Top Spots in Paris for a Breathtaking View of the Eiffel Tower Light Show


 

Updated by Vanessa M in September 2023.

The Eiffel Tower light show is a public display that happens every hour, on the hour during the time between sunset and sunrise.

When the clock strikes 12, the already glowing Eiffel Tower proceeds to perform an awe inspiring light display. The performance lasts a total of five minutes and then you’re back to waiting until the next top of the hour.

by Kylie Paz – Unsplash

Witnessing this beautiful display is very much about being in the right place, at the right time. In Paris, there are many beautiful spots where one can marvel at the tower by day; but being in prime viewing position by night involves a little more planning.

It has always been a silent mission of mine to find the best spots from which to view the light show by night — here is what I know thus far.

Click here for the top 15 Things to do Around the Eiffel Tower

From Right Underneath the Eiffel Tower Light Show

You really can’t go wrong with this absolute cliche.

By day, underneath the Eiffel Tower is the last place you want to be unless you find enjoyment being on the brink of a perpetual human stampede. By night, however, things underneath the iconic tower are more barren and far less overwhelming.

You’ll still be sharing the space with many others who have had the exact same idea, but nowhere near the capacity of the day crowds. Visit the tower on a cold and rainy night and you’ll be left in even further solitude — it’s wonderful!

by Chris Coudron – Unsplash

Sometimes viewing the light show requires a bit of perspective. If you find you aren’t connecting to the experience properly from right underneath, take a walk down the Champ de Mars until you’re obverting the tower at more of a distance.

You can lay on the grass and await the next display, knowing that you are physically closer to this historic monument than most people in the entire world.

From the Top of Montparnasse Tower in Paris

Montparnasse Tower in Montparnasse is often overlooked due to its seemingly mundane appearance. The building looks like a regular city skyscraper, likely filled with offices and apartment blocks.

When we’re done judging this book by its cover, consider that Montparnasse Tower is officially taller than the Eiffel Tower and offers a top floor viewing deck that is available to the public.

by Paul Gaudriault – Unsplash

This means that Montparnasse Tower may boast the best panoramic view over the city of Paris. The only other one coming close would be the view from the outdoor steps of the Sacre Coeur Basilica over in the 18th arrondissement .

While the Eiffel Tower’s viewing deck is closed for service by night, Montparnasse’s is not. You’ll be able to go up and watch the light show from one of the highest points in the city all the way through until 11pm each day.

The Montparnasse Tower view is arguably the best birds eye view of the Eiffel Tower before hiring a private helicopter to fly you around.

Admission up to the viewing deck is €18 per person.

Discover more about Paris’ most iconic view at night – Paris at night here

From the Pont Alexandre III in Paris

Listen up, I’m going to give you the best nighttime walking route through Paris that I know.

You’ll begin at the Arc de Triomphe one hour before your desired light show viewing time. The Arc is a beautiful monument but, like the Eiffel Tower, is chaotic by day and difficult to properly digest without absorbing the anxiety of the crowds that come with it.

Viewing the Arc by night is something special. Once you’re ready you’ll begin to make your way (by foot) down the very famous Champs-Elysées avenue. You’ll be heading east, as if to be making your way toward the first arrondissement.

View from Pont Alexandre III – by Julien Ricard – Wikimedia Commons

Enjoy the architecture and retail culture along the way and once you pass over a traffic circle you’ll know your turn off is approaching. At Avenue Winston Churchill take a right; this road will lead straight to the Pont Alexandre III.

The Grand Palais is also on this road just before the bridge; you’ll pass it on your right. Take a few moments here to appreciate the exhibition hall that has been the official showcase venue of choice by Karl Lagerfeld and Chanel for so many years.

Finally, make your way onto the Pont Alexandre III and settle somewhere on the bridge in anticipation for the looming light show. The bride has the best over-water view of the Eiffel Tower from the Seine and is absolutely free to enjoy at all times of the night.

From Rue de Montessuy in Paris

The Rue de Montessuy is the residential road of Paris with the best view of the Eiffel Tower both by day and by night. It is on the Left Bank of the Seine, just past Invalides and the area where free guided walking tours go through to the Eiffel Tower.

Rue de Montessuy – by Mbzt – Wikimedia Commons

Being a residential road, not many people know that they can hang around here in the street waiting for the display of lights to take place. You need simply stand and wait; the road is generally quiet aside from the many restaurants being enjoyed by locals throughout the evening.

Once you’ve seen the display, and if you’d like to kill some time before the next one (lets be honest, one is never enough), head into Il Sorrentino for some great Italian food! It’s near the northern end of the street.

From Hôtel Raphael in Paris

17 Avenue Kléber

Most of the luxury hotels in Paris have impressive terraces that offer some sort of view of the Eiffel Tower. The Hotel Raphael is situated just south of the Arc de Triomphe on the Right Bank of the Seine.

The view from this hotel terrace is my favorite because of how low-key they have opted to keep the space. Instead of plush designs they simply offer wooden tables and chairs. Roses grow wildly up and around the terrace and give a garden-like feel to the space.

There is a full restaurant service but one can even just enjoy a drink or two while awaiting the light show instead.

