Paris advice: climb the Montparnasse tower

Tour de Montparnasse

Paris is the city of the Eiffeltower, Sacre coeur and the Arc de Triomphe. Famous buildings in the French capital that you can climd. The only downside: when you are on top of the Eiffeltower, you are not able to see the Eiffeltower. That’s why I’ve been wanting to climb the Montparnasse tower for quite a while now: simply because the view from the only skyscraper in Paris has to be amazing. Just before Christmas, my boyfriend took me to the observationdeck of this 210 meter high tower, as an early Christmaspresent. 

Paris is quite a low city if you compare it to other big cities in the world. It’s not like New York with a lot of skyscrapers and even in Asia you will find way more high buildings than in the French capital. In the year 1853 Napoleon III, the cousin of Napoleon Bonaparte, gave Baron Haussmann the instructions for some big renovations in the city of Paris. It was this baron who designed the wide boulevards in the city and the famous Haussmann buildings. These are ‘the typical Parisian buildings’ that you can find all across the city. These buildings were built according to some strict rules, like a total of seven floors and balconies were only allowed on the second and fifth floors. All the other floors only got a ‘French balcony’. Because of all the rules about the hight of the buildings, back in the days, Paris is still quite a low city. For the real skyscrapers you will have to go to La Defense, the business district of the city, there you can find all the skyscrapers, including the highest building of the city, Tour One.

Ugliest building in the world

The high tower in the middle of the city center of Paris, for a lot of people it ruins the view. It is because of that, that inhabitants and tourist voted on the poll of Virtual Tourist in 2008 that it is the second ugliest building in the world. The building finished right after the city hall of Boston in the United States of America.

The Montparnasse tower was build in 1969 and was finished in 1973. The tower counts 58 floors and the roof is counted as number 59. The majority of the floors (54) is used as offices and the other ones for tourists and the restaurant that is situated on the 56th floor. Together with my boyfriend I visited the observation deck on the roof  and the 58th floor from where you can enjoy the beautiful view from inside the tower. A perfect option to stay warm during cold winter days.

View from tour Montparnasse

The view

The Montparnasse tower is in the middle of the city center of Paris, in the fifteenth arrondisement and in the heart of the neighborhood Montparnasse. Because the tower is situated in the middle of the city and the only skyscraper in downtown Paris, you have a very big view around the city. You can see the city center from ‘the sky’ and have a view on all the famous hotspots. The tower is in a straight line with the Eiffel tower and has a good view on Invalides, La Defense, the Pantheon and the Notre Dame. At the observationdeck there is enough information available to see where the famous buildings are situated. Personally I was quite impressed by the graveyard of Montparnasse, it is situated next to the tower. It is really visible and especially in the dark it is quite an interesting view. De whole city is light up and the graveyard is one big black square in the middle. Quite a big contrast.

Climb the tower yourself?

Did you become enthusiastic about the Montparnasse tower after reading this article and would you like to climb the tower as well? Then you can check out this website for tickets and more information about the opening hours. I definitely advice you to buy your tickets online, because you will be able to skip the line once you arrive at the tower and walk straight to the elevator. The day we climbed the tower was a very calm day and we didn’t have to wait at all to take the elevator up or down. It could be a bit busier in the high season, but one thing is for sure: it’s a whole lot calmer than climbing the Eiffel tower.
I would advice you to go up the tower, just a little bit before sunset. Like that you have the view of Paris by day ánd Paris by night.



If you’re not quite done with the view from the Montparnasse tower or if you prefer watching video’s instead of a blogpost? Check out the video down below, that I made about our Montparnasse visit. (And don’t forget to subscribe to my channel!)


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