Paris is a city renowned for its beauty and charm, and it’s no surprise that it’s one of the most photographed cities in the world. With its stunning architecture, picturesque streets, and iconic landmarks, Paris offers an endless source of inspiration for any kind of photographer. It’s no easy task to create a list of the top 10 places to take photos in Paris, but we thought we’d try! No doubt you’ll have your own version – but here we share some of our PhotoHounders’ favourite viewpoints and locations in Paris together with their tips on how to get the best travel shots once there.
1. Eiffel Tower from Trocadero
One of the best views you can get of the Eiffel Tower is from the Palais de Chaillot, which is also known as The Trocadero. It was built in 1937 for the Universal Exhibition, and is made up of two neo-classical wings separated by a terrace leading to the Jardins du Trocadéro. Arrive early as this is a popular spot. Ideally about 20 mins before first light, and before everyone starts arriving for portrait photos.
2. Notre-Dame Cathedral from beneath Pont St. Michel
Despite the devastating fire in 2019, Notre-Dame Cathedral remains a stunning example of Gothic architecture. The cathedral’s intricate façade, soaring spires, and rose windows provide endless opportunities for creative photography. Head beneath the Pont St-Michel bridge to the Promenade René Capitan for a unique viewpoint from the banks of the Seine.
3. Arc de Triomphe
One of the most famous monuments in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe is located at the end of the Champs-Élysées in the centre of Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly Place de l’Étoile) from which twelve avenues radiate outwards. Use the pedestrian crossing a short way down the Champs Elsyées from the Arc to set up a tripod for this long exposure shot to capture light trails. You definitely won’t be alone here, so be respectful of others (whatever you think of their selfie shots!) and do be careful with the fast-moving traffic around you.
4. Pont Alexandre III
Pont Alexandre III is a magnificent bridge that spans the Seine River. The bridge’s ornate sculptures, lampposts, and sweeping views of the Seine make it a perfect spot for photography. Views from here across the Seine and of the Pont des Invalides and Eiffel Tower are some of the best. Don’t forget to integrate the very beautiful statues on the bridge into your photos as foreground.
5. Le Louvre
The Louvre Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world and home to some of the most famous works of art, including the Mona Lisa. The museum’s glass pyramid and the surrounding courtyards make for some stunning architectural photography. If you have the chance, shoot at night once the museum is closed as not only does it look much more dramatic when illuminated, but there will also be far fewer tourists!
6. Galeries Lafayette
Galeries Lafayette is a beautiful department store on Boulevard Haussmann in the 9th arrondissement. The interior and domed atrium is a visual treat, and you can also head to the roof terrace for spectacular views of the city. At Christmas this store is at its absolute best and is decorated to impress.
7. Eiffel Tower from Bir Hakeim
A top 10 places to take photos in Paris wouldn’t be complete without multiple views of ‘the Iron Lady’! From the right bank of Pont de Bir-Hakeim, which crosses the Seine between the 15th and 16th arrondissement, you have a remarkable view of the Eiffel Tower. Come at sunrise or blue hour at either end of the day for the best light and illuminations.
8. Sacré-Coeur & Montmartre
The Sacré-Cœur is a stunning example of Romanesque-Byzantine architecture and one of the most recognizable landmarks in Paris. The basilica’s white dome and stunning views of the city make it a popular spot for photography. Bustling Montmartre is also the perfect location for some people watching and street photography.
9. Arts et Metiers Metro Station
Who doesn’t love a cool underground station? Check out Arts et Métiers Métro station in the 3rd arrondissement if you agree! Named after the industrial design and technology museum located nearby, it features steampunk-inspired decor with cool bronze accents and gears.
10. La Grande Arche de la Défense
Last but by no means least, head to La Défense a major business district located just outside of Paris. It is home to numerous skyscrapers, including the iconic Grande Arche. It also serves as the headquarters for many French and international corporations. La Grande Arche has a unique giant cube design which creates interesting geometric shapes. Additionally, the building offers stunning panoramic views of Paris for the top.
So that’s our pick for the top 10 places to take photos in Paris. No doubt you have your views (and viewpoints!) and we’d love to hear them. Have you shared your favourite Paris locations with the PhotoHound community yet? If not, it’s time to get adding. We’ll look out for them and they may be featured in our Paris guide!