Hello Paris lovers! The City of Lights is hands down one of the most photographed cities in the world and it’s so easy to see why. It easily tops the list with cities like Venice, San Francisco, and Prague (just to name a few of my faves). From the Eiffel Tower views around the city to whimsical little side streets, I was definitely a bit snap-happy (and also ready to Instagram a photo every 2 minutes) as I made my way through Paris.
In any case, I put together a guide for the best photo spots in Paris…some will be the obvious photo spots that you can find in every guide (and for good reason), but I tried to include a few hidden gems for you too.
If you’ve already ticked off these epic Paris bucket list activities, my favorite way to discover a city is by scouting out the most epic photography spots. I hope you enjoy exploring Paris via photos as much as I did – it’s truly a unique city!
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1 | Eiffel Tower
If you don’t have a shot of the Eiffel Tower, have you really even been to Paris? It’s going to be on every photo location guide and city guide and for good reason. Even if you don’t like crowds, suck it up; sunset at the Eiffel Tower was when I truly felt like I was in Paris. Invest in a Skip-the-Line Eiffel Tower Summit Access ticket if you want to get some sweet views from above! This is clearly one of the best photo spots in Paris…especially at sunset!
2 | The Louvre from the Courtyard
The courtyard of the Louvre with its pyramid is another iconic photo location in Paris. Even if you don’t have time for the museum, make sure to swing by for the photo op! I’d recommend checking out the art if you have time…for busy times of year (summer), beat the other tourists with a Skip-the-Line Entrance Ticket to the Louvre.
3 | Champs Elysees
Champs Elysees is quite possibly the most famous street in the world, and we both know you’re going to end up here at some point. I went during the day (do not repeat my mistakes)…very crowded and a ton of cars. The plus side was discovering a fantastic macaroon shop, Laduree. I learned that macaroons make everything better.
4 | Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is the crowning jewel of the Champs Elysees. Note that to get to the Arc, there’s an underground passage. Please do not try and run across all of that traffic…it will not go well. Check out a Skip-the-Line Arc de Triomphe Rooftop ticket to avoid the crowds.
5 | Tuileries Gardens
Aside from having a spontaneous photoshoot there, the gardens are also a beautiful spot to bring lunch or a book. They’re right in the middle of everything, so whenever you decide to rejoin the hustle and bustle, you’re right there. Also, there’s a goat that lives there (not sure if that sways you one way or another, but figured it would be good to mention).
6 | Sainte Chapelle
Visit Sainte Chapelle on a sunny day so you can see all of the beautiful colors streaming through the stained glass windows! For a bit of history, try out the self-guided tour to the cathedral. I loved the ambiance here and you can see why it is one of the best photo spots in Paris.
7 | Notre Dame
Notre Dame is definitely another iconic name when you think of Paris, and for good reason. You can snap a photo from the banks of the Seine, take a tour up to one of the bell towers and check out the views from above, or just shoot straight on. I’d recommend walking around it and viewing all the angles.
8 | Rue St Severin
During the day, this area can be a bit of a madhouse due to its proximity to Notre Dame. Go later on in the day or early morning, and you can enjoy the quaint little cafes and creperies. I also definitely got gelato there one afternoon when it was about 100 degrees out.
9 | Carousel at the foot of Trocadero Gardens
This was one I just stumbled on…it gives you an old school inspired shot of Paris with a touch of childhood magic. For me, this was definitely one of the best photo spots in Paris.
10 | Moulin Rouge
Moulin Rouge is a lot of fun…it’s a little grimier than the main tourist areas, but definitely worth a visit. You can combine it with your trip to Montmartre and Sacre Couer, as it’s a quick shot from there. Even better, partake in a Moulin Rouge show (with champagne!) one evening. If you’re considering seeing a show while in Paris (and you definitely should!), check out this guide to Paris cabaret shows. My only regret now is not being able to see all of them!
11 | Sacre Couer
You can get one of the best views of Paris from Sacre Couer. I’d recommend climbing up at night; you can see why Paris is called the city of lights! Plus, the beauty of Sacre Couer itself doesn’t hurt either…it was a welcome sight after climbing up the hill. For an expert tour of Sacre Couer and neighboring Montmartre, try out a quick guided tour. I’d highly recommend checking it out at night and enjoying one of the best photo spots in Paris!
12 | Love Locks
Any new city I visit, I look for locks of love along the various bridges. This specific bridge definitely one of the best photo spots in Paris (though the look changes over time if locks are cut down).
13 | Le Consultat Café
You can find this picturesque café in Montmartre on the way up to Sacre Couer. I had just eaten a baguette right before walking by, so sadly didn’t have any more room in my stomach to try the food. Based purely on how cute the awning is though, I’m sure it’s delicious.
