Slow traveling allows you to fully enjoy and appreciate the beauty of each place, oftentimes for free.

Even in cities like Paris, where it’s quite expensive to travel, there are still ways to experience its breathtaking views without breaking the bank.

Although I absolutely enjoyed the breathtaking view of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe or the Eiffel Tower, I was equally delighted to discover that there are many other free Paris viewpoints.

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In this post, I’ll be sharing some of the best free views in Paris. These include panoramic spots, hidden rooftops, and local streets not even widely known to Parisians.

Best Free Views in Paris

You won’t run out of breathtaking Paris viewpoints. I find that the best way to enjoy Paris (and any place in general) is by slowly enjoying the place.

Choose a few spots from this list and stay a bit longer. Truly soak in Paris.

1. Sacré Coeur, Montmartre

Elevated view of Paris from Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre, with the Eiffel Tower standing out against the yellow-tinted sky, amidst a sea of densely packed buildings.

One of the most romantic strolls we had in Paris was in Montmartre. Despite being a popular tourist destination, the area is incredibly beautiful and romantic.

One of the highlights is walking to the stunning Sacré Coeur, which is located on top of a hill in the Montmartre, 129m above sea level. From there, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of Paris.

There are three viewpoints on Sacré Coeur, two of which are free. The first one is by sitting on the steps of Sacré Coeur, while the second one is by going all the way to the top in front of the church.

There, you can find a viewing point with markers indicating the famous landmarks in Paris. The third viewpoint is by visiting the Dome of the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, which requires an admission fee of €6 but provides an even higher and more stunning view of Paris.

You can stay for a while and enjoy the view while listening to local singers, get inside the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, or head down and walk to one of the most romantic spots in Emily in Paris, the love wall.

2. Champ de Mars

Us enjoying a picnic on the Champ de Mars with the best views of Eiffel Tower in the background. We're hapily seated on the grass with a spread of fruits, pastries, and nuts on a checkered cloth.
A clear day at Champ de Mars with a view of the Eiffel Tower. The foreground shows a picnic cloth with croissants, grapes, and strawberries, with people and children enjoying the park around.

One of the things I love about Europe is its parks. In Paris, you’ll find the Champ de Mars – a quiet garden surrounding the Eiffel Tower.

This garden is the perfect place to experience true Parisian life. This park brought my vision board to life!

My partner and I spent the entire afternoon enjoying a picnic, savoring a croissant while lying on the grass with the Eiffel Tower in the background. A dream come true!

Although you’ll see some tourists from time to time, they usually leave immediately after taking a photo.

You’ll mostly see locals and some drink sellers. Before coming here for a picnic (which I highly recommend), head to Rue Cler, Paris’ most beautiful street market. You can buy wine, croissants, cheese, and fruits for your Champ de Mars picnic.

3. Parc de Belleville

View of the Eiffel Tower from Parc de Belleville,  showcasing one of the best free views in Paris under a partly cloudy sky.
Views of Paris from Parc de Belleville including the Eiffel Tower

Parc de Belleville, located high on Belleville Hill, is the highest park in Paris. It offers a special spot in the 20th arrondissement, away from the city’s hustle. Here, you’ll find locals enjoying one of the best free views in Paris.

At the heart of the park lies the Belvédère, a pavilion decorated with vibrant street art. From this spot, you can see the whole city spread out below including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and Montparnasse.

Stay for a while in Parc de Belleville. It’s perfect for picnics, enjoying a glass of wine, or just soaking in the view. It’s one of the many reasons why I have come to appreciate Paris’ l’art de ne rien faire (the art of doing nothing).

4. Parc Des Buttes Chaumont

One of the best Paris viewpoints featuring the iconic Sacré-Cœur Basilica seen from Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, surrounded by classic Parisian architecture and autumn foliage.

5. Parc de Saint-Cloud

A hidden gem in Paris that most tourists are unaware of is the Parc de Saint-Cloud. This park is considered one of the most beautiful parks in Europe and offers breathtaking panoramic views of Paris.

The park used to be the grand residence of the nobility, including Napoleon Bonaparte. Unfortunately, during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, the chateau was destroyed.

However, some of the statues, fountains, and gardens survived, including one that was designed by Andre Le Notre – the same designer of the Gardens of Versailles.

