Your Guide to the Best Photography Locations in Paris

If you are interested in photographing cityscapes, historic landmarks, art and art museums, cathedrals, architecture, street scenes and beauty, Paris has it all.

Tips for photography equipment

You will be walking a lot in Paris. Packing light is therefore important, but a medium sized tripod is worth the extra weight. A wide-angle lens, a zoom, extra memory cards and batteries are a must.

Guide to photography locations

In no particular order here is a guide to some unmissable Parisian locations:

1. The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower is symbolic of Paris. Cross the river Seine and have the Tour Eiffel as a backdrop at dusk. Our tip: take a ride up into the tower and shoot from there too as the view is spectacular.

2. Notre Dame Cathedral

From the cobbled riverbank of the Seine a photograph of the cathedral gives a new perspective. It truly is an awesome, beautiful building. Our tip: Take a tour up to the top of one of the bell towers for amazing view over the city

3. The Louvre

The classical façade of the Louvre has an amazing courtyard with fountains and modern glass pyramids. The courtyard is lit at night for a different atmosphere. Our tip: there's also an inverted glass pyramid in the foyer below that plays with the light from above.

4. Sainte Chapelle

Enormous and beautiful stained glass at the Sainte Chappelle, close to Notre Dame, gives you plenty of opportunities to play with the light. Don't ignore the lower section of the church as you head towards the stained glass at the upper end. Our tip: Give yourself time to enjoy it all.

5. The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

This isn't the Arc de Triomphe on the main street of Paris, but us just a short stroll from the entrance of the Louvre. Our tip: Try shooting it at sunset with the light coming through the arc itself.

6. Le Conciergerie

Next door to Sainte Chapelle is Le Conciergerie where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned. If you love architecture, you'll be amazed at the vaulted ceilings and clean lines. It's a small building, so you probably won't spend a lot of time here.

7. The Arc de Triomphe

Another famous symbol of a city, the Arc de Triomphe sits at the end of the main road through Paris, the Champs Elysees. The Arc de Triompe towers over everything around it. Access is via an underground passage and it's possible to go to the top and photograph the Champs Elysees.

8. The Metro

The best station for photographing the metro is Cite, near Notre Dame, with it's grand staircase and art deco design. Our tip: Don't forget the metro signs above ground too.

9. St. Paul/St. Louis Church

If you're in the Marais district don't walk past the St Paul/St Louis church. Like a lot of the churches in Paris, the exterior is rather plain, but the interior is fantastic.

10. Champs Elysees

The most famous street in Paris with the Arc de Triomphe at one end and the Louvre at the other end, you'll likely fill a memory card between the two. It’s very touristy, but after dark you can find some interesting and beautiful scenes to photograph.

11. Sacre Couer

Interior photography is not allowed at this extraordinarily beautiful cathedral, but the exterior is wonderful too. Our tip: stroll around the neighbourhood of Montmartre and enjoy the store displays, the people, the atmosphere.

Our tips for other photography locations in Paris that are well worth a visit are:

The Sorbonne, Jardin du Luxembourg, Place de la Concorde, Pont Alexander III, Centre Pompidou, Hotel de Ville, Opera Garnier, St Etienne du Mont, Moulin Rouge, Les Deux Magots, Rue St Severin and Rue de la Huchette, Galleries Vivienne, The Church of Saint Severin, Locks of Love and Shakespeare & Co book-store.

Eiffel tower
Eiffel tower
If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast. -Ernest Hemingway 

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