Easily Paris’ most iconic monument, the Eiffel Tower is the first stop for many travelers coming to the City of Light. While taking in the views from the tower itself is a must, you’ll definitely want to capture some photos of the city with the Iron Lady in it — and you can’t do that from inside the tower.
The Eiffel Tower can be spotted from nearly every corner of Paris, and the city’s stunning architecture, winding streets, and lush gardens seem to frame it perfectly. Since I’ve been living in Paris for several years now, I wanted to share a local’s guide to the absolute best views of the Eiffel Tower. These are great spots to visit any time of year. If you can, I recommend doing all of them!
Read on to discover the top six spots for capturing beautiful and unique photos of the Eiffel Tower.
The classic Eiffel Tower view: Rue de l’Université
One of the longest streets in Paris, Rue de l’Université runs through the city’s picturesque 6th and 7th arrondissements and ends up right on the edge of the Champs de Mars.
The intersection of Avenue de la Bourdonnais and Rue de l’Université offers an up-close and personal view of the Eiffel Tower, framed by classic Parisian buildings. This spot makes for especially stunning photos at dusk, when the last rays of sunlight cast golden reflections on the buildings around.
But you should also know that the Eiffel Tower sparkles for five minutes on the hour, every hour, from dusk until one in the morning. This light show is definitely worth waiting for and timing your night photos around.
Local tip: Head across the street to get a wide-angle view of the tower. From there, you can also create some interesting compositions with the majestic trees lining the avenue.
Most romantic view of the Eiffel Tower: Avenue de Camoëns
Contrary to the image conjured by its name, the Avenue de Camoëns is actually a quiet cul-de-sac tucked away in the glitzy 16th arrondissement.
Flanked by ornate Haussmanian buildings on either side, the cul-de-sac ends atop an impressive grand staircase which overlooks the river and the Eiffel Tower. Classic lamp posts line the cobblestone street and stairway, giving the area a timeless feel — perfect for capturing some unique and romantic photos with the Eiffel Tower.
Local tip: The light here is best either early in the morning just after sunrise or just after dusk when the sun has mostly set. The streetlamps’ soft, golden glow on the stairs creates an especially magical setting at dusk.
The tower from a famous bridge: Pont de Bir-Hakeim
Up next on my list of the best Eiffel Tower views is the one from the Pont de Bir-Hakeim.
This bridge has been featured in many films, so you can probably recognize it from its famous scene in “Inception.” This iconic steel arch bridge traverses the river Seine, connecting the city’s right and left banks, and boasts some incredible Eiffel Tower views.
One of the most beautiful details here are the antique lamps all along the bridge that frame the Eiffel Tower in the background — they can really add some extra magic to your night shots.
How to get there: The metro line 6 also crosses this bridge between the Bir-Hakeim and Passy stations. You’ll be able to catch an unobstructed view of the Iron Lady from the metro window, which makes a cool setting for photos and videos.
A bird’s-eye view of the Eiffel Tower: Galeries Lafayette Haussmann
If you want a true bird’s eye view of the Eiffel Tower, look no further than the Galeries Lafayette rooftop.
Situated on the bustling Boulevard Haussmann in the middle of Paris, this luxury department store is a popular shopping destination for locals and visitors alike. But the true gem of this place is the rooftop terrace.
Free to access, the rooftop showcases a 180-degree view of Paris from above. You can also spot most of the city’s major monuments, with a great vista on the Opéra Garnier and the Eiffel Tower.
When to go: Plan your visit for sunset, or during the golden hour to have the best light. The terrace faces Southwest, so the sunsets from here are spectacular.
The Eiffel Tower from every angle: Seine river cruise
Even after calling Paris home for almost eight years, taking a river cruise is still one of my favorite ways to enjoy the city.
There’s nothing quite like floating carefree down the river Seine and watching Paris pass by in front of you. You’ll get to see the city from a new perspective, and I’m sure you’ll spot some details you’d never noticed before. Plus, the river cruises pass just in front of the Eiffel Tower, so there’s no shortage of excellent photo opportunities.
Pro tip: Add a river cruise on to your Eiffel Tower tour, whether it’s a guided climb or an elevator tour, so you can make sure to cross both of these must-do Paris activities off your list. As an upgrade with our tour, your river cruise ticket is good for up to a year after your tour.
Locals-only secret view of the Eiffel Tower: Ile aux Cygnes
Last but certainly not least, one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower can be found on the Ile aux Cygnes. This tree-lined artificial island in the Seine is actually home to Paris’ Statue of Liberty, though the island itself remains unknown to most visitors (and many Parisians for that matter).
But the island’s location between the 15th and 16th arrondissements means that it boasts one of the most gorgeous and unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower in all of Paris, as the video above shows. You can access the Ile aux Cygnes via three different bridges, and thanks to the thick canopy of trees overhead, the island is an idyllic escape in almost any weather.
Seeing the Eiffel Tower inside and out
The great thing about the Eiffel Tower being the tallest building in Paris is that you can catch a glimpse of it from almost anywhere in the city.
But the tower looks completely different in every photo because it all depends on the angle and who captured it. If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that there are always unique, new views to find in the City of Light.
Now that you know where to find the best views of the Eiffel Tower, want to find out what all you can see from inside the tower? Check out our article on everything you can see from the Eiffel Tower to get some photo ideas for your next trip to this incredible monument.