At the far end of Champs Elysées, you can't help but notice the towering arch soaring over the traffic at Place Charles de Gaulle. The Arc de Triomphe, dominating the horizon was commissioned by Napolean as a homage to the army of France. There are over 660 names of generals and members of the army engraved on the insides of the arch. Visiting this historic symbol of Parisian pomp and military triumph must definitely make the cut to your Paris itinerary. But before you go, here's all you need to know about the historic monument; its history, architecture, Arc De Triomphe tickets, a few quick interesting facts and more!
Arc de Triomphe In A Nutshell
Things to know
Best time to visit - 11 am or 6 pm
Suggested duration - 1 hour
Closest Subway Stop - Charles de Gaulle - Étoile
Height - 50 meters
Open from 10 am to 10:30 pm every day.
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
The 4 Pillars
Proclamation Of The Republic Plaque
Pl. Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France
What Is The Arc de Triomphe?
Located on Place de l’Etoile, overlooking the Champs-Elysées the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, built between 1806 and 1836 is the biggest arch in the world. Napoleon commissioned the building of this arch to commemorate the Parisians victory at Austerlitz. It stands today as a silent reminder of the less glorious parts of war with the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier placed beneath the arch. Every evening at 6:30 PM , an eternal flame is rekindled by war veterans. One can go all the way atop the Arc (a climb of 280 steps) and be rewarded with panaromic views of bustling Paris. Within the structure, there is a museum retracing the history of Arc which is well worth a visit too.
10 Second Arc de Triomphe History
The iconic triumphal Arc is a well known monument in Paris. Located in the heart of the city, the stunning structure denotes Napoleon I’s first victory in the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805. His ambition to make Paris the most beautiful city in the world brought him to plan the construction of the Arc, which was initially supposed to be a column dedicated to the glory of the Grand Army. It took two years just to lay the foundations, however, the construction was completed only on May 12, 1836 after several unexpected halts in its process. As of today, the Arc de Triomphe continues to serve as an symbol of valiance to France as well as to the rest of the world.
Arc de Triomphe Architecture
Designed by Jean-Francois-Therese Chalgrin, the arc is 164 ft high and 148 meters wide. It is located in a circular plaza known as Place de l’étoile (star), because of 12 grand avenues leading towards the arc. Chalgrin incorporated Neoclassical elements to the arc, taking inspiration from the Arch of Titus in the Roman Forum.
The surfaces of the walls are engraved with the names of hundreds of generals and battles. A stairway of 284 steps leads up to the top of the monument where an observation deck is located. A level below is a museum with interactive exhibits narrating the poignant stories of the arc’s history. Beneath the arc, The Tomb of an Unknown Soldier lies along with a flame of remembrance, which is lit every evening.
Arc De Triomphe Tickets
Arc De Triomphe tickets are very nominally priced. Moreover, purchasing them online will provide you with the added advantage of whizzing past queues. While you can view the Arc in all its glory from Place de l’étoile, to reach atop this magnificient structure, you need to purchase tickets.
Arc de Triomphe View
The Arc de Triomphe is located on one of the most busiest roundabouts of Paris, giving you a stellar panoramic view of the cityscape surrounding it. The observation deck located on top of the arc provides tourists a platform to take pictures and admire the view. While metal spikes guard the observatory deck, you can still manage to click a picture of the unobstructed view. At each end of the deck, there is a map present that indicates various monuments in that direction. The top of Arc de Triomphe boasts of one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Arc De Triomphe, Wrapped
Arc de Triomphe, Wrapped is an event where the monument was shrouded in fabric for 16 days from 18 September to 3 October 2021, as a tribute to the late artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
In 1961, Christo and Jeanne-Claude wanted to wrap a public building as part of one of their creating works of art in public spaces. Christo had overlapped many photos of the Arc being wrapped. In 1988, he also created a collage of the same kind. It was only 60 years after in 2021, that their dreams were realized. The iconic monument was wrapped in 25,000 square meters of silvery-blue recyclable polypropylene fabric with 3,000 meters of red rope. It was called a “sensual, popular and monumental gesture” by the Deputy Mayor, Carine Rolland.
