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Photograph: Hugo Hébrard

The 12 best rooftop bars in Paris

Ooft, that skyline! See it clearest and enjoy panoramic views over the whole city at one of the best rooftop bars in Paris

By Huw Oliver

From the Arc de Triomphe and Sacré Coeur to the hills of Belleville – heck, even the Tour Montparnasse on a good day – the French capital has undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and iconic skylines in the world. Sure, you could try your luck sightseeing at a bar terrace in pretty much any part of the capital, but let’s be honest, where better to survey Paris’s architectural marvels than ten floors up with a cocktail in hand? Whether you go for a hotel whipping up mixology magic or one of the Perchoir chain’s trendy AF locations in the east, our list of the absolute best rooftop bars in Paris will make regular street-level boozing seem so passé. 

Recommended: Full guide to the best bars in Paris

Best rooftop bars in Paris

Photograph: Aude Boissaye / Studio Cui Cui

1. Bar le Perchoir

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Saint-Ambroise

What is it? Quite simply the best rooftop in Paris. Huge, recently done-up and always thronging, the original Ménilmontant Perchoir has outsize comfy seats and large communal tables – making for a brilliant, sociable night out. Then, there’s the pretty floral decoration, and also...

The view? There are few things more satisfying than watching the sun set over Sacré-Coeur – and few places better than to see it than here. 

When should you go? Year round. Come around 5.30pm if you want to be sure of getting a table. If you’re out late, groups leaving around 10pm may well free up a spot.

The Shed
The Shed
Photograph: The Shed

2. The Shed

What is it? This is the star attraction at the sparkling-new Hôtel des Grands Boulevards on the Boulevard Poissonnière. It’s yet another excellent opening from the Experimental cocktail group (Grand Pigalle Hotel, Balagan, Beef Club), who also run The Shell on the ground floor.

And the view? There isn’t much of a panorama, but if you fancy a view of some typically Parisian limestone façades and quaint rooftops, this is your place. 

When should you go? It’s open 5pm-11pm Monday to Friday and 3pm-11pm on the weekend (weather permitting). 

Photograph: Terrass Hotel

3. Terrass Hotel

5 out of 5 stars
Hotels Abbesses

What is it? A massive terrace seven storeys up on the roof of an imposing art deco hotel. Whether you’re staying here or not, the gargantuan daily breakfast can’t be missed.

And the view? You can see pretty much all of the city here, with Sacré-Coeur and the Butte Montmartre just behind you.

When should you go? Every day from 5pm until midnight. Breakfasts are served outdoors from 7.30am in summer. 

Photograph: Jérôme Galland

4. Hôtel National des Arts et Métiers

What is it? An intimate terrace that can fit about 30. Come here to bob along to a lilting summer soundtrack with cocktails and rosé. 

And the view? You can see the nearby Centre Pompidou, the Eiffel Tower, Place de la République and the Louvre... as views go, not too bad. 

When should you go? The rooftop is usually open from April through to early September. The hours are 5pm-9.30pm Monday to Friday, and 4pm-11.30pm on the weekend. 

Photograph: Luc Boegly

5. Le Louxor

4 out of 5 stars
Cinemas Independent SoPi (South Pigalle)

What is it? A dainty little perch annexed to the legendary Egyptian-inspired art deco cinema. For the full effect, catch a restored New Wave film, then head up to the third floor. 

And the view? Yep, Sacré-Coeur’s right there again. Down below, you’ll see legendary store du peuple Tati.  

When should you go? You can only get up there if you’ve seen a film – which you should do anyway. The cinema’s open every day. 

Terrasse de l'hôtel Raphaël © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris
Terrasse de l'hôtel Raphaël © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris
Photograph: Camille Griffoulières / Time Out

6. Terrasse de l’Hôtel Raphael

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Chaillot

What is it? Quite easily the most luxurious terrace in all of Paris. Green, spacious and as idyllic as they come.

