If you are looking to see a pastel Paris sunrise, you are in for a real treat. We are going to be honest with you and tell you that Paris is the first place we ever got out of our accommodation to go exploring around a city at sunrise. We are also here to tell you that it absolutely did not disappoint and we will do it every time we visit Paris now! This post will detail the exact places we have personally visited to watch the sunrise in Paris so you can plan your trip. The best part? This experience is completely FREE!
Seeing the sunrise in Paris is the perfect way to start the day during your trip. One thing to keep in mind is that you can’t be everywhere for the exact moment when the sun breaks over the horizon, so you are going to want to choose that place first. Once you have chosen where you will be for that moment, the rest of the locations will fall into place. We highly recommend visiting multiple places during sunrise because the whole city is sleeping and it is like you have the whole place to yourself! Whether you aim to wander the streets alone, with family, friends, or your romantic partner, the Paris sunrise will not disappoint!
How To Prepare For Sunrise In Paris
If you want to explore during sunrise in Paris there are a few things you are going to have to do to prepare. First, you are going to want to know when the Paris sunrise will begin and how long it will last. Your phone’s weather app or a quick Google search will tell you exactly the time the sun will rise and that is a decent indicator of how early you should be up and how much time you should plan.
If you are looking to photograph the sunrise in Paris or you just want more details, we highly recommend buying the Photopills app. This app is made by photographers for photographers and costs $9.99. We held off FOR A LONG TIME because who spends $10 on an app?! but that was really silly on our part because this is seriously the best app for photographers out there!
When shooting the Paris sunrise, this app will tell you the exact angle the sun will rise over whatever area you will be in at the time. It tells you the direction the sun will then go and exactly how long the sunrise in Paris will last, down to the minute. It will also tell you how long “blue hour” will last leading up to the sunrise itself and how long “golden hour” of the sun will last too. This allowed us to see all of this information ahead of time the night before and before we even left the house!
If you don’t want to pay for the app, at least Google the Paris sunrise time and leave your lodging at least 30-60 minutes in advance so you can be at the location you want to be at for the big moment!
Getting Around During Sunrise In Paris
Depending on where you are staying, what time of year you are visiting, and where you want to be for the exact Paris sunrise moment, you will have different options for getting around. Our number one favorite way to get around when exploring during the sunrise in Paris is to take the electric scooters that have become popular in the city. Our favorite brand is Lime Scooters but you can choose any number of options that you see lying around! You simply make an account, “scan” the QR code on the scooter with your phone, and off you go!
During sunrise in Paris, there are TONS of scooters around and they get you to your destination quickly and affordably. Plus there is nothing more fun than riding around on a scooter going 20km/hr while shop owners open their stores and put out fresh baked goods in the window. It makes you feel like you are on top of the world! Plus, traffic is low making it even safer.
Another option is renting a Velib bike which we have done in the past but it is a lot more work so early in the morning as different parts of Paris have hills. If you are staying near the place you want to be at for the Paris sunrise, possibly consider walking and exploring on foot. Finally, public transportation such as the bus or metro is another great option. We chose to transit by scooter earlier in the morning and then after the sun rose and we wanted to go clear across the city to another spot, we chose to take the metro. Then we scootered again. Just make sure to check the metro schedule if you want to go this route because you want to build in enough time before you leave so you don’t miss the Paris sunrise!
7 Dreamy Places To See A Paris Sunrise
From The Top Of The Trocadero
This is our ALL TIME FAVORITE Paris sunrise spot. If we could recommend just one spot to watch the sunrise in Paris it would be from the platform on top of the Trocadero. The Trocadero is the giant building that sits across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower and it is our favorite view for watching the sunrise. First off, this is the least busy time to visit the Trocadero. Normally this area is very crowded and you have to fight other tourists for views of the Eiffel Tower. When you visit the Trocadero at sunrise you will have a much more personalized experience.
That being said, there will be other sunrise watchers out there with you. There may also be some photographers and brides getting their wedding photos done. Either way, it is still much less busy than any other time of day. There is nothing quite as magical as watching the sunrise from the top of the Trocadero. Make sure to get here at least a good 20 minutes before the sun is actually set to rise so you can see the pink sky. There is a little coffee shop that opens early in the morning on top of the Trocadero so you can grab a little coffee to enjoy while you wait for the big moment!
From The Steps Of The Trocadero
The best part about watching the sunrise from the Trocadero is that there are multiple places you can view from. After you have walked around the platform on top, listed above, head down to the stairs of the Trocadero which allows you to blend two Paris sunrise spots in one go. This is a wonderful spot for photography and allows you an unobstructed and unique view of the Eiffel Tower and the cotton candy sky behind it.
There are two stairwells that come down on either side of the Trocadero. If one is crowded with other viewers or photographers, simply head to the other stairwell for a more private experience. With your coffee in hand, walk down the steps of the Trocadero and down along the base of the building as well. We got to the Trocadero early and spent a good hour here before and during the sunrise in Paris and it was one of the most magical things we have ever done in Paris!
From The Louvre Pyramids
The Louvre is a wonderfully unique spot to watch the sunrise in Paris. It is actually a great place to combine with the Trocadero listed above because the buildings of the Louvre block the horizon so it is like seeing the sunrise twice! The sun will “rise” above the buildings much later than it will on the actual horizon as seen from the Trocadero so you can easily combine these two Paris sunrise spots into one day.
The best part about being at the Louvre Pyramids for sunrise in Paris is that it is completely devoid of tourists. Since the Louvre is so famous and pretty much always busy, this is a unique treat and allows you to walk around and enjoy the outside of the museum before lines begin to form. There is also the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel which is located across the street from the Louvre Pyramids and makes for great sunrise photography because the sun will rise from the middle of the arch on some days. Make sure to use the Photopills app to see for sure if this is where you want to watch the sunrise in Paris!