Prix De L'arc De Triomphe
The Prix de l'arc de Triomphe is a horse race held in France on the first weekend in October [of every year], which coincides with another great Parisian event, the Fête Nationale. It is one of the most prestigious horse races and has been referred to as "the pinnacle of racing in Europe and even the world", and is world's second richest turf race. It has been running for more than 100 years, having begun in 1920 and was created by Jules-Albert Dewarrat. It is open to horses three years of age and older. It is run over a distance of 2,100 meters (about 1 mile + 3 furlongs).
Arc De Triomphe Hours
Saturday to Sunday — 10:00 AM to 10:30 PM
Getting to Arc de Triomphe
By Metro: The nearest metro station to the Arc is Charles de Gaulle–Étoile from where you can walk your way to the monument. This metro station can be reached via Lines 1,2 and 6 or the RER Line A. Remember to not cross your way to the Arc, an underground walkway from the Avenue Champs-Elysées or Grande Armée is available to lead you to the designated entrance of the Arc.
By Bus: The nearest bus stop is Ch. de Gaulle Étoile Champs-Élysées and is only a minute away from the monument.
By Car: From your starting point, type "des Champs-Élysées" on your GPS and follow the directions. The road leads you straight to the monument.
Best Time To Visit
The most ideal time of the day to visit the Arc De Triomphe to get the most amazing views is at 6 pm or during the season's sunset. The streetlights on either side of the road are lit up, making the way to the Arc De Triomphe look like a Christmas parade.
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Tips for Visiting Arc De Triomphe Paris
- The admission to the Arc is free of charge for European Citizens under the age of 25 and also on certain days in a year, be sure to check their website before you visit.
- The Arc De Triomphe Rooftop Ticket remains free for those who have purchased the Paris Pass.
- Do not run across the road, make sure you take the underground passage to arrive safely at the arch.
- The ticket window which is located below the Arch tends to get crowded during the day, it is best to book your tickets online.
- While there is an elevator access, the climb to the top will acquaint you to several artefacts and history about the Arch.
- Catch the spectacular Eiffel Tower sparkling in the evening from on top of the observatory.
6 Less Known Arc De Triomphe Facts
- The Arc de Triomphe is the second-largest triumphal arch standing today and was the largest until 1982.
- Before it was built, the space was almost dedicated to a three-level high elephant-shaped building.
- The Napoleon I proposed a wooden arch for his second marriage with Marie Louise of Austria. The two of them walked through the arch when they entered Paris as a married couple.
- The Napoleon I never had a chance to see the Arch as the project completed 15 years after his death, however his body was later moved to its final resting place — under the arch — in 1850.
- Admission to the auditorium may be restricted or forbidden at times for technical or artistic reasons. If you want guaranteed access to the auditorium, opting for the first tour in the morning is suggested. That way, you can avoid any potential rehearsal conflicts.
- In 1919, Charles Godefroy, a French Aviator, made news by flying a Nieuport fighter plane through the arch to salute all the airman killed in the war.
Arc De Triomphe Reviews
This as everyone knows is a wonderful monument to visit. You need to walk through underground passage in the street to access the base. Going up, you can find the entrance. Book your tickets online to skip the line and take the basic entrance, climbing the stairs to the top. The view there is magnificent. Take your binoculairs for extra joy. In the evening during the sunset you can capture the whole 360 degree view of the connecting streets.
One of the MUST visit places in Paris! Actually you can access inside and know a little bit of the history, visit the store, and the best.. access to the top roof to watch how surrounding streets converge in this point. You can watch the Eiffel Tower, champs elysees, the new Paris buildings and more! The store have several and nice souvenirs and you can take amazing pictures from around, bellow and top!
Here are most noteworthy attractions located very close to Arc De Triomphe that you must not miss while in Paris.
The Louvre Museum is a museum and historic monument located in Louvre, which is among the largest and most well-known museums in the world. The Louvre houses many works of art and historical artifacts from across the world and throughout history. It was first opened as a public museum (Musée Napoléon) by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1793 during the French Revolution but was later given its current Louvre name following restoration work carried out under French King Louis-Philippe starting from 1848. Today it receives about 13 million visitors each year making it the most visited art museum in the world as well as one of Paris's major tourist destinations with approximately 38% of all visitors being foreigners.
