The city of lights… the city of love… Paris is known for a lot of things. But one thing most people can agree on is that Paris is one of the most Instagrammable cities on the planet! And with Paris photography spots at every turn, it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed. That’s why I gotchu with the only Paris photography location guide you’ll ever need!
Photography is one of those “eye of the beholder” kinda things. So I can’t possibly list EVERY. SINGLE. SPOT. (And hey, isn’t that kind of the adventure for each photographer?) But here are some (if not most) of the most famous and impressive photography spots in the “City of Lights.”
In this guide are the best Paris photography spots, images of what to expect, map directions and places to reserve (should you want to get the hotel or restaurant spot). MAKE SURE you bookmark this on your phone so you can have it handy when wandering the streets of Paris.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
TIP 1: A lot of these spots are close together, so you can shoot multiple spots in a few days. Still, taking pics and wading through the crowds can be exhausting. Give yourself at least a week to get all of these spots on your itinerary.
TIP 2: One of the great things about Paris is that most of the locals sleep in. If you want to get most of these shots without people in them, try arriving between 6 and 8 am. Obviously shoulder/off season is best, but this rule can be applied year round.
TIP 3: There is no bad time to visit Paris. However if you’re looking for less crowds, cheaper prices and comfortable weather, shoulder season is best. Think late fall and early Spring (spring is also the time you can get those beautiful cherry blossom trees)!
Best Paris Photography Spots in Montmartre
Sacré-Cœur (35 Rue du Chevalier de la Barre)
Up close or far away, there are many ways to capture Sacré-Cœur. Whether you’re inside this magnificent church or outside, it will be a beautiful photograph. You’ll have the steps all to yourself if you arrive before 8:30 am!
Le Consulat (18 Rue Norvins)
I stumbled upon here years ago as a happy accident. Now, it’s a Montmartre photography staple! While you can arrive here early to beat the crowds, I think some of its charm lies in those casually sipping espresso and having a cigarette outside, don’t you?
La Maison Rose (2 Rue de l’Abreuvoir)
A pastel beauty, now another Instagram-worthy spot! La Maison Rose is a great place to stop for an early snap as well as lunch since it doesn’t open until noon (like most French spots).
Moulin Rouge (82 Boulevard de Clichy)
Famous in history and in cinema, you can’t not go to Moulin Rouge while you’re here. It’s a lot more photogenic than it is affordable at over $100 USD per ticket (and that’s on the weekdays)! If you’re looking for a better burlesque show (though the prices still remain high), take a picture in front of here but attend Crazy Horse instead.
Pink Mamma (20bis Rue de Douai)
If you’re gonna do Italian instead of French, this is the place to do it! It’s Instagrammy as hell and with four levels, there are plenty of places to snap. But if you want seats on the most photogenic floor (top floor), make reservations far in advance! (Please note, this is technically on the border of Montmartre and Saint-Georges.)
Best Paris Photography Spots in Les Marais
Place des Vosges
Le Marais is one of the coolest neighborhoods in France and this beautiful square is no exception. As the oldest square in the city, it doesn’t quite get the attention it deserves, so crowds are minimal.
Best Paris Photography Spots in Ile de La Cité
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris (6 Parvis Notre-Dame – Pl. Jean-Paul II)
The Notre Dame is the second most iconic landmark in Paris and as such, there are crowds almost constantly. So how did I get this shot with very few people? Easy: I woke up before the sun rose and sat here until the lighting was better.
This is the oldest bridge and town and definitely one of the more beautiful ones. Whether crossing the bridge or dining under it, it deserves a bit of love from your camera.
Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole (24 Rue Chanoinesse)
Despite being so close to the Notre Dame, this place was very slow when we passed it a few times. This lunch/dinner spot is charming and rustic both inside and out. It’s food may be reviewed as just okay, but its exterior is worth a visit.
Best Paris Photography Spots in Saint-Germain-des-Prés
Jardin du Luxembourg
Quite possibly the most bourgeoisie (appropriate French adjective) garden in all of Paris. It’s not quite as sprawling as the Jardin des Tuileries, but I believe it’s far more popular. And picturesque.
