The skyline of Paris viewed from a height is distinct, with a display of continuity through most of the city, and an unobstructed view of its many unique buildings, which stand out. Seeing its skyline is one of its most agreeable perspectives, so here are a few perches from which you can enjoy the view.
Paris at dusk
Hotel Peninsula/ L’Oiseau Blanc:
The Peninsula is one of the newer palace hotels of Paris, a massive building of imposing standing. Its roof-top hosts a gastronomic restaurant directed by Christophe Raoux, an award-winning chef. From it you have privileged views of the Arc de Triomphe and Gustave Eiffel’s Tower.
Open 12pm-1am, gastronomic, with brunch served on Sundays and a prix fixe menu at 135 €.
One of the pinnacles of refinement, a venerable luxury hotel near the Arc de Triomphe, across the street from the Peninsula, but more intimate. The Raphaël rooftop is an institution of its own, with a reputation augmented by the stars and celebrities who often frequent it. However, it is only open during the reliably fair-weather months.
Perhaps my favourite spot in town for a drink with a view. The architecture and Art Deco style are straight from the 1930’s, located at the base of the Montmartre neighborhood in the North of Paris. It is a wonderful spot to have a glass of wine or a cocktail, and it is distinctly less expensive than the two options above. Its entrance is discreet, but just enter, head to the elevator in the entrance hall, and enjoy the cosiness of the panoramic bar. It has suspended benches, heaters and blankets for cold evenings, set in an altogether warm and cosy rooftop. Because you are on the hill of Montmartre, be it only by a little, from the 7th floor of this hotel you already have an exquisite view of the whole town. A great place.
An institution in its own right, the Molitor swimming pool is still an active pool, as well as a place for evening parties and cocktails. It was classified as a historic national monument in 1990, after having closed in 1989. It has since been restored in its original style and reopened in 2015. You will find this institution in the western part of the city of Paris, just next to Roland Garos tennis courts and the Parc des Princes Soccer Stadium.
Open from May to September. Opens 10am, closes at 1 am.
George Bar, Centre George Pompidou/ Beaubourg:
In the heart of the city, near the Louvre and Hotel de Ville, you will probably recognize this truly original building made of colorful pipes and air shafts. It is one of the most important cultural centers of the city, with a huge public library on its 1st floor. On the last floor lies a semi-open rooftop which provides a haven of peace in the middle of this most busy neighborhood.
IMA, Institut du Monde Arabe
Located in the central district of the 5th district, on the left bank, this modern and highly original building is a stunning piece of architecture. On the last floor lies the Zyriab restaurant, a Lebanese restaurant which provides a view of the Seine river and a modest yet pretty perspective of the city. An easy, accessible spot whenever you are in that part of town. Closes on Mondays.