Whether your a ‘grammer, a blogger, or a photographer, Paris is an irresistible subject. Everywhere you turn there is something to capture. When asked, “where are the best Instagram and photo spots in Paris?” my response is simple: everywhere. But I know that when organizing your first trip to Paris or maximizing your second or third, it’s always good if someone who has been there before offers a little advice. There is already so much to research and plan, why not make life a little easier by getting a little help?
I struggled with the idea of writing this post for a while. I hemmed and most definitely hawed. There are places that have been ruined by too many people and I don’t want to contribute to that. One of the most important tenets in travel is respect. Respect for other cultures, religions, political views, and yes now, physical space.
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So there is no mention of a certain colorful neighborhood in Paris in this post – the funny thing is, there are lots of colorful spots all over the city. And I kindly ask that you take care when photographing in Paris, the French are very private people – heck I lived in a small building for 3 years, crossed my neighbors daily and never knew any of their names, just monsieur or madam! So keep that in mind when you are taking photos of people, homes, doors, and neighborhoods.
But do have fun! In French, you would say, “profitez!” One of the best things to do in Paris is to take photos! Besides all the usual attractions, the city is full of colors and textures and layers upon layers of architectural history. Your Paris pictures will inevitably be beautiful! Seek out locations from this list of these Instagram and photo spots in Paris. I’ve interviewed a ‘grammer’ and asked a few travel bloggers to share their favorites. Before we dive in, here are a few of my favorites.
Mr. Misadventures and I are constantly on the hunt for vintage storefronts. They can be found all over Paris. The owners take pride in capturing, re-capturing, or maintaining the unique storefronts of their retail space. The one above at Maison Collet is one of my favorites, especially during the holidays. It’s located on one of the food-forward streets I love to graze through, Rue Montorgueil. (Address for Maison Collet: 100 Rue Montorgueil in the 2nd arrondissement.)
One day I will update my post on the magical Paris passages that you can find all over the city. These passages are indoor shopping arcades built in the first part of the 19th century and they are wondrous! There are some that are more well-known than others.
The secret of photographing them is the same as many other places, go early. Between the glorious tile floors in many of them to the art deco ironwork, vintage windows, and doors, they are totally dreamy for photos. The one pictured above is the Passage de Grand Cerf located at 145 rue Saint-Denis in the 2nd arrondissement.
There are 37 bridges that connect the Rive Gauche to the Rive Droite in Paris. It’s fair to say that some are more beautiful than others. But the Pont des Arts will always be my favorite (I can’t help it, I still see that scene with Carrie and Mr. Big on this bridge from the Sex and the City finale in my head!).
Honestly, I was super sad when all the love locks took over, they stole away the simple beauty of this pedestrian bridge. Now that the love locks are more or less under control, it is back to its former self. Because it is still a very popular spot, Mr. Misadventures and I enjoy spending sunrises there and we are generally alone.
There are many famous places (or squares) in Paris, Place de la Concorde, Place des Vosges, but almost every residential neighborhood has one, oftentimes “secret” and used only by locals and they can be spectacular, built hundreds of years ago, but largely untouched. These squares are decreed to be public spaces, so as long as you are respectful you are allowed. One of my favorites is Place Dauphine.
If you go early in the morning, you can watch the locals, walk their dogs, the shopkeepers open their shops, have coffee in listen in on local gossip. It is a beautiful and quiet spot at the opposite end of the Ile de la Cité to Notre Dame. You can access it from Pont Neuf at the tip, it’s the inner courtyard of the buildings on Quai des Orfèvres and Quai de l’Horloge, located in the first arrondissement.
Paris from the Seine River
There is so much to see by walking along the Seine! Boats, bridges, and major Paris attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and like the photo above, Notre Dame. It offers a different perspective on something that has been photographed thousands of times.
Plus I love to people watch here, we always run into interesting locals walking their dogs, jogging, etc. It is a whole other world at river level! You can walk for a very long time, outside of the most popular areas, and really see beautiful architecture, public gardens, etc., especially in the 15th arrondissement.
Paris Neighborhoods – Canal St Martin
My mission in life with visiting Paris is to get to every single arrondissement. The more trips I make the further away from the main Paris attractions I go and the more wandering around in Paris neighborhoods I do, the more I discover, and the deeper I fall in love. But even the classic neighborhoods are reinventing themselves every few years.
