The 22 best photo locations in Paris for capturing the city's most beautiful and iconic views, from the Eiffel Tower to the Sacré Coeur - plus insider tips on things to do while you're in the neighbourhood.
THE CAROUSEL AND THE EIFFEL TOWER
The theatrical old carousel with the Eiffel Tower soaring above it makes a winning composition every time - even at night, when both are lit up with thousands of little lights.
Promenade Quai Branly, 7th arrondissement, Paris
RUE CRÉMIEUX, THE MOST COLOURFUL STREET IN PARIS
Fast becoming the most Instagrammed street in Paris, Rue Crémieux is paved with setts and lined with the prettiest houses painted every shade of the rainbow.
Quinze-Vingts quartier, 12th arrondissement
AU VIEUX PARIS D’ARCOLE
As Paris shots go, café Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole has got it all: pretty painted purple chairs and eau-de-nil façade, half-covered with rambling bougainvillea. It's tucked away behind Notre-Dame Cathedral and somehow remains a relative secret, making it a fabulous spot for coffee – and for photographs. Summer is the prettiest time of all.
Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole, 24 Rue Chanoinesse, Île de la Cité
L’ÎLE DE LA CITÉ AT SUNRISE
Where to get the shot: From on the Pont des Arts at sunrise. The light is incredible. Once you've got your photo, ‘chase the light’ along the banks of the Seine towards Notre-Dame.
SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY
This legendary bookshop on the Left Bank is a Paris institution. It sells new, second-hand and antiquarian books, and champions writers, artists and thinkers – there are beds where they sometimes sleep amid the rows of printed words. James Joyce considered the original bookshop his office.
Insider tip: Spring is the best time to capture it, when the cherry trees bloom outside. Come early, before it opens and the tourists rock up; then later buy your book and take it to the new coffee shop next door.
Shakespeare & Company, 37 Rue de la Bûcherie, 5th arrondissement, Paris
NOTRE-DAME AND LEFT BANK BOOKSTALLS
It's tricky to get a proper shot of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame without hundreds of people in front of it – so get some distance and capture it from the Left Bank, with the bookstalls in the foreground. At sunrise, the most beautiful colours appear in the sky behind the cathedral, and there’s nobody around, making it the perfect time of day to photograph it.
Quai de Montebello, 5th arrondissement
THE EIFFEL TOWER AND AVENUE SILVESTRE DE SACY
The ornate wrought-iron balconies and ornamental detail of the Regency houses on Avenue Silvestre de Sacy creates a more interesting foreground for a classic Eiffel Tower shot.
Insider tip: The best spot is the corner between Avenue de la Bourdonnais and Avenue Silvestre de Sacy.
THE LOUVRE PYRAMID
Architect I. M. Pei’s iconic Pyramide du Louvre has formed the entrance to the Louvre since the 1980s. To capture it at its best, you need to be patient – at sunset, the light is gorgeous.
Insider tip: Come on a Tuesday – museums in Paris are closed on Tuesdays and there are fewer tourists around.
CHEZ JULIEN: CLASSIC FRENCH CAFÉ
Quaint inside and out – Chez Julien in the Marais is your quintessential Paris café-restaurant. Get your shot then go in and eat.
1 rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 4th arrondissement
THE EIFFEL TOWER FROM THE ARC DE TRIOMPHE
Classic sunset shot from on top of the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile. The view you get from the top of its 300 steps is like no other in the city.
Insider tip: climb an hour before sunset, when it’s less crowded, so you can admire the city during the Golden Hour and then, once the sun has set, see the Eiffel Tower sparkling at night.
LA MAISON ROSE, MONTMARTRE
The best time to photograph La Maison Rose, a restaurant in Montmartre, is in June, when the sun sets at the end of the street as you look down the hill. The light's also good early in the morning.
La Maison Rose, 2 rue de l’Abreuvoir, 18th arrondissement
THE EIFFEL TOWER
There are so many great spots to get a good, original shot of the Eiffel Tower. One of the loveliest is right at the foot of the tower, from the Allée des Refuzniks. All the seasons are beautiful: In spring, you can catch the cherry blossom; autumn turns the trees so many wonderful colours. And on a foggy day in winter, the mist adds a mysterious vibe to the sight. The morning light can make it really special – and you can avoid the crowds.
ODETTE: PRETTY PARIS PATISSERIE
Odette is a patisserie set in an oh-so-French crooked building in the Latin Quarter. Almost as important as getting the perfect shot – getting a little lemon chou à la crème. Delicious.
Odette, 77 Rue Galande, 5th arrondissement
SACRÉ COEUR, MONTMARTRE
Where to get the shot: On Place du Tertre, an hour right after sunrise, just as the sun comes out from behind the Sacré Coeur and there’s nobody around. During the day this square is impossibly crowded.
Insider tip: For the best coffee in the neighbourhood, avoid the tourist traps on the square and head to Soul Kitchen (33 Rue Lamarck).
THE PONT DES ARTS OVER THE SEINE
Where to get the shot: On the Quai des Tuileries, next to the Louvre, on a winter's morning. The pedestrian bridge runs from the Louvre to the Left Bank.
NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS
The exterior of Notre-Dame is fascinating from any angle – it’s hard to take a bad photograph of this place. Look up, and try partly framing it with trees, to cut out the inevitable crowds below.
Where to get the shot: Parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II, Île de la Cité
LAMARCK-CAULAINCOURT METRO STATION
Another Paris icon: the Art Nouveau Metro stations. Lamarck-Caulaincourt is one of the most photogenic, steps running up either side, and it’s set in a buzzy part of Montmartre with a real village feel (there’s a great bistro right outside the exit). The Sacré-Coeur may be a stone’s throw, but it feels like a world away.
THE RIVERBANKS OF THE SEINE
There’s no better way to explore the city and see everything than by strolling along the Seine. Both banks are great for photographing people cycling, walking or chilling. On summer evenings, grab a picnic and join Le Tout-Paris by the river for sunset.
THE VIEW FROM SACRÉ-COEUR
Where to get the shot: Climb the 300 steps to the top of the Sacré-Coeur, in Montmartre, for the most extraordinary view of the whole city – and one of the cheapest.
PLACE DES VOSGES, THE MARAIS
Place des Vosges is a beautiful, tranquil square in the Marais. There are handsome buildings on every side, so any perspective is good. It's also a great spot for a picnic on sunny days.
ÎLE SAINT-LOUIS AND THE PANTHÉON
You’ll find lots of Parisians on bikes on quiet little Île Saint-Louis. One of the best views in Paris can be found as you cross the Pont Saint-Louis from here to the Ile de la Cité, with the dome of the Panthéon visible above the buildings of the Latin Quarter across the river.
Insider tip: While you're in the neighbourhood, seek out one of France’s best ice-cream makers, Berthillon, on rue Saint-Louis.
THE LEANING APARTMENTS OF MONTMARTRE
Where to get the shot: On the steps of the Sacré Coeur in Montmartre. Tilt your phone so the building appears to be leaning up out of the ground. Good spot for a photo shoot if people dare to climb over the fence and walk up the hill.
Article by https://www.cntraveller.com/