The Panthéon Paris is a large neo-classical building in the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement in Paris, France. It was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve and to house the reliquary châsse containing her relics but after many changes now functions as a secular mausoleum containing the remains of distinguished French citizens. It is also an area of Paris under strong Haussmann influence and stands on the former marshland which has been drained since ancient times.
The Eiffel Tower is one of the most famous structures in France and indeed all over the world. It was built by Gustave Eiffel, a French engineer, for the 1889 World's Fair on the Champ de Mars in Paris. Eiffel had to create an engineering solution that could be used to safely house people 1,000 feet above sea level which led him to develop his tower based on mathematical calculations. The Eiffel Tower has become a global icon representing both Paris and France as well as being one of the universally recognizable constructions in modern history.
The Sainte-Chapelle is a royal French Gothic chapel on the Île de la Cité in the 4th arrondissement of Paris. It has been listed since 1862 as a monument historique by the French Ministry of Culture. In its originally planned form (1243–1248), Sainte-Chapelle was a chevet - a decagon-shaped building with alternating buttresses and semicircular chapels projecting from each of the six faces, much like Durham Cathedral, but even more extreme. It is considered among the highest achievements of the Rayonnant period of Gothic architecture.
Restaurants Near Arc De Triomphe
Located just 100 meters from the Arc, Bustronome Paris, is a fine dining restaurant inside a moving gastro-bus that takes you around the most famous landmarks of Paris. The glass allows the customers to see the Arc on the backdrop while they dine. It is an experience that one must not miss in Paris.
Must-Try: Wine, Pasta
If you are looking for a cute Parisian cafe in the street corner, head to Cafe de Paris Friedland. They serve amazing French, Bar, Cafe, and European meals. You also get the most picturesque street view from the table. It is only a 200-meter walk from the Arc.
Must-Try: Eggs Benedict, apple tart
Another hidden gem of a cafe is Caesar which is located only 200 meters from the Arc. You can grab everything from Pizza to European delicacies and Vegan meals here. It does not burn a hole in your pocket and leaves you pleased with the service.
Must-Try: Bolognese, lasagna, pizza
Located at the same proximity of 200 meters from the Arc is Cafe Lateral, an authentic French cafe. They serve sophisticated French treats that are also vegetarian-friendly.
Must-Try: La Thaï, La Baltique, croissants
Hotels Near Arc De Triomphe
Here are some Hotels near Arc De Triomphe that provide amazing views of not only the Arc but also the Paris skyline.
Hotel Splendid Etoile faces the Arc and is located in the ideal location of the business district of La Défense. It’s a luxury hotel that is fused with classical elements and a French charm. The suites are elegant with all modern amenities and breathtaking views of the Arc.
Distance from Arc De Triomphe: 0.2 km
Hotel Balmoral is located in a quiet neighborhood with the Arch on the backdrop. The lux, comfort, and class provided are unparalleled by any other in the city. The rooms are decorated with a modern twist to complement the 20th-century building. All suites have a minibar and provide incredible city views.
Distance from Arc De Triomphe: 0.3 km
If you are tight on budget, Hotel Magda Champs-Elysees is a great option that does not burn a deep hole in your pocket. The suites are well maintained, cozy, fitted with an attached stylish bathroom and a French balcony that overlooks the Arc.
Distance from Arc De Triomphe: 0.15 km
Who built the Arc de Triomphe and why?
Napoleon commissioned the building of Arc de Triomphe to commemorate the Parisians victory at Austerlitz.
How many stairs are in the Arc de Triomphe?
There are 280 stairs to reach the top of the Arc.
Does Arc de Triomphe have an elevator?
Yes, the Arc de Triomphe has an elevator.
Are Arc de Triomphe tickets available online now?
Yes. You can book your Arc tickets online now as they accept digital reservations.
Do I get skip the line access with my Arc de Triomphe tickets?
Yes. Your Arc de Triomphe tickets provide skip the line access, allowing you to bypass the long waiting queues.
What are Arc de Triomphe opening hours?
The Arc is open from Saturday to Sunday from 10:00 AM to 10:30 PM.
How do I get to the Arc de Triomphe?
The Arc de Triomphe is located close to Charles de Gaulle–Étoile station. Once you alight at this metro station, you can walk to the monument.
Do I need a ticket to get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe?
Yes. You need a ticket to get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Once you purchase a ticket, you can take either the stairs or the elevator to get to the top.