I really do enjoy the 10th arrondissement and in particular the Canal St. Martin neighborhood. First, it has one of my favorite breakfast spots, Holybelly (Number 5 located at 5 Rue Lucien Sampaix) but it just has a really cool vibe. They’ve got their own patch of colorful little storefronts as you can see in the photo above. These are located at 95 Quai de Valmy.
Paris Restaurants – Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole
In my opinion, I think nearly every restaurant in Paris is photo-worthy, but of course, there are some that definitely stand out. On a quiet little street next to the Parisian motorcycle police brigade is the Restaurant Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole (24 Rue Chanoinesse) not only is the outside totally adorable but the inside is as well!
As its popularity grows because of its Instagram worthiness spreads, I am not sure how high the food quality will remain, but for now, they have a nice little menu that serves proper bistro food. Come in the morning just before they open to get the place to yourself!
Paris Gardens – Tuileries Garden
Oh, the gardens of Paris! It doesn’t matter what the season they are amazing! Probably the most popular is Tuileries Garden or Jardin des Tuileries. You access the Louvre from the garden and most people use it as a thoroughfare but every inch of it is a photographer’s dream and no Misadventure family trip is complete without some sunrise or sunset in this park. Mr. Misadventures has taken every angle and still finds new ones.
So, these are just a few of my favorite spots to take photos in Paris, I could go on and on, but that would be rude as I have invited some guests to share their thoughts on this question too!
An Interview with Instagrammer Shelby Dubin (@thedubindiaries) and her Recommendations for the Best Instagram and Photo Spots In Paris
I loved Shelby Dubin’s fun personality and spirit that comes through in her Instagram feed, so I did a little interview with her and asked her to share her favorite Instagrammable spots in Paris.
What’s your Paris story? How many times have you visited? Why do you visit, etc.?
My first time to Paris was when I moved there in April 2018 to start a new job! I work as a performer and that allows me to travel around the world! Paris was somewhere I always wanted to visit and I feel so lucky to have been able to call it home for just over a year!
Do you plan out your Paris Instagram shots or do you take advantage of spots as you find them?
Most of the time I wander around and stumble upon a beautiful building or street to capture. I try to explore different areas and showcase various aspects of Paris including landmarks, cafes, and architecture! As in any city, there is always something new and exciting happening around town! The entire city of Paris is a photographer’s dream!
How do you approach your Instagram style?
I like to approach my Instagram style by keeping the focus on being real! The whole reason I started The Dubin Diaries was in hopes to share the beauty of the world and inspire others to want to travel and explore! I want to display what it is truly like to travel to a specific destination. The goal is that you can easily recreate my entire trip or find cool, new spots to discover!
Do you have any tips for shooting in Paris?
Timing is everything! The streets of Paris are quite small and can be very busy with pedestrians and cars. To get the shot you want just wait! Let all the cars pass and people clear in order to get the shot you want.
Without giving away your secret sauce, what are your favorite tools, etc. that you use with Instagram?
My favorite editing tool is Lightroom. I use presets to help keep my feed looking consistent. (Presets are similar to filters). In order to always be ready, I use Plann to do exactly that, plan out my Instagram posts!
Now the fun part, what are some of your favorite Paris spots for photos?
This is a tough one! All of Paris is a beautiful gift! Here are some of my favorites:
Palais Royal is a park and courtyard and garden located near 8 Rue de Montpensier. There are shops and restaurants and of course the famous columns.
Rue Saint Dominique
The hottest street in the 7eme, there are tons of cool boutiques and of course epic Eiffel Tower shots.
Rue de l’Universite
More of the 7th arrondissement and more Eiffel Tower!
Pont Alexandre III
One of the many beautiful bridges in Paris. This one is an arch bridge that spans the Seine connecting the Champs-Élysées with the Invalides and Eiffel Tower.
The Trocadéro is in the 16th arrondissement, across the Seine with a beautiful view of the Eiffel Tower.
Rooftops & Cafes
Oh goodness, on nearly every street corner in every arrondissement you can find quintessential Parisian cafes. Check out the grand boulevard department stores for rooftop views as well as the Panthéon.
Travel Bloggers Share Their Recommendations for the Best Instagram and Photo Spots In Paris
I’ve asked some of my travel blogging friends to give me their favorites as well. You can never have enough options for photos in Paris!