From Trocadéro Gardens in Paris

This is a famous location for viewing the Eiffel Tower’s light show. The elevated platform provides an unrestricted perspective and is an excellent location for photographs. Depending on the time of year this might be a very crowded area to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle.

Here is more information about the Trocadero in Paris

Suicasmo, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I recommend arriving before sunset to secure a prime viewing area for the light show. If you’re bringing children this is the greatest method to keep them entertained while you wait for the light display.

From a boat cruise on the Seine

If you schedule your boat voyage well, you will be able to see the Eiffel Tower shine around sunset or in the evening. There are various possibilities for Seine riverboat cruises so consider taking one for a unique view of the Eiffel Tower.

This allows you to see the tower from the water and gives you a distinct perspective on the city. You must purchase a ticket on board, although it is a little fee for such a spectacular view. If you have the money, you can book a private boat tour for a truly unique experience.

From Arc de Triomphe in Paris

This renowned monument located at the end of the Champs-Elysees provides a lovely perspective of the Eiffel Tower in the distance and is a popular site for photography. It can get crowded here, so secure your location before the hour changes to get a good view of the dazzle.

Photo by Rosivan Morais from Pexels

This is also where the military parade for Bastille Day begins. To go to the top you must purchase a ticket, which may be purchased at their ticket office on the day of or online.

If you can’t make it at night, a trek to the summit for the view is still recommended. To avoid long queues, get tickets in advance or purchase a city pass. This also grants you admission to museums located throughout the city.

From Pont de Bir-Hakeim in Paris

A short walk from the tower this bridge is a great place for the best view of the Eiffel Tower light show. The Bir-Hakeim bridge spans the Seine to connect the 15th and 16th arrondissements of Paris.

It is well-known for its artistic steel arches and antique lamps as well as its appearance in the blockbuster film “Inception,” but most importantly it is the best site in Paris to view the Eiffel Tower.

It’s more interesting when it’s dark and you’re gazing out over the water, which reflects all of the lovely golden lights and it feels so extra amazing with the perfect view. This is also one of the top photo locations in Paris! Being a lesser-known bridge in Paris you’ll have fewer people to battle with while enjoying the light show.

From Parc des Buttes-Chaumont in Paris

What a great place to relax after a long exhausting day. Buttes-Chaumont is a park with its fair share of tourists admiring the view from the little temple but it also has a large number of Parisians simply enjoying the park. This hidden gem is located in Paris’s 19th Arr.

The park is beautiful green, with plenty of trees and spaces to relax. It’s a wonderful area to spend a few hours racing around the track, exercising, or simply resting. On a little hillside, there is also a waterfall and a shrine. The park has no admission price and it is also conveniently accessible via the metro.

From a rooftop, any rooftop in Paris

ViviCamJosh, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons 6300

If you’re out of options and still looking for inspiration practically every rooftop in the city has a view of the Eiffel Tower. There are laws in existence that prohibit the development of skyscrapers and tall buildings within city borders. As a result, the majority of tall structures in Paris are located in the La Defense neighborhood. These decrees also imply that practically every location in the city has a good view of the Eiffel Tower!

Read more about Airbnbs with a View of the Eiffel Tower here

From Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris

Although the Georges Pompidou Centre is better known for its collection of modern art, the view from the top is not to be missed. The center located in the heart of Paris’s Le Marais neighborhood is an excellent site to snap some of the city’s renowned rooftops (especially at sunset).

If you prefer to skip the museum and just enjoy the view from the Eiffel Tower you can do so by purchasing a rooftop pass (those under the age of 26 who are EU residents can attend for free). If you intend to explore the full complex get a Pompidou Centre Ticket here.

From the café at Printemps in Paris

Café Deli-Cieux is a place I’d go back to again and again to see the Eiffel Tower. It’s located on the roof of the Printemps department store not far from the Opera and is the ideal place to grab a couple of coffees, utilize the fast WiFi, and take in the view of the tower light show for less than €5.

Photo by Nicolas from Pexels

This department store provides a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower and is conveniently located in the city. Galleries Lafayette is just down the street as an alternative. Another alternative is Perruche, a restaurant serving cocktails and meals, which is located at the top of Printemps. You’ll see some spectacular sunsets from the roofs here as well.

From Parvis du Sacré-Coeur in Paris

When visiting Paris, one district that you must not miss is Montmartre. Otherwise known as the city’s 18th arrondissement, this is where visitors and tourists alike will quickly find the ‘Paris’ that everyone delights about.

This charming Parisian neighborhood has something for everyone, from little house museums to cobbled roads. Not only that, but Montmartre is home to the majestic Sacré-Coeur, as well as a vast open space in front of the ecclesiastical edifice that affords breathtaking views of Paris, including the Iron Lady.

From Avenue Rapp in Paris

If you want to go for a wonderful morning walk in Paris, you should go to Avenue Rapp. This hidden treasure of the 7th arrondissement is a charming respite from the rush and bustle of other tourist sites in the neighborhood with views of the Eiffel Tower and all Haussmannian architecture in style. This place has an amazing and unobstructed perspective of the Eiffel Tower.

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