Café de Flore (172 Boulevard Saint-Germain)
Whether you’re here for the gram or here for the history, Café de Flore is the place to be. With regulars like Georges Bataille, Robert Desnos, Léon-Paul Fargue, Raymond Queneau and Pablo Picasso, you’re in great company. Prices are expensive, but worth it to sit amongst some of the greats.
Maison Savauge (5 Rue de Buci)
This location was another happy accident that we stumbled upon in the wee morning before the crowds arrived. Maison Savauge looks a lot more beautiful on the outside than the inside according to Instagram, so it would be wise to come early before the diners.
The Louvre might be grand, but d’Orsay is a lot more approachable. The architecture is grandiose and this beautiful clock makes the place that much more interactive. Plus, tickets are less than $20 USD!
Best Paris Photography Spots in the Latin Quarter
Shakespeare and Company Bookstore (37 Rue de la Bûcherie)
Le sigh. This spot is one of my personal favorites. As a literary buff, many of my idols once roamed this shop. Sure the books may be a tad overpriced, but this exterior combined with those cherry blossoms are tres magnifique!
There are many spots to dine along the Seine river, but your best bet is to go a little further east from the Eiffel Tower. I adore the view near Notre Dame, but bring a baguette, cheese and wine and see where the mood strikes you!
Best Paris Photography Spots in Faubourg Saint-Germain
The Eiffel Tower or Champs de Mars
The Eiffel Tower, the crème de la crème of Paris. You can’t come here and NOT take a picture. Unfortunately due to recent terrorist attacks, there are now a ton of gates surrounding the landmark. Your best bet is to shoot city scenes with the tower in the background, looking upward, or taking the elevator to the top and shooting the view. There’s an overpriced restaurant at the top called Le Jules Verne that I wouldn’t recommend, but then again, when can you say you’ve eaten at the top of the Eiffel Tower?
City View of the Eiffel Tower (12 Avenue de la Bourdonnais)
This was my favorite place to grab a picture of the Eiffel Tower! It’s much more natural, there are significantly less tourists and the whole scene is picturesque. Definitely come early! You may not be able to avoid the parked cars but you can beat all of the tourists!
Les Ombres (27 Quai Branly)
Another restaurant, another view of the Eiffel Tower. This place is INCREDIBLY overpriced, so either save money for this outing or just come for appetizers and cocktails (and the view, of course).
Cler Fleurs (46 Rue Cler)
What’s a trip to Paris without visiting a flower stand? Cler Fleurs is the more picturesque option (we couldn’t capture the whole thing because a loading truck was in the way), so you’ll have better luck than we did. Plus, purchasing the flowers makes for great props later along the river or walking around town.
Carrousel de la Tour Eiffel (Prom. Quai Branly)
While incredibly beautiful, BEWARE. This place is packed and there are scammers everywhere! Come as early as possible for this one for this shot. Or use a prime/zoom lens while on the ride to make it as if you’re the only one around
Best Paris Photography Spots in Chaillot
Trocadéro (Place du Trocadéro)
No doubt you’ve seen this spot on Instagram. Personally, I find it a bit overrated and don’t quite understand the appeal. But I didn’t come all this way to not take the shot, amirite? It might be pretty busy here but weekdays are a lot less crowded!
The Peninsula Paris (19 Avenue Kléber)
If you’re going to do Paris, do it in style! The Peninsula is not only a GORGEOUS hotel, but the views are immaculate. To save costs, stay here for a night or two and make your way to an Airbnb after (click here for $40 off your first Airbnb!). Also, click here for reservations for the Peninsula Paris Hotel.
Best Paris Photography Spots in Quinze-Vingts
Looking for a little color in your grid? The adorable Rue Crémieux is a fresh change of pace from the beautiful, yet grey concrete throughout the city. You’re not far from Le Marais here so you’ll find quaint streets all over the place.
