When living in Paris, I maintain a personal goal of finding at least 1 new view of the Eiffel Tower every week. Honestly, many weeks that just happens naturally- her ladyship has a lovely habit of popping up from rooftops or around street corners when you’re doing daily life in Paris. On the weeks that doesn’t happen. it remains a fun little personal challenge that always leaves me feeling thankful and inspired.
I am sharing some of my favorite, lesser known Eiffel Tower views (I prefer “lesser known” to “secret” views because come on people, don’t kid yourselves, Paris is big and the internet is even bigger). But even if most of these views are not entirely secret, they are not all visited equally, and it’s nice to have a view or two that feels like “your own” in addition to the classics. Each felt incredibly special to me as I discovered them, as I’m sure they did for many others before me. So now it’s your turn!
Here are 8 of my favorite “lesser known” Eiffel Tower views across the city of Paris:
Down Avenue du Saxe
Avenue du Saxe is a quiet residential stretch in the 7th arrondissement with a wide concrete slab running down the middle that I used to walk along every morning as part of my daily work commute. You will see children riding scooters, neighbors walking their dogs, teenagers playing football- all under the backdrop of a dead-straight view of the Eiffel Tower. Every night when I left work, I would try to time it so I was walking home on the hour and able to turn back, look at the sparkling Eiffel Tower, and thank my lucky stars I lived and worked here. Although you are wedged in between the Eiffel Tower and Invalides, this is not a street in Paris tourists are likely to just stumble upon, so you can come in peace, day or night, for a great view and photo op. If you come Thursday or Saturday morning, you can also explore the vendor booths of the local weekly market, Marché Saxe-Breteuil, all in the shadow of the Tower.
Take the Metro Line 10 to Ségur. The stretch with the view (also where Marché Saxe-Breteuil is located) is between Esplanade Jacques Chaban-Delmas and Place de Fontanoy.
Along the Promenade du Cours-la-Reine
This tree-lined path connects the Place de la Concorde all the way to Pont de l’Alma, but the stretch before you hit the ornate Pont Alexandre III is particularly picturesque, with houseboats bobbing on the Seine and the Tower looming over the water in the distance. I discovered this view one day on a run, and found myself repeatedly rerouting many future runs to reward myself with this view. This Eiffel Tower view is especially beautiful in the fall, as the trees along the path turn magnificent hues of orange and red in, and the neighboring wall built along the Seine has a string of vines that does the same.
Take the Metro to Concorde (Line 1,8,12) and exit on the Champs-Élysées Garden side. You can get on the Cours-la-Reine by walking towards the River Seine, right past the Fontaine des Mers.
From the windows of the UNESCO cafeteria
This view will require a little more grunt work, but trust me- it’s a good one, so good you feel like you should be able to reach through the glass and touch it! The UNESCO headquarters (aka the UNESCO House) are located on the Left Bank, very close to the Eiffel Tower, but the École Militaire (Paris military school) is sandwiched in between them and prevents any ground level views- you have to go up. While this building is mostly filled with UN offices and conference rooms, the seventh floor has a restaurant/cafeteria and coffee bar that is open to the public. You will have to go through security upon reaching the front entrance, but can tell them you are going to the restaurant once inside and they will direct you to the elevators. When you walk out of the elevators on the seventh floor, take an immediate left and prepare to be amazed while you grab a sandwich or hot lunch (possibly among UN dignitaries) and sneak a peek at some of UNESCO’s 600+ pieces of artwork, including an original Picasso.
Take the Metro to Cambronne (Line 6), cross through Square Garibaldi and walk up Avenue de Lowendal until you hit the front entrance. At this point you will have passed all 193 UN flags flapping in the wind, so it’s pretty hard to miss! (Also, UNESCO is right up the street from the first suggested view on Avenue de Saxe, so you can kill two birds with one stone).
