When the weather’s nice enough, Paris comes alive with a selection of rooftop bars and terraces offering excellent views alongside innovative cocktails. Culture Trip has picked the best rooftop bars in Paris.
Play games at Mama Shelter Rooftop Terrace
Bar, Cocktails, $$$
The rooftop bar at the impossibly cool Mama Shelter Hotel offers up excellent drinks, quirky decor and some seriously good food. Although it’s only open to guests of the hotel during the day, from 5.30pm anyone can come up to grab a cocktail and look at the view, and entertain themselves with the ping pong table or foosball. Alternatively, those in the mood to relax can grab a blanket and settle down on one of the many overstuffed couches, or choose a hammock to lie back in and look up at the stars.
This trendy, graffiti-covered bar overlooks the Canal Saint-Martin and is part of Point Ephémère, a building that also houses an exhibition space, a dance studio and artists in residence. Le Top is only open during the summer months – keep an eye out for a green flag that indicates they’re open for business. Keep in mind that Le Top is only available to those with a reservation, but this means that it’s never too crowded, and it’s an excellent place to relax with some of the key players from the local arts scene.
In the heart of Montmartre lies the impressive Terrass Hôtel, which has seventh-floor views that are nothing short of breathtaking. Grab an appropriately named Moulin Rouge (Ketel One vodka, Chambord, Merlet Crème de Péche, fresh raspberries, apricot juice, cranberry juice and champagne) and relax in one of the comfortable sofas scattered around the rooftop. Or, if you can’t choose between the many cocktails on offer, bartender Emeric Aguilar can whip something up just for you.
Brasserie Auteuil is located in an old train station in the 16th arrondissement. The light, airy space was designed by architect Laura Gonzalez, who has created a lush oasis for the terrace, with exotic plants and climbing vines set up around the rooftop. Try one of the house cocktails like the Pimento, with Jimador tequila, lime juice, cucumber, passionfruit and a sprinkling of chilli powder.
Situated in the trendy St-Germain area of Paris, this rooftop bar is popular with socialites and celebrities (apparently, it’s a favourite of Kate Moss). The bar is decked out with sleek, black marble tables, and leather seating adds to the chic, exclusive atmosphere. Reservations are essential, but once you’re there the views of Notre Dame and the St-Germain church are truly stunning.
Located in the heights of the Palais Tokyo art museum, the big draw of Monsieur Bleu is its unparalleled views of the Eiffel Tower. This bar is a great place in Paris to bust out your best suit or little black dress, with a glamorous clientele drawn to this sleek, Art Deco space, which was designed by Joseph Dirand. As well as an excellent cocktail list, which includes house cocktails like the Emerald Tower with gin, vanilla, Thai basil and bergamot, the menu is full of classic bar food with a twist, and at the weekends Monsieur Blue serves brunch.
The luxurious La Terrasse cocktail bar at the top of Paris’s Hôtel Raphael offers one of the best panoramic views in the city, with both the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe on display. The seating is simple but chic, with the focus all on the city below. A visit to La Terrasse is likely to be an extravagant trip, but the high prices are worth it for the location.
After spending a day shopping at Printemps Haussmann, make your way up to the top of the building for a drink at Perruche. Mixologist Nico de Soto has created a “neo-tiki” inspired cocktail menu, including old favourites like the daiquiri and pina colada. There’s also a small selection of sophisticated bar food; think pouple à la plancha (octopus) or canard roti (roast duck).
On the 7th floor of an industrial building, Le Perchoir claims to have been the first rooftop bar in Paris and offers a charming lookout over the rooftops in the city. It’s a popular place with locals and can fill up to capacity quickly, so get there early to nab a prime space on one of the cosy, colourful couches. Wooden benches, patterned cushions and low lighting contribute to the relaxed atmosphere, while events and outdoor screenings mean there are plenty of activities to take part in.
From the talented team at L’Exceptional, The Shed is an inviting space on the top of the Hotel Grands Boulevards. If you’re after an intimate bar with a knockout cocktail list, The Shed is well worth a visit. Plants and herbs set up around the space not only give The Shed a quirky vibe but are also grown to be used by the bar and restaurant downstairs.