Make sure to end your day at the park with a visit to the Rond de la Balustrade terrace.

This terrace is located about 100 meters above the Paris skyline and offers the best view of Paris including La Défense skyscrapers, the peaceful hill of Montmartre, and the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Read next: The Best Parks in Paris to Picnic Away from Crowds

6. The Printemps Rooftop Terrace – Terrasse du 7ème Ciel

Elevated view of Parisian streets with the gilded dome of the Printemps department store in the foreground and the ornate facade of the Palais Garnier opera house in the distance, set against a backdrop of classic Haussmann-style buildings under a cloudy sky.
The Rooftop du 7e Ciel at Printemps Haussmann

Up on the 7th floor of the Women’s Building at Printemps Haussmann, you can find Terrasse du 7ème Ciel, which translates to Terrace of the 7th Heaven.

This is a beautiful spot where you can see the city of Paris stretching out before you, from the Opéra Garnier to the iconic Eiffel Tower, all viewed from the rooftop of this department store.

It’s a perfect place to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of shopping. You can choose to sip your favorite drink, such as coffee, tea, or even something sparkly like champagne while being surrounded by the city’s beauty.

If you’re feeling adventurous, take the stairs instead of the elevator to see the Opéra Garnier up close.

7. Galeries Lafayette Rooftop

Sweeping view over the Parisian rooftops from the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette. It highlights the city's signature zinc roofs and terracotta chimney pots, under a clear blue sky — a prime spot for free panoramic views of Paris.
View from Galeries Lafayette Rooftop

You’ll find some of the best free views in Paris inside a famous department store. The Galeries Lafayette rooftop gives you panoramic views of Paris, from the Montmartre, Eiffel Tower, and Opéra Garnier.

While you’re up there, be sure to visit the lovely café and restaurant for a drink or snack. And don’t forget to check out the stunning 1912 Art Nouveau dome on the third floor.

Pro tip: take the elevator to the 6th floor and then the escalator up to the 7th floor for the most stunning views. This way, you can get a great close-up view of Opéra Garnier.

8. The terrace of Le Perchoir Marais

Le Perchoir Marais is this cool spot on top of the BHV department store in Paris. It’s a hidden gem that offers a panoramic view of Paris, including the old Hôtel de Ville and the sparkling Eiffel Tower.

It feels a bit like you’re at a beach club, but instead of the sea, you’re looking out at Paris’ rooftops.

The place opens up at 8:15 pm, and it’s free to get in. You can chill at the cozy wooden tables, grab a tasty snack like lobster rolls, or sip on a cocktail that costs around €12.

The vibe is super laid-back, kind of like those warm summer nights by the Mediterranean, but you’re right in the heart of Paris.

There’s even a DJ playing tunes, so it’s lively but might be a bit loud if you’re trying to have a quiet chat.

If you’re there in winter, no worries, they’ve got a heated area so you can still enjoy the view without freezing.

Whether you’re there to dance or just take in the sights with a drink in hand, Le Perchoir Marais offers one of the best free views in Paris!

Le Perchoir Marais is currently closed for 2024, but as soon as they reopen, make sure to grab a spot!

9. Pantheon Panorama

A panoramic view Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the distance and the French flag flying prominently in the foreground. This view of Paris is from the top of Pantheon.

The Pantheon rooftop provides an astonishing 360° view of Paris from April to October. You can witness all the iconic landmarks of Paris, including the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Montparnasse, Centre Pompidou, Montmartre, and La Défense, all in one place.

To get to the top, you need to climb 206 steps, but don’t worry, there are spots to rest on the way up and a halfway point with a view before the final climb.

Once you’re up, there’s plenty of space to walk around and see all the famous sights from above. To visit, you need to buy a special ticket online for €15, which includes the Pantheon entrance and the rooftop view.

If you’re under 26 or have a museum pass, it’s free, but you still need to book your spot online. Remember, this best view of Paris is only available during the warmer months, so plan accordingly!

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10. Belvédère – Philharmonie Rooftop

Catch a breathtaking 360° view of the city from April to October, in one of its unique rooftops – Philharmonie located in the 19th arrondissement of Paris.

