The Champs Élysées, probably the most famous boulevard in Paris, stretches from the Arc de Triomphe on Place Charles de Gaulle to Place de la Concorde directly in front of the Louvre.
Standing on the Place Charles de Gaulle in the French capital Paris, the view extends directly to the end of the famous Champs Élysées in front of the Louvre. The famous avenue and the Arc de Triomphe are among our top 10 sights in Paris.
At the end of the boulevard, on the Place de la Concorde, in the middle of the busy traffic, stands an obelisk, a gift from Egypt , which originally adorned the outer façade of the temple in Luxor, Egypt.
Construction of the Arc de Triomphe
The construction of the Arc de Triomphe at Place Charles de Gaulle was commissioned by Napoleon at the beginning of the 19th century to honour the French army after its victory at Austerlitz. At the time, it took 30 years to build. Today, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier stands at its feet as a memorial to the fallen of the First World War.
Tip: From 01 November to 31 March, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris can be visited free of charge every first Sunday in Monday!
From the roof terrace of the Arc de Triomphe, 50 metres above the ground, you have a wonderful view over Paris and can also see the imposing new Arc de Triomphe, called La Grande Arche (the Great Arch), in the distance. This is twice as high as the Arc de Triomphe and stands in the new, modern district of La Défense.
Shrouding of the Arc de Triomphe - Christo's "last work
In 2020, the wrapping of the Arc de Triomphe with 25,000 square metres of fabric was completed according to the ideas of the artist Christo. Unfortunately, the artist himself was no longer able to view his planned work; he died in May of the same year. Thus, 30 years after the Pont Neuf, another Paris monument was part of his life's work "art in public space" - and thus also his last.
The square of the Arc de Triomphe used to bear the significant name Place de l'Étoile (Square of the Stars), as twelve avenues meet here in a star shape - a notorious square in Paris in terms of traffic.
Here, not too much, not to say no value is placed on observing the traffic rules. This goes so far that in the event of an accident in this area, even the insurance companies are no longer liable. If you want to explore Paris by rental car, you might want to stay away from the area around the Arc de Triomphe.
From the Arc de Triomphe across the Champs Élysées
Starting from the Arc de Triomphe, you can take a nice shopping trip along the Champs Élysées - provided you still have some holiday budget left. On what is probably the most famous street in Paris, you will find numerous luxury boutiques and perfumeries, such as Louis Vuitton, Versace or Marionnaud, elegant cafés or posh restaurants.
Even if you don't intend to spend money here, the pompous flair spread by the imposing glass facades and the hustle and bustle of the well-heeled is worth a walk alone.
The Champs Élysées is also the scene of major public events such as the annual military parade on 14 July. It is also the finishing straight of the Tour de France cycle race and the Paris Marathon.
Every year on New Year's Eve, all hell breaks loose on the Champs Éysées; if you love magnificent fireworks and lots of people, this is the place to be at the turn of the year.