Tour Montparnasse

Paris France
Sunset over Paris


One of the highlights of our visit to Paris happened by accident.

On our last evening, I wanted to witness the “City of Lights,” as Paris is known. I had a couple of ideas, and it was through researching these that I found the final destination of our vacation. It was a great one.

Everyone is probably wondering why we didn’t just go up the Eiffel Tower. We debated that during the day, and just didn’t want to do it. It was a combination of “being chicken” and wanting to see the tower itself lit up, so I searched for other options.

My first thought was to do the Seine River tour at night. We had already experienced it during the day, so we didn’t think that would be the best option. Another was the Arc De Triomphe. I have been to the top of it during the day on a previous visit, and it is a wonderful view.

So in doing online research on the Arc at night, I stumbled on a hit that compared the view from the Arc to the view from the Montparnasse Tower (Tour Montparnasse). I had never heard of the Tower, but am I ever glad I found that online post.

The building is 59 floors of mainly offices, but has two viewing areas. On the 59th floor is an open viewing platform that looks out over Paris, and on the 56th floor is an enclosed area with a restaurant and more viewing areas.

The tower is often criticized for being out of place compared to the rest of the architecture in Paris. Two years after its completion, the construction of buildings over seven stories high in the city centre was banned.

The joke among Parisians is that the view from the top is the most beautiful in Paris, because it is the only place from which the tower cannot be seen.

We chose this as our final sightseeing venture. We decided to go in the late afternoon, so we could see the sunset and then stay for the night lights. We thought it would be busy, which it was, but no lineups and no waiting, unlike most of the other popular spots in Paris.

The elevator ride up 56 stories is an easy one. We came out on the 56th viewing area, and walked stairs up to the 59th floor. We enjoyed the magnificent views of the city, including a view of the famous landmarks of the Eiffel Tower, Arc De Triomphe, Notre Dame, Les Invalides, Le Louvre…the list goes on.

Paris France
Les Invalides
Paris France
Grand Palais

We enjoyed sunset outside, with a beautiful view that included the Eiffel Tower as the sun sunk in the sky.

Paris France
Looking out over Paris

We then went down to the 56th floor, and enjoyed a glass of red wine while the city darkened. From that vantage point, we got to enjoy a spectacular view of the city at night, including the twinkling light show on the Eiffel Tower that happens every hour.

Paris France
The sun sets…
Paris France
…and the sky gets darker…
Paris, France
…and the Eiffel Tower lights up

We were certainly glad we stumbled upon the Tour Montparnasse, and would recommend it to visitors to Paris.

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