Arc de Triomphe and blurred traffic at sunset
Located at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe was inspired by Rome‘s Arch of Titus and commissioned by Napoleon in 1806. It was inaugurated in 1836 by King Louis-Philippe, who dedicated it to the armies of the revolution and the empire. The Unknown Soldier was buried at its base in 1921, and the flame of remembrance is still rekindled each day at 6:30 p.m. Take the stairs or the elevator to the top for a panoramic view.
Stunning Paris Views
The world famous iconic Arc de Triomphe is one of Paris’ top attractions. The Arc is located at the intersection of the Champs- Elysees and Avenue de la Grande Armee at the roundabout. A famous victory march passing the Arc occurred in 1945 with the Allies and Free French led by Gen. Charles de Gaulle. Beneath the Arc de Triomphe lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WWI. After walking up the 284 steps, I arrived at the museum that tells the history of the Arc. There are then 46 steps that lead to the viewing platform. I took pictures from the top and the panoramic views took my breath away. There was Montmartre with the Sacre Coeur Basilica. Then there was the Seine flowing peacefully through Paris... and the Eiffel Tower. Looking straight in front of me I saw the Champs -Elysees leading straight down to the Place de la Concorde (that’s a stupendous view in itself). The Arc de Triomphe is an historic monument that goes on the list of things that must be seen in Paris. Figure about 2 hours. Look into the purchase of the Paris Museum Pass at: Parispass.com Back on the street again, I wandered down the grand Champs-Elysees and stopped at a small bistro. I sat with an expresso and, naturally, engaged in some serious people-watching. Shopping along this famous avenue in the elegant shops is de rigueur in the most beautiful city in the world. For info about Paris and the Arc de Triomphe: www.paris-attractions.com
Climb the Arc de Triomphe
Step one: take the Paris metro to Charles de Gaulle-Etoile. Step two: walk towards the large arch in front of you. That’s about all the directions you need for the Arc de Triomphe, although if you just look at it from ground level you’re missing out. Climbing the Arc is a lot quicker than joining the huge queues for the Eiffel Tower, and in my opinion the views are better—for a start, you get to actually look at The Iron Lady herself. The day we went it was misty and only the triangular base of the tower could be seen—the rest vanished spookily into the clouds. Even better is the view of Paris’s grand avenues—Champs-Élysées included—that spider out from the arch: awesome by day, twinkly by night. It’s good value and we happened to go on Armistice Day when the wreaths laid by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier made a particularly poignant sight.
It Is Too Whether You Win
Apparently, the French don’t take soccer losses lightly. I thought that my third time to Paris I finally ought to go up in the Arc de Triomphe, as I had thought the same about the Eiffel Tower a few days before. Upon arriving our last night, however, those plans changed. We ascended from the metro to find a police barricade around the Place Charles de Gaulle. What? When cars began discharging young men and women waving giant flags, we figured it out. The World Cup, and France was playing. The police anticipated ugliness from the flag wavers on opposite poles of football/soccer world dominance. I never got to see the City of Lights at night from the top of its famous Arch. But I witnessed the enthusiasm of her people. The conflict was perhaps lesser than that of French Revolutionaries of previous centuries; nevertheless, they were prepared to defend their national honor. And for a while, a disinterested bystander, I got to watch.
Prior to traveling to Paris, Champs-Elysées was described to me as France’s Times Square. Living in New York, Times Square is a place I try to avoid. Nonetheless, we had to see it. We were able to flag down a rickshaw while leaving the Eiffel Tower, negotiate a semi-reasonable fare, and take a beautiful nighttime ride down the length of The Avenue. Visiting in late November, we experienced the first taste of Paris’ magical holiday season without the robust crowds. My advice; skip the luxury shops, grab some vin chaud, and enjoy your ride flanked by trees in Christmas lights while basking in the vibrance and excitement from the Christmas Markets that are just opening. Jump out right before reaching the Arc de Triomphe and enjoy the view.
Paris, je t'aime!
I know it is cliche but I love Paris! It is the one destination I never mind revisiting. Although the entire city is beautiful, I think l’Arc de Triomphe is my favorite :)
Up 286 steps and down 286 steps in a tightly spiraled staircase
School Children invade the Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most iconic images when you think of Paris because of its amazing view of the entire city! During the summer months you can see hundreds of groups of visitors with their matching hats! Here are a few irish boys climbing to the top of the Arc!
Lots of Stairs
How can you go to Paris and not go to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. We walked and walked and walked and made it to the top. Nice views and place to sit for a minute. By the way, it’s much easier going down the stairs ha.
The Second Best View in Paris?
We all know that the view from the Eiffel tower is amazing. But have you been to the top of the Arc de Triomphe? The view down the Champs Elysees, especially at night, is stunning. And, the greatest nine minutes every put on film, C’etait un Rendezvous, begins at this wonderful monument.
View of a city ::: atop the Arc de Triomphe
The view on top of the Arc de Triomphe never fails to amaze. It’s well worth taking the step steps up to catch this vista, even in the mild drizzle on a day such as this.
Day in the Life
While we were gazing down on the haphazard and chaotic traffic pattern swirling around the Arc de Triomphe, a motorcycle driver was hit. He promptly got up and started gesticulating-- he was presumably arguing with the driver. A few more gathered to share their opinions, and after several minutes, they all drove off. Imagine stopping to discuss anything in the middle of one of the worst traffic situations in the world!
Parisian Perspectives: Arc de Triomphe
Arriving into Paris this last week at Porte Malliot, I decided to walk down the Avenue des Champs Elysèes instead of hopping right on the subway. Definitely made the right decision. I ended up grabbing a baguette, some cheese and a peach at a little market on the way and sat and watched as Paris began to light up for the night.
A Different View From The Top Of the Arc De Triomphe
Looking down after climbing the spiral stairs to the top of the Arc De Triomphe on our first day in Paris.
Magnificent Sense of French Pride and History
It is amazing to be standing under the Arc de Triomphe watching the dangerous haphazardness of Parisian traffic circling around you and wondering how no one gets in car accidents! Climb to the top -- it is not for the out of shape! -- and see a 360 degree view of one of the most gorgeous cities in the world.....my husband Wayne stayed on ground level and I waved to him from on high!
Must See and Do in Paris!
While you are standing across from the L’Arc de Triomphe and as you try to figure out how you are going to navigate the Champes Elysees, look for tunnel which will take you underneath the Champs Elysees to the Arc De triomphe. The Champs Elysees is one of the busiest streets in Paris and the drivers on the Champs Elysees drive very quickly. Worth a visit and definitely a must do in Paris, perhaps even at 3 am in the morning.