From the world’s largest hot air balloon at Parc André Citroën
This public park is situated deep in the 15th arrondissement, in a green space that used to be a car factory, along the Left Bank of the Seine. It is far enough downriver in a largely residential neighborhood that tourists don’t tend to stumble upon the area, despite the park being home to the Ballon de Paris Generali- the hot air balloon that offers you a 150 m (492 ft) panoramic bird’s eye view of the City of Paris, where the Eiffel Tower is front and center.
The Paris Generali Balloon isn’t just a fun ride- it also provides real-time measurements of the City’s air pollution by reporting daily levels of fine particles and ozone gas. You can ride the balloon every day of the week beginning at 9 AM, and it costs €15 for an adult ticket (yes, the view is totally worth the price, let alone the experience). I recommend coming first thing in the morning to avoid lines on weekends or public holidays, as this is a popular activity for French families too!
Take the RER C or Metro Line 10 to Javel. Walk south on Port de Javel Bas along the riverbank. There are multiple greenway paths you can cross over around Rue Cauchy to enter the north end of Parc André Citroën. From there, just walk towards the big balloon!
From Metro Line 6
Get on Ligne 6 (the green line) and take it in the direction of Charles de Gaulle- Étoile. As long as you get on at Cambronne, or any stop east of that, you will catch fantastic views of the Eiffel Tower as the metro takes you above ground and across the Seine by way of the top of the Bir-Hakeim Bridge. Even the locals take a pause from their book or phone to take in the view!
From the center of Pont de la Tournelle
As 1 of 20 bridges along a 6 km stretch of the River Seine in central Paris, Pont de la Tournelle is the one that connects Île Saint-Louis to the Left Bank and part of the Eiffel Tower is visible from the center. “But only part of it,” you ask? Well yes, so sorry to report that the rest is blocked by picturesque Haussmann architecture and the majestic Notre Dame Cathedral. This Parisian view is particularly powerful at sunset, followed by watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle over what is arguably the City’s most historic landmark. Walk the bridge back to the island of Saint-Louis, wave to Marie Curie’s former residence, and treat yourself to some Bertillon ice cream or dinner at L’Îlot Vache. Their scallops glazed in pomegranates is one of my favorite dishes in all of Paris!
Take Metro Line 7 to Pont Marie. Cross Pont Marie and stay straight on Rue des Deux Ponts (Road of Two Bridges). Once you walk the island’s mere two blocks, you will hit the second bridge- Pont de la Tournelle!
Strolling down Avenue Montaigne
(especially during Christmas light season)
Avenue Montaigne connects the famous Champs-Elysées to Pont d’Alma and is known as one of the most luxurious streets in Paris’s shopping district. The Avenue is lined with all the major haute-couture fashion houses (Chanel, Dior, Prada, Gucci… the list goes on) as well the famous Hôtel Plaza Athénée. Undoubtedly a beautiful place to window shop all year long, it is particularly magical during Christmas season, as all the trees lining the street are draped in sparkling gold lights. The view of the Eiffel Tower is best at the end of the street, where it hits Place d’Alma, but walking through the line of sparkling trees to get there is arguably just as magical.
Take Line 1 or 9 to the Franklin D. Roosevelt metro stop at the base of the Champs Elysées. Avenue Montaigne runs southwest off the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées (the big traffic circle that you’ll see as you exit the metro).
Above the Luis De Camões Statue
Just a few blocks downriver from the busy Trocadéro Carousel lies a much quieter street with an old staircase that leads to a stone memorial of Portugal’s greatest poet, Luis De Camões. Once you climb the stairs and take in the statue, turn around to take in a magnificent view of the Eiffel Tower, picturesquely framed by Haussmann architecture and spindled balconies. This quiet street is also a perfect place to break out a bottle of wine and fresh baguette for an impromptu picnic.
Take Line 6 to Passy metro stop and walk up to the Place du Costa Rica. Turn right onto Boulevard Delessert, and in a less than 5 minute walk, the stairs will be on your left.