Montparnasse Tower

Montparnasse Tower is a nearly 700-foot-tall skyscraper located about one-and-a-half miles south of the Rodin Museum and the Army Museum, and roughly one-and-a-half miles southwest of the Panthéon. Famous for being the tallest building located within the city limits of Paris, Montparnasse Tower is home to a panoramic observation deck, rooftop bar, and café with remarkable views of the city’s many splendid sights.

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History of the Montparnasse Tower

The Montparnasse Tower has a long and somewhat controversial history. In the first couple decades following World War II, plans were drawn up to revitalize various neighborhoods of Paris, namely those that had either fallen on hard times economically or been ruined during the war itself. Montparnasse, a neighborhood in the southern core of the city, was targeted for this type of attention during the late 1950s, with the idea being it would be transformed into an attractive, modern area anchored by a cutting-edge skyscraper. Many locals were not in favor of the project, believing that proposals for such a large structure (and a solitary one at that) were not appropriate for the district.

Still, the project went ahead. It was greenlighted by government officials in 1969, and work began on the skyscraper in 1970. Montparnasse Tower opened its doors to the public in 1973, at which point in time it was the tallest building in all of France. Today, the structure stands some 690 feet, with the majority of its 60 floors occupied by corporate offices.

Montparnasse Tower Highlights

The highlight of any visit to the Montparnasse Tower is the opportunity to experience Paris from the sky via the Montparnasse Tower’s panoramic observation deck. Located on the skyscraper’s 56th floor, the panoramic observation deck provides visitors the opportunity to marvel at Paris’ many iconic attractions—major landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Sacré Coeur, and Notre-Dame, just to name a few—like never before. No matter which way you gaze, it makes for an unbeatable photo opportunity.

The Montparnasse Tower is also home to a rooftop bar where you can enjoy a snack, small plate, and delicious drink during the spring and summer months. If you’ve got some extra time in your schedule, it’s well worth carving out an hour to sip an apéritif here while soaking in the unforgettable setting. 

Visitors wanting to make their Montparnasse Tower experience even that much more memorable should consider dining at the attraction’s 360 Café. The Montparnasse Tower rooftop bar sometimes closes on account of inclement weather, but the 360 Café is open year-round on the tower’s 56th floor. It’s the perfect spot to take a moment to eat, drink, and chat about everything you’ve seen and done in Paris thus far—all as you feel like you’re floating above the city’s charming streets.

More to See and Do at the Montparnasse Tower

Keep reading for a few more things to know about Montparnasse Tower and its observation deck in advance of your visit.

•Though the Montparnasse Tower’s street address is 33 Avenue du Maine, please be advised that the attraction’s actual entry point (and ticket booth) is found on its northern side, along Rue de l’Arrivée.

•The Montparnasse Tower is famed for having one of the absolute fastest elevators in all of Europe. It’s said that the attraction’s elevator ride, from ground-level to the 56th floor, takes a mere 38 seconds total!

•The Montparnasse Tower contains its own gift shop, conveniently located on the 56th floor. There you’ll find all types of souvenirs, t-shirts, books, bags, and more to remember your visit by. While there are some observation deck-themed items for sale, there are numerous Paris mementos available for purchase as well.

Why the Montparnasse Tower Should Be on Your Must-See List

Among its many charms, Paris is renowned for the distinctiveness of its architecture and urban layout, much of which can still be traced back to the fabled nineteenth-century Haussmann redesign of the city. Having the chance to observe all of these inimitable features from the sky not only grants you a new perspective on this magnificent city, but it’s something you just can’t get anywhere else: Montparnasse Tower is pretty much the only true skyscraper with an observation deck found anywhere in Paris.