As an enduring symbol of Paris and indeed, of France as a whole, the Eiffel Tower captivates millions of visitors annually with its intricate iron lattice and monumental stature.
Designed by Gustave Eiffel and completed in 1889, it stands as an iconic testament to human ingenuity and architectural prowess. However, this magnificent tower is not merely to be viewed from below; the true magic of the ‘Iron Lady’ comes alive when admired from various unique vantage points scattered across the City of Lights.
From picnicking in the sprawling Champ-de-Mars to sipping cocktails at a rooftop bar in Montparnasse, from cruising along the Seine to exploring the vibrant Rue de Belleville, there is a multitude of ways to bask in the tower’s grandeur. Each of these perspectives offers its own charm and a fresh way to appreciate the Eiffel Tower’s contribution to the Parisian skyline.
Montparnasse Tower may be an eyesore in the Parisian landscape, but that’s also what was said about the Eiffel Tower at one point. The former was once the only place in the city from which you couldn’t see the latter, but that oversight has been corrected. The 56th-floor observatory now offers a magical view of all of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower which looks like a magnificent toy in the distance. The Ciel de Paris restaurant-bar allows you to dine and have a drink if you want to prolong the pleasure.
Get there: Get off at Montparnasse-Bienvenüe station. The tower is located at 33, avenue du Maine.
Trocadéro is often considered the best place to admire the Eiffel Tower. Crowds of tourists walk around the palace of Chaillot’s esplanade taking photos, chatting, and eating chocolate crepes. While this is all well and good, if you prefer to sit down for a cocktail or a romantic dinner, try the Café de l’Homme. The tables near the windows, as well as the terrace, perfect in summer for a drink at sunset as the city lights come on, offer splendid views of the tower.
Get there: Get off at Trocadéro station. Café de l’Homme is located at 17, place du Trocadéro.
Centre Pompidou Terrace
The Centre Pompidou is not only a great place to spend the day between exhibitions, library, and cinema: it also has a terrace offering a spectacular panorama of Paris. Whether your budget allows you to dine at Georges or not, you can always take the escalator to the 6th floor to admire Paris spread out before your eyes. Day or night, the sight of Paris rooftops punctuated by illustrious monuments is extraordinary. The Eiffel Tower, in the distance, resembles a trinket you want to hang on your keychain.
Get there: The Centre Pompidou is located at Place Georges-Pompidou. Get off at Rambuteau station.
Along the Water on a Bateau-Mouche
Paris from a Bateau-Mouche — whether you’re a tourist or a Parisian — offers a unique viewpoint of the city. Once aboard, you needn’t lift a finger. For an hour, all you have to do is relax and admire the spectacle: Notre-Dame, the Louvre, the Orsay Museum and the Invalides. This is the perfect way to enjoy a view of Eiffel Tower, seen from below, and you won’t have to jostle with crowds to enjoy it. It’s even better at dusk when its silhouette stands out against the sky, or when it lights up.
Get there: Board on the right bank of the Alma bridge, Alma-Marceau metro station. Cruise price: 10 € for adults, 5 € for children.
One of the most enjoyable ways to admire the Eiffel Tower is to have a picnic at its feet, on the Champ-de-Mars. This nearly 25-hectare park rolls out its lawns, paths, and trees all the way to the École Militaire. The Eiffel Tower, near the Seine. After all, it’s one of our top five favourite things to do in Paris without dropping a single centime. Ideal for children and groups of friends, the Champ-de-Mars can also be the setting for a romantic meal, with a good bottle of wine.
Get there: The nearest metro station is Bir-Hakeim. You can also take the RER C and get off at Champ-de-Mars – Tour-Eiffel.
On the metro, Line 6
The Paris Metro’s Line 6 offers notable views of the city, including the iconic Eiffel Tower. As the train travels over the Seine via the Bir-Hakeim Bridge, passengers can witness a panoramic view of the city. The Eiffel Tower, often referred to as the ‘Iron Lady’, is a key highlight of this route. It stands prominently within the cityscape, and its distinct iron lattice structure can be seen from the moving train. The view lasts around 15 seconds and the tower appears on the right of the train.
Get there: Board the Line 6 and look to your left once the train departs Bir-Hakeim.
Musée du Quai Branly
Crowning the astonishing Musée du Quai Branly, the Les Ombres restaurant enjoys a frontal view of the Eiffel Tower. As the restaurant’s name suggests, you dine in the shadow of the monument, which looms before you like giant gym bars. Ideal for special occasions, this restaurant of glass and mahogany is a splendid setting for an evening under the sign of the Parisian icon. For a more relaxed and less expensive meal, try Café Branly on the ground floor, which also overlooks the Eiffel Tower.
Get there: Les Ombres restaurant is located at 27, quai Branly. The nearest metro station is Alma-Marceau.
Ferris Wheel at Place de la Concorde
What better place to admire Paris and the Eiffel Tower than the Ferris Wheel? Erected in 1999 on Place de la Concorde for the millennium celebrations, the Ferris Wheel was supposed to be dismantled after a year. In reality, it reappears and disappears at irregular intervals. If you spot it, seize the opportunity. It’s both a fun and romantic way to see the city, for both children and adults. At 60 meters high, you’ll have a unique perspective on the Eiffel Tower, greeting you from the other side of the Seine. If the Ferris Wheel is there, you can’t miss it.
Get there: Get off at Concorde station. Tickets to the Ferris wheel are around 9 €.
Sacré-Cœur at Montmartre
offers an interesting tableau of the Eiffel Tower. While she often hides from your sight when visiting Montmartre, the “iron lady” is visible on your right when you have Sacré-Cœur behind you. After a stroll through this vast, dark Romano-Byzantine basilica, you’ll feel, upon exiting, like you’re launching into the clouds. To land, rest your gaze on the Eiffel Tower in the distance.
Get there: Get off at Anvers or Abbesses stations, then climb on foot or by funicular to the top of the hill.
Descending Rue de Belleville
It’s better to be on foot rather than on rollers to descend Rue de Belleville, the neighborhood of Edith Piaf. The Eiffel Tower is in front of you, reminding you where you are, in case the smells of Chinese cuisine would lead you astray. Diverse, surprising, captivating, the neighborhood remains Parisian to the fingertips. When the Eiffel Tower disappears from your sight, treat yourself to nems and a bo bun (vermicelli, salad, and meat) in one of the local restaurants.
Get there: The steep part of Rue de Belleville is located between Pyrénées and Belleville stations, on line 11.