Montparnasse is the most controversial building in Paris, an «ugly» high-rise counterpart of the Eiffel Tower, but meanwhile an excellent observation deck. A skyscraper both spoils the view and helps to enjoy it. Climb it to see Paris without the Montparnasse tower.
How to climb the Montparnasse tower
33 Av. du Maine, Paris, France
The metro station is Gare Montparnasse, where lines 4, 6, 12 and 13 of the Paris metro stop.
The skyscraper is located next to the station of the same name and Montparnasse Boulevard.
9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
For adults it’s €19
For kids of 12–17 yo it’s €14, 4–11 yo — €8
It’s better to book tickets in advance online because of 2 reasons:
- you won’t need to stay in line to the ticket office;
- tickets at the ticket office cost 1 euro more.
With this link you can get tickets online. Or you can just choose date in a calendar:
Rules when visiting the Montparnasse tower:
- You will be screened by security before taking the elevator. Do not take large bags or backpacks with you to avoid unnecessary questions.
- You can stay on the observation deck for as long as you like, even till closing time.
- The tower has its own free mobile application that will help you explore the city. Download Magnicity on the official website or in the app store on your smartphone.
» READ MORE – How to get into the Eiffel Tower without lines: advice and tickets
What is Montparnasse tower famous for?
The tower is located in the historic district of Montparnasse, after which it was named. Previously, an old railway station was on this site, but it could no longer cope with passenger traffic. Four architects worked on the skyscraper project, which is funny, considering the final result. Construction was carried out from 1970–1973 as part of a large-scale program for the development of urban infrastructure.
By the time of completion, the tower was 210 meters high. It used to be the tallest building in Europe, but now it only ranks 14th.
» READ MORE – Where to go to see Paris from above
The appearance of the tower is often sharply criticized: the design of the tower is simple, monolithic, gloomy and seriously knocked out of the panorama of Paris.
The negative impressions of the public were so strong that soon the construction of skyscrapers in the city center was banned at the legislative level. It was completely brought to the suburbs, where La Defense business district subsequently grew.
However the Montparnasse Tower remained in its place and gradually became a major tourist attraction. In 1995, French Spider-Man Alain Robert climbed a skyscraper using only his hands and no insurance. While climbing he nearly fell down.
In 2020, a complete reconstruction of the tower for the 2024 Olympics began. The new design will be more environmentally friendly and neutral in relation to the surrounding landscape. We’ll see!
» READ MORE – Olympic games 2024 in Paris
What can you see in the Montparnasse Tower
The Montparnasse Tower goes far not only into the sky, but also deep underground — several metro lines intersect right under it. The entire structure rests on huge concrete piles. Most of the ground space is occupied by offices, employing about 5,000 people. There are various cafes and souvenir shops on the upper floors.
On the 56th floor there is a bar and restaurant «Ciel de Paris» («The Sky of Paris»). It does not have a Michelin star, but the cuisine is praised. However, nothing compares to the view from the windows. A table by the window facing the Eiffel Tower should be booked in advance.
The most valuable part of the building for tourists is, of course, the roof. The high-speed elevator rises to the 56th floor in just 38 seconds, but further to the 59th (the total number of the floors) you have to go up the stairs. In winter, the highest ice rink in Paris is open on the roof, and in summer soft drinks are served there.
From the top you have an exceptional view of Paris. In clear weather, visibility is up to 40 kilometers, you will see not only the city, but also its nearest surroundings, for example, Orly Airport. Unlike the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower, there are no queues and more free space.
We wish you good weather and a great view from the tower!
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