Paris. Ornate buildings, cute bistros, flaky croissants, cobblestone streets, cafe cremes and early mornings, luscious gardens, red wine with lunch, picnics and people watching.
You’ll never have to work hard to convince me to visit the City of Light.
As cliche as it is, visiting the Eiffel Tower is always one of my favorite parts of visiting Paris. On my first trip, we went once at night to see the sparkling light show (happens every hour), and once during the day to walk around and take photos.
You can’t escape the Eiffel Tower’s presence in Paris. If it’s your first time visiting, eat a picnic under the tower at the Champ de Mars, or go to the top of the tower for an unforgettable view.
Visiting the tower up-close affords stunning views, but seeing it from other places in the city helps put just how incredible a sight it is in perspective.
5 Places to See the Eiffel Tower in Paris
Place du Trocadero
If you’re short on time when visiting Paris, you’ll be happy to hear seeing the tower from Trocadero won’t take too much of your time. It’s a ~10-15 minute walk from the base of the tower to Trocadero, filled with great views as you cross the river. Or, you can take the metro to the Trocadero stop, hop off, take in the breathtaking view of the tower, and then walk towards it for a close-up.
On a warm day, you’ll spot dozens of people lounging in the grass at Trocadero, soaking up sunshine and classic Parisian views.
Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is part of a line of monuments that extends from central Paris to the cities west, between the Le Lourve and La Defense.
When the Arc was finished in 1836, it was dedicated to those who fought and died for France in both the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars. Look closely at the walls when you’re there- the names of French generals are inscribed on the surfaces.
For €9, we climbed 284 stairs to the top of the monument for iconic city views, including my favorite view of the Eiffel Tower. Arguably the best view in Paris can be found here- we went mid-day, but I’m already planning to go back at sunset on a future visit.
With its construction beginning in the second century, Notre Dame is considered one of the best examples of medieval architecture.
The beauty of the cathedral is incredibly powerful, go early in the morning to get there before the crowds arrive for the best experience. After you visit the inside of the cathedral, head to the side (and plan to wait in line) to see the bell towers. This is a line that’s worth waiting in though, not only is it cool to see the famous gargoyles up close, but you also get a nice view of the city, including the Eiffel Tower. Come prepared though- it’s almost 400 steps to the top.
After you’ve spent time seeing the cathedral, walk over to Saint-Chapelle. It’s a tiny chapel made almost entirely out of stained glass. If there isn’t a line of people outside waiting to get it, you can find it tucked away among the Conciergerie.
Most travelers head to the only hill in Paris to see the Sacré Coeur. Also known as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, it’s one of the world’s most famous catholic churches. The Basilica towers over the rest of the city, offering beautiful views across Paris, and you guessed it- the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
And while, the Basilica is stunning, half the fun of visiting Montmarte is getting lost in the maze of steep side streets.
Montmartre is talked about by Parisians the way true New Yorkers talk about the Village: It’s not what it used to be. Artists who gave the area its fame can’t afford to live there anymore, and now it’s overrun by tourists. As with New York, parts of this are true, but that doesn’t mean the place that nurtured most of the great artists living in France this past century isn’t worth visiting.
A bridge spanning across the Seine, this is the perfect place to watch the sun set with a gorgeous view of the tower. Come ~30 minutes before the sun starts to set for the best spot.
- Parc de Belleville: If you’re visiting Paris during the spring or early fall and have time to spare, wandering this lovely park is a beautiful way to spend a morning
- Printemps: From the terrace of the shopping center, Printemps, you’ll be able to see both the tower and the Sacre-Coeur. Pro-tip: Viewing the tower from Printemps is f-r-e-e
- Hotel Raphael: On a return visit to Paris, I’m planning on visiting the rooftop terrace at Hotel Raphael. Rose covered trellises and the Eiffel Tower looming in the distance? Sounds like a dream
If you’ve been to Paris, where was your favorite view of the Eiffel Tower?