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As relaxing as it is to sit on a Parisian cafe terrace and watch the world go by, it is breathtaking to sip an aperitif while watching the sun set over the French capital from a loftier perspective.
Bars with panoramic views of Paris are few and far between, but here are three suggestions for where to go for a drink while soaking in the City of Light’s best vistas.
La Vue bar is located on the 34th floor of the Hotel Concorde Lafayette, in the 17th arrondissement to the north of Paris, affording it an unrivalled perspective that overlooks pretty much the whole of the capital. With a 15m-long bar and a luminous chandelier made up of 11,000 glass rods, the sparkling interior echoes the view below. Sip a cocktail created by award-winning mixologist Stephen Martin (declared Best Mixologist in France 2009 by Cocktail Zone), and watch the Eiffel tower sparkle as its lights twinkle for five minutes every hour on the hour every night until 1 am.
The Terrass Hotel has a roof-terrace bar on its seventh floor, called, somewhat unsurprisingly, The 7th. Perched up high on the hill of Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement, it has a panoramic view of Paris, encompassing the grey roofs of the city skyline as well as the Tour Montparnasse, Les Invalides and the Eiffel Tower, lined up perfectly from left to right along the horizon. Open from April to September in pleasant weather, The 7th offers an outdoor destination with a cooling breeze in hotter days, with, of course, an unforgettable view.
Finally, there is Georges, located on the 6th and top floor of modern art museum the Pompidou Centre and named after the French president Georges Pompidou who was responsible for the building’s creation. Designed by renowned Paris-based architects Jakob+MacFarlane, the futuristic bar and restaurant keeps with the avant-garde spirit of the museum and includes an outdoor roof terrace overlooking the city, where you can eat, sip coffee or have an aperitif while watching the sun set over the Paris rooftops from the very centre of the capital, in one of the most iconic monuments of present day Paris.
Kim Laidlaw Adrey is the Paris Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes unlockparis.blogspot.com.