The Arc de Triomphe (Arch of Triumph) in Paris is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world. As it sits at the top of the Champs Elysees and at the intersection of multiple roads, it dominates the surrounding landscape as a focal point of the area. The lank mark was built for Napoleon’s army, the Grande Armee in the early 1800s as an honorary gesture from Napoleon. It is the world’s largest triumphal arch and is engraved with battle victories as well as past generals that served in the French Army. The design of the columns depicts sculptural reliefs from France’s history and is designed in a late 18th-century Romantic Neoclassicism style.
If you can’t make it to the Eiffel tower, or don’t want to wait in the lines, this is a close second and it’s less expensive and less crowded. To get there, DON’T try and walk past the millions of lanes of traffic with cars rushing around in a circle. There is a tunnel underneath that leads you there on the Avenue de la Grande Armee side of the circle. You can access this tunnel from the Wagram exit of the Metro.
There are great views on the top down the Champs Elysees and around the entire city of Paris. When I went, I went at night during the Christmas season which was great because the entire Champs Elysees was lit up with all of the Christmas lights and all of the Christmas vendors and such. You also have a great view of the Eiffel Tower and at night, it is lit up which makes for cool photography opportunities and can be quite romantic. Also, note that the only way up to the top is climbing up 40 stairs, no elevator.
I believe if you’re a study abroad student, if you show your student ID, it’s free as well. Le Arc de Triumph is definitely a great landmark in Paris and if you look straight down the Champs Elysees, just keep in mind that that’s part of the grand axis and that the smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel at the Louvre is along that same axis and if you turn around and look the opposite direction, you will see the Grand Arch at La Defense, again along the same axis. Cool huh? Well have fun, take a lot of photos.
Address: Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
Transport: Metro Station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile Lines 1, 2, 6, RER A
Phone: +33 1 55 37 73 77
Price: Adults: 9,50 €
Students (18-25): 7,50 €
Groups (20+ adults): 6,20 €
Free for children and students up to Age 17.
Hours: April-September 30: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
October -March 31: 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
Closed on January 1, May 1, May 8 (morning) July 14 (morning), November 11 (morning) and December 25
Unpack Your International Side