updated on September 17th, 2017
Although it was once nearly torn down for scrap metal, the Eiffel Tower has transformed into one of the most famous landmarks in the world and the perfect gathering point for photographers of all different skill and interest levels. Even if there aren’t really any wrong ways to capture the modern-era icon, a few tips can have you on your way to the perfect photo shoot featuring Paris’ Iron Lady. Here are a few things to consider when putting together a plan for shooting the Eiffel Tower.
Don’t over think it: Take some time at Champ de Mars.
One of the most photographed areas in the world, Champ de Mars is an eclectic hangout of visitors from all over the world and the heart of the Eiffel Tower area. But even though you will be far from the only tourist there, there are a variety of reasons why it remains a must-stop. Instead of just battling the crowds for a bit of lawn space for the lighting ceremony at night, checking it out during the day will allow you much more room to operate and it’s also a terrific place to catch your breath after marching around the city. For the over-achievers, making it there for sunrise will give you a chance to see the Tower in its most peaceful state while you line-up shots splashed with the early morning sunshine. Getting off the main lawn to the side areas can also let you bring in trees and vintage lampposts to spice up your photos even further.
One of the best parts about photographing the Eiffel Tower is that is should naturally take you around to some of the coolest places in Paris. A spot not to be missed is Montmartre, where you can capture an elevated shot of the Eiffel Tower hovering over the city about six kilometers away. Montmartre offers a range of different perspectives to shoot the Eiffel Tower, although you’re also going to want to turn your cameras to the nearly as famous Basilica of Sacré Cœur.
If you’re in Montmartre, the Roman Catholic Church, known in English as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, is absolutely stunning in it’s own right. Sacré-Cœur offers up seriously impressive views over of the Paris skyline, if you are up for some stairs, you can find some long shots of the Eiffel Tower. It takes a few euro and a trek up the seriously cramped spiral staircase (seriously, this could be a bit of a struggle if you’re the least bit claustrophobic), but you’ll be rewarded with not only some great photo opportunities of the the Eiffel Tower, but all of Paris.
Pont de Bir-Hakeim:
The view from underneath the Pont de Bir-Hakeim offers a unique perspective that allows you to include the arch of the bridge in the foreground in front of the Eiffel Tower. Above, the tower provides a series of other great shots both of the Eiffel Tower and the Seine, particularly at night when both the tower and the river-spanning bridge light up. For those interested in cinematography, the bridge has also been featured in a variety of famous movies, including Last Tango in Paris and Inception.
River boat cruise:
Whether you go just for a quick tour or for dinner, a river boat cruise along the Seine provides endless opportunities to capture top landmarks around the city – which is why you can expect to have plenty of company. In addition to shifting perspectives on the Eiffel Tower, expect great shots of Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre, Orsay Museum and much more along the way.
Heading up to the 59th floor terrace of Tour Montparnasse is an experience in itself, offering a variety of fantastic shots around Paris thanks to being the second tallest structure in the city. Instead of just hitting up the terrace, however, head down a few levels to the restaurant on the 56th floor (Ciel de Paris) and you’ll have 360 degrees of Parisian views and plenty of shots of the Eiffel Tower as well. Montparnasse is also literally built on top of a metro station, making access a breeze.
Other spots to consider:
From another icon of the city, Arc de Triomphe, photographers have a terrific vantage point thanks to a 50-meter high platform that lets you see the Eiffel Tower nearly all the way to its base. You also can’t go wrong heading down the street from Notre Dame to Saint-Jacques Tower, where you get a sensational view of the whole city. The terrace of shopping mall Printemps is another great way to get a full view of the cityscape while views from the Pont d’lena provide both street and river levels to snap away. Just across the Seine at the Trocadéro, photographers relish in getting the chance to snap the Eiffel Tower behind the Warsaw Fountains and surrounding green space.