The most famous department store in Paris with a free view across the city? This is Galeries Lafayette complete with Christmas decorations and the not-so-well-known roof terrace giving a free panoramic view across central Paris.
Galeries Lafayette is easily reachable by the metro to either Opera or Chausee d’Antin La Fayette stations. We headed to Opera with the added bonus of being greeted by the beautiful Palais Garnier Opera House – a stunning sight.
To access the terrace or ‘terrasse’ just head for the escalators. Follow the signs up to floor number 7 and step out onto the vast rooftop with a flawless view across the enchanting Parisian skyline.
Up on the roof, there are also telescopes for an even closer look at Paris’s monuments. These are chargeable at €2. There’s also a binocular experience of the history of the area surrounding Galeries Lafayette all for free!
We set off around mid morning for the terrace view. I would highly recommend doing the same – or earlier. On a weekend or during holidays this terrace can get very busy indeed so don’t miss out.
As we were getting into the Christmas spirit, so too were Galeries Lafayette. A huge tree dominates the very centre of the store plus a restaurant on the roof featuring the opportunity to dine in igloos.
The prices here, as you can imagine, are on the high side. We checked out the food court area which is simply brilliant. You can find near enough anything and everything here – even a carafe of wine and a station that allows you to pull your own pint of beer.
Beware though, taking photos in the food area was very much frowned upon. I got what I could before an employee scolded me for taking pictures of the food. It’s really hard to resist when the offerings look this good.
Galeries Lafayette is the French answer to Harrods or Harvey Nichols back in the UK. A swish blend of well known brands and the stench of designer perfume dominate the shop floor. The real treasure is higher up and it won’t cost you a penny.
Opening Times: Monday – Saturday 0930-2030
Nearest Metro Station: Chausee d’Antin La Fayette