The rooftop stands tall at 37 meters, providing a feeling of being on top of the world, or at least on top of Paris. From here, you can admire the golden dome of Les Invalides, the iconic Eiffel Tower, and Sacré Coeur from a distance.

The rooftop is a popular spot, especially on sunny afternoons, with a limited capacity of around 700 people. So, you may have to wait for a bit to get up there, but trust me, the experience is worth it.

Pro tip: Going down, skip the lift again and walk down to Parc de la Villette, a unique park with various installations of art and culture.

This spot isn’t just about soaking in the best free views in Paris, it’s perfect for a little sunset picnic or even a dance or a free music festival. Why not? After all, we’re in the city of Love.

11. Rooftop of Institut du Monde Arabe

Panoramic view of Paris from the rooftop of Institut du Monde Arabe, featuring Notre-Dame Cathedral and the Seine River, with lush tree-lined streets and traditional Parisian buildings under a blue sky with scattered clouds.

Located on the Left Bank, there is a hidden gem in Paris that many locals aren’t even aware of. From the 9th floor, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Parisian islands, the Seine River, and Notre Dame, with the famous Bateaux Mouche boats cruising by.

This place was established in 1980 through the collaboration of 18 Arab countries and France to celebrate Arab culture.

To reach the rooftop, you just need to enter the building and take the elevator up. The Institut’s location is in the Latin Quarter, near the Grand Mosque of Paris, which means that you can enjoy spectacular views of the city.

The building’s futuristic windows, which adapt to sunlight, enhance the experience and give you a feeling of stepping into the future while admiring the city’s rich history.

This rooftop is a must-visit destination. It features a vast terrace, a collection of Islamic art spread across four floors, and a restaurant called Dar Mima and a bar named Ziryab, both of which offer stunning views. You can explore Arab culture while enjoying the best free views in Paris.

12. Centre Pompidou

Views of Parisian rooftops with the Eiffel Tower and the golden dome of Les Invalides standing tall in the skyline under a blue sky. This view is from the Centre Pompidou Museum.

The Centre Pompidou in Paris is famous for two things: it has the biggest collection of modern art in Europe and a really cool architectural design that stands out.

Right in the city center, it gives you the best free views in Paris from its rooftop. From the terraces on the 5th and 6th floors, you can see everything from here, including the Eiffel Tower, which is especially beautiful at sunset.

This place its iconic caterpillar escalators that let you see the city as you go up. And the best part? Access to the caterpillar, the gangway, and the terraces is free.

If you want to grab a bite or a drink, there’s a restaurant called Le Georges on the 6th floor with great views too.

The permanent collection and the Galerie des Enfants are free to visit on the first Sunday of each month. So, if you’re in Paris, don’t miss out on checking out the Centre Pompidou for some panoramic views of Paris.

Make sure to visit the museum soon as it will close for a massive four-year restoration in late 2024.

13. Place de la Concorde

The Place de la Concorde in Paris, with its ornate lamp post and the Luxor Obelisk, the Eiffel Tower in the background, and a lone bicycle in the foreground against a cloudy sky.

Place de la Concorde is one of the unique Paris viewpoints. It’s the largest square in Paris and features an ancient Egyptian obelisk in its center. This obelisk, which is over 3,300 years old and was a gift from Egypt, is actually the oldest thing you can see in Paris!

Another cool part about the obelisk is that it’s the biggest sundial in the world.

From this viewpoint, you can enjoy breathtaking views of not only the Eiffel Tower but also the Seine River and the famous Champs-Élysées avenue.

So, when you visit Place de la Concorde, you’re not only seeing the best free views in Paris but also standing amidst some truly fascinating history.

14. Les Invalides

View from Les Invalides in Paris, featuring a row of antique cannons on display, with the Eiffel Tower rising behind classic French Haussmann-style buildings under a clear blue sky.

Les Invalides is a historical complex situated in the 7th Arrondissement of Paris. It is a museum, mausoleum, and sanctuary for veterans all in one. The complex is a testament to France’s military history.

Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb is the centerpiece of Les Invalides. It lies beneath a magnificent golden dome that shines with nearly 13kg of gold. This dome was once the highest point in the city, offering the best view of Paris until the Eiffel Tower took over in 1889.

