The best Paris rooftops
Panoramic or vertiginous, classy or lively, the roofs of hotels, train stations or department stores are transformed into open-air bars… So enjoy!
The most quirky: the Perchoir(s)
Of all the Perchoir bars in Paris, don’t miss the always busy, original Ménilmontant address. The secret of this roof terrace’s success? Its mouthwatering cocktails, home-cooked dishes, view over Sacré-Cœur, and year-round events programme (concerts, yoga classes, barbecues ).
Its winning formula has proved so popular that the Perchoir team has now opened two more rooftop bars: the Perchoir Marais on the roof of the BHV department store, with a panorama over the Eiffel Tower, the Seine and the Hôtel de Ville ; plus the summer pop-up Perchoir de l’Est, on top of Gare de l’Est (from May to September).
The latest addition to the Perchoir galaxy, le Perchoir - Porte de Versailles houses the largest urban rooftop farmhouse in Europe and a panoramic terrace in Pavilion 6 of the Porte de Versailles Exhibition Centre.
The most romantic: Terrass' Hôtel
Between Montmartre and the Place Clichy, head straight for seventh heaven and take the lift up to the roof of this elegant and typically Parisian hotel to discover the breathtaking view over the capital. Sip cocktails while admiring the sunset or simply bask among the crowd of hip insiders, who have made this chic rooftop terrace their summer HQ.
The most Parisian: The Galeries Lafayette terrace
After a shopping marathon in this temple of Parisian fashion, head for the roof of the lofty department store to relax, grab a drink and nibble some tapas while enjoying unparalleled views over the Opéra de Paris, the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre. For a journey back in time, virtual reality telescopes take you back to the Paris of 1912.
Best for dance: Bar à Bulles
Up on the third floor of the Machine du Moulin Rouge, one of the top spots on the Parisian club scene, the Bar à Bulles is a timeless rooftop bar overlooking the famous Place Pigalle. Meet up with friends for an aperitif or a starlit interlude before heading to the Le Central dancefloor and its wild electro line-up.
The coolest: Mama Shelter
It’s little surprising French Vogue voted it the best Paris rooftop in 2017: the roof terrace at Mama Shelter is everything you’d expect from this hippest of eastern Paris hotels – a perfect mix of cosy and fun. On the programme? Colourful cushions, vintage parasols, foosball tables, ping-pong, barbecues and exquisite dishes created by chef Guy Savoy.
The most dizzying: the roof of the Grande Arche
This rooftop garners all the superlatives: it is both the highest (110 metres above ground-level) and the biggest (boasting a surface area of 1,000 m2)! At the heart of the buzzingParisian business district, the roof of the Grande Arche de la Défense offers an extraordinary view over Paris. As a plus, in the covered section you can find a restaurant headed by the chef Jean-Christian Dumonet, an exhibition space dedicated to photojournalism and, outside, the opportunity to stroll over the edifice's iconic bridge for some unforgettable, sky-high cocktails!
The most historic: the Molitor swimming pool
The Art Deco Molitor swimming pool was the haunt of generations of Parisians. Nicknamed "the white liner," for decades anyone who was anyone in Paris made regular visits to its cool blue-toned depths, before it closed in 1989. Luckily, the magnificent building, a listed historic monument, reopened as a luxury hotel in 2014. And while today the pool is only open to select members, the roof terrace remains accessible and offers an unmissable view over the Eiffel Tower and the outdoor pool. Convivial dining, craft cocktails, and carefully selected DJs make for a moment of timeless elegance.
The most arty: the Point Ephémère
Doyenne of the Canal Saint-Martin, the Point Éphémère brings a zest of summer charm to its rooftop terrace. The unofficial meeting point of the Paris arty set, it offers an outdoor bar, deck chairs, a street-food inspired Sunday brunch, outdoor film screenings and yoga classes.
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- Copyright image: Alessandro Clemenza