The Best Views in Paris

Even born and bred Parisians find the City of Light takes their breath away, with some of the best views in Paris not necessarily at the highest altitudes. Luxury hotels, trendy Paris bars, and historic department stores offer some of the most impressive scenery, while seemingly banal playgrounds and mundane markets also provide picture-perfect Paris views.

Quai de Valmy
The location for the most charming scenes in the movie Amélie, this once-forgotten neighborhood is now a destination for the young and fun-loving. As soon as the weather turns warm, picnickers line the paths along this 19th-century waterway, watching bridges rise and turn to allow barges to pass. Shopping, food, drink, and diversions also abound here: Artazart (83 Quai de Valmy) is recognized as one of the best design bookstores in Europe, while Le Comptoir Général, just across the bridge, offers live music and cheap drinks. Chez Prune has one of the city’s most popular terraces for enjoying a glass of something refreshing and a chance to watch Paris go by.
Place Georges-Pompidou, 75004 Paris, France
The Centre Pompidou, France‘s national museum of modern art, led the way for steel-and-glass buildings in the 1970s. Now the museum leads the way in modern art with its extraordinary collection, currently the world’s second largest. Masterpieces include Pablo Picasso’s Parade and—one of my favorites—Tamara de Lempicka’s Young Girl in Green. Go for the museum, but check out the public library and the view of Paris that becomes more and more impressive as the museum’s escalators rise from floor to floor. Spot the Eiffel Tower and Sacré-Coeur (and perhaps a street entertainer or two with a gawking audience of kids) from the sprawling roof terrace.
75006 Paris, France
On sunny days, Parisians head for the Luxembourg Garden, built by Marie de’ Medici in 1611 and modeled after the Boboli Gardens in her native Florence. In addition to the magnificent Medici Fountain, there are more than 100 statues arranged around the garden’s 20 hectares (50 acres), which encompass both formal French and English gardens. Here you’ll find chess players, puppeteers, children sailing tiny boats on the octagonal pool and sometimes a free concert in the gazebo.
1 Rue du Pont Neuf, 75001 Paris, France
Kong restaurant is one of the stylish and trendies places in Paris. Its glass rooftop on the second floor allow the diners to overlook Paris’ lights at night. Very hip and trendy location, which makes the night in Paris very magical. Some of you might recognize the place from one of ‘Sex and the City’ final episodes. Make sure to make reservations for your special night.
40 Boulevard Haussmann
Galeries Lafayette Haussmann is worth a visit if only to stand under its magnificent glass dome. The family business has survived as a one-stop-shopping hub for five generations, thanks to steady innovation and an emphasis on high fashion and design. Shoppers appreciate its easy VAT refund policy. There are also multiple restaurants, a rooftop terrace with stunning city views and a cultural space for rotating art exhibitions.
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