From Colonnes de Buren
Colonnes de Buren is a famous art installation located in the inner courtyard of the Palais Royal. If you go during any other time of day, this area will be absolutely overrun with tourists and locals and children will be playing on the columns. If you go during the sunrise in Paris, the entire courtyard will be bathed in soft pink lighting and you will be alone, save for some locals rushing to work from the nearby metro stop.
We love Colonnes de Buren for a late sunrise stop because the entire area turns a soft cotton candy pink which makes for some beautiful Paris sunrise photos. It also allows you to take some photos and enjoy Colonnes de Buren without hundreds of other people running about. If you aren’t familiar with Paris, the Palais Royal is literally across the street from the Louvre. You can easily capture two Paris sunrise spots in one morning because they are so close together. There is a little cafe that opens very early near Colonnes de Buren so you can take in the sunrise in Paris and then grab some breakfast afterward.
From The Seine River
The best part about watching the Paris sunrise from the Seine River is that you can choose anywhere for the occasion. The Seine splits the city of Paris in half, so no matter where you are staying, you can get to the Seine pretty easily. If you want to see the sunrise in Paris from the Seine, we recommend picking up some pastries the night before and heading there with a little basket of food for breakfast. This way, you can sit along the river and just have a relaxing morning.
Unlike some of the other Paris sunrise spots listed here, seeing the sunrise over the Seine is a very relaxing experience. You won’t have to run about to see different viewpoints and you can just sit and enjoy. That being said, there are many bridges that cross the Seine so you can walk across a few of those to enjoy the wonderful morning light over the city. Our favorite bridge is Pont Alexandre III because it is the prettiest but feel free to choose any bridge that is nearby. You can be as active or as relaxed as you want to be when enjoying a Paris sunrise on the Seine.
From Notre Dame Cathedral
Notre Dame Cathedral is a great Paris sunrise location that can be combined with a viewing over the Seine River, listed above. We love sunrise at Notre Dame Cathedral because you have the whole place to yourself and the Cathedral looks just beautiful when bathed in the morning light. You will see the resident pigeons begin to wake and fly about looking for their breakfast, and it is an all-around cheery atmosphere.
Notre Dame Cathedral is actually located on an island in the middle of the Seine, so you can either walk to the left or right of the Cathedral to combine viewpoints. After you are done with sunrise at Notre Dame, there are tons of nearby pastry and bread shops where you can grab a quick snack and coffee. If you are looking for a sit-down breakfast, there are lots of cafes both on and off the island to cap off your morning enjoying the Paris sunrise.
From Sacré-Cœur Basilica In Montmartre
Montmartre is the highest “district” in Paris and Sacré-Cœur is the highest natural point in the city. As a result, it is one of the best places for sunrise in Paris because you will get to see the entire city from above! You will see the sun begin to creep over the horizon and the bathe the entire city in a beautiful pink light. You can see the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, The Arc De Triumph and more all from the front of Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre. We love a good Paris sunrise from Sacré-Cœur because there are so many places to explore and Montmartre is very calm at this early hour of the day.
You can take in the sunrise from the platform right in front of Sacré-Cœur at the very top for the highest possible views. You can walk down the steps to the left side of the Basilica if you really want a unique photography angle. Finally, you can walk down the steps in front of Sacré-Cœur until you reach the bottom level near the street. Here, you will find a Carousel and you can turn around and look all the way up at Sacré-Cœur perched high upon the hill. Sacré-Cœur in Montmartre is a wonderful Paris sunrise spot because there are multiple places you can explore in the calm of the morning. When you are done, there are plenty of affordable cafes in Montmartre to grab a bite to eat or a coffee to start your day right!
Map Of The Best Paris Sunrise Locations
We get it! Planning a trip can be overwhelming! That is why we put together this handy map of the best Paris sunrise locations. You can simply download this Google Map on your phone and easily navigate exactly where each spot is. This is a quick and easy way to plot which places you want to be at during sunrise in Paris. Don’t be afraid to simply choose 1-2 and have a slower paced day and then go out a second morning to see the sunrise from a different place in Paris. You can have as busy or as relaxing of an experience as you want. We hope this map helps you plan where you want to see the Paris sunrise during your visit.
Additional Reading For Your Trip To Paris
If you are looking for more information about planning a trip to Paris, we have got you covered. Here are some additional resources for you to get inspired by!
- Looking to watch the sunset in Paris too? We detail the 10 Best Paris Sunset Locations and include maps on how to find each location!
- Discover the 10 Best Covered Passages In Paris in this post! We also include tips and a map to find each passage. This is a unique thing to do in Paris!
- Planning a winter trip to Paris? Don’t worry! We have a guide to winter travel in Paris too! With safety, weather, and travel tips just for you!
- We also have this guide to spring in Paris with everything you need to know!
- Want to get out of the city?
- This post on the Very Best Day Trips From Paris will show you exactly what to see and do! From well-known to more secret spots, this post has it all!
- Looking to get the perfect Instagram spot? This post on the 20 Perfect Paris Photography Spots shows you our favorite locations all around the city!
- Planning your Paris itinerary? Look no further than this post on 10 stops you must include on your Paris itinerary!
- Want to eat like a local? Make sure to check out 5 things to know about grocery stores in Paris before you head out!
- We love Disney! If you want to visit Disneyland Paris find out why we like Disneyland Paris better than Walt Disney World!
And there you have it! All of the information you need to see a dreamy sunrise in Paris! Just writing this post made us want to book a flight to head back to Paris just so we can see another sunrise. The experience is quite magical and there are many places you can choose to watch the Paris sunrise. Please let us know if you see the sunrise in Paris from one of these spots. We would love to hear your thoughts on it!
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