5 Beautiful Places To Experience The Je Ne Sais Quoi of Parisian Rooftops
When viewed from afar (and according to popular cliche), it would be easy to suggest that the typical Parisian orders a coffee and a croissant on the terrace of Le Flore every day– or enjoys a glass of red wine while admiring the rooftops of the City of Light, cigarette in hand. These clichés are not so far from reality. To the French, terraces and rooftops are still places emblematic of the art of French living. To celebrate the homestretch of summer and its lazy, beautiful days, we put together a list of the best places to chill with your loved one or with friends.
The Most Bucolic: Le Pavillon Puebla
In the north-east of the capital is the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, one of the most beautiful green spaces in Paris. Extremely hilly and designed to evoke mountain landscapes in the heart of the city, it also boasts a lake, rocky outcroppings, a cave, a waterfall, a belvedere, and a suspension bridge signed by none other than Gustave Eiffel himself. In the heart of this garden of wonders hides one of the terraces that is most popular with trendy Parisians: Le Pavillon Puebla. A green setting with rococo Napoleonic charm. With its chic tavern style and its Italian menu, it welcomes you on two raised terraces sheltered tucked away behind closed doors. Take a seat in one of the rattan armchairs installed under the trees, order a languorous Spritzer on a sofa beneath sheer gauze curtains or dance on the hillside!
Le Pavillon Puebla is located in Parc des Buttes Chaumont on Avenue Darcel, 75019 Paris
The Most Chic: Raphaël– La Terrasse
In one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Paris, the Hôtel Raphael is a refuge for celebrities and the happy few who can afford to stay there. To attain the heights of elegance and romance, head up to the seventh floor or, more precisely, to seventh heaven. Savoring the signature cocktail of the house up on the roof of the world is priceless when you are looking out over a 360° panorama with stunning views of the Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower. Inside, the cosy English bar and its beautiful woodwork are not lacking in charm, but in summer, the terrace– like a hanging garden with its flowering bushes– remains a must. La Terrasse is an exclusive and exceptional place to taste the high life in Paris.
Hôtel Raphaël is located 17 Avenue Kleber, 75016 Paris
The Most Alternative: The Terrace of the Mob Hôtel
Just a stone’s throw from the flea market in Clignancourt, Parisians who are not afraid of crossing Le Périphérique to get to the inner suburbs are rushing to the coolest new spot in Saint-Ouen: the terrace of the Mob Hôtel. Created by Cyril Aouizerate and Philippe Stark– the duo who gave us Mama Shelter, one of the hippest addresses in eastern Paris– this new “urban motel” with a Brooklyn vibe offers a trendy concept with its vegan and local food-based restaurant, pop-up shops, and an organic grocery store. Behind the industrial-style red-brick walls lies a courtyard terrace with a carefully-designed decor where everything is done to bring out the hipster lying dormant inside you: barbecues, yoga classes, acoustic concerts, and open-air cinema (with audio headset connected if you wish). On the roof, there’s a vegetable garden maintained by the local residents. This is THE place to be.
Paris’s Mob Hôtel is located at 4-6 Rue Gambetta, 93400 Saint-Ouen
The Most Parisian: Le Perchoir
You have to be strategic to reserve a spot for yourself amongst the cloud of night birds which flock to Le Perchoir as soon as the evenings get warmer. The concept has been so successful that it has multiplied in the centre and east of Paris: in the Quartier du Marais, in the 11th arrondissement; on the roof of the MK2 cinema in the 13th arrondissement; and on the top of the Gare de l’Est. The last of these won’t be there for long, so enjoy it while you can. Each is designed like a speakeasy perched high among the greenery, tapas, and cocktails that can be enjoyed under colorful garlands in an electro-pop atmosphere that blends perfectly with the city’s lights. No matter what vantage point you choose, the night sky will be beautiful!
Le Perchoir has locations at 14 Rue Crespin du Gast, 75011 Paris / 33 Rue de la Verrerie, 75004 Paris / 162 Avenue de France, 75013 Paris / 10 Place du 11 Novembre 1918, 75010 Paris
The Most Popular: Communion
On the roof terrace of the Cité de la Mode et du Design, up above the Seine, the Nüba has given way to Communion, an electro club with 1500-square-meters of open-air place. This immense rooftop is both festive and relaxing. A paradox? No, because there is no shortage of space… There are two dance floors and a DJ’s cabin that looks like a beach hut, but there are also four-poster beds, lounge chairs, relaxation massages available, a Sunday market for local artisans, and various food stalls. With a new decor concept every week, Communion is the ideal place to chill from sunset into the early hours of the morning.
Communion is located at 36 Quai d’Austerlitz, 75013 Paris
Other terraces and rooftops worth the detour include: 43 Cocktail Bar overlooking the Latin Quarter, Le Georges in Beaubourg, Café Marly and its view of the Louvre pyramid, the Pavillon des Canaux (for its brunch alongside the Canal de l’Ourcq!), and also any of the many boats, cafes, and taverns of both banks of the Seine– any cafe you find here will be as enjoyable as the next.
Other chic restaurants with panoramic views include: L’Oiseau Blanc at the Peninsula Paris, Déli-cieux, Les Ombres, La Maison Blanche, and the terrace of the Bernstein suite at the newly redesigned Hôtel de Crillon for those with real luxury tastes! Whether you’re a budget traveller or a seasoned visitor, outdoor spaces have a lot to offer in Paris, and the enduring splendor of these gardens are perfect for any occasion. Check out our gallery of photos, below.