A visit to Les Invalides is not complete without a stroll on the roof from the First Terrace, where visitors can enjoy panoramic views of Paris and spot its iconic landmarks. The main courtyard, featuring sixty bronze cannons, also offers a view of the Eiffel Tower.

Access to Les Invalides’ Saint Louis Cathedral, courtyards, and gardens is free. However, entering Napoleon’s resting place requires a ticket, which is included in the Paris museum pass.

15. Terrace at the Grande Arche de la Défense

View from the terrace at the Grande Arche de la Défense in Paris, looking down a busy promenade with the best views of Paris towards the distant Arc de Triomphe and modern skyscrapers.

From the Arc de Triomphe, we caught a glimpse of the Grande Arche tucked among the skyscrapers of La Défense. Similarly, from the rooftop terrace at the top of the Grande Arche, one can see the Arc de Triomphe on the Paris skyline.

The Terrace at the Grande Arche de la Défense offers a modern and exciting view of Paris from the west. Standing 360 feet up, it’s way taller than the Arc de Triomphe.

During the day, you can enjoy a clear view of the long stretch from La Défense to the Arc de Triomphe.

At night, the view transforms as the lights from Paris’s skyline, including the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower, twinkle in the distance, creating a stunning contrast with La Défense’s modern skyscrapers.

The Grande Arche Rooftop is currently closed, so you’ll have to wait a bit before you can enjoy these best free views in Paris.

16. Pont Alexandre III

Ornate street lamps on Pont Alexandre III with the view of Eiffel Tower in the background, set against a clear blue sky and lush greenery along the Seine River.

Just as Paris has its most beautiful streets, it also has its most beautiful bridge – Pont Alexandre III. It’s a masterpiece from which you’ll find some of the best free views in Paris.

With its Art Nouveau statues and elegant lamps, the bridge offers panoramic views of Paris including the Seine River, the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Les Invalides from a single spot.

What makes this bridge even more special is that it was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the same man who designed the Eiffel Tower. Built for the 1900 Universal Exhibition, its purpose was to offer visitors a clear view of the Invalides complex.

During the day, you can appreciate the intricate details of its design. And at night? It lights up, and you can see the best views of Paris at night, specifically the Eiffel Tower shimmering in the distance.

I highly recommend visiting the bridge at different times of the day, like sunrise or sunset, to catch the bridge and Paris in a whole new light.

17. Pont Neuf

The Pont Neuf bridge crossing the Seine River with the Île de la Cité and its traditional Parisian buildings in the background, under a clear blue sky.

Pont Neuf, Paris’s oldest bridge spanning the Seine, offers more than just a route across the river; it provides a window to the heart of the city with breathtaking views of downtown Paris.

Despite its name meaning “New Bridge,” Pont Neuf has a rich history that dates back hundreds of years. It played a crucial role in 17th-century Parisian life and is famously known for hosting the first daguerreotype photo featuring a human being.

The locals of Paris consider Pont Neuf more than just a bridge, it is the very heart of the city. We enjoyed walking here every day, as it is located close to famous spots. It is also a great place to take a lovely stroll in Paris at night.

If you want to explore Pont Neuf from a different perspective, take a Seine cruise. It offers a unique view of the bridge’s historic architectural details.

18. Banks of the Seine

A View of Eiffel Tower illuminated at night, from the Seine River with moored sightseeing boats and tree-lined banks under a twilight sky.

We absolutely love walking along the banks of the Seine every single day of our stay in Paris, especially at night. I felt immersed in Parisian life while enjoying the best free views in Paris.

This iconic river, flanked by picturesque boulevards, historic cafés, and charming neighborhoods, is more than just water flowing through the city—it’s a lifeline of Parisian culture and history.

As you walk along, you will pass under stunning bridges and monumental landmarks such as the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame.

The banks of the river are also home to traditional booksellers, adding a quaint charm to your walk. One of the most beautiful views you can see is the Seine with its moored péniches and the Eiffel Tower backdrop.

It makes for a picture-perfect moment of Paris. We recommend taking a dreamy one-hour riverboat tour, where you can soak in all the splendid views of the bridges and monuments.