Each of us knows that getting a good shot of the Eiffel Tower when visiting Paris is a must. However, are you familiar with the best places to achieve this? Trocadero Square is one of the most famous spots for offering a spectacular view of the Iron Lady.
Many photos you see on Instagram, guides on the Internet, or even books, were taken from this square. Many wedding photoshoots happen here as well, with good reason – you could hardly find a better spot to photograph this iconic monument. On top of that, it’s free, accessible for everyone, and always open.
Photo tip: This place is probably on every tourist’s bucket list for Paris, which means it’s packed most of the time. If you want to escape the crowds and take the perfect shot without any other people in it, wake up early and be there before everyone else!
If you don’t make it, but you still want an ‘unobscured’ photo, go to the stairs at the end of the square, leading down to the gardens. The staircase leaves room for your creative ideas on how you want to pose, as well as making it easy to avoid snapping any other people around you. Your photos are guaranteed to turn out amazing.
Eiffel Tower Carousel (Carrousel de la Tour Eiffel)
One of my favorite shots that I took whilst in Paris was of the Eiffel Tower with one of the old carousels in the forefront. Whilst my young daughter was eager to ride the carousel, I just couldn’t help thinking what a great photograph this would make!
There are a few carousels around the area of the Eiffel Tower and I was just lucky that on the day we visited, the sky was blue just perfect for the ideal shot! Of course, everyone dreams of taking the best photo of the Eiffel Tower for Instagram, but I quite like this one with combined with the carousel.
View of Trocadero and Paris business area from Eiffel tower
If the Trocadero neighborhood, one of the most elegant and chic of all Paris, has excellent views – due in part to its proximity – to the Eiffel Tower; the views that can be enjoyed from any of the levels of the largest icon of the city are also worth mentioning.
Specifically, those that are towards the northwest during the photogenic blue hour, with the gardens and the square of Trocadero in the foreground, and the skyscrapers of the financial zone of background lit little by little. Simply magnificent!
To admire them, it is advisable to go up before the sun sets on one of the two terraces of the Eiffel Tower. There are usually large lines and the blue hour lasts a short time.
Musee d’Orsay Clock
Musee d’Orsay is one of Paris’s most popular museums, specializing in Impressionist and post-Impressionist art. Although it is known for its impressive van Gogh and Degas collections, Musee d’Orsay is arguably just as famous for its architecture, as it’s housed in au Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900.
Beautiful, ornate clocks are integrated throughout the building, including a stunning, larger-than-life design on the fifth floor. The enormous clock has been repurposed as a window, so you can see the Seine, the Louvre, and, on a clear day even Sacre Coeur on Montmartre.
Not only does this offer a unique view of Paris, but of course, presents an Instagram-worthy photo-op. If you want to get the perfect shot (and not wait in the line of other ‘grammers), I recommend coming to the museum early in the day for the best lighting and to avoid the crowds. After you strike a pose with the infamous clock, head towards the exit nearby to walk around the museum’s upper deck and drink in those gorgeous Paris views.
Musee d’Orsay Gallery
Musee d’Orsay is a gem in Paris, beautifully curating artistic creations from 1848 to 1914. The building, the collection, the staff, and the presentation make those times come alive. Most of all, it is undoubtedly the best museum for impressionist art in the world.
What makes the museum uniquely appealing is that the museum itself was originally a grand train station. When all other beautiful buildings were being replaced by boxy apartment buildings, the train station was protected and converted into an art museum like none other. Today the building is as much a work of art as its contents. The museum is filled with amazing photo opportunities – the central hall, the balcony overlooking the hall, all the galleries, and more.
If you plan on visiting the museum, consider the Paris in the 19th Century tour from Context Travel, it’s amazing!
The Louvre is well known for its internal beauty and magnificent collection of artistic treasures, but our favorite part of this masterpiece was its view after the sunset. Besides the fact that entering the Louvre on one of its late closing nights each week means that you will have fewer crowds when viewing the Mona Lisa, it also means that the glass pyramid will take your breath away when you exit its doors.
We walked around the courtyard taking in majestic buildings around the perimeter and then sat on the cobblestones and soaked up the view. The light of the pyramid after dark was one of the most amazing views that we had the privilege of experiencing. The glow was both romantic and ethereal and topped the charts as the best Instagram spot in Paris.
If you are visiting the Louvre, try something different. How about a Louvre scavenger hunt from ThatLou?
