Updated: Apr 5, 2021
The city of Paris, its buildings, its architecture, its monuments, its streets, the Seine and its bridges, - it’s all this that makes the capital charming, but add to this a beautiful sunset in the background - with some beautiful colours - and the spectacle will be more than beautiful. Walking around the town, with or without a camera and enjoying the spectacle of the setting sun is something I will never get tired of in Paris.
Are you coming to Paris and want to be able to take the best photos you can? In this case, it is better to be a little organized and I will try to help you as best I can 😊
Several things to know to optimize to the maximum:
- The right time - the weather and the timing
- The right place - you can't see sundown everywhere in Paris.
But why do you have to take your photos while the sun is going down? First, there is a subjective aspect, along with the sunrise, these are my two favourite moments. During the day, if the sun is too strong, the light will be too harsh and the photos will not render optimally, but when the sun starts to go down, the light becomes softer, the shadows lengthen, the colours become more beautiful and may even vary from day to day, fading from yellow, orange, red or pink. Taking a photo of the Eiffel Tower in the middle of the day will still be a normal and basic photo of it, but if you wait for the right time, that's what will make your photo unique.
The weather is an important factor, if it is completely cloudy and rainy, you will not see the sun go down and therefore there will be no point in getting to the place you want. On the other hand, if the sky is completely clear or if it’s cloudy, the sunsets will all have a different colour palette and this is what will make your photo unique. The place, the space, the monument, the view that you are going to photograph will be the same but it will be that moment, that instant, the colours, the shades, the light and the shadows that will make your photo unique.
The timing : there are big variations between the time of sunset in summer and in winter.
March 21: 6:24 pm
June 21: 9:07 pm
September 21: 7:07 pm
December 21: 4:01 pm
/! \ Also remember to arrive there 15 minutes before (or even earlier) in order to locate your photo spot and be able to set up.
The right place
In common with sunrises, sunsets cannot be seen everywhere in Paris, so you have to plan the location in advance.
Plan your routes to try to be in the right place and make the most of it.
To help you, I have prepared a list of 10 spots, which are for me the unmissable ones in terms of sunset in Paris.
Parc de Belleville
The Terrace at the Printemps or the Galeries Lafayette stores
Pont Alexandre 3 and Pont neuf
L’arc de Triomphe
Champ de Mars
Parc de Monceau
1. Notre Dame
Well, OK ... this one no longer has the same charm since the Notre-Dame fire in 2019. However, it remains one of my favourite spots for the sunsets as well as for catching the sun, having an aperitif with friends on the quayside, it can even be used as a spot for a "dinner with a view".
Whether from the bridge or on the quays, there are a lot of possibilities.
Pas loin de là se trouve l’institut du monde Arabe, en haut duquel vous trouverez une terrasse avec une magnifique vue sur Notre Dame.
2. Parc de Belleville
The Belleville district and its park are located in the 20th arrondissement, far from tourist areas and crowded parks. The advantage of this park is that it is really high and once you get to the top you can enjoy the whole view of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the background. There, you will also be well oriented to enjoy the sunset and take different pictures from those you see on social media.
3. The Terrace at the Printemps or the Galeries Lafayette stores
Two very popular spots but worth the detour. Indeed, on these two terraces you will be at a height and will have a magnificent view. Plan a bit of shopping at the end of the afternoon (if you like it of course!) and then go to the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette or Printemps to then enjoy the sunset – I have a slight personal preference for the terrace of the Printemps anyway. A bar is located at the top of these terraces.
As for Belleville Park, the “Butte de Montmartre” overlooks the city and the sunset will be a feast for your eyes. A little further than the funicular, in the rue Azais, is a long fence all along the sidewalk through which you can see the city of Paris as well as the Eiffel Tower. Wait for the sun to go down, for the Iron Lady to light up her golden dress to get the best out of it. The famous “Maison Rose” (“Pink House”) is a little further away, photographing it from the corner of rue de l'Abreuvoir, you can add colour to this Parisian classic. However, the sun only sets in this axis from April to the end of August. The entire Montmartre district, however, deserves to be photographed when the sun goes down because the lights come on and the atmosphere is special!
5. Pont Alexandre 3 and Pont Neuf
Intramural Paris has 37 bridges but these two bridges are my favourites for the sunset. Pont Alexandre III and Pont Neuf offer a beautiful view and, above all, a view which is different from each, and they are well positioned for the sunsets.
Of course, these are not the only bridges where the sunsets can be enjoyed, but it is also up to you to find out!
6. Montparnasse tower
We often hear that this gives the most beautiful views of Paris and it is true. From the top of its 58 floors, the Montparnasse Tower has an incredible 360 ° view. Plan to come 1 hour before sunset to admire the panorama, look for monuments hidden all over the city.
7. The Louvre
This place is beautiful and probably one of my favourites for photoshoots for the lines and perspectives it offers. At sunset, the courtyard of the Louvre may seem too crowded with people, but it is quite possible to play with the perspectives and take some beautiful shots 😊
8. Arc de Triomphe
Another iconic monument of Paris that can be highlighted by the setting sun. Get there early, look for the axis where the sun will set, turn all around the square to find the best angle and voilà!
There’s a major event for photographers twice a year (early May and early August, the date varies), the sun will set in the axis of the Champs Elysées, the sun is therefore visible for a few minutes under the arch, we call it the “Parishenge”. To do this, meet at the bottom of the Champs Elysées, be there very early with your telephoto lens because a horde of photographers will already be there.
9. Champ de Mars
Very famous place and therefore crowded with tourists, but when the sun goes down in the axis it allows you to have wonderful photos. It is also the ideal place to rest and have a drink.
10. Parc monceau
Go to the west exit, you will have in front of you a beautiful golden door which will serve as a frame for the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the boulevard. Warning ! To make sure you have the best possible colours, the sun will set in the correct axis only in October, November, December and January.
Here is a short list of the best sunset in Paris. This list is of course not exhaustive, there are so many different possibilities.
Where would YOU recommend me to see the sun go down?