The allure of Paris might be the ‘city of love’ but visitors are quick to discover the cosmopolitan metropolis is a cultural hotbed chock full of impressive architecture, historic sights, classic art and bustling restaurant scene. It’s also home to some truly awesome rooftop bars where you can drink the night away in the shadows of some of Paris’ most iconic structures.
If you’re heading to Paris this summer and want to do more than just chow down excessive amounts of croissants and spend hours lining up to stare at the Mona Lisa (it’s not that impressive, sorry to spoil the fun), here are our picks for the best rooftop bars to knock back a couple of beverages while gazing a the beautiful Parisien skyline.
A classy rooftop bar and restaurant perched atop the Musée du quai Branly, Les Ombres offers stunning views of the Eiffel Tower, the Seine and Sacré-Coeur. Open daily for lunch and dinner, you can feast on a wide selection of traditional French cuisine while knocking back a few bottles of red or a pricey cocktail. Les Ombres is a favourite amongst celebrities who live in the area, so have your phone ready to take some candid snaps of regulars such as Johnny Depp.
The acclaimed five-star Hôtel Raphaël is one of Paris’ best hotels, but if the accommodation is a little pricey for your liking you can always visit the rooftop terrace for an evening of quintessential Parisien nightlife. Open between the prime months of May and September, the seventh story rooftop bar features a hanging garden and terrace restaurant with a menu prepared by accomplished chef Francisco Merino. The terrace has a laidback vibe and is ideal for a few late arvo drinks while the restaurant bar is a bit posh, so this is a spot best visited with the lady to show her you’ve got a touch of class.
One of the oldest hotels in Paris designed by renowned architect Philip Starck, Mama Shelter also has a rooftop bar that’s a must-visit for anyone passing through the gritty 20th Arrondissement. Large comfy sofas and ambient lighting create a chilled vibe at night while a game of table tennis is available for those looking for activities. The food menu is small and comprised mainly of vegetarian options, but the drinks list is extensive and includes a solid selection of local beers and vinos.
Les Terrass Hotel Bar
Located near the Montmartre cemetery on the rooftop of the traditional Terrass hotel, this open-air terrace offers panoramic views of Paris in a vibrant setting. The furnishings are modern and colourful, the drinks list extensive and the vibe extremely chill. The 180-degree views take in Les Invalides, the Eiffel Tower and the Grand Palais, and on weekends you can even enjoy a boozy brunch.
43 Up On The Roof
The Holiday Inn isn’t what you’d call up-market lodging, but the rooftop bar on the property adjacent the Notre Dame is one of the best chill spots you’ll visit in Paris. Situated in the heart of the Latin Quarter, the bar is nine floors up with remarkable views of the city, especially at night with the Eiffel Tower lit up like a Christmas tree on the horizon. The decor is sleek and modern and the drink options plentiful, although the cocktails start at $25 so you’ll probably want to move on after a few or stick to beer and wine.
This Parisian establishment located in an old train station in the 16th arrondissement will have you thinking you’ve accidentally found yourself Italy. Modelled after the earthy colours of Tuscany, you can enjoy all manner of Italian dishes (from pizza to arancini) with a welcoming setting that includes wicker chairs and plentiful plant life. During the evening DJs bring the tunes, turning Brasserie d’Auteuil into a chic late-night favourite amongst locals.
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