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Sunil
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Paris

Best views of Paris for dates?

My fiancee and I are taking a little trip to Paris in June and I'd like some ideas of places where the views will really wow her. It would be nice to even find a place where we could bring a bottle of wine and have a picnic while looking over the city.  It'll be both of our first time there, so we know nothing about the layout of the city and could use some pointers! 


24 Answers

top answer by
Courtney from Los Angeles

Oooh, so many good ones!!! Just a warning that the laws regarding the public consumption of alcohol vary a lot depending on where you are in the city but generally speaking, if you don't get wildly drunk and start acting nuts, it's fine. Even if it is prohibited, it's been my experience that at worst you'll be asked to stop (although I've never had that happen). That out of the way, here are a few of my favorites! 

The  Pont des Arts always has tons of people on it having picnics and it's a lot of fun. It's also the bridge where people leave padlocks to "lock up their love" so it can get crowded. I've seen some cool street performers there, too which can really add to the atmosphere!

 Tour Montparnasse -  – the running joke about the Montparnasse Tower is that it’s the best way to get a great view of the city because at least you don’t have to look at it. It’s definitely one of the ugliest buildings ever constructed in this or any other city but it is a great place to get a 360° view. While you can't have a picnic here, their restaurant, Ciel de Paris is very romantic and a great place for a date. 

Eiffel Tower - this is one of the few tourist attractions I honestly love so I can’t not tell you to go there even if it's an obvious choice. The view is sensational, although personally, I always find that it’s so high up that it’s actually hard to see what’s going on down below.  The shame of it is that you find yourself looking for the Eiffel Tower when you’re up there, or at least I do, and it always seems weird to me that it’s no where to be found. Also, it can be very windy and very crowded up there and the lines can be incredibly long. All that said, the views really are pretty incredible. As far as the picnicing and wine go, you have two options--you can set up a picnic at the base of the Tower which a lot of people do--there's plenty of grass and even benches if you prefer those. That said, that part of Paris doesn't officially allow you to drink alcohol outside a restaurant or bar (it's a bit of a nightmare trying to sort out which parts of Paris allow this and which don't) but they generally look the other way or just ask you to get rid of it. If you want to splurge a bit, have a drink at one of the tower restaurants like the Jules Verne or the Champagne Bar which is at the top (but waaaay cheaper). Just make sure you make reservations for JV!!! 

Jules Verne:

Champagne Bar:

Basilique du Sacre-Coeur – in the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that I am not a fan of the Montmartre area. If find it incredibly dirty and almost overly Bohemian if that makes sense. While this is not my personal favorite way to get a view of the city, there’s no question that it’s still a great view so I have to put it on the list. It's also probably the best place to have a picnic, although keep in mind a lot of people do this here so it can get crowded. At least the view from here is free so even if you hate it it’s not like you had to pay for it.

Montmartre:

If you're in the mood to see a little green, the scenery at the  Parc des Buttes Chaumont nearby is extraordinary and a great place for people watching real live Parisians relatively undiluted by tourists. It's an absolutely perfect place for a romantic picnic and a great way to get away from it all while still somehow being in the center of it all if that makes sense. 

Musée d'Orsay – I’ve never understood why the view from the terrace at the Musee d’Orsay is still something of a view secret. It looks out over the Seine and a plum area of the right bank. Personally I like it even better than the views from tall buildings because the lack of height makes it a lot easier to see what’s really going on. Obviously, as a museum, they're not going to let you set up a picnic, but you could have a drink or two beforehand in one of the museum's restaurants, both of which are phenomenal.

From the bridges – some of my favorite views in the city can be found on the bridges that dot the Seine. The Pont Louis Philippe is one of my favorites...

...as is the Pont de l'Archevêché.

There is a GREAT view from the  Square du Vert Galant which is this funny little park at the...

...tip of the  Île de la Cité.

The view of the Seine from here is so beautiful it always makes me a little teary. This is a great place for a picnic and a pretty easy place to get away with having a little wine outdoors. 

The department stores Galeries Lafayette and...

Printemps both have excellent views if you happen to be there, although neither is particularly high up (not many places in Paris are).

If you want a really good view of the Eiffel Tower your best bet is the Place du Trocadéro...

or Palais de Chaillot right across the way. You’ll get a full view of the fountains and the grounds. There are a few restaurants there but they’re all wildly overpriced so I would either plan not to eat there or to just get a drink.

Finally, I would try the Panthéon in the Latin Quarter

Latin Quarter:

As a tourist attraction I think it’s actually a bit of a snoozer (although Foucault's Pendulum and the tombs downstairs are kind of cool), but the view from the top is nice. The only thing that’s a bit of a pain is that you not only have to climb up but you have to wait for the guide to climb with you both up and down.



