What to do in Paris

The Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées

After the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe is the most representative monument in Paris. More impressive in real life than in photographs, it is one of the places you absolutely must visit during a stay or weekend in the French capital.

The Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe is ideally located on the Place de l'Etoile, at the crossroads of several of Paris's most important and famous avenues. One of these is the world-famous Avenue des Champs Elysées.

The Champs Elysées

The avenue, a highly frequented thoroughfare, is constantly crowded with passers-by and tourists. It's Parisians' favorite place for shopping, strolling or enjoying a drink on one of the avenue's many terraces.

Avenue des Champs-Élysées

The Champs-Elysées is home to the famous Le Lido cabaret, numerous movie theaters and countless shopping malls, restaurants and hotels. More than enough to satisfy the city's tourist needs. Even if the café terraces are often saturated... Finding a free seat sometimes requires a little patience. If you do find a table, be sure to check the food and beverage menu before ordering. Prices are high. You're not on the world's most famous avenue for nothing! A single beer costs 6 euros, and in some places as much as 9 euros, and if you're bringing the whole family, you'd better think twice.

In the evening, the Champs Elysées lights up, and numerous discotheques and cinemas welcome you for late-night entertainment. The Champs Elysées remains a lively place until dawn, as evidenced by the ceaseless stream of cars treading the Parisian asphalt.

Spectacular view of the Champs Elysées with the Christmas lights and the Ferris wheel in the background on Place de la Concorde.

An extraordinary architectural edifice

Visually, when you look at the Arc de Triomphe in a photo, you can't help but think of the various Roman arches, but when you stand in front of it, you quickly realize that it has no equal. Hence the beauty and complexity of this monument, which makes it so unique.

Its dimensions exceed any other "classic" arch, both in width and height. This is all the more true when you stand at the top of the monument. The view from the terrace is breathtaking. One of the most beautiful panoramas in Paris.

Although the Eiffel and Montparnasse towers are much higher, the Arc de Triomphe has the advantage of offering a view of the perfect star pattern that gives its name to the square, the starting point of twelve avenues.

On one side, visitors enjoy a spectacular view of the Champs Elysées and, on the other, a panorama of the Avenue de la Grande Armée with the Arche de la Défense. They can also admire the Eiffel Tower and Montmartre's resplendent Sacré Coeur.

The only drawback to climbing the Champs Elysées is the price, which is a little excessive. But it would be a shame not to experience this as part of a sightseeing trip to Paris.

As for its origins, it was built in 1806, when Napoleon Bonaparte ordered the construction of a triumphal arch in honor of his armies. The Arch is 50 metres high and almost as wide, at 45 metres. On the inner walls of the arch, accessed via underground passages, are inscribed the names of the generals and the many battles in which French troops took part.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was planted here in 1919, at the end of the First World War.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

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