YOU CAN SEE ALL THE FAMOUS SIGHTS OF PARIS FROM MONTPARNASSE TOWER:
When Tour Montparnasse was completed in 1973, it was the tallest skyscraper in France. The Montparnasse Tower is mainly occupied by offices but the Panoramic Floor on level 56 and the roof-terrace are open to the public. They claim that the terrace provides the most beautiful views of Paris, so naturally we went to check it out.
Ugly Duckling of Paris
When Montparnasse Tower was completed in 1973, it was a most hated building. Paris is an elegant city and Parisians thought that Tour Montparnasse was an eye-sore and that the height of the building and its monolithic appearance was out of character with Paris’s urban landscape. But the French President of the day, Georges Pompidou, was keen to modernize the capital’s infrastructure and so he approved the project.
Georges Pompidou died unexpectedly in 1974, whilst still in office, and a year after that, the city passed laws to ban the construction of any building over seven stories high. But it seems that Parisians have learned to love high rises – look at La Défense, Europe’s largest purpose-built business district has 72 high-rise buildings and skyscrapers!
Some Interesting Facts
- Tour Montparnasse was built on top of the Montparnasse – Bienvenüe Paris Métro station and so it’s really easy to get to the tower by metro.
- The building is 210 metres high – the Eiffel Tower is 324 metres.
- There are 59 floors plus six levels underground.
- The building weighs 150,000 tons, has 7,200 windows and 5,000 employees work in the building.
- Twenty-five lifts service the tower, plus there are five freight lifts.
- The fastest lift is the one that travels from the ground floor to the 56th floor where the Panoramic floor is. It takes just 38 seconds to make that ride, and claims to be the fastest lift in Europe.
Visiting Tour Montparnasse
Tour Montparnasse is best enjoyed on a clear day and we were lucky that we were able to make our visit when the weather was good. Before going up the tower, there is security check, so be sure
not to bring anything that you don’t want confiscated. The super fast lift took us to the 56th floor which has a gift shop, the 360° Cafe, a permanent exhibition about Paris and interactive panels where you can read about Paris and its famous monuments. These panels are very popular and if you’re there during busy periods such as the school holidays, it would be difficult to get access to them.
I thought that the 56th floor was educative and great for visitors who want to know more about Paris and its attractions.
The 56th floor also houses Le Ciel de Paris restaurant. If you dine here in the evening, not only will you enjoy fine dining, but there’s spectacular night-time views of Paris.
From the 56th floor, the only way up to the 59th floor roof-terrace is by the staircase. Even if you don’t like climbing steps, the effort is worthwhile as the views from the open-air terrace are spectacular.
Paris Montparnasse Tower: Windy On Top But Great Views!
They say that on a clear day you can see up to 40 km away and the orientation panels are helpful in identifying the famous sights to the north, south, east and west of Paris. You can easily spot the
seven wonders of Paris: the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum, Sacré Cœur Basilica, Notre-Dame Cathedral, Les Invalides, Luxembourg Palace and the Pompidou Centre – Tony’s video covers all the sights. In the past weeks we had been travelling to many of these sights on the underground and it was wonderful to be able to now see them all from 210 metres up.
Well Worth a Visit
Tour Montparnasse attracts 1,200,000 visitors each year and it is certainly worth a visit. The ticket costs 14,50 € per adult and this is where you’ll find that the Paris Pass comes in handy again as it is one of the Paris Pass included attractions.