I went to Paris with one thing glaring at the top of my agenda: to take in the city from a top the Eiffel Tower. Not something out of the ordinary, a must for most first-time visitors, I’m sure. What could be more classic than a birds eye view of the most beautiful city in the world from one of the most iconic structures in the world? Nothing, I was convinced until we were lucky enough to stumble upon Montparnasse 56.
This, in my opinion was far better than viewing the city from the top of the Eiffel tower. Both offer amazing views of Paris; there is just one thing missing from the observation deck at the Eiffel, a view of the tower itself. There is also one thing missing at Monparnasse 56, the two hour line to get to the top. No guarantees it’s always that way, but the particular Wednesday night in October when we were there, it was smooth sailing.
We decided to go at night so we could see the twinking light show that illuminates the Eiffel Tower. If memory serves, I think it starts nightly at 9PM. The elevator to the top claims to be one of the fastest in Europe, at something like 38 seconds from the ground to the 56th floor. Once you’re up, what you’ll find is simply spectacular. The city is a endless glowing sea of lights and life. In every direction you can see a major Parisian monument brilliantly radiating against the night.
The evening we went it was cold and it was windy…really windy. So windy it felt like the building was moving ever so slightly with each step I took. I am sure that could’ve had something to do with my fear of heights and the bottle(s) of wine at dinner. Regardless, I made my way around the deck taking photos every few steps. Unfortunately due to the aforementioned wind, most of them came out with an artsy, streaky kind of look. Luckily, we also took video.
After taking in the twinkling, we slipped down to the panoramic bar to enjoy a cocktail and continue to get lost in the view. Although we are obviously big beer drinkers, this was the kind of night that called for cocktails. A couple of Old Fashioneds to be exact. While there is nothing Parisian about an Old Fashioned, something about the night made me want to have a stiff drink and listen to jazz music. That being the very reason I felt it necessary to add a little generic jazz music for you to enjoy with our video.
A votre sante!
Of course, like anything, it’s better in person…but a little view of the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower.
View from the observation deck at Montparnasse 56. Paris, FR