Thanks to stringent regulations, Paris has preserved its low-lying skyline to keep the historic city much as it was when Baron Haussmann rebuilt it under Napoleon III in the middle of the 19th century. Without the towering skyscrapers found in most of the world’s other major destinations, Paris’ low rooftops afford stunning vistas of the sparkling cityscape.
These are some of our favorite places to sup a cocktail and enjoy that view.
Nestled in the 16th Arrondissement, Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Peninsula Paris’ chic sixth-floor alfresco lounge gives you a great glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. As with the rest of the hotel, expect an elegant experience at this rooftop oasis.
Catch magnificent colors as the sun sinks behind the landmark and the city rooftops from one of the cushy gray chairs with an expertly crafted cocktail in hand. We recommend ordering Le Chant des Cigales (vodka, maraschino liqueur, Ricard, honey syrup, lavender, lemon juice and tonic) or the French Summer Spritz (rum, Aperol, grapefruit juice, jasmine syrup, and champagne) to cap off a warm evening.
On top of the vast Centre Pompidou in the Fourth Arrondissement sits this modern restaurant and bar. A glass and steel box with a large terrace, it is more muted and elegant than the brightly colored chaos of the museum below.
With an expansive alfresco dining area, the venue provides a prime perch for sipping drinks and grazing a menu of modern French food with the city laid out before you.
Le Georges stays open until 2 a.m., so views of the floodlit skyline are also on offer late into the night.
Le Perchoir Marais
The second rooftop venue opened by the Perchoir team, this trendy spot boasts a fantastic location on top of the popular BHV department store in the heart of the Marais, one of the oldest and hippest neighborhoods in the city. This is where you’ll find the fashion-forward crowd, sipping libations and chilled wine.
To keep things fresh, the alfresco bar changes ambiance with the seasons. This summer’s iteration evokes the feeling of a whimsical tree house with fairy lights and untreated wood furnishings that don’t compete with the main attraction: the stellar city views.
The Eiffel Tower — still the city’s tallest structure — is visible throughout Paris, but for a spectacular close-up of the famous monument, stop by this stylish address. Perched atop the iconic attraction’s neighboring Musée du Quai Brany (an eye-catching gallery dedicated to indigenous art from Africa, Asia, the Americas and Oceania), Les Ombres offers a scenic locale for a leisurely afternoon respite.
With a clever name referencing the restaurant’s location at the foot of the tower — Les Ombres means “the shadows” — this eatery seats nearly 100 on its spacious terrace. Booking is essential here, and when you do make reservations, specify that you’d like a table outside.
Still relatively unknown and tucked out of the way in the north of the city, this rooftop bar at Terrass” Hotel affords beautiful views over Montmartre Cemetery and beyond.
The property is in the 18th Arrondissement on the slopes of the highest hill in Paris, providing even more spectacular vistas. Look out for the dome of Sacré-Coeur to the east, the Church of Saint-Augustin to the southwest and the gothic Church of Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois directly south.
The bar operates on a first-come, first-served basis, so arrive early to snag a stool and a glass of champagne, and watch the sun set over the city through massive windows.