Montparnasse or Eiffel Tower view

Old Mar 10th, 2008, 05:19 PM
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Montparnasse or Eiffel Tower view

I read Montparnasse is cheaper, no long lines, and you get a view of the Eiffel Tower.
Any thoughts?
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 05:30 PM
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We didn't want to spend time in a line, and enjoyed Montparnasse very much.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 06:00 PM
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We've been to both, and feel that there is just something about being in the Eiffel Tower that makes it more worthwhile. (Perhaps it is just the ability to change elevations for different views?) You obviously cannot see the whole Eiffel Tower itself, but from the distance of Montparnasse it seems pretty small anyways.

If you can only do one, my recommendation is the Eiffel Tower.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 06:29 PM
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At Montparnasse you can have a casual meal w/ view w/o paying a fortune, have a posh meal w/ view w/o paying a king's ransom, go up on the roof w/o waiting in a queue, see all of Paris including the Eiffel Tower, and best of all -- the view does not include the Montparnasse Tower

I have been up both several times - and for a short visit to Paris I would recommend going to the base of the Eiffel tower - but not up it. Go up the Montparnasse, have a nice lunch, and take all the amazing photos -- including the Eiffel Tower and Invalides dome in the same shot.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 07:17 PM
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The best part about the view from the Montparnasse Tower is that you don't see the Montparnasse Tower! LOL We ate a nice reasonably priced lunch, too

Of course, the Eiffel Tower IS the Eiffel Tower. And, Jules Verne at lunchtime on one's birthday is delightful.

I'm glad we've been to the top of both and will tell you that you need to decide for yourself.

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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 07:24 PM
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For the view... Montparnasse.

For the experience... Eiffel.

crowds? +++ to Montparnasse. ET gets overwhelming and claustrophic for a non-claustrophobe.

neighborhood? ++ to ET. Fun to stroll down the Champs de Mars.

I personally was delighted at Montparnasse - my first visit after about 5 to ET. Go in early morning or late afternoon for direct sunlight and not overhead diffused light.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 07:37 PM
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I think the resolution comes down to a question of aesthetics. Those wanting to ascend the Montparnasse Tower favor not having to look it it from the Eiffel Tower and the cost effectiveness of lunch or dinner while viewing Paris.

Those who want the Eiffel Tower value ascending a beautiful structure, and they discount the fact that the Monparnasse tower is off to the southeast somewhere. If by chance the should see it, the appearance of the building is of no consequence. There are too many other buildings to enjoy from the heights.

I think what swayed me was the logistics of the situation. The lines are not as long for the Montparnasse Tower and I was running short on the amount of time remaining to see the other attractions on my short list.
(Short list in this case being one about 20 entries long.)

So I think the decision is multifacted. What matters the most?
And what are the practical aspects of your visit?

One artist friend of mine say he did not want to have to look at the Montparnasse Tower because he swore up and down that it was ugly. His wife, being the practical one who balances he checkbook took the stance of: If you don't like it, don't look at it. The end result: They ascended separately!
The artist used the time he saved by not having to stand in a long line to linger longer at the Musee d'Orsay.

So weigh your priorities and make your choice.

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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 07:52 PM
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Do you have to eat at the restuarant in order to have access to the roof of the Montparnasse Tower? Or can one just head on up, like at the Insititute de Monde Arabe (not sure if that's the correct name...)
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 09:33 PM
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No, you don't need to eat in either restaurant. There are two - a cafe and a fancier restaurant on the observation floor and then there are stairs up to the roof.
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Old Mar 10th, 2008, 09:43 PM
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Thanks janis, I've always been curious about the Montparnasse tower. I'll have to check it out in April when I'm in Paris.
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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 06:41 AM
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Anybody know the prices for eating at the Cafe?
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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 06:46 AM
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The observation level café is dreadful at the Montparnasse tower. However, if you want to splurge for a meal, you might want to eat a the restaurant up there, Le Ciel de Paris.

www.cieldeparis.com
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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 06:49 AM
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I prefer the Arch de Triomphe! You can see the Eiffel Tower but you don't have to trek to Montparnasse. And, since you have to walk up and down the stairs you can justify a trip to Lauderee on the Champs after!
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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 06:53 AM
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I've eaten at the cafe a couple of times - most recently about a year ago. Nothing terrible. Not the most memorable meal for sure. But also better than you might expect in that location.

I really can't help w/ the prices - I know it was w/i reason, but I don't have my notes from that trip.

But if one doesn't want to eat - that is fine too.


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Old Mar 11th, 2008, 06:51 PM
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If you eat at the restaurant, do you have to pay the entry fee?
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 05:44 AM
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Years ago, I had dinner in the Montparnasse's more expensive restaurant. It was ok, but not a stand-out meal.

My vote is for the Eiffel Tower first if you've never done it--it's something most tourists would do at least once. Next, the Eutelsat balloon, which almost never has any lines.
http://www.aeroparis.com/

Third, the Montparnasse Tower.

The Arc de Triomphe also gives a great view, but the climb up and down made my right knee very unhappy and the AdT staff are pretty strict about who gets to use the elevator. I should have had my 80 yo mother with me!
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:17 AM
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On our last trip we did both but we were staying in Montparnasse!
The view from the Montparnasse tower is like a map of Paris laid out before you. It's great for getting your bearings. The cafe had fairly typical prices for sandwiches and cakes. http://www.cieldeparis.com/bar/Tea-and-coffee.html

The Eiffel tower is so central it's a totally different view point. I think it's more of an experience. I recommend walking up, shorter or no lines and many different view points (as you catch your breath!)

If you can do both.

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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:26 AM
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BTilke, that's funny you say that because I had no problem riding up and down. I was surprised. I asked about it at the ticket counter, as I happened to see some people getting in as I went by.

I rode up with some delivery people.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 06:31 AM
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Montparnasse is cheaper with no lines, but nothing beats the Eiffel Tower. If you don't have time, I would also suggest the Arc d' Triomphe or the view from Sacre Couer. The latter costs you nothing.
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Old Mar 12th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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We plan on going to Sacre Couer during a walk in the Montmartre area, hopefully at dusk. I am thinking of going to the top of Montparnasse to have lunch. When in Las Vegas we had lunch at the top of the Stratosphere and I don't remember how the food was, but it was great eating with the view. . It seems this would be the same thing.
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