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Best Panoramic Views of Paris

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Boasting several sweeping viewpoints and hilly areas, the city of lights is not lacking where panoramic views are concerned. Providing skies are relatively clear, here's where to head for the best panoramic views of Paris.

Sacre Coeur Basilica Viewpoint

©2006 Andrew C. Parnell. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

The panoramic viewpoint at the base of the Sacre Coeur Basilica in hilly Montmartre is a favorite. You can either brave the stairs up to the top, or take the funicular up the hill for the price of a metro ticket. Do watch your belongings here, though, as pickpockets are known to operate in the area. To get there, take Metro line 2 to Anvers, and follow signs to "Butte Montmartre" (Montmartre Knoll).

More: Montmartre in Pictures

Eiffel Tower

©Simona Dimutru

From the top deck of the Eiffel Tower, you can see most of the city's famed landmarks-- not to mention enjoy watching the crowds below swarm around like tiny ants.

More details on getting there and admission: Eiffel Tower Guide

Montparnasse Tower

© 2006 Robert Paul Young. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

One of Paris' only skyscrapers, the Montparnasse Tower has, in this writer's humble opinion, little charm aside from the breathtaking panorama provided by a ride to the top. Visit the tower before exploring one of the city's more modern neighborhoods, where 20th century writers like Henry Miller were known to haunt nearby bars and cafes.

More information: Visit the website

Arc de Triomphe

© 2006 Henkl.

See Paris as the Emperor Napoleon apparently wished to: from a sweeping vantage atop the 164-foot tall Arc de Triomphe, a monument scaled to the ego of the leader that commissioned it. From here you can witness the perfect symmetry of the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, the Tuileries Gardens beyond, and more.

Centre Georges Pompidou Rooftop

©2005 Mark and Allegra. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

From the rooftop of the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris' city center, you can procure excellent views of most landmarks, including Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sacre Coeur. You can take the elevator to the top with the purchase of a ticket to the National Museum of Modern Art housed at the center, or opt to dine at the trendy Georges Restaurant located on the last floor for a stunning view.

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Parc de Belleville

©2006 Sunfox. Some rights reserved under the Creative Commons License.

This little-known jem of a park nestled in a residential, albeit gritty neighborhood of northeastern Paris provides one of the best views of the city, and the romantic-style park winds down the hill for a charming stroll. An excellent off-the-beaten-track afternoon can be had here.

Metro: Pyrenées. To get to the park, take the Rue des Envièrges up the hill from Rue de Belleville until you reach the panorama and the park entrance on your right.

More: Paris in Two Days: Belleville

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