Definitely the best view of Paris can be admired from Tour Montparnasse.
With the fast elevator, in just 38 seconds, we reach the 56th floor, at a hight of 196m, and we enjoyed the best panorama of Paris by day.
The tower can also be visited by night, because it closes at 10:30pm during winter season and at 11:30 during summer.
For tourists' help at the 56th floor are photo galleries, interactive screens and viewpoint tables and as well as a nice panoramic bar.
And just other three floors up, is the panoramic terrace, at a hight of 210m, with an unforgettable view from the 59th floor.
Entrance fee: EUR 8.5-
Just a stones throw from the Montparnasse Bienvenue Metro station (served by several lines) is the second tallest office block in Europe, the Montparnasse Tower.
For a few Euros you can ride one of the speedy elevators to the top (56th) floor. Here you will find a restaurant (with great views of course!) and an interesting exhibiton showing pictures of the various stages of construction of this huge curved steel and smoked glass building.
A few more steps will take you up and out on to the open roof which serves as a huge viewing area. The 360 degree panoramic view is simply breathtaking! Sketched maps are dotted around the (secure!) railings identifying all that can be seen.
This 'must see' attraction certainly does not replace a trip to the top of the Eiffel Tower, but the biggest advantage it has over its more well known rival, is that there is virtually NO queuing. We went on a busy public holiday weekend, mid morning, and we were at the top within 5 minutes of arrival! We 'did' the Eiffel Tower the next day and queued for 90 minutes!
One last tip - if you have purchased a 'Paris Visite' transport pass, then show it when you pay. You will save just under 3 Euros each on the entrance fee!
Pick a clear day for the best views.
On your way out, a lovely market can be found very nearby (but not sure what days it's held). A great way to spend a morning!
As long as you have to put up with such an (imo) ugly architectural lemon as Tour Montparnasse, make lemonade and take the fast elevator (~40 seconds) up to the top for some pix and an awesome view of Paris.
This last trip I went both day and nightime just for fun. I think the views are worth it.
Check out the website for all the info and some really good fotos.
L'Espace 56 (bar / cafe on the 56th floor) is a good place out of the wind to have a drink with the view or even eat, but honestly for me I just head right up to the roof and look at beautiful Paris. Excellent view of ExGuy's large metal tower of course, but also of Invalides, Champs, etc - the whole city. Most of the time especially in the evening it is very windy. Even with a tripod, the wind will have a tendency to blur any night shots with an inexpensive digital camera
(it did mine, and don't forget the actual building under your feet is swaying a little in the wind, making some low-light digital night-shots tough),
but your God-given / analog-eyes and your memory will be rewarded.
It costs 9 Euros (about $11.50) each time you decide to make the trip
(as opposed to $20 each trip for the Empire State Building, and much less crowded)
Oddly enough, one of the few (imo) benefits you get from Paris Visite metro pass vs Carte Orange is one free trip up to the top of Tour Montparnasse. Only one use though, so I still think you're better off getting Carte Orange and "paying as you go" for separate day and night trips to the top.
Tour Montparnasse opens at 9:30 am and most important for nightime viewing, the last lift / elevator to the top is at 11 p.m. Supposedly they kick you out at 11:30 but they let me hang out until almost midnight.
Tour Montparnasse gets a lot of grief and bad press, but the view both day and night in my opinion is a monster and worth the money.
Here's a view from the top of the Montparnasse Tower, looking northwest towards the competition.
I'm not a big fan of standing in lines, so for aerial views I much prefer paying EUR 8.70 (whoops, it has just gone up another 30 cents to 9.00 Euros) and taking the 38-second elevator up to the 56th floor of the Montparnasse Tower, and then walking up to the 59th, which is the roof. (It's cheaper for students and anyone up to age 20, by the way. No senior discounts, though.)
Update 2013: The prices for Tour Montparnasse have gone up again. Admission now costs € 13.50 for adults, € 10.50 for people aged 16-10 and students, € 8.00 for children aged 7-15 and € 7.00 for the handicapped.
At 210 meters, the Montparnasse Tower is the tallest building in Paris – not the tallest structure (that’s the Eiffel Tower with 300 meters), just the tallest building.
Construction of the Montparnasse Tower began in 1969 and ended in 1973. According to the building industry website emporis.com, “the tower provoked a very strong esthetical and political debate at completion. Even a number of decades later, the tower has very few Parisian supporters.”
Parisians tend to agree, however, that the best view of Paris is from the top of the Montparnasse Tower – because you can’t see it from there.
Second photo: Looking north now, that's the Invalides with the golden dome.
Third photo: Looking down at the nearby streets and buildings to the northeast, with the Boulevard de Montparnasse cutting diagonally through the foreground.
Fourth photo: Tour Montparnasse from the nearby Atlantic Garden. If this building were in Frankfurt am Main it would be # 3 in the Frankfurt Skyline Countdown.
Fifth photo: Tour Montparnasse from you-know-where.
This 56 story tower gains the most commanding view of all of Paris at 209 meters high. It is located in the 14th Arrondissment on Rue du Depart, directly above the Montparnasse metro stop. But finding it is extremely easy. Finding the tourist entrance (the rest of the building is office space), is a little more difficult. It is actually located on the side facing the Rue de l'Arrivee, up a flight of stairs and is marked by a covered entrance that says "Paris en 360 degrees." The fee to go up in the elevator is 8 Euro, 50. For Children under 6 it is free; age 7 to 15, 4 Euro; For students and those age 16-20, 6 Euro, 50.
