Tour of the Tour Montparnasse: how to get there, and at what price?

Tour Montparnasse

Discover the heights of Paris from a unique vantage point when you visit the Tour Montparnasse!

Built between 1969 and 1973, the Tour Montparnasse is located in the Necker district of Paris – in the eastern 15th arrondissement, on the western edge of the 14th arrondissement and the 6th arrondissement. Take the Tour Montparnasse elevator and, like 1.2 million visitors in 2015, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of Paris from 200 meters above sea level!

The Tour Montparnasse, some historical and technical features

After fierce criticism of this controversial building project, it was André Malraux (1901-1976), then Minister of Culture, who gave his approval for the building permit for the Tour Montparnasse in 1968. In 1969, the decision was taken to include a shopping mall and modern infrastructure, in accordance with the wishes of President Georges Pompidou (1911-1974).

Tour Montparnasse

Photo credit: Flickr – Luke McKernan

The site was colossal for its time: after clearing 420,000 cubic metres of rubble, the foundations had 56 reinforced concrete pillars driven 70 metres into the ground. And while sufficient strength had to be provided to distribute the tower’s mass, the Montparnasse-Bienvenüe metro station on line 6 and the train tracks also had to be protected, and covered with a reinforced concrete shell.

Its weight, 150,000 tonnes, rests on soil made up of limestone, chalk and clay! Suffice to say, it was a risky gamble to build it on such difficult ground!

When it was inaugurated in 1973, the 210-metre skyscraper became Europe’s tallest office building, a position it held for almost twenty years, until 1990.

The building has 58 floors, 25 elevators and a total surface area of 90,000 m². With 40,000 m² of facade, the building also boasts 7,200 windows and 1,306 steps! So much for the figures, now let’s get down to the tour.

56ème étage de la Tour Montparnasse

Photo credit: Flickr – stephen h

Visit and climb the Tour Montparnasse

While the entire skyscraper is designed for corporate offices, part of the tower is open to the public. Two floors of the Tour Montparnasse are open to the public. These areas are dedicated to and managed by the Montparnasse 56 company, the Observatoire Panoramique de la Tour Montparnasse.

On the 56th floor, a bar-restaurant allows visitors to take a gourmet break and rehydrate, but that’s not all. Visitors also have access to a panorama, exhibits of historic photographs of Paris and interactive terminals to learn more about the history of Paris.

The glassed-in room on the 56th floor, facing the Eiffel Tower, can even be privatized for corporate receptions and special events (€3,500 per half-day all the same…), and boasts the status of « Europe’s highest panoramic lounge ».

Toit de la Tour Montparnasse

Photo credit: Flickr – Alexandre Dolique

It’s on the top floor (the 58th) that you can enjoy the immense 800 m² open-air terrace, 200 meters above the ground.

As you climb to the top of the Tour Montparnasse, you’ll enjoy a 360° panorama of the City of Light, with a visibility of 40 kilometers on a clear day!

A visit to the Tour Montparnasse gives you a breathtaking view, day and night, of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, theArc de Triomphe, the rooftops of Paris, the streets and major thoroughfares.

Climbing the Montparnasse Tower, for example, makes perfect sense for a new Parisian looking to find his or her apartment among the grand avenues and famous monuments such as the Sacré Coeur, Notre-Dame de Paris or the Gare Montparnasse!

When should I visit the Tour Montparnasse and at what price?

It’s possible to visit and climb the Tour Montparnasse all year round. However, opening times change in summer and winter:

  • April 1 to September 30: daily, 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
  • October 1 to March 31: Sunday to Thursday, 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Friday, Saturday and holiday eves, 9:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The last visit takes place 30 minutes before closing time. The Montparnasse Tower is busiest from 11am to 3pm.

One-day rates :

  • Full price (adults, +12 years): €18
  • Children aged 4 to 11 (inclusive): €9.50
  • Free for children under 4 (please pick up a ticket at the cash desk)

Rates for two visits in 48 hours :

  • Full price (adults): €20
  • Young people aged 16 to 20 and students: €16
  • Children aged 7 to 15 (inclusive): €12.50
  • Free for children under 7 (please pick up a ticket at the cash desk)

To climb the Tour Montparnasse, it’s advisable, if not almost compulsory, to book your tickets in advance. This will save you time and allow you to visit the Montparnasse Tower with peace of mind.

You can book your ticket online, choosing your options and date of visit.

How do I get to the Tour Montparnasse?

Here’s how to get to the Tour Montparnasse, located at 33, avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris :

  • By metro: lines 4, 6, 12 and 13, stop at Montparnasse-Bienvenüe station,
  • By bus: routes 28, 58, 82, 88, 89, 91, 92, 94, 95 and 96,
  • By train: from Gare de Paris Montparnasse,
  • By car: a parking lot is available to the public (fee payable),
  • On foot or by bike: make your own itinerary.

Main photo credit: Flickr – Greg_Men