Best Paris Photography Spots in Palais Royal
Le Palais Royal (8 Rue de Montpensier)
This is another famous Instagram spot, though I don’t really know why. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a black and white striped platform that isn’t being occupied by one of several tourists, but if this is your thing, maneuver your lens to shoot upwards towards the architecture as well as your silly pose.
Tuileries Garden (113 Rue de Rivoli)
Quintessential Paris in a single garden. From the flowers to the ferris wheel to the architecture, this single park has everything. My favorite is the chairs surrounding the fountain in case you need a break from the picture taking.
Galerie Vivienne (5 Rue de la Banque)
(Technically in the Vivienne neighborhood but bordering Palais Royal) isn’t just an ordinary covered passage. It’s a work of art. The neo-classical decor gives major Pompeii vibes and if you’re looking to diversify your interiors, these window panes would make for a great change of pace.
Musée du Louvre (Rue de Rivoli)
The Louvre is absolutely magnificent! Inside, outside, there’s inspiration to be found everywhere! It’s so grand that you could only see every piece of art for 30 seconds, without rest or sleep, in 100 days! Most tourists take pictures outside, especially at night, but tickets are less than $25 USD if you decide you want a sneak peak of the Mona Lisa!
Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (Rue de Rivoli)
Right in front of the Louvre is another beautiful arc, only slightly less famous than the Arc de Triomphe. What is lacks in size, it makes up for in grandeur when the sunrise hits it just right. For this reason, along with beating the crowds, coming here a little while after dawn is best.
If the shopping district could provide one other thing besides luxe products, its glamorous photos. Not only is the Place Vendôme a great Parisian backdrop, but check out the Cartier building for a little extra sparkle.
BNF Richelieu Site (58 Rue de Richelieu)
Ready to feel like Belle from Beauty and the Beast? Head to BNF Richelieu Site, Paris’ grand public library. It’s also the perfect place to get a little work done if you’re a digital nomad.
Best Paris Photography Spots in Champs-Élysées
Arc de Triomphe (Place Charles de Gaulle)
Another Parisian masterpiece! Most tourists take their photos just along the Champs-Élysée Boulevard. But if you go around the Arc de Triomphe to the other side, near the Ternes neighborhood, there will be less crowds. You can even get the Eiffel Tower in the shot!
Hôtel Splendid Etoile (1 Avenue Carnot)
(Technically in the Ternes neighborhood), this is one of THE BEST rooftop views of the Arc de Triomphe. Please note that this view is not open to the public and you must be a guest here to get this miraculous shot. It’s actually not crazy expensive compared to some hotels. But if you’re like me, aka cheap, I recommend one night stay (which you can reserve here) before moving onto something more affordable.
Ladurée Paris (75 Av. des Champs-Élysées)
If you didn’t come here for the baguettes, wine or cheese, then you definitely came here for the macarons. Ladurée might be an international pastry sensation, but it all started in Paris! Grab a pic at the iconic cafe and walk away with some overpriced, colorful delights.
Petit Palais (Avenue Winston Churchill)
Why head all the way to Versailles when you can get a pit of gold grandeur in the heart of Paris? The outside is absolutely stunning, but try to get a shot of that staircase as well!
I did not want to include this in the list but did anyway because I assumed a few might comment that I had forgotten it. Don’t get me wrong, this hotel typically has one of the best views in Paris. Yet ass I write this, The Sultan of Brunei (the owner of this property along with several others), is currently stoning LGBTQ people to death. If you believe that all lives matter, you will join me in boycotting this institution along with other listed here.
Are You Traveling to Paris Soon? Make Sure to Bookmark This So You Know Where To Go!
*Please note, any photo with a subsequent link belongs to its respective owners and I do not own them. Please share the love and follow their Instagram for more inspiration
**This post includes affiliate links at no additional cost to you. Clicking on them helps me earn a living so I may continue writing for you beautiful people!
The post A Go-To Guide For The Best Photography Spots in Paris appeared first on The Clumsy Traveler.