 




Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pont des Arts (attraction)
  2. Tour Montparnasse (attraction)
  3. Ciel de Paris (restaurant)
  4. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  5. Jules Verne (restaurant)
  6. Champagne Bar (attraction)
  7. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
  8. Montmartre (attraction)
  9. Parc des Buttes Chaumont (attraction)
  10. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  11. Pont Louis Philippe (attraction)
  12. Pont de l'Archevêché (attraction)
  13. Square du Vert Galant (attraction)
  14. Île de la Cité (attraction)
  15. Galeries Lafayette (attraction)
  16. Printemps (attraction)
  17. Place du Trocadéro (attraction)
  18. Palais de Chaillot (attraction)
  19. Panthéon (attraction)
  20. Latin Quarter (attraction)
  21. Foucault's Pendulum (attraction)
26 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Robin from Libertyville

Dear Sunil,

The view from the top of the Eiffel Tower is wonderful.  Also, if you walk the Champs-Élysées and end up at the Arc de Triomphe, you will find the views from the top amazing.  Also, the Tour Montparnasse has a magnificent view.  I am not sure about the restrictions for bringing in your own beverages however.  The climb to the top of the Arc de Triomphe is long on narrow, circular steps.  At the Eiffel Tower you can purchase drinks and sit or stand along the railing.  Allow time to stand in line along with all of the other visitors.  The evening is the best time to go up to the top of all three because the sunset is so beautiful.  *My favorite is actually the Arc de Triomphe.  Usually less crowded and the views are stupendous.

Have fun!

Robin


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. Champs-Élysées (attraction)
  3. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  4. Tour Montparnasse (attraction)
10 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Katie from Erie

For something different, There's a cool view of the area right around the Seine from the big window inside of the 2nd floor restaurant of the Musée d'Orsay. You're literally looking out of one of the big circular clock/window things out into one of the oldest and most beautiful parts of Paris. 

People watching at lunchtime is the best in the Jardin du Luxembourg. So many beautiful people, lovely flowers & scenery, just a great place to relax or take a walk.  

I must recommend the Place du Trocadero for a late evening view of the Eiffel Tower. Find out when the Eiffel Tower sparkles and you'll get an amazing view of it from over there.  

Admittedly, the view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe is much better in my opinion than at the top of the Eiffel Tower. There is less of a line to get up there and usually less people on top at any given moment, so it could prove to be a more intimate setting anyways.  

Something else that I really enjoyed doing was taking a ride at night around all of the big Paris landmarks... After dark, you'll understand why it's called the city of lights. 

A great (albeit pricey) restaurant is La Tour d'Argent. Delicious food, definitely the luxurious Parisian experience.  

For the quintessential Parisian experience, there are cafés on every street corner. Sit outside and people watch while you enjoy a little snack, coffee, or a glass of wine. Les Deux Magots and Café de Flore are right across the block from each other and you can just feel the artistic legacy walking by. Check out the awesome people who used to hang out there... Pretty cool. Those along the Champs-Élysées are often a bit touristy, but look in Place Saint-Germain des Prés and Odéon area for the best ones.  

Of course, if you're there for romance, you MUST add a lock to the Pont des Arts.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Musée d'Orsay (attraction)
  2. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  3. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  4. La Tour d'Argent (restaurant)
  5. Les Deux Magots (restaurant)
  6. Champs-Élysées (attraction)
  7. Pont des Arts (attraction)
  8. Jardin du Luxembourg (attraction)
  9. Café de Flore (restaurant)
  10. Place Saint-Germain des Prés (attraction)
  11. Odéon (attraction)
8 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Mikael from Montreal

Hey Sunil,

The best place for that would probably be at the feet of the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, in Montmartre.

As for date places, definitely take your girlfriend to the Pont des Arts (bring a lock, it's a tradition for couples to leave one on the bridge, as a symbol of their love).

You can also go for a picnic on the Canal Saint-Martin.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
  2. Canal Saint-Martin (attraction)
  3. Pont des Arts (attraction)
8 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Dabs from Chicago

Did anyone mention the view from on top of Notre Dame Cathedral?  That's my favorite view in Paris, the gargoyles (technically chimera) make for stunning photo opportunities and the view is amazing.  My 2nd favorite is the Arc de Triomphe where you can see the layout of Paris, the Champs-Élysées and lots and lots of cars jockeying for position.

A great place for a picnic is the Champ de Mars — Tour Eiffel, right near the Eiffel Tower.  You can't picnic on the grass in a lot of Paris' parks but you can here.

Another view I don't see mentioned is from the top of the Institut du Monde Arabe, we just happened by it because it was on the Paris Museum Pass


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Notre Dame Cathedral (attraction)
  2. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  3. Champs-Élysées (attraction)
  4. Champ de Mars — Tour Eiffel (attraction)
  5. Institut du Monde Arabe (attraction)
7 thankscomments (3)


answered by
Linda from Belfast

My favourite view spots are:

-Top of the Eiffel Tower (very romantic, albeit most cheesy cliche proposal location!!!)

- Top of the Arc de Triomphe

- Steps outside Sacre Coeur in Montmartre (there is often some buskers playing music here and its beautiful just after dark)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  3. Sacre Coeur (attraction)
  4. Montmartre (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Malcolm from Vancouver

Most French couples take a bottle of wine and sit along the banks of La Seine. A bit of privacy a chance to watch the boats go by.

Champs de Mars under the Eiffel Tower, the gardens of Versailles (although go directly to the garden as you can't bring the bottle into the palace), the steps of Sacre Coeur...

