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Due to an insanely good deal on the Eurostar (£45 return) last weekend myself and DJ decided to rediscover Paris, we have both visited on separately on short trips but never had we been together. Admittedly when I have visited before I never quite got the hype, rushed visits and bad weather meant I never quite saw the dreamy Paris that everyone harps on about, it, so on this trip I wanted to take on Paris with fresh eyes, we were lucky to have surprisingly mild dry weather for February so made the most of meandering the many streets and walked a total of 50 km over the two days.
I can’t say I am now a Paris obsessive and in some parts of Paris, I found I felt slightly unsafe but on a whole, I did see the see why it is a city that people return to over and over again. Streets lined with traditional intricate buildings, independent pastry stores, wide open spaces in the middle of a city, oh and cheese, lots of amazing cheese.
On our marathon around the city of love, we also headed up many flights of stairs and walked many hills all in the name of viewpoints. Like most people, I love a viewpoint, and Paris has many of them, and not one of the four listed here includes the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower.
From the top of Montmartre hill
Montmartre is a Parisian village in the middle of the metropolis, what was once a place for the artists has now become a tourist hotspot, not only is the area incredibly beautiful, it is also hosting a wonderful view over the city. Climb the hill and sit on the steps of the Basilica of Sacre-Coeur to take in the view.
It was quite overcast on the morning we visited but I can imagine on a clear Spring or Summer day it would be the perfect place for a picnic. For those not too keen or able for the steep walk up there is a funicular that goes up and down which is also including on metro passes. Cost: Free
The top of Notre Dame ( Please note Notre Dame is currently closed)
As a full-blown Disney Kid Notre Dame brings me of Quasimodo in the bell tower and his gargoyle friends rather than a religious building, nevertheless it is stunning. It is actually free to visit inside the Cathedral and I urge you to wait out the queues and do this, the sheer size and intricately stained glass windows are breathtaking, however for 10 Euros you can also use the side entrance to climb to the top of the cathedral, not only will you get to see the bell tower but you will also get to share the view of Paris with the Gargoyles that look over the city.
The queue for this can get incredibly long ( None of the Paris Passes allow fast track entrance either) so I would suggest arriving first thing in the morning to avoid a long wait. Cost: 10 Euros or free with the Paris Lib pass.
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The stairs of the Trocadero
So this one might not be quite the panoramic or ariel view of Paris but it is still quite a wonderful one and a great place for getting your photos with the whole Eiffel tower, from this side of the tower you will also get the sunset behind the tower if timed right.
Another place that does get incredibly busy with tourists taking their photos so many people suggest heading down early morning for your photos. Cost: Free
The top of the Arc De Triomphe
I have saved the best and my personal favourite for last, I actually cannot believe I had not visited this viewpoint before because it is quite simply breathtaking as it has a fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower. We found there was hardly any queue when we visited but there are quite a flights of stairs that need to be climbed to reach the top!
Despite being in the middle of one of the world’s busiest roundabouts there is an incredibly calming feel from the top of the Arc De Triomphe. Cost: 12 Euros or free with the Paris Lib Pass
Alongside these incredible viewpoints, there is obviously the view from the Eiffel Tower which I skipped on this visit. Why? Well, it may be the highest viewpoint in Paris but you, of course, do not get to see Paris’ most famous and loved landmark in the skyline!
This post is in collaboration with the Paris tourist board but as always all opinions are my own.