Le Palais Royal
Le Palais Royal, located in Paris 1, was one of the royal palaces used by the French Kings and their courts many years before the construction of Château de Versailles. Despite its central position, le Palais Royal and its surrounding gardens, are a peaceful place for a stroll or a break during your Paris explorations.
Today Le Palais-Royal hosts some French institutions like the Conseil d’État, the Constitutional Council, and the Ministry of Culture which can be visited only during special occasions. Some insta-worthy spots around Le Palais Royal are its beautiful gardens, the interior of the historical restaurant Le Grand Véfour, and la Cour d’Honneur with the famous Buren’s Columns.
This picture was taken in Le Palais Royal’s gardens, during the spring, with the flowers in full bloom.
If you are looking for an amazing place to eat in the Palais Royal, try the Grand Vefour, one of the best meals I’ve had in Paris!
Fontaine Médicis in Luxembourg Garden
There is a place in Paris that I prefer among all the others. The Medici fountain, Fontaine Médicis in French, you can find this gem hidden in “Le Jardin du Luxembourg”. Once I discovered it, I felt like I was in the movie Midnight in Paris, or in a dream. This place holds indescribable magic, built in the late Renaissance style this imposing and impressive fountain was commissioned for Marie de Medici in 1630.
And this probably explains why this place gives me some Italian vibes, so it’s my favorite place when I feel homesick, and it is the ideal place to read a book in quietness, take a romantic walk, or simply be there and contemplate the beauty and the magic this place holds.
Suggested by Sara Grigori @saragrigori_
Moulin de la Galette in Montmartre
One of the best Instagram spots in Paris can be found in the pretty district of Montmartre. Hidden within the 18th arrondissement is a beautiful mill. There used to be many mills up on the hillside of Montmartre in Paris. The hilly area would have had dozens all swirling gently in the wind.
Today this is not the case, yet one of these mills which have remained is the pretty Moulin de la Galette (pictured). Many tourists gather around the front of the mill, but the better photo opportunity lies a little further up the street. There is a perfectly placed zebra crossing to walk across to gain the perfect candid shot with the mill in the background.
There is not a lot of traffic up on the hill meaning you can have a few attempts of crossing the road to get your perfect insta shot. There are many fantastic Instagram spots in Montmartre but you must take one of the Moulin de la Galette.
Suggested by Anna Liddell of My Travel Scrapbook and @my_travel_scrapbook_
Pont Royal Bridge
Bridges in Paris seem to pop up in IG because let’s face it, they are IG worthy. Especially Parisian bridges, where each step whisps you right back into history. Pont Royal Bridge is a classic example of Parisian history. As one of the nicest bridges in Paris its serves as a connecting bridge between some of the most visited locations, the Louvre, and Musee D’Orsay.
Walking along the southern bank of the Seine river, turn back toward the bridge to capture exquisite vantage points of Pont Royal against the stunning backdrop of the architectural Ecole de Louvre. Pont Royal Bridge is the third oldest bridge in Paris, and it is made entirely of stone and with its 5 elliptical arches, which create visible symmetry for photography buffs. When visiting, be sure to walk the bridge and take in the busy Parisian lifestyle and take in the stunning views of Paris from the bridge itself.
Suggested by Diana of The Elusive Family and @theelusivefamily
I walk a thousand times passed the Opera Garnier. I always admired the beautiful building built at the end of the 19th-century. But it was only when I came back to Paris on a rainy day as a tourist that I decided to finally check out the inside. And it ended up being the most beautiful venue I ever visited, and surely a top Instagram spot.
The visit starts with the grandiose Grand Staircase. The white marble, the torchères, and the painted ceiling make it a fantastic spot for photography lovers. The Auditorium is another incredible place with stylish red velvet seats and golden pillars, and the seven-ton bronze and crystal chandelier coming out from Marc Chagall’s painting. Finally, the Grand Foyer may be the best place to have fun for great Instagram shots. It looks like a hall in a luxurious castle.
L’Oasis D’Aboukir is a lesser-known vertical garden that you can find in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, at the intersection of Rue D’Aboukir and Rue des Petits Carreaux, in the close neighborhood of Passage Du Caire. Sponsored by local businesses, this beautiful creation of Patrick Blanc consists of over 750 plants and it has been the architect’s contribution to Paris Design Week. 2013.