14 | Pont Alexander III
This is my favorite bridge in Paris with its old school lights and elegant structure. You can see why it belongs on the list of the best photo spots in Paris.
15 | Rue Cremieux
Rue Cremieux is quite possibly the most Instagrammable street in Paris. With its pink, purple, and green houses, you can’t help but have a photo shoot on the front steps of these houses. I’m such a sucker for colorful houses, that after a day of Paris’s typical gray and brown architecture, I fell head over heels for this street.
16 | Any Café in Montmartre
I have a thing for cafes, I’m just addicted to them…both photographing them and eating in them. The Montmartre neighborhood of Paris has no shortage of adorable little places to eat.
17 | Shakespeare & Co Bookstore
Kind of like cafes, I’m a lover of books and bookshops. Basically, my ideal life would be some kind of mash-up of the two and I’d live happily ever after there. Shakespeare & Co has new and used books and is quite simply adorable.
18 | ALL of the Macaroon Shops
If you go macaroon hunting in Paris, you will not be disappointed. Not only will your taste buds be doing a happy dance, but the shops have the most colorful macaroons in the world. My favorite is when they make colorful macaroon towers!
19 | Place de la Concorde
Place de la Concorde is between the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe, so you might as well make a stop, am I right? The most photographed part seems to be the obelisk, but I personally loved the fountain. Must be the mermaid in me… Paris does have a TON of walking, so a hop-on, hop-off bus tour is an easy way to see the city!
20 | View of the Eiffel Tower from Pont de Bir-Hakeim
Movie buffs might recognize this as the bridge from Inception, but not only is it a movie-famous location, but you also get a unique angle of the Eiffel Tower. You have a little more distance from the Eiffel Tower to really take in the view; for me, this belonged on the list of the best photo spots in Paris.
21 | Pastry Store
Not to confuse this with the macaroon store above, a pastry shop has ALL kinds of pastries, from lava cakes to soufflés to crème brûlées. I’m a sucker for any colorful cakes (like this one!) Side note: I actually became a French pastry chef for an afternoon and helped make this!!
Other Paris Activities I’d Recommend:
Taking photos all day and night can be an exhausting endeavor, so make sure to treat yourself with some awesome Paris activities! After snapping pics of all the best photo spots in Paris, here are a few of my recommendations on how to enjoy the city:
- Seine River Cruise with Dinner –There’s no better way to see Paris that cruising along the river. Even better, it comes with dinner!
- Ghost Walking Tour – Visit the haunted streets of Paris on this spellbinding ghost tour. Learn about Dracula, the ghost of the Eiffel Tower, and Paris’s history with vampires!
- Segway Tour –Pressed for time? See highlights of Paris in two hours on this awesome Segway tour!
- Paris Catacombs –If you’re into spooky things, you have to check out the Paris Catacombs and learn about the fascinating ways the city has dealt with its deceased.
- Palace of Versailles –This ticket sets up your transfer and lets you skip the line…definitely worth checking out!
Flights to Paris
I’d recommend searching through eDreams.net. They scan tons of different travel discount sites and feature special flight deals. Fly into Paris, and it’s just a short metro ride into the city! This handy metro map is incredibly helpful – I used it to map out my route from the airport to Gare du Nord.
Where to Stay in Paris
Budget: Since I was traveling solo, I personally opted to stay in a hostel to make some friends! I absolutely loved St. Christopher’s Gare du Nord ; it has an awesome location by the train station, good prices, and a super fun hostel bar.
Mid-Range: Another cool option is to stay in the Latin Quarter of the city at the Familia Hotel. The 5th arrondissement is a great choice for travelers interested in food, history and art.
Higher-End: For families and couples that want the location, stay in the heart of Paris at the Hoxton. Not only do you get a top location, but you can enjoy a beautiful courtyard, and the hotel is a great value for your money.
Local Stay: If I could do it all again, I’d opt for this scenic apartment with epic views overlooking the Eiffel Tower. Not only do you enjoy stunning sights, but you can take full advantage of the luxurious marble and gold bathroom – nothing beats a lavish shower after a day of exploring all that Paris has to offer!
- Bucket List Worthy Things to do in Paris: Discover some of the coolest Paris bucket list activities to cross off your list!
- 10 Female Solo Travel Mistakes to Avoid: If you’re flying solo like me, take a look at this little list of suggestions for solo travelers.
So, I hope you found this guide on best photo spots in Paris helpful. If you haven’t been, Paris should definitely be on your bucket list! Tell me—have you visited Paris and loved it as much as me? Let me know some of your other favorite photo spots in the comments!