring the view at the top instead of waiting for it at the bottom.
One of the best-kept secrets of this quirky inside-out museum is on the fifth floor in the form of a truly spectacular viewpoint. You'll see the stellar Sacre Coeur, seemingly far away on its stately hill.