It wasn’t just my first night in Paris. It was my first night outside Asia. And I swore to celebrate it with the best view of the French capital.

A quick consultation with my best friend, Google, gave me a few suggestions: the Basilica of Sacré-Cœur, the rooftop of Centre Pompidou, and the top of the Eiffel Tower itself. The most compelling was Tour Montparnasse 56, “the city’s one and only skyscraper.” The best view of Paris, the reviews promised. (If you’re coming from the UK, you can fly to Paris via Flybe. They also have code-share agreements with Air France and KLM.)

After an afternoon of leaving footprints along Champs-Élysées, off to Montparnasse I went. A quick walk led me to the base of the 689-foot giant. The tower itself looked rather modern, terribly out of place amid structures that appeared they had stood there for centuries. A personnel at the door ushered me to its fastest elevator, the one that ferries passengers straight to the 56th floor. In only 38 seconds, I reached the viewing deck. There were not many tourists, a stark contrast to the long lines at the Eiffel.

I was there too early. I had planned on catching the Parisian sunset here so I ensured I would be here at around six in the evening. I forgot one thing: In this part of the world at this time of the year, the sun doesn’t set until around 8:30pm. I had more than two hours to spare.

Waiting is not a problem at Tour Montparnasse. The viewing deck boasts an unobstructed 360-degree view of the city. There is no shortage of spectacular scenery. To the south sprawls the Montparnasse Cemetery, and to the west stand the Eiffel Tower, the Church of Saint-Sulpice, and the Cathedrale Saint-Louis des Invalides. Binoculars offer a closer look, and the indoor cafe provide refreshments to exhausted visitors (for a fee, of course).

Binoculars are available for those who covet a closer look.
Binoculars are available for those who covet a closer look.
View of Montparnasse Cemetery and Church of Saint-Sulpice from the tower
View of Montparnasse Cemetery from the tower
Cathedrale Saint-Louis des Invalides
Cathedrale Saint-Louis des Invalides
Church of Saint-Sulpice
Church of Saint-Sulpice

When the sun began teasing to dive, I scurried to the stairs to access the outdoor roof deck where only a few tourists lingered. I found a spot and witnessed the heavenly show. Clouds bared their darker linings as the light began to dwindle. The sun, finally taking some rest, became a perfect backdrop to the mighty Eiffel Tower. It was a glorious picture, so glorious it commanded the already thick crowd to whip out their phones and cameras and capture #ThatWonderfulMoment.

But the lights coming from the gadgets were no match to what happened next. When the evening welcomed its first top of the hour, the Eiffel Tower showed off some shimmer, forcing the admiring souls beside me to endure raising their phones a little bit longer. Much like the sunset just minutes before, the light show was a fleeting experience, something you have to take in in a matter of minutes.

View of the sunset from the Montparnasse 56
View of the sunset from the Montparnasse 56
The Eiffel Tower at sunset and nightfall.
The Eiffel Tower at sunset and nightfall.
Tourists watching the sunset.
Tourists watching the sunset.
Capture #ThatWonderfulMoment!
Capture #ThatWonderfulMoment!
Eiffel Tower at Night
Eiffel Tower at Night

Those who failed to grab the first run folded themselves on the floor, still facing Europe’s most famous landmark. The sparks would be back again after an hour; they waited. Friends made a toast, and lovers shared a kiss — almost everyone had a glass of champagne in one hand. The frugal and eager halves of me wrestled, but austerity won in the end with just one look at what was inside my wallet. Next time, maybe.

Tour Montparnasse 56
33 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris

Admission Fee:
Adults (21+), 14.5 EUR
Youths/Students (16-20), 11.50 EUR
Children (7-15), 9 EUR

Operating Hours:

  • April 1 – September 30
    Daily, 9:30am-11:30pm
  • October 1 – March 31
    Sundays-Thursdays 9:30am-10:30pm
    Fridays-Saturdays 9:30am-11:00pm

How to get to Montparnasse Tower: Take the Montparnasse – Bienvenüe Station (Lines 4, 6, 12, and 13) and then follow the signs to Tour Montparnasse.

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Yoshke Dimen

Yoshke Dimen

Storyteller at Yoshke.com
Yoshke is a part-time digital marketing consultant, part-time travel blogger, and full-time dreamer. He has three passions in life: social media, travel, and --- wait for it --- world peace. Yoshke has won 3 PHILIPPINE BLOG AWARDS and received 9 nominations. Learn more about his personal journeys at Yoshke.com.
Yoshke Dimen

Comments

  1. 4HourTRAVEL says:

    “It wasn’t just my first night in Paris. It was my first night outside Asia. And I swore to celebrate it with the best view of the French capital.”

    With those shots you took? Yeah, I think you have got the best of Paris. Looking forward for more posts like these :)

  2. life is a shoe says:

    I miss paris so much! lived there for about a year and my school was near the montparnasse tower! and i agree that the views were superb!

  3. teo7724 says:

    Hey guys, I have been planning a honeymoon to Paris, and my wife and I purchased some attractions tickets, for the BonAppetour
    dinners (a dining experience with locals: here is the
    link: www [dot] bonappetour [dot] com
    If you guys want it,
    please let me know, I can sell them to you for a cheaper price!

  4. KyleOlsen14 says:

    Your photos make me want to break a promise I made to myself never to go somewhere I thought has become completely commercialized, but I believe that I’ll be eating those words now.

  5. Rain Campanilla says:

    the photos are envy-worthy. i am living vicariously through you, darnit. :D

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