Best rooftop bars in Paris
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Even the locals would agree it’s impossible to see every sight, every piece of history, every glorious work of art in the City of Light in just one lifetime. Bof, they might say. Quel dommage. But don’t feel downbeat about it all. Our 101 best things to do in Paris should help you get a sense of this storied yet ever-changing city as it is right now.