Want to find out where the top 10 Paris People Watching Spots are in Paris? The first thing you need to know is that Parisians’ universal sport is really people watching. And as a visitor to Paris you should try this in the best places possible. This Paris top 10 watching spots has been made for you to find the places that combine comfort, eccentric, fun crowds to watch (or criticize) and nice neighborhoods to hang around in.
Parisians enjoy every possibility to have a drink or a meal outside. The city overflows with caffés, brasseries and restaurants, which provide outdoor terraces (often that terrace is little more than the sidewalk itself.)
Parisian people watching, even for the tourist, can be really fun. During hours of laziness, sipping a coffee or a fresh drink, most of Parisians practice fashion/style criticism and gossiping, but being in a terrace is also about joining friends and have a break in a stressful week. To spend this moment of reunion and debate, Parisians don’t watch every penny despite stereotypes. Here is my personal list of the best spots in Paris, terraces in the streets or hidden garden, each has its particularities.
Rooftop: Seventh Bar
This bar is a the top of the Terass Hotel in the 18th district close by Montmartre‘s mound. You have to reach the seventh floor to have a beautiful overview of Paris. Unfortunately, it is open only between April and late September. It is the perfect spot for a meeting between friends because they have also plates of cheese or hams to share, and meals really light.
Cultural: Museum of Quai Branly
In the wide garden of the museum of primitive art, the terrace of the restaurant provides a view over the Eiffel tower in a really quiet place, protected from the groups of tourists. My personal advice is also to try the food, all meals are really tasty. Even if it’s raining (it happens in Paris), half of the terrace is protected by the innovative building of the museum.
Historical: Café de Flore
Located in the Saint Germain Neighbourhood, it was created under the « Belle époque » period at the end of the XIXth century. Many artists, painters as Picasso or writers had their habits here during the whole last century. The terrace is beautifully decorated with plants and flowers. It is a perfect spot for a break, before going to the luxurious shops around or have a walk to Saint Sulpice Church.
Trendy: Bistro Populaire
5 minutes walking from Bastille square, this restaurant is based of concept of a rotisserie served with fresh vegetables. Every meal and dessert are homemade with products selected with passion. There is a wide terrace open over the boulevard Beaumarchais, perfect spot to practice the people-watching.
Bistro Populaire in Boulevard Beaumarchais, Paris
On the river: Péniche Antipode
Really close by the Rotonde of La Vilette, this boat is an original place to attend a show open air. They propose concerts or theatre productions or shows for children on reservation. The restaurant is accessible everyday from 12 am, and provides tasty products from fair trade and crafts.
Péniche antipode, nice terrace spot on the river in Paris
Brunch: Pause Café
As a Parisian, one of my favorite hobby is to have a brunch on Sunday mornings and this one is my personal advice. You have the choice between the traditional one with viennoiseries and another more original created by the chef depending on the season. It is always served with fresh squeezed juices. The terrace is a whole corner, most of the time crowded by natives.
Sumptous: Delaville Café
Situated on the Grands Boulevards, this café used to be a place of entertainment under the second empire. The terrace open on the boulevard will allow you to enjoy the Parisian way to have drinks, sitting one next to the other if you are two. It is a really good spot to have a cocktail.
For couples: Hotel Amour
Close to Montmartre’s mound and Pigalle, this restaurant is in a private garden of a fashionable boutique hotel. The idea is to mix the atmosphere of a bistro with a decoration made of bargain-hunted furniture. There are both veranda and quiet garden.
In the patio on the shop Ralph Lauren on the boulevard Saint Germain, this restaurant takes place in a quiet private garden. The menu is traditional, with salads and burgers for example. The atmosphere will take you away from Paris, for the time of a meal or a drink.
So Parisian: La Palette
Hidden on a corner of rue de la seine in the 6th district, this bar’s public is the perfect mix of artists and jet set as a mirror of Saint Germain’s neighbourhood. You will find « garçon de café » with the traditional cloths, such as the white apron and the menu provides a wide choice of cocktail.