How about a free glass of Champagne while admiring the views over the Paris skyline?
The skyline of the city can be viewed in various places in the city, the most popular ones being the top of Eiffel-tower or arc de Triomphe, the rooftop terrace of Printemps or the stairs of Sacre-Coeur. If you want to see the views from a less crowded place, head to Montparnasse. On top of the Montparnasse tower is a scenic terrace, offering spectacular views over the city at the heights of 200 meters in exchange for a 15€ entrance fee.
This might not be the best-known place in the city, so therefore it is also much less crowded in here than say, at the Eiffel tower, arc de Triomphe or any other world-famous tourist attraction. So just for the views, I’d suggest on going to Montparnasse and save those precious little minutes, or even hours and do not go to a place where you have to wait in line for ages and then fight for the spot where the perfect photo can be taken. On a Saturday afternoon in October, there was only a handful of people waiting to get up on the elevator with a waiting time of only few minutes. However, there is an even better alternative, in the very same building. The same views are available just one floor down from the terrace, from Ciel de Paris-restaurant. And there is no entrance fee here.
The restaurant is located on the 56th floor with spectacular views spreading over the city from the windows. This stylish restaurant has some 20o seats available, the setting is beautiful and the atmosphere is relaxed and calm. While the streets below are bustling with people and traffic on a Saturday afternoon, there were only a handful of people in the restaurant and we managed to get a table next to the windows in just a couple of minutes. During dinnertime the restaurant is said to be popular, so it is advisable to book a table upfront.
As Ciel de Paris is an upscale restaurant with amazing views, it must not come as a surprise that also the price level is slightly above average here. I did not even take a look at the menu, but just as an example, a small soda costs 8,5€ and a glass of Champagne is 16€. Even though the prices are somewhat high, it is worth remembering that just to get to the terrace one floor up, one needs to pay 15€. So just by paying one extra euro, you avoid queuing, are offered a nice seat in a table with the best possible views in the city, get a glass of champagne and some biscuits – not a bad deal, I’d say! When bearing in mind that basically all the well-known attractions have an entrance fee, we can go back to the question presented at the beginning of this post. A free glass of Champagne? Well, depends on how you look at it. Sure you have to pay for it, but here the glass comes at the same price as elsewhere just se view. So if you look at it the same way as a shopaholic during summer sales says “look at how much I saved honey”, then yes. You have to pay for the view, but here you just get the Champagne on top of it.
The Montparnasse tower is located between the Montparnasse station and Galleries Lafayette. When you get to the area, you cannot miss the building as it is the only high-rise one in the area. To get to the restaurant you need to get in from the main doors of the building, whereas if you still want to go to the rooftop terrace, the entrance is up the stairs outside the main doors.