Paris, the 'City of Lights
,' isn't exactly the best place for stargazing. The city is so lit up that you can barely see them! Or can you? Though the French capital is famous for its twinkling illuminations come nightfall, there are a few areas that remain dark enough for stargazing. The Paris Observatory, of course, is a great place to see stars. The Montparnasse Tower is another great option you have to know. While Louise Michel Square will likely be the next spot to become popular for this sort of thing. In any case, no matter how bright this city can get, there are still many amazing places where you can go stargazing in Paris.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Pline
Let's start with the most obvious place: the Paris Observatory. Founded by Louis XIV all the way back in 1667, it's the oldest observatory in the world. It famously features the Arago telescope, a 38-centimeter diameter aperture that will help you see stars more clearly. It's open to the public every day so you can go stargazing in Paris whenever you want. Moreover, the rest of the observatory is dedicated to various astronomy and meteorology to global cartography. If you want to learn more about stars beyond how beautiful they look in the night sky, you'll want to visit this place!
Astronomy Tower of the Sorbonne
As part of the famous Sorbonne University, the Astronomy Tower of the Sorbonne is another observatory worth visiting in Paris. It stands 39 meters high and features both an upper and lower dome. Though it's not as tall as many of the famous landmarks in the city, it's tall enough to reach a good vantage point for its various astronomical instruments. And it's in the upper dome where you'll find the telescope. Since the tower is part of one of the most prominent schools in Paris
, you'd think it'd be closed off to the public, right? Well, it's not! You can schedule a visit here and gaze at the stars for as much as you want.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ David Brossard
From one tower to another, it's not wrong to say that Montparnasse Tower is the pièce de résistance
of its district
. While it pales in comparison to the more famous Eiffel Tower, it remains a popular hotspot for locals and tourists alike. It helps that it stands at 690 feet, making it one of the tallest skyscrapers in Paris. So even when the rest of the city is all lit up, going to the highest parts of the tower can still give you a great view of the sky above. And though it doesn't have the sorts of telescopes that the previously mentioned observatories feature, a standard pair of your own is good enough.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Square Louise Michel
You probably never would've thought that the steps leading up to Montmartre
’s famous Sacre Coeur would be a great place for stargazing in Paris, did you? After all, this area is always filled with so many people, it's bound to be bright at night, right? Well, it's not! The square is bustling during the day, sure, but come nightfall, it becomes so dark that it's hardly the same place. The Sacre Coeur is well-lit, sure, but the square leading up to it isn't. This allows anyone to look up and see just how brightly the stars twinkle at night.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ L-BBE
Located in the 20th arrondissement
of Paris, it's easy to understand if you haven't heard of Séverine Square. It's not exactly the most famous park in the city. But then again, this is what also makes it a great spot for stargazing in Paris. Though not as big as the French capital's other public parks, it's still a vast expanse of grassy fields and sandy pits. There are barely any street lamps or other illuminations to light it up when the sun goes down, which means it's dark enough for the stars to shine brighter here than in the other parts of the city.
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Guilhem Vellut
Bois de Vincennes
From a relatively small city park to the largest public park in Paris. Bois de Vincennes lies on the easter edge of the French capital. Covering an area of 995 hectares, you can practically fit an entire Paris neighborhood
here. Fortunately, what you get is a massive space with little to no city lights in sight—perfect for some stargazing. There's nothing blocking you from seeing the stars in all their glory when you come here at night. You can even make a great date out of it. Pack a picnic, lay out a blanket, and gaze at the stars to your heart's content!
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Parc de la Butte-du-Chapeau-Rouge
Since Parc de la Butte-du-Chapeau-Rouge also lies near the (other) edge of the city, it's also a great place for stargazing in Paris. The city lights won't pose that much of a problem, especially since the 19th arrondissement
was never that bright and busy to begin with. And what makes Parc de la Butte-du-Chapeau-Rouge perfect for stargazing is that it's filled with elevated spaces. You can go to the higher areas to get a better view of the stars. Who knows? You might even discover new secrets of outer space!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Flickr.com/ Guilhem Vellut
When all else fails, your best bet might just be Fontainebleau Forest, located right outside the city of Paris. Far from any urban area, it's a beautiful patch of untouched land just beyond the French capital. You can climb up the high mountains and cliffs here and get a view of the night sky that you won't ever get when you're in Paris. But this also means that you will have to be in charge of your own safety! Make sure you have the right camping gear, enough refreshments, and a way to get help if ever there's an emergency!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ SangsterBeatrice
The sky that looms over the City of Lights is just as sparkling! Discover all the celestial wonders over here by going stargazing in Paris. These spots are the best places to do it since they're not as bright as the rest of the city.