Home to the Eiffel Tower and some of Paris's top museums, the 7th arrondissement is a magnet for visitors from around the world. While seeing the sights is a must, one of the charms is sitting back at a little café and watching the world go by. Some of our favorite terraces in Paris for the experience, the view and the ambience are in the 7th. We've invited Oliver Gee of The Earful Tower — who loves exploring the 7th arrondissement along with his lovely wife Lina of Parisian Postcards — to create their ultimate guide to our favorite district! They've covered the most charming parks and gardens, the best Eiffel Tower views, the prettiest streets in the 7th arrondissement, must visit Paris spots for coffee lovers, and even secrets of the 7th arrondissement you won't find in a guidebook.
For the last of the seven installments, Oliver is showcasing the best terraces of the 7th arrondissement for when you fancy having a drink outdoors. And by terrace, we essentially mean outdoor seating, whether that’s for dining or drinking, or simply for enjoying the atmosphere while doing both. You can read more about the classic Parisian terraces here. Read on to find out seven terraces you should sit at next time you’re in Paris.
Your turn, Oliver!
1. La Fontaine de Mars
Word has it that La Fontaine de Mars is a Paris favorite for Robert de Niro. Is it true? Well that’s what one of the waiters told me. This place is great for classic French food that’s not too expensive, and while it’s not a classic terrace like the others on this list, you’ll find yourself in the middle of all the action on rue Saint-Dominique – and right next to an impressive 200-year-old fountain. Cheers to that!
Address: 129 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris
2. Café du Marché
When people think about having a drink in the seventh arrondissement, it’s a safe bet that many are transported directly to the charming rue Cler. This pedestrianized street is among the best in the entire city for watching Paris go by, so why not take a front row seat at Café du Marché and do just that?
Address: 38 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris
3. Café Central
Just across the way from Café du Marché you’ll find an equally expansive terrace at Le Central. Order an Aperol Spritz like everyone else and sit back to watch Paris go by. Don’t let the frantic waiters stress you out, take things at your own pace. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with taking as long as you want on a Paris terrace. Once you’ve got that seat – it’s yours.
Address: 40 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris
This cool spot is an open-air terrace on a boat – which doubles as a local art center. The rooftop bar at Fluctuart is ideal for enjoying the sunset, with the Eiffel Tower in sight on one side and the glorious Pont Alexandre III on the other. Downstairs is well worth a visit too as the place was built as part of a city plan to “reinvent the Seine.” The result? Well, according to the official website, it’s the first floating urban art center in the world, and “promotes all trends of urban art, from pioneers to contemporary artists of street art.”
Address: Pont des Invalides, 2 port du Gros Caillou, 75007 Paris
5. Castel Café
This café is a top choice because it's in such a photogenic spot on the opposite side of the Champ de Mars from the rest of the 7th arrondissement. The backdrop of the Eiffel Tower nearby is unparalleled. My tip: Snag a spot right on the corner of the terrace. Order an espresso, maybe a copy of Le Monde newspaper, sit there and pretend you’re just having the most typical day in the world – and get someone to take a photo from across the road. The Eiffel Tower is so close, so perfectly framed by the Haussmanian buildings on rue Buenos Ayres, and so lovely, that this is guaranteed to be a photo you’ll probably put on your mantle piece. Enjoy!
Address: 5 Avenue de Suffren, 75007 Paris
6. Le Petit Cler
When it comes to charming terraces, it's not just about size. Some of best café spots in Paris are quaint little spots exactly like Le Petit Cler, which you'll find along rue Cler. It's a popular spot for breakfast, lunch, drinks and dinner. Given the petite size of its terrace, reservations are a good idea. Save room for something sweet as Paris Perfect founder, Madelyn, particularly recommends their desserts!
Address: 40 Rue Cler, 75007 Paris
7. Eiffel Tower
And let’s finish on something a little different! Why not spend a lazy hour up on the Eiffel Tower itself? That’s right, you not only will have exceptional views of Paris up at the first floor terrace, but if you time it right you can even get live music! Sure, it’s very far from a traditional terrace, and the people watching isn’t quite the same as on rue Cler, but it’s an experience you’ll be unlikely to forget.
Address: Tour Eiffel, 75007 Paris 7
There you have it — the best dining terraces of the 7th according to Oliver. Enjoy more of Oliver's experiences in Paris on the Earful Tower, a weekly podcast with guests ranging from tour guides to TV presenters, cooks to comedians, and authors to ambassadors. If you want more of The Earful Tower, subscribe to his podcast and check out the links below!