If you’re organising a jaunt to Paris in the near future, I reckon you should plan to go to the top of at least one of its tallest buildings or monuments. After all, Paris is a truly spectacular city, and there’s really no better way to see it in all its glory than from one of these.
An added bonus is that all these sites are tourist attractions in their own right, so on the off-chance one of your travelling companions has a touch of vertigo, there will still be something for them to do and see! There are so many amazing Paris attractions to keep you entertained, be ready for the trip of a lifetime.
World-famous attractions: Eiffel Tower
I thought I’d get the most obvious option out of the way first. The Eiffel Tower is famous the world over and, if you’ve never been to Paris before, you really can’t leave without seeing it. Yes, you could just take a quick look and wander off again, but I reckon for the ultimate Eiffel Tower experience you’ve got to go to the top.
There are lifts and stairs that’ll take you to levels one, two and three (remember if you use the latter you can only go as far as the second floor), and you should be prepared for fairly hefty queues for tickets. Don’t let that put you off, though! Usually, there’s a much shorter queue for tickets to the stairs, and walking up does have the added bonus of giving you a more in-depth experience.
Some fun facts about the tower are:
• It is 324 m tall (including its antennas)
• It is made of 18,000 pieces of metal
• From nightfall until 01:00 local time, 20,000 bulbs sparkle up and down the tower for five minutes every hour, on the hour. Well worth seeing!
Skyscrapers: Tour Montparnasse
At 210 m tall, Tour Montparnasse is pretty colossal. Finished in 1973, it never really seemed to win the affections of Parisians, but it does have a decent reputation among tourists looking for panoramic views of the city.
You’ll find it in the 15th arrondissement (in case you’re unfamiliar with the term, the arrondissements are the city’s administrative districts) on Avenue de Maine. Head to the 56th floor, which is also known as the Panoramic Floor, and you can get some incredible 360 degree views of the city – including the aforementioned Eiffel Tower.
As well as providing impressive views, Tour Montparnasse has a reputation for being home to the some of the fastest lifts in Europe.
Heritage buildings: Basilique du Sacre Coeur
This basilica is one of the Paris’s most famous buildings and, since it sits on top of the highest point of the city – the Butte de Montmartre – it couldn’t be left off our list of top places to visit. A fantastic example of Romano-Byzantine architecture, its construction began back in 1873.
It’s free to explore, but you’ll need to pay a small fee to walk up the 234 steps to dome. Of course, great views is what this post is all about, and since it’s a high spot on the tallest part of Paris, you really can’t say no! This is generally regarded as the best place to get panoramic views of the city, and you can see for around 18 miles on a clear day.
Of course, as well as deciding what you want to see and do while you’re in Paris, you also need to work out the practical side of things, including where to stay. Companies like Hostelbookers can help you find decent, reasonably-priced accommodation, but it’s also worth seeing if friends and family have any recommendations they can give you.