Le Tour Montparnasse.

Le Tour Montparnasse.

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]n the Paris skyline, there’s one building that really stands out. No, I’m not talking about the Eiffel Tower. I’m talking about Montparnasse. The great black monstrosity that stands just back from St. Germain, at the end of Rue de Rennes.

I’m no stranger to Montparnasse, in all its looming hideousness. I went to school on the Rue de Rennes, and its shadow was always present. It became the subject of all of my Paris based jokes, and became a symbol of Paris at its worst. I mean seriously, who builds a big black tower in the middle of an otherwise tower free city? Why not put it somewhere else? Why not at least make it clear glass, rather than that disgusting brown?

It has, however, been on my Paris bucket list since the very beginning. From the moment I first used it to guide my way home from some random street in the north of Paris, I’ve wanted to head up to the top.

I’m not even joking, I use it as some kind of North Star guiding me down towards the river, or towards school, or home, almost every single day. ‘How do we get home from here?’ Find the Montparnasse tower.

The tower itself is mainly offices, but the top floor (floor 56…), and roof terrace, are reserved for the Panorama and a fancy restaurant. For a student, or anyone under 20, it costs 12€. I was a bit annoyed about that. I’m 21, and in any other place in Paris my age gets me in for free, or for a discount, being under 26. Apparently Montparnasse don’t go in for that. Lucky I’m a student too.

Le Tour Montparnasse. Le Tour Montparnasse. Le Tour Montparnasse.

The price, however, is well worth it. Just look at those views. From the inside viewing area (complete with photo booth, café and gift shop) one can watch the east of Paris as it goes about its daily life. From the roof, however, one can observe the entire world.

I’m not sure whether the view actually was better than the Eiffel Tower, or whether the weather was perhaps just better, but it was breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking. The terrace itself is glass and shiny and modern, with fancy red bubble seats, a fold away roof, and a champagne bar – another 12€ for a flute. I’m not sure how long Annabel and I sat up there but it must have been about an hour. It was empty, save for a few Irish football fans, and simply stunning.

What’s going to the top of a tower, in Paris, without taking a selfie with your eyes closed? (They’re not even closed, I just have reaaaally small eyes.

If you’re heading to Paris and want to beat the endless lines for security and tickets at the Eiffel Tower then I can’t recommend Montparnasse enough. It’s by far the best view of Paris, in Paris, mainly because when you’re on top, you can’t see Montparnasse.

Le Tour Montparnasse. Le Tour Montparnasse. Le Tour Montparnasse. Le Tour Montparnasse. Le Tour Montparnasse. Le Tour Montparnasse.

Have you noticed Montparnasse in the distance?
Have you ever been up to the top?


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