While strolling the Parisian streets and taking in the sights and sounds of the City of Light is a dreamlike experience, many of us want to capture the fabulous views forever by snapping great photos of a Paris getaway.
While you can get amazing photos of the city just around about every corner, there are some exceptional locations to visit for those iconic photo ops.
Next time you’re in Paris, be sure to add these photo stops to your travel plans!
Top spots to photograph Paris
Capturing the Eiffel Tower on film – or, posting to Facebook or Instagram – is essentially a must-do when visiting Paris. This symbolic landmark can be photographed from almost anywhere in the city it seems but there are some well-known spots for photographing the Eiffel Tower and getting that great shot.
Place de Trocadero
Get there at sunrise for an unbelievable shot and great pinkish purple colors as the backdrop to the Eiffel Tower. This vantage point also allows you to get the Trocadero Fountains in the foreground of your shot.
The base and top of the Eiffel Tower
Get a unique angle of the tower from shooting it from the base or looking down from the top. Another great shot from the base is with the carousel in the foreground with the immense tower filling up the background.
Another wonderful photo opportunity in Paris is snapping the Notre-Dame Cathedral, and like the Eiffel Tower there are plenty of locations around the city to get a great photo of the cathedral.
Parvis Notre-Dame – Place Jean-Paul II
Stand in the main square a bit farther back and get the whole cathedral in frame and even frame your photo with the bright, green leaves from the trees in the square.
The Left Bank
As you approach the cathedral, stop and admire the little book stalls and street vendors that line the Left Bank. Capture Paris’ daily life with these stalls as the main focus of your shot with Notre-Dame watching over in the background. While you’re in the neighborhood, head over to photograph the famous Shakespeare & Co. bookstore!
The riverbanks of the Seine
Photograph everyday life by walking along the cobblestoned paths of the riverbank. Snap photos of the Seine, cruises, and people walking, biking, or jogging along the path.
Pont Alexandre III
This picturesque bridge in Paris is adorned with cherubs, nymphs, and has beautiful lampposts dotting the bridge. Snap a photo of the ornate bridge from either end or from below during a cruise on the Seine.
Pont de Bir-Hakeim
Movie fanatics or Parks and Recreation fans should make the trek to see Pont de Bir-Hakeim or the Inception bridge. While the bridge is neat, it’s not exactly as beautiful as Pont Alexandre III but is fun to see in real life.
With thousands of paintings and sculptures inside, you could easily spend a whole day just photographing the inside of the Louvre but the outside is just as fun. Especially at sunset, the pyramid lights up with beautiful pastel hues.
As you traipse around Montmartre, stop at the steps leading up to Sacre Coeur for a great photo of this landmark. Another option is walking along Place du Tertre where you can snap city life, shops, cafes, and have the basilica in the background.
Place du Concorde
This square is a popular destination for photographers with the variety of objects to capture. Here, you’ll find the 3,000-year-old Obelisk of Luxor, the Jardin des Tuileries with beautiful blooms and statues, and the Big Wheel. This historical site was also the site of King Louis XVI’s execution in the French Revolution.
Atop the Arc de Triomphe
The photographic opportunities are great from the base of the arch, where you can zoom in on design details, the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, and make the arch larger than life by shooting it from beelow, and the views only get better as you make your way up the 300 steps to the top. See the city’s symmetry spreading out from the roundabout and enjoy a great view of the Eiffel Tower. Sunset is a great time to visit for the golden hours for photography and see the city bathed in light hues.
Snap a photo of the most colorful street in Paris. These rainbow-hued houses are becoming a popular destination for photographers to capture the street views of Paris. Photograph the pastel hues and delightful architecture.
Jardin du Luxembourg
Another fabulous garden in Paris that’s popular for strolling and snapping photos is Jardin du Luxembourg. Dating back to the 1600s, this park is filled with fresh flowers, plenty of benches to enjoy a treat and coffee, and statues. All of these elements combine for fantastic photos.
Photograph the old art nouveau metro signs around the city. Some of these best signs include:
- Saint-Michel: Capture the blue-green arch with the sign leading to steps down to the metro station at this popular spot near the Saint-Michel Fountain.
- Lamarck-Caulaincourt: This metro station in Montmartre has steps running up either side and makes for a great photo opp for both the metro sign and the street scene around it.
- Abbesses: Another Montmartre station with an inviting entry and unique murals from the neighborhood decorating the walls as you descend to the platform.
Unfortunately you cannot take photos inside the cabaret, but you can get a lovely, colorful shot of the famous windmill from the outside. Play around with the color filtering to only capture the red – excuse me, rouge – and try to get a shot during the ay and again all lit up at night.
If you’re really after those perfect postcard snapshots of the city, a Paris photo tour might be a good option. Here are two highly recommended photo tour companies in Paris:
Looking for other things to do on your Paris vacation as you photograph your travels? Check out our relaxed four-day Paris itinerary!