A Paris terrace is the perfect place to sit back and relax over a drink or a good meal with friends or the family when summer comes along. You’ll find terraces of every possible description in every part of the city, from leafy to lavish, from party-oriented to culture-focused, not to mention the many terraces boasting a view or a rooftop location.
And, with the City of Paris introducing special measures to encourage outdoor dining, such as allowing terraces to expand into pavements and streets, there’ll be even more places to choose from this summer. Tables are spaced well apart to ensure social distancing, and everyone has to follow basic hygiene rules (remember to wear a mask if you go inside a bar or restaurant), so you’ll be able to soak up the sun and the sights of Paris in all safety.
Sitting on a terrace in Paris
Sitting on a terrace and watching the world go by is one of the most popular things to do in Paris – whether you’re there for an after-work drink, a break from sightseeing, or just to admire a beautiful view of the city.
There are spacious terraces in magnificent settings where even sipping a drink feels like a special occasion, like the CoCo Paris at the Opéra Garnier, the Mini Palais inside the Grand Palais, or the garden of the Petit Palais. Many iconic Paris museums and monuments have terraces, and these are three of the finest.
Hidden terraces are perfect if you’re looking for a quiet haven or a romantic spot away from the city’s bustle. There is the timeless charm of Café A located in the former convent of the Récollets a stone’s throw from the Gare de l’Est, or the patio of the Westin Paris-Vendôme hotel, where you can enjoy mouth-watering pastries along with some peace and quiet, and Ground Control near the Gare de Lyon, where inviting deckchairs will bring on a desire to lie back and lift your face to the Parisian skies.
Restaurant terraces offer foodies a chance to enjoy an alfresco culinary journey without setting foot outside Paris. Sample Mediterranean cuisine at the Auteuil brasserie or the delights of Danish food at Flora Danica.
Leafy Paris terraces are pleasant places to stay cool in the summer heat, and some of them have an abundance of trees and greenery – such as the Restaurant du Palais-Royal in the idyllic setting of the Palais Royal’s gardens, the Café Jacques, niched within the lush gardens of the Quai Branly-Jacques Chirac museum, and Rosa-Bonheur inside the Buttes-Chaumont park.
Pop-up Paris terraces
Every year, outdoor spaces spring up across Paris and stay open for a few weeks in summer. Many of these pop-ups open in an unusual location or a stunning setting, so each one makes for a unique and memorable experience.
Among this summer’s pop-up terraces to try: the eco-friendly and sustainable Cité Fertile located on disused railway land, the Poisson Lune terrace at the Palais de la Porte Dorée (you can admire the building’s art deco façade as you sip a drink there) and the greenery-filled Jardin Suspendu (hanging garden) inside the Parc Floral.
For more information, see our selection of Paris terraces for summer only.
Rooftops in Paris
It’s nice to sit back and enjoy an alfresco drink, but it’s even nicer if you can do it while soaking up a spectacular view over Paris. There are plenty of rooftop places open all summer long offering a bird’s-eye view of Paris rooftops and some of the city’s iconic sights. Some of these venues have a party atmosphere, while others provide intimate seating and/or a feel of luxury – but they all offer a one-of-a-kind summer experience.
Sip a cocktail at the Perchoir Marais; take in a spectacular view of the Sacré-Cœur Basilica and the Eiffel Tower at 43 Up on the Roof at the Holiday Inn Paris Notre-Dame; sample vegetarian delights at the Créatures restaurant on the Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann rooftop – there are any number of ways to enjoy summer on a Parisian rooftop.
For more information, see our selection of the best rooftops in Paris.