19. The Terrasse du Fecheray at Mont Valérien

Just a 20-minute train ride from Paris, you can visit the Terrasse du Fécheray at Mont Valérien, located in Suresnes, Île-de-France.

This 3.7-acre park is a perfect place if you love walking and quiet spots. You’ll also find one of the most stunning panoramic views of Paris you can find outside the city.

From this viewpoint, you can see the Eiffel Tower, Hôtel des Invalides, Pantheon, Arc de Triomphe, and even the distant silhouette of the Basilica Sacré Coeur, all in one breathtaking glance.

What makes this spot even more attractive is that there are no gates to hold you back or opening hours to restrict your visit. It’s a freely accessible escape where you can enjoy the best view of Paris at your leisure.

20. La Butte Bergeyre

Warm sunset light bathes the classic Haussmannian buildings of Paris, as seen from an elevated, lush garden path in La Butte Bergeyre, possibly one of the best views of Paris.

La Butte Bergeyre is probably the most quiet among all Paris viewpoints! This secluded spot is away from the crowds and offers the best free views in Paris, especially the peaceful ones!

Located in the 19th district, La Butte Bergeyre is a little-known micro-arrondissement that feels like a secret slice of Paris that even locals are often surprised to discover.

However, reaching this secluded spot requires a bit of an adventure, as you’ll need to climb up one of two staircases – Rue Manin or Avenue Simon-Bolivar.

Once you reach the top, you can sit on the bench on a hill, 100 meters up, and enjoy the charming houses surrounding you, with the iconic Sacré Coeur and Montmartre in the distance.

21. Streets of Montmartre

Cobblestone street in Montmartre, Paris, with quaint buildings covered in ivy and a sidewalk café featuring green shutters and matching furniture, conveying a quiet, charming atmosphere.

I first heard of Montmartre while watching Emily in Paris. As soon as we arrived at Abbesses station, I was immediately enchanted by its Parisian charm. I could understand why it’s considered the most romantic part of Paris.

Montmartre’s hilly streets offer unique glimpses of the city through the gaps between vibrant pastel buildings. While you might not find the panoramic views seen from Paris viewpoints, the charm of these streets lies in their picturesque dreamy scenes.

One of the streets you’ll come across is Rue de l’Abreuvoir, which Mindy (from the same show) dubbed as “the prettiest street in Paris.” Not far off is the “I Love You” Wall, a spot that perfectly captures the essence of Montmartre’s romantic allure.

22. Trocadero

Us standing on the steps of Trocadéro, with the Eiffel Tower in the background and the sun casting a soft glare, creating a romantic scene in one of the best free views in Paris

Probably the most famous among these Paris viewpoints is Trocadero. Located in the 16th Arrondissement, it offers the best views of the Eiffel Tower, making it the perfect backdrop for that iconic photo.

However, due to its spectacular view, it is a popular spot for tourists, souvenir sellers, and even wedding photoshoots. So, expect a crowd, especially if you visit during peak hours.

But, here’s a little secret: To truly enjoy Trocadero without the crowds, try visiting right at sunrise. I recommend arriving within 30 minutes of the sun coming up, depending on when you plan to visit.

You can also go down the stairs and have a quieter (and closer) experience under the shade of trees. You can even see the fountain up close.

23. From Your Hotel

View of the Eiffel Tower rising above Parisian apartment buildings, as seen from a hotel balcony, with overcast skies above.

Looking for the best free views in Paris? You might just find them over your hotel room window or from your hotel’s rooftop terrace.

You might think that only luxury hotels like Shangri-La Paris, Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel, or Hotel La Comtesse offer breathtaking views of the city, but there are plenty of affordable options that won’t empty your pockets.

In fact, during our stay, we were surprised to see the twinkling Eiffel Tower right from our hostel, and it only cost us 150 euros for two!

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Wrap Up: The Best Free Views in Paris

One of the things that I absolutely love about Paris is the breathtaking views that you can enjoy for free!

From the picnic-perfect Champ de Mars and the rooftops of famous stores like Printemps to the historic bridges like Pont Alexandre III, there’s so much to see. As I slowly explore the city, I keep discovering more hidden gems!

Where will you head for your free views of Paris? Or perhaps you know of a spot that I should add to my list. Let me know!

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