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  • Writer's pictureParisian Niche

The Sun Also Rises - in Paris!

image: Chrissy Consolé

It's no secret that your P'Niche is an early bird, and while today's title may be borrowing the great Hemingway's words a bit, it's true that some of the most spectacular sunrises you'll see happen as Paris slowly awakens. Let's take a P'Niche peek at how and where you can capture Paris' first light as it heads into the morning's "Golden Hour"...

First things first, you'll need to know what time the sun rises (and factor in not only wake up and prep time, but time to travel to and set up at your select location).

Do plan to arrive earlier than the planned sunrise time to set up and get away from crowds, which might disrupt your special time and photo taking/artistry/pleasure...

Bonus: the sky glows a gorgeous (la vie en) rose color jusssssst before the sun makes its appearance.

P'Niche's favorite (non-sponsored) tool for planning ahead for sunrise (and also sunset) photography, etc. is this free to use and handy website.

Starting with the popular summer months (June through August), which have the longest days, the sun rises anywhere between 5:40am and just after 7am (this being closer to later summer mornings).

In the fall months (September through November), the sun will make its appearance anytime from 7am, all the way through 8:15am - you'll have time for a quick morning café if you plan it right!

Spending the holidays in Paris? Yay! In winter (December through February), the sun can rise even closer to 9am, but as we head towards Valentine's Day, it ebbs back to around 7:30am.

In spring (March through May), as the clocks shift, so does sunrise, and we are back to around 6:30am - 7:30am.

OK, let's get to the good stuff: where to get those gorgeous sunrise photos!

Of course, the iconic Eiffel Tower is one of the best places to head to and for several reasons...

First - well, Eiffel Tower!

Second - you'll avoid the thousands of tourists and noise of the area. Truly, you will have the space (mostly) to yourself to enjoy the grandeur of the new day.

P'Niche PSA: Head to Trocadéro Square. As you walk through the tiled square, you will see sets of stairs. Head to the right area of these staircases to get your best and most unobstructed viewpoint.

Métro: Trocadéro

Are you a morning jogger? Lucky! Head over to the Louvre Pyramide for a breathtaking welcome to the day. Not only will you get your cardio in, you'll also enjoy the sight of the sun rising over the gorgeous museum and glass pyramid - it is a true sight to behold!

Métro: Tuileries


Next up is our beloved Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris.

While still (currently) under renovations, you can still catch glorious sunrises - especially since they have installed the bleachers in front of the Parvis Notre Dame – Place Jean-Paul II.

Notre Dame is an "oriented" cathedral - meaning that the alter will be at the eastern end of the church, with the word stemming from the Latin: oriens.

Basically stated, the cathedral's alter faces the eastern morning sun and is meant to light the hearts of the faithful each day. How lovely is that?

Métro: Saint-Michel Notre-Dame (line 4)

RER B or C: Saint-Michel Notre-Dame


Now, we'll head over to the Pont Alexandre III.

P'Niche PSA: there will likely already be photographers, brides, visitors, and other artists enjoying this space with you, but that's all part of the fun of this sunrise - all the Parisian creativity around you!

Métro: Invalides


Climbing up that great big hill to Montmartre, you will get a great payback for your work in getting there!

Of course, you can head to the front of the Sacré Coeur Basilica and you will be treated to a sweeping landscape of all of Paris' Greatest hits and monuments.

As for P'Niche, I like to sneak away to some of the smaller side streets, especially those that look over those deeeeeeep staircases, and welcome in the day quietly.

In fact, the only people I have ever seen while doing so were the Parisian Pompiers (firefighters) on their morning run. If you hurry, you can also get a great pic by the I Love You Wall before the crowds arrive!

Métro: Abbesses

Needless to say, there are countless spots (both well known and hidden) to enjoy and photograph (or paint) a Parisian sunrise.

It's also a great way to use jetlag to your advantage, if your flight lands crazy early and you are at a loss of what to do before some cafés and stores open. The day (and sunrise) is yours to enjoy!

What do you think, P'Nicher? How do you say bonjour to Paris? What will be the next Parisian sunrise you catch, or which is the favorite you have captured? Let us know in the comments below et à bientôt!



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Debra Borchert
Debra Borchert
Aug 30, 2023

Fabulous photos! I'm glad to know I can sleep in on my December visit. Merci for waking me up!

Aug 31, 2023
Replying to

Merci a toi, and the pleasure is mine - cannot wait to see what you can capture! :)

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