Since then, the vertical garden has become more and more beautiful with every year that passed, as the plants grew stronger. Today, it is one of the best Instagram spots in Paris, the perfect canvas for travelers who care about the health of our planet. For lively photos, vibrant and full of color, consider visiting it in spring or in autumn.
Sunset River Cruise on the Seine
Even though I’d visited Paris numerous times, it was on the last visit that I discovered one of my favorite Instagram-worthy locations, a sunset river cruise along the Seine River. The river gives you some space from the crowds as well as a slightly lower perspective.
As you cruise under the historic bridges and past the Eiffel Tower you get full advantage of the golden hour to get some amazing sunset photos. The small change in angle adds an iconic element to your photography, and the slow-moving boats continuously provide you with new views of familiar sights. The free champagne the deck hands pass out is just an added bonus.
The Catacombs of Paris are easily one of the most popular tourist destinations for those visiting the city. The uniqueness of this attraction and the eeriness are two factors I believe draw the crowds. It is estimated that the remains of up to 6 million Parisian lie below the city. Placed in intricate designs in old caves, the Catacombs provide a glimpse into medieval Paris.
It also provides a surreal break from the hustle and bustle of the city above. The entrance to the Catacombs is located at 1, Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy (place Denfert-Rochereau) in the 14th arrondissement. It can easily be reached on foot from the Luxembourg Gardens. An audio guide provides useful information about different aspects of the catacombs from its history to the reasoning behind its construction.
If you are claustrophobic, I would be wary of visiting as it can be quite dark and narrow in places. However, I still believe it is one of the best tours/attractions you can visit in Paris and one that you should not miss.
Suggested by Eoin of Dolly’s Quest and @dollysquest
The Steps of Palais de Chaillot
The steps of Palais de Chaillot offer one of the most stunning, unobstructed views of the Eiffel Tower. It’s located on the northern side of the Seine, behind Trocadéro Gardens.
This spot has become very popular amongst Instagrammers, as you can sit up on the ledge to get a photo without any other tourists in the foreground. You have to take care though, as some parts of the ledge have quite a high drop on the other side and it’s really not worth the risk to your personal safety to get that perfect Instagram shot.
But the good news is that some locations around the steps, such as this one, have a drop-off less than a metre. With some creative photography angles, it’s possible to get a shot that looks like you’re hanging off the ledge. During the middle of the day, Palais de Challiot is teeming with tourists, so it’s best to visit early in the morning when, at certain times of the year, it’s possible to capture the sunrise behind the Eiffel Tower.
Pont Alexandre III Bridge
For our second wedding anniversary, my husband and I traveled to Paris. I think Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Much to my husband’s dismay, I decided to schedule a photo shoot. I knew that the Eiffel Tower had to be a part of the shoot. After consulting with a Parisian photographer, we decided on Pont Alexandre III bridge.
Pont Alexandre III bridge crosses over the Seine River. It was built in the late 1800s for the World Exhibition in 1900. The bridge is lined with beautiful street lamps and adorned with extravagant bronze sculptures. From Pont Alexandre III bridge you can take in view of the Grand Palais, the Petit Palais, and the Eiffel Tower. It is a must when visiting Paris and the perfect place for unforgettable photographs.
Paris isn’t only about picture-perfect postcards. There is a gritty side to Paris as well. But gritty can be just as Instagrammable as a pretty and a street shot in front of a mural is as gritty as it gets. There is street art all over Paris, but if you want to find a selfie-friendly wall, you should go to Belleville and the 11th Arrondissement.
You can get a bunch of location shooting ideas by checking out this map and guide to Paris street art. But here are two specific suggestions. Le Mur Oberkampf commissions regular murals at 107 Rue Oberkampf (nearest metros: Parmentier, Rue Saint-Maur). The murals are world-class and the topics are always provocative. There is also an alleyway on Rue Denoyez (nearest metro: Belleville) that is covered in graffiti and perfect for street photography.
Still trying to figure out what to do in Paris, I think we’ve just given you about 2 dozen suggestions! But really truly, one of the best things to do in Paris is just wander the streets and take it all in, the images will come to you, I promise! However, I hope that some of the suggestions that I, my ‘grammer guest, and several really awesome travel bloggers shared will help and inspire you!
How about you? Do you have a favorite spot in Paris for photos? Do share! Have I inspired you for a future trip? Do tell!
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