Montparnasse Tower: The More Beautiful View of Paris
The biggest problem with places like the Eiffel Tower is of course that, once you get to the top, you have the whole beautiful skyline spread out in front of you… except for the viewpoint itself. There are plenty of reasons to skip the tall buildings altogether, to be sure, but if you do decide to go for it it can be hard to find a cityscape that includes those most iconic landmarks!
This then is the strongest case for visiting Paris’ Montparnasse Tower, and the main reason I wanted to go. (It also didn’t hurt that I was being paid for the pictures and that there was free champagne for my girlfriend and I but, you know, photos come first!) Walking out of the elevator onto the 56th floor of the tower, the first impression you get is of a touristified bar and the attached gift shop. A few steps further, however, you’re looking at this:
For the newly arrived, this floor is full of information panels pointing out the major highlights of the Parisian skyline. Notre Dame to the right, Invalides to the left, Eiffel Tower just beyond. If you’re like every other visitor you probably already know these though, and anyways the real joy is the 59th floor open terrace just a couple of flights of stairs away.
Despite being glassed in all the way around, the open top and strong winds make the experience of being atop the Montparnasse Tower feel a little bit like standing on a mountain top (though with less of that feeling of the conquerer). In the urban environment of a place like Paris, this is probably the closest to that you can legally get.
As the sun drops lower towards the horizon, the terrace fills up until it feels downright crowded. If you’re really stoked about getting those blue light photos, then by all means elbow your way towards the front because this is the time to do it. If not, this is also the perfect period to head back down to the 56th floor and grab a glass of bubbles.
The main interior area (just to the left of the bar as you enter) can be a little crowded as well but the event space (to the right from the entrance – if it isn’t rented out) has a couple of tables tucked into quiet corners that make the perfect place to sip on champagne and watch the sun disappear behind the City of Light. (I, perhaps, maybe, may have tried to do both photos and sit/sipping. Apologies to anybody I left sitting by herself for 20 minutes!)
April – September: 9:30 – 23:30
October – March: 9:30 – 22:30 (23:00 weekends)
Youth (16-20) and Students: €11.50
Children (7-16): €9.00
Disabled Persons: €7.00
[Note that the larger and younger your party, the cheaper this is compared to the Eiffel Tower’s summit.]
In Montparnasse (Bien sur!), just outside the ‘Montparnasse Bienvenue’ Metro.
I was in Paris primarily to work as a photographer with GetYourGuide. If you’re heading to Paris yourself and want to visit the Montparnasse Tower, check out GetYourGuide’s Paris Tour Montparnasse Tickets and Paris Tour Montparnasse + Champagne. Budget travelers will want to check out these hostels in Paris for cheap accommodation. Otherwise, there are countless hotels in Paris. The Montparnasse neighborhood has a bit of a seedy reputation, so unless you’re planning to focus your trip on nightlife you might want to stay elsewhere in town and just catch a Metro out to Montparnasse Tower.