January 2020 was the last time I was in Paris. While there, we made a point of stopping by the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann store because the annual winter sales were in full swing and we figured it was worth a trip. It was, but not because of the sales. The rooftop view stole the show! This Haussmannian department store is the most well known in all of Paris and is not only an amazing shopping experience in and of itself but is worth a trip for the view from the rooftop. Have you visited the Galeries Lafayette rooftop and do you think it’s the best view in Paris? Let’s talk about it…
Galeries Lafayette rooftop: Best view in Paris?
Have you visited the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris? It is SO worth it! Did you know it’s the second most-visited tourist attraction in Paris, after the Eiffel Tower? Yes, it’s quite an experience.
The store’s roots date back to the 19th century — 1893 to be exact — when two cousins from Alsace, Théophile Bader and Alphonse Kahn, opened a small shop together in Paris. It was on the corner of rue La Fayette and rue de la Chaussée d’Antin. From there, the store grew and in October of 1912, the “luxury bazaar” had its grand debut. The rest was history!
Set in the centrally located 9th arrondisement on Boulevard Haussmann, the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann location is easy to get to, with several metro lines just a short walk away. Take your time shopping inside the main building, but don’t forget to head to the rooftop before you leave!
On your way up, make sure you stop at the Paris souvenir store on the 6th floor of Lafayette Coupole for souvenirs you’ll love. I’ve lived in France for years and I still get a kick out of all the fun French souvenirs they have. You can find a quality Paris souvenir from the selection of clothes, key chains, maps, books and so many more cool, unique items.
Then, make it a point to go up another level to the terrace on the 7th floor. If you can time it so you head up there just as it gets dark, you’re in for a treat. When we visited, it was just before the magic hour when the Eiffel Tower sparkles in all its glory.
With a panoramic view as shown in the photo we snapped just above, you can see the action on the boulevard below, the Eiffel Tower out in the distance along with the Sacré Cœur, The Garnier Opera House, and more.
Depending on the season, grab a drink or a meal at the terrace restaurant while you’re up there. Or if you’re pressed for time, it’s still worth it to head up just to snap a few photos. During the 2019 Christmas season, they even installed a 160m² ice skating rink for a real treat!
For me, the Galeries Lafayette rooftop has cemented its place in my mind as one of the best views in Paris.
>> Need a hotel with an Eiffel Tower view? << Check out this post for some of the best!
The second best view at Galeries Lafayette in Paris is from the inside. The stunning atrium almost makes you dizzy in all its splendor, complete with a 43-meter dome. They even have a clear catwalk now so you can walk out into the center and snap a pic of yourself. Look closely at the left-hand side of my above photo to see it.
Oh, and do you see all that stained glass? It’s all thanks to master glassmaker Jacques Gruber who designed the windows in a timeless Neo-byzantine style. They are especially breathtaking at Christmas.
Now let’s not forget about the food. Once all that shopping has worked up an appetite, head to the lower levels of the main building, 0 and -1, to splurge on a delicious meal or snap up mouthwatering pastries, chocolates, and more at the epicerie. They have worldwide gourmet cuisine that’s worth the wait in line. It was in Galeries Lafayette that I first saw the trendy baguette au charbon végétal in person, which is pictured above.
Keep the Paris Galeries Lafayette rooftop terrace hours in mind and visit between 9.30 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Have you made your way to the Galeries Lafayette rooftop? What did you think? What’s the best view in Paris in your opinion?