All of Paris can be romantic; the city has a way of making emotions feel much more potent.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. La Seine (attraction)
  2. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  3. Versailles (attraction)
  4. Sacre Coeur (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Mayel from London

The obvious answer is the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur in Montmartre, though Place du Trocadéro is nice too, with a nearby view of the Eiffel tower. Less well known is the hilly Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Enjoy :)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
  2. Place du Trocadéro (attraction)
  3. Parc des Buttes Chaumont (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Phil from London

Sacre Coeur - climb the steps to the top and sit outside the church, then have a walk around Montmartre

Obviously go to the top of the Eiffel Tower


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sacre Coeur (attraction)
  2. Montmartre (attraction)
  3. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Sissy

The view of Paris from the Montmartre in front of the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur is magnificent! Hope you enjoy it!!!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Montmartre (attraction)
  2. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Marnie from Conflans-sur-Anille

Obviously the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe are key places, but you have to queue to take the elevators. Why not just go to Montmartre, to the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, at the top of the steps?


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. Arc de Triomphe (attraction)
  3. Montmartre (attraction)
  4. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)


answered by
François

Not a place for a picnic but if you like lebanese food you can go on top of the " Musee du Monde Arabe". Wonderfull view of Paris at night !


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Musee du Monde Arabe (attraction)
7 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Jessica

The Eiffel Tower has fabulous views, though I imagine that'll be on your list. We also enjoyed the views at Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. It's a beautiful church on a large hill. It just feels very Paris to me. Good luck!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
7 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Violette from Paris

If i had to select one place with a view only i would say Montmartre, near le Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. Because you can eat, (have a cafe, drink...) Place du Tertre and have a nice long walk. It is romantic.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Montmartre (attraction)
  2. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
  3. Place du Tertre (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Michael from Tacoma

Courtney offered several good suggestions, a few of which occurred to me before I read her answer.  Square du Vert Galant is one of my favorite spots in Paris at the western point of the Île de la Cité. The sun sets behind the nearby  Pont des Arts You should be able to have a small picnic at one of the park benches. The square is also a departure point for one of the bateaux mouches, open boats that journey along the Seine. At night, bridges and monuments are illuminated as the boat passes. It's also possible to dine on some of the boats. A bateau mouche trip was good enough for Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in Charade; you might enjoy it too.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pont des Arts (attraction)
  2. Square du Vert Galant (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Yoann

The best place to do that is to go to the stairs right in front of the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur in Montmartre. It's always packed though but still very romantic. And you can bring your bottle of wine. No problem with the cops ;)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
  2. Montmartre (attraction)
5 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Regis from Avignon

Le Mur des "Je t'aime" (the "I Love You" wall), near Place des Abbesses in Montmartre. Great place for love. On the wall, you can find 250 different languages to speak "i love you" ;)


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Le Mur des "Je t'aime" (attraction)
  2. Place des Abbesses (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Aaron from Nottingham

The top of the hill at Montmartre is great! You can see the entire city from here! I was only there briefly, but it's quite far from the center of Paris and I'm not sure about places to take a bottle of wine, sounds like a great idea though! Just beware of the guys that will try and sell you useless stuff or swindle you!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Montmartre (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Jay from Los Gatos

One of the best places for viewing the Eiffel Tower is from a distance on the other side of La Seine at Trocadero, beneath the golden limestone buildings of the Palais de Chaillot.  I'm not sure if it's the ideal place for a picnic, but the view is spectacular.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  2. La Seine (attraction)
  3. Trocadero (attraction)
  4. Palais de Chaillot (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Marta from Lisbon

Hi,

I would say the view from the Sacre Coeur is probably one of the best over Paris. From a more leveled perspective I always love the Luxembourg Garden, it's really lovely, and you can have your picnic there easily. I hope you have a great time!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sacre Coeur (attraction)
  2. Luxembourg Garden (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Stefanie from Minneapolis, Minnesota

There is a beautiful view of the city from the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur. I don't know if they allow picnics but there is a court yard kind of area in front. It was rainy when we were there so we just ate at one of the many restaurants.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
Joe from Brooklyn (New York)

The view here is unbeatable: Basilique du Sacre-Coeur http://www.sacre-coeur-montmartre.com/

Not a park, more like huge church steps overlooking all of Paris, with a lot of tourists. Worth the view but no picnic. Plenty of restuarants nearby.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)


answered by
peter from Downtown Ithaca

We climbed the winding stairs to the top of Notre-Dame de ParisStanding next to the famous Grotesques was a thrill and the views spectacular. The Eiffel Tower to the left, the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur to the right and the Seine and bridges below. 

However, the climb may be claustrophobic to some and It would probably be crowded during the high tourist season. We were there off season, in November, and had no issues.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Notre-Dame de Paris (attraction)
  2. Eiffel Tower (attraction)
  3. Basilique du Sacre-Coeur (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Enchanted from Los Angeles

One more spot can be the  terrace of the George Pompidou Museum -George Restaurant .  Open till 10PM ; closed on Tuesday.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. George Pompidou (attraction)




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