FlyView is a unique virtual reality attraction that invites the most courageous travellers to visit Paris from the sky. The voyage is not by predictable means like helicopter, plane or even hot air balloon. Rather, in a sweep of utter creative genius, you get to soak up 360° views of monuments and scenery thanks to your very own jetpack. It’s truly a first in the world of virtual urban exploration.
The unusual prospect of travelling via jetpack might sound absolutely terrifying and there might be a wave of vertigo involved or two, but it is well-worth braving. What’s so special, making this attraction stand out from other virtual reality feats, is that there are no computer graphics involved. The experience uses real-life footage filmed by a drone, offering an authentic glimpse into Parisian life, rather than a computer-simulated representation. You’ll see people waving at you and will probably, on reflex, wave back.
The attraction has pulled all the stops to heighten the sense of authenticity and ensure the adrenaline is flowing before you even strap into your jetpack. When you arrive in the lobby, you’ll notice the design mimics an airport terminal with check-in counters, flight attendants and screens announcing upcoming flights.
It’s a lot more pleasurable than taking a real plane, as they skip the need for passport controls and security checks. Rather, you head straight in for takeoff from a 1,000 m² (11,000+ sq. ft.) launch pad. The launch area has 50 jetpacks, making it one of the world’s largest virtual reality installations and a great experience to share with a group of friends or family.
It has only been in operation since March 31st, the date that marked its exciting opening, but it has quickly been described as ‘a dream come true’. What’s brilliant about this exhilarating ride is that you fly close to the grandest monuments in Paris and explore them from a new angle – never could you get so close to the spires of the Notre-Dame otherwise. As you shoot up and break out over the rooftops of Paris, you’re overcome with flying sensations as convincing as in real life.
The itinerary spans all the major monuments but in a totally new way. Some of the gems on the whistle-stop tour include the historic Place de la Concorde and its fountains, the prestigious Champs-Élysées as well as the bas-reliefs on the Arc de Triomphe you’d never otherwise notice. The Eiffel Tower is the crowning glory and since everything’s been filmed on a summer’s day, it’s a great alternative if you’re looking to while away a rainy day.
Notre-Dame de Paris is widely considered to be one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture in the world. The views from the towers are breathtaking, but the lines are likely to be quite long, so discovering the masterpiece by jetpack is a fantastic alternative. What’s more, when you zoom past Notre-Dame, you’ll fly gargoyle to gargoyle, so you can truly appreciate the architectural excellence in a way you couldn’t otherwise.
The voyage only lasts a brief 13 minutes, but it will be the most exhilarating 13 minutes of your whole trip to Paris. You will explore around 20 monuments in total, which is much more than you could ever squeeze into a real itinerary. While everyone has the same itinerary, each person will see different things because of the immersive 360° view, which lets you turn your attention to what interests you the most.
It took about 100 people working for three years to create the FlyView experience, with all the exceptional views of Paris filmed with a drone, a device with seven 360° cameras and a team worthy of a film production. Interestingly, this feat marks the first-time approval to film over Paris and in such close proximity to monuments, a historic step towards modernity for the City of Light.
‘FlyView is my childhood dream of flying and seeing the world from above come true’, says Arnaud Houette, the founder of FlyView. ‘This experience brings together poetry and innovation to create another high-quality cultural activity in Paris. I hope to share this incredible experience with as many people as possible’.
Open seven days a week – hours and reservations at www.flyview360.com
Single ticket: €15 (for visitors of at least 4′ (1,20 metres or about 8 years old) tall)
FlyView Paris, 30 Rue du 4 Septembre, Paris, France, +33 1 83 62 12 36