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View from Arc de Triomphe or Eiffel Tower - what's your preference?

For those who've gone up both the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe, do you think the view is better on one than the other?

Posted by
34 posts

We would vote for the Arc de Triomphe. It is less crowded and easier to navigate. Go at sunset, if you can.

Posted by
4374 posts

Frm the Arc de Triomphe: Take your Dramamine. Seriously. http://youtu.be/xKpT0lh9yEo From the Eiffel Tower: http://youtu.be/tyBZmTE3KMA Both beautiful, but different. Sometimes high winds force the closure of the Eiffel Tower...so the AdT could be your back-up plan. Or...some people would say you can see the Eiffel Tower from the AdT, so that would win out.

Posted by
8179 posts

You might also want to check out the view from the top of the dome on the Sacre' Couer. Paris is at your feet and you almost look down on the Eiffel Tower.

Posted by
11450 posts

I like them both. The view from the Arc is actually a bit more interesting to me as you can see onto these amazing roof top gardens of luxury apartments that are near the Arc,, and I like seeing the ET on one side and Sacre Couer on the other, and the La Defence building on other( which was not shown on the video)

Posted by
31524 posts

Dawn, IMO, they're both good but a bit different. The Eiffel Tower has the advantage of two different vantage points from different heights (but you'll have to pay extra to go to the top). The Arche de Triomphe also provides good views of Paris, including of the Eiffel Tower. It's quite spectacular at night with the strobe lights operating. Bon Voyage!

Posted by
672 posts

Thank you all so much! With one of the elevators not working right now at the Eiffel Tower, I'm thinking the Arc de Triomphe at sunset could be a good call! Sacre Couer is definitely on the list too. Thanks for the youtube videos - what a great idea! I never would have thought to look there.

Posted by
565 posts

I enjoyed the challenge of climbing up the Arc de Triomphe. I thought about all the wine and chocolate I could consume that night at dinner! Seriously though, I liked the view from the Arc de Triomphe better. The elevator at the Eiffel Tower made me about lose my marbles, and I'm only mildly clausterphobic. Plus, the Paris Museum Pass works at the Arc de Triomphe.

Posted by
1525 posts

We did both in 2009, and my suggestion would be to do both, too. Face it, if you don't go up the ET you will feel like you missed something. We took the stairs up the the first two levels. Yes, it was a lot of stairs, but not really a problem (they are rather low steps - easy to climb, and with plenty of places to rest if need be). I wouldn't consider the elevator situation to be relevant to my visit, frankly. However, if you do both, and you are running short of time or interest, I would suggest you pass on going to the top of the ET. The view from there is simply too high to be interesting - you see no detail. But both sites are worthwhile for different reasons.

Posted by
8419 posts

I like them both equally, as others have said you get a different view from each. The view from Sacre Coeur is also nice, but again, different. Of the three, and considering all the hassle of going up the ET nowadays, I would pick the Arc de Triomphe.

Posted by
3699 posts

The tallest view of the city will be obtained from Tour Montparnasse, the much-loathed black protuberance http://www.tourmontparnasse56.com/#/home
For a long time the most scenic view was from the roof of the Galleries Samaritaine, the ancient department store and living embodiment of art-nouveau near the Louvre, sadly closed for safety reasons a number of years ago. One could scurry around to find access to the roof, up a winding stair worthy of tramp steamer, to gain a panorama of the full 350-degree spectacle. There has long been talk of a revival; one hopes that the integrity could live on.

Posted by
8293 posts

And then there is the view from the arch at La Defense., where there is usually a small art exhibit and a restaurant.

Posted by
808 posts

both are pretty cool. aside from the view, you should know the arc is covered by the museum pass, but the tower isn't. so you can clime the arc every day if you want (i did that 4 nights in a row).

Posted by
876 posts

I prefer the view from the Arc, as you've got (a) the view of the Eiffel Tower, and (b) that beautiful vista down the Champs Elysees. Plus, you can really see the star shape of the streets that radiate from the Arc. The view from Tour Montarnasse is pretty nifty too.

Posted by
11292 posts

Another vote for preferring the view from the Arc, especially at the top of the hour when you can see the Eiffel Tower sparkle. Even though you have to climb it (no elevator, although there may be one for wheelchair users - not sure), I did it twice. Sure it was covered by my museum pass, but I still chose to climb it twice. Going up the Eiffel Tower, on the other hand, was "one and done" as the British say. But, another thing I did twice on my last trip was go to the Trocadero viewpoint at night, to see the Eiffel Tower lightshow - it's just elevated enough to have a wonderful view, and then I walked down the steps, around the fountain, and across the Seine to the Tower itself. Marvelous (and free!)

Posted by
672 posts

You all have such great ideas and are so willing to share them - thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Harold, great idea about Trocadero too - we'll definitely do that.

Posted by
5265 posts

Thanks to Eileen for the visual aids! I haven't been to the top of the Arc, though Eileen's video makes me want to go there (and maybe bring either a tripod or Dramamine). But I'd join in the suggestion to consider the much-despised Tour Montparnasse as native to Eiffel. Easier and quicker to get to the top, less crowded, great though different view, and, best of all, you don't have to look at the TM while you're atop it. The evening Trocadero view sounds wonderful too.

Posted by
8874 posts

I have been up both the AdT and the Eiffel Tower. I loved the view from the AdT, especially because you can see the ET from it. I have only gone up the ET during the daytime. I think it would be nice with either option to go up during daylight and stay until it gets dark. My last trip to Paris I was with a friend who had never been there. We went to the Trocadero before dusk and stayed until the light show started. I didn't tell her why we were there for so long, and she had no idea what to expect. What made it even better was that right next to us there was a music from a South American group playing flutes, etc. It was very cool.

Posted by
4374 posts

Please, Dick - take your tripod and make a slooooow, smooth video ;-) There are some truly awful YouTube videos out there (running to the bathroom strictly from the memory). Definitely be sure to see the Eiffel Tower when it sparkles at the top of the hour each evening! I love to sit practically under it on the Champ de Mars (gonna have to try the Trocadero); I clap and squeal like a little girl every time (and so does everyone around me, too, BTW). That never gets tired...8^D

Posted by
175 posts

I actually disagree with the suggestions to consider the Tour Montparnasse. It was quite expensive for what it is, and it's further afield, meaning you don't get the detail you would from either ET or Arc de Triomphe. True, there's not really a line, but that's because it's not nearly as cool. And unless you have business over in Montparnasse (there is an excellent street lined with delicious creperies, for instance), it'll take you out of the main tourist zones, which costs time and energy as well. My vote is for the Arc de Triomphe. When I took my husband to Paris (his first time, my second time) we skipped the trip up the ET and instead went to the Arc. We also did it at sunset, and it was great! I think the view immediately surrounding the Arc is more interesting, which is what you get to see best, and seeing all the boulevards radiate out from the place is cool. Go see the ET, and enjoy it, but skip the ride if you're trying to pick. Of course, if you have time and want to do both, go for it! They are different, as many have already said.

Posted by
1631 posts

I have only been up to the top floor of the Eiffel Tower. It was quite a while back and we were squished in like sardines in the top elevator coming down. It was not a good experience for my young daughter. So, considering there is only one elevator currently working and that the view is as good from Arc de Triomphe (and less crowded), I would vote for the Arc. Have a wonderful trip!