Go to content Go to menu

View on the roofs of Paris


0.jpgWhen sightseeing different places we like to look up for the occasions of the views from the birds perspective, we climb up different towers, churches, hills. We are driven by the will to overview the scenery, to have the feeling that we dominate the whole city, that it is under our feet, that everything else around us is so tiny.

Many sights or places in Paris offer the possibility to see from another viewpoint the city architecture, geometric solution of its streets and wide boulevards, laying out of the sights as key points. We get the occassion to have in front of us a life map with a permanent motion of millions of people, cars, changing colours of the sky and trees. There are many magical views on numerous roofs of Paris, its sights from various apartments, offices, but there are also the views which are accessible to the tourists, and it’s not only from the Notre-Dame cathedral, the top of the Arch de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower. Of course when visiting Paris for the first time nobody can miss the the most famous view from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
In the city centre, not far away from the Châtelet square the modern Ge2.jpgorges Pompidou Center, called also Beaubourg offers a wide view on Paris, many sights, the Notre-Dame cathedral, Sacre Coeur basilica, and when the weather is nice even La Défense. For 3 euro you can buy a ticket which will enable you to get with the escalator in the glass „tubes“ of this coulourful funny building to its last floor. There is also a restaurant and a coffee place, which fascinates with the red long roses on grey tables and among all those red roses you have a view on Notre-Dame, neverending roofs, terraces and fasades of Parisian buildings.
Galleries Lafayette
A terrasse on the top of the world-famous shopping center Galleries Lafayette 1.jpgon boulevard Haussmann offers a free breathtaking view on the close building of Opera House Garnier and Paris with the Eiffel tower. The shopping mall Galleries Lafayette was built in 1894 with the aim to satisfy a demand of the small bourgeoisie around the Opera house and the Saint Lazare station. In 1912 there was built a new shopping mall with 5 floors, balconies and a big dome in Byzantine style.On the 6th floor of „Galleries Lafayette“ there is a canteen type restaurant „Le Lafayette Café“, a good place for the tourists to have a lunch for reasonable price and at the same time with a nice view. Restaurant is open from 9h30 till 8 p.m. (on Thursday till 9 p.m.), so it is up to you if you will enjoy the view on Paris at breakfast, lunch or with an ice-cream and coffee or tea. The lovers of the Japanese food get the view on the Opera House and surrounding Paris from the restaurant « Les délices de Kyoto » on the 6th floor.
Institut du Monde Arabe (Arabic Institute)
On the bank of the Seine river behind the Saint-Louis island there is a building3.jpg of the Institute of Arabic countries, an impressive interesting building which holds different exhibitions of the artists from Arabic countries. There are various permanent exhibitions, a huge bookstore with the literature of Arabic countries. For free you can take a lift to go to the 9th floor which will offer you a beautiful view on Notre-Dame, Seine river and again numerous fasades and roofs of Paris. On the terasse of the 9th floor there is also a coffee place and a restaurant. However, the prices are quite high (coffee around 6 euro, fruit juice 9 euro), but you can enjoy the view even without going to the coffee place or a restaurant.
Hotel Raphael
A terrace of the fancy hotel Raphael, not far away from Champs-Elysées, at 4.jpgthe metro stop Kléber offers probably the most fascinating view on the Arch de Triomphe, the Eiffel tower and the roofs of Paris. The coffee place and its terrace is open after 4 p.m. and only when the weather is nice. A good plan is to come in the so-called „happy hours“ – between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., when the prices of drinks are considerably cheaper. The prices of drinks are around 6 euro. Wooden tables are cozily hidden among the green plants and flowers and you are dreaming looking at the surrounding city through the levander flowers. The Arch de Triomphe very close and you have the whole 360° view of Paris.
„Hôtel de Ville“ – the main Parisian townhall is also a place in the cente5.jpgr of Paris with a beautiful view on the Seine river, on the statue of Etienne Marcel. Visiting of the townhall has to be planned in advance. It is free and it is organized twice a month in the summer months, you have to reserve in advance by phone.
A terrace of the coffee place of the impressionists museum „Musée d’Orsay“ offers also an unforgettable view. However, at present it is under reconstruction and so it is closed to the public.
When people change to tiny colourful ants, when we look on thousands of roofs and fasades of Paris, we realize our littleness in huge Paris, but at the same time we are happy that we are part of this beautifully complex puzzle.
Maria Danthine-Dopjerova, Paristep

Preview of picture in folder Paris from above | Jan Schinko jr.