Located at one end of Paris’s most famous avenue, the Champs Elysees, the triumphal arch is older than the Eiffel Tower, but relatively new in the tradition of building arches to celebrate victories. The Romans did it much earlier. in fact, the Arch of Titus had inspired Napoleon to build this 19th-century tribute to his ‘Grande Armee’. Begun in 1806, under the supervision of architect Jean-Francois Chalgrin, the arch was only finished in 1836. By that time, Napoleon was no longer there to celebrate its completion.
The unknown soldiers tomb was added in 1921. The ‘eternal flame’ is re-lit every evening at 6:30 pm.
You can admire the arch from ground level – either on foot while you’re window-shopping on the Champs Elysees – or by car if you’re lucky enough to get caught in the swirl of traffic that plays dodgem around its base. If you choose not to brave the crowds visiting the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe is a good alternative.
It’s also less expensive if you’re traveling with students or children. Kids and teenagers, age 17 and younger get free admission.
However the top can ONLY be reached by climbing up its 40 steps. But before you get to the steps, you have to get to the monument itself (which isn’t as simple as you’d think). DO NOT TRY CROSSING THE TRAFFIC CIRCLE!
There’s an underground tunnel on the Avenue de la Grande Armee side of the circle. You can access this tunnel from the Wagram exit of the Metro.
From April 1 to September 30: 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
From October 1 to March 31: 10 a.m.-10:30 p.m.
The cash desk close 1/2 hour before
Closed on January 1, May 1,May 8 (morning) July 14 (morning), November 11 (morning) and December 25
Adults : 8 €
Students (18 à 25 ans) : 5 €
Groups (à partir de 20 adultes) : 6,20 €
Free for children and students up to Age 17.
One of the best days of the year to visit the Arc de Triomphe is July 14th, Bastille Day. The Bastille Day parade follows the length of the Champs Elysees and a huge flag billowing from the Arch’s crown creates a colorful photo op.
The Arc de Triomphe is located in the 16th arrondissement on Paris’s Right Bank. The 16th is located in the northwest sector of the city.
Metro: lines 1, 2 and 6, station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile
RER: line A, station Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile
Bus: lines 22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92 and Balabus
From outside Paris: exit Porte Maillot and avenue de la Grande Armée or exit Porte Dauphine and avenue Foch
From the centre of Paris: drive up the Champs Elysées
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