The tower itself was completed in 1973 and is made of curved steel and smoked glass. At the time of its completion it was Europe's tallest office complex. They say you can see up to 25 miles from the top on a clear day. Up there you will find a terrace (not recommended on a cold day) and just below a lounge area with a bar and, as advertised, 360 degree views of Paris. After you descend, check out the Galeries Lafayette below the Tower on Rue du Depart.
If you have,nt got a head for hieghts do not go up this 60 floor building!! The lift speeds you up at something like 2 floors per second, it is extremely fast. The views are excetpional once up there, if you dont fancy that there is a hugh store at the base of the building to while your time away shopping!
I can't really take credit for this tip - it was given to me some years ago by a friend. If you want a great view of Paris without the crowds of the Eiffel Tower I recommend the Montparnasse Tower. It's basically a huge, ugly 59 storey office block but from the top of it the view is incredible - including being able to see the Eiffel Tower itself in context. I've heard people joke that it's also the only place from which you can't see the Montparnasse Tower! The indoor viewing deck is on the 56th floor with lots of information and photos. The lift going up is very fast and you may feel momentarily like you left your stomach somewhere around the 10th floor! You can also walk up from there to the 59th floor which will take you out onto the roof of the building for the full experience. I've been up here a couple of times and have taken others who also enjoyed it. An adult ticket is Eu 10.50. I've never been up the Eiffel Tower (is that a bad thing to admit? I just hate crowds) so I don't know how the cost compares.
If you're in the area on a Sunday there is an art market at the end of Rue du Montparnasse near the Edgar Quinet metro.
Another way to view Paris from the sky is the Tour Montparnasse.I must say that I prefer the Eiffeltower but It is not so crowded and you have a nice view over the city.On the 56th floor you can see Paris,no matter what weather it is,on the 59th floor (209m) is an open air terrace.You can see up to a 40km radius.
Here is a picture of Tour Montparnasse. Tour has many meanings in French including "Tower." To get to Montparnasse Tour, simply take Green No. 6 Metro to Montparnasse Bienvenue Station which is located on South Bank.
If you want a cheap way of aerial view the whole Paris city than go to Montparnsse. This is 56 storied building is a good replacement of Eiffel Tower. It just coast 6.60 euros to go on the roof of this building.
It is must see activity as you can enjoy fresh air as well as the know how about the city.
It is open till late so you can enjoy the Paris night as well.
After the Eiffel tower, the second highest structure in Paris is the Montparnasse Tower, a building that is situated close to the central train station. It is 210 meters tall. Guided tours are available to the top of the tower from where one can have a great ariel view of the Eiffel Tower.
You must go up to the roof of the Montparnasse tower (59 stories) for an incomparable 360 degree view of Paris. The tower itself stands out like a sore thumb, but it's the perfect place to view Paris FROM. I think they charge about 10 euros to take the elevator up. If the weather is bad you can view from inside the 56th floor, but if it's not raining go all the way up to the roof and you'll be glad you did!
Tour Montparnasse is located on the left bank of the Seine in the Montparnasse district. The tower is 210 meters high and was designed Eugène Beaudouin, Urbain Cassan and Louis Hoym de Marien.
Adults : 10 €
Students (and aged 16 to 20) 7 €
Enfants Children (aged 7 to 15) : 4,50 €
Free entrance up to 6 years old
There are two areas to see the views from here. An indoor and outdoor observation deck. The indoor deck has an exhibition as well as cafe and shop. The outdoor deck is windswept but an amazing experience.
While most people hate the sight of it, most choose to ignore, but it's there and it does have at least one good thing going for it, the very best view of the city. At 210 metres, apart from the Eiffel Tower it is the highest building in Paris and affords an uninterrupted 360° view from the rooftop. A lift takes you up to the 56th floor in 38 seconds where you have a walled in view all the way around. You walk up a further 3 floors, only 10 metres,and you're on the roof. An easy layout with plenty of orientation panels and a brilliant idea for photographers, to have left 20 cms gaps in some of the surrounding perspex panels to give an unimpeded view.
First thought about in 1935 the idea came to fruition when the SNCF had to move the Montparnasse station further back and finally a building permit was given in 1968. The first stone laid in April 1970. The building is right over the top of the metro and needed special bracing to avoid complications with the foundations and also security for metro users. Apparently impossible to move the station itself, this is the real reason why there are such long walks at Montparnasse SNCF station to the metro.
There are 25 lifts in the building but each batch only serves a certain number of floors, the ones for the 56th floor are uniquely for visitors. It costs 13.50€ per adult with concessions for children and students. Nothing at all for seniors!!!!
Closest metro is of course Montparnasse-Bienvenue.
Tour Montparnasse was until 2009 the tallest skyscraper in France, and stands in the center of Paris in the Montparnasse district. Since 2009, the First Tour with 225 meters (including antenna 231 meters) the tallest building in France.
The skyscraper is in a stage built between 1969 and 1974. It was designed by the architect Robert Saubot. The 210 meter tall tower has 58 floors, 54 with offices. On the 56th floor is a restaurant, exhibition space and a mini cinema. Via stairs you get to the 59th floor (the roof), the highest and largest terrace of Paris, the only point from which the city through 360 ° and up to 40 km in the round can be viewed. The building is in the list of tallest buildings in Europe.