Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Along the Champs-Élysées, even the Métro stops seem to sparkle with glamour. This is Paris all dolled up: a fun place to window shop and daydream about the finer things in life.
Stretching between the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées began as an extension of the Tuileries Garden. By the eighteenth century it had become a fashionable street for shopping, strolling, seeing and being seen. Events such as the annual Bastille Day parade and the final stage of the Tour de France draw huge crowds to the Champs-Élysées.
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Best things to see at Avenue des Champs-Élysées
On a daily basis, tourists flock to the gold-draped Louis Vuitton shop, check out French styles from Zadig & Voltaire and Maje, or nibble dainty pastries at famous bakeries like the macaron shop Ladurée. If you want to continue to immerse yourself in all the beautiful things you will probably never have, head for Avenue Montaigne, rue du Faubourg St-Honoré, or the side streets around La Madeleine. If you want help navigating the most famous street in Paris, check out our guided tour options of the Champs-Élysées.
Arc de Triomphe
Assuming you played any sports as a kid, you are probably familiar with the concept that when you win something, you get a trophy. Usually it’s a plastic statue in some sort of athletic stance, but add Napoleon to the mix (yes Napoleon, of the “Napoleonic complex”) and you get a 50-meter high tribute to military victory. L’Arc de Triomphe honors the achievements of the Grande Armée and memorializes the Unknown Soldier with an eternal flame. It was built in what was originally named Place de l’étoile (meaning star) after the 12 large avenues that radiate from it, including the famous Champs-Élysées. The top of the arch has one of the best views in Paris, especially since it’s open late for the sunset. Someone give this arch a plastic statue.
Grand Palais and Petit Palais
Designed for the 1900 World’s Fair, the Grand Palais and the accompanying Petit Palais across the street were lauded as exemplary works of Art Nouveau architecture. Today, the Grand Palais is used as a concert venue and an exhibition space for wildly popular temporary installations on artists such as Klimt and Monet. It is also well known as the annual host of Chanel’s elaborate fashion shows. For the temporary exhibits, it’s best to buy a ticket in advance and skip the lines. Otherwise, most of the building’s beauty can be admired outside for free, especially at night, when the 6000 metric ton glass ceiling glows, lighting up the French flag that flies above it.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées directions and parking
Best way to get to Avenue des Champs-Élysées
The Paris Métro Line 1 runs under the Champs-Élysées. If you take Charles de Gaulle, exit station Étoile to emerge at the street’s west end. Otherwise, there are three stations with exits onto the street itself. From west to east these are: George V near the Hôtel George-V, Franklin D. Roosevelt at the rond-point des Champs-Élysées, and Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau which is close to the Place de la Concorde.
Best parking near Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Take advantage of the free parking lot located at 44 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, right in the middle of all the action. A miracle? We think so.
Avenue des Champs-Élysées FAQs
How expensive are the shops and restaurants along the Champs-Élysées?
It depends where you go. If you’d like to just window shop and people watch, it’s free! If you’d like to get a meal, you should expect to pay a moderately high price, because this is a tourist-heavy area. There is a lot of luxury shopping, as well.
How long is the Champs-Élysées?
The Champs-Élysées stretches nearly 1.2 miles from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde.
How many of the people here are tourists?
Most. Some locals go to shop, but most of the people walking around are from out of town.
What is the best time of year to visit?
The Champs-Élysées is accessible – and bustling – all year long. If you’re willing to brave serious crowds, time your visit to the Bastille Day parade (July 14th) or the final stage of the Tour de France (typically in late July).