And the view? On one side, you’ve got the Eiffel Tower, on the other the Arc de Triomphe. You’ll be paying a lot for it – so bring a well-stocked wallet. 

When should you go? The terrace is open from 4pm-10pm between May and September. Dress sharp.

Photograph: Hugo Hébrard

7. 43 Cocktail Bar

4 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Saint-Michel

What is it? A rooftop bar on the ninth floor of eco-hotel Holiday Inn Notre-Dame. The clientele’s a diverse mix of trendy yopros, tourists staying there and couples searching for Latin Quarter romance. 

And the view? Even the most hard-headed Parisian would get butterflies looking out from this terrace (hello, Eiffel Tower, Sacré-Coeur and Notre-Dame). Expect to pay for it. 

When should you go? Only open in summer, from 5pm-11pm. Bookings only (and get on it two weeks-plus in advance). We recommend sunset-time. 

Le Georges © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris
Le Georges © C. Griffoulières - Time Out Paris
Photograph: C. Griffoulières / Time Out

8. Le Georges

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Diners 4e arrondissement

What is it? The enormo-terrace on top of the Centre Pompidou, with pleasing pink roses in single-flower vases that you feel like you’ve finally arrived in the City of Love. Avoid the restaurant (it’s expensive and not all that good), and go straight in for drinks.

And the view? One for lovers on tour. The whole, luminous city appears teeny-weeny from up there. 

When should you go? It’s open every day except Tuesday from midday to 2am.

Photograph: Point Éphémère

9. Point Ephémère

4 out of 5 stars
Music Music venues Canal Saint-Martin

What is it? With its battered deckchairs, potted plants and over-generous meat platters, this is probably the most Berlin of Parisian rooftops. The venue also uses the outdoor space for regular summer events including film projections, yoga classes and a flower market. 

And the view? It overlooks the Canal Saint-Martin. 

When should you go? Open from late April every year. Hours are 6pm-11pm from Monday to Friday, and 3pm-11pm on weekends. 

Photograph: Le Jardin Suspendu

10. Le Jardin Suspendu

Hotels Le Marais

What is it? Hands down Paris’s biggest rooftop bar, the Jardin Suspendu is perched eight floors up on top of a multi-storey car park. This 3,500-square-metre space hosts events including yoga, vintage clothes and record sales, plus regular DJ sets. It’s decked out, as the name suggests, with a pleasing array of cacti, olive and lemon trees. 

And the view? It’s a little out the way at the Porte de Versailles, but you can see a great deal of the city. 

When should you go? From the end of June to September (it’s closed the rest of the year). Open 6pm-midnight on Wednesday and Thursday, until 2am on Friday, from 2pm-2am on Saturday and 12pm-10pm on Sunday.

Photograph: Yann Deret

11. Auteuil Brasserie

4 out of 5 stars
Restaurants Brasseries 16e arrondissement

What is it? Following months of work, the classy Auteuil Brasserie has a brand-new look – and its rooftop is much bigger (and more Insta-friendly) than before. The décor’s a beautiful mix of rustic greenery and Parisian chic.

And the view? Oddly, you can’t see much through all the potted shrubbery, but that sense of privacy has its own cachet.

When should you go? It’s open every day from 9am-2am. Wise to book at least two days in advance during summer. 

Photograph: Jeanne Tharreau

12. Le Perchoir Marais

3 out of 5 stars
Bars and pubs Cocktail bars Le Marais

What is it? Understated but rather good-looking, this spot feels like Mykonos-sur-Seine, what with its immaculate parquet flooring, blue tables and constant DJ sets.

And the view? From here, you can see the Hôtel de Ville, the Eiffel Tower and the Colonne de Juillet in the Place de la Bastille.

When should you go? Hours are 8.15pm-1.30am from Wednesday to Friday, and 8.45pm-1.30am on Saturday. In winter, the Perchoir Marais is transformed into a hygge-style Danish ‘cocoon’. 

Keen to get up close to those landmarks?

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