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Arc de Triomphe

An imposing monument at the center of a busy traffic intersection, the archway rises majestically above the city, with coveted city views.

While the vista from 164 feet (50 meters) above Paris will lure you to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, there’s much to see at the base of this landmark. It stands in the Place Charles de Gaulle where 12 straight avenues, including the Champs-Élysées, intersect and form “the star” of the city.

Although this is a busy intersection at the center of the city, you can easily reach the monument via car or sidewalk via the picturesque Champs-Élysées. There’s also enough pedestrian-only space around the arch to admire its architecture and decorative artwork from a safe distance.

There is an admission fee to reach the top of the arch via 284 steps or the elevator. Once there, you’ll find a museum, gift shop and views down the Champs-Élysées. The surrounding streets are particularly beautiful in the early evening when the city’s lights begin to sparkle. 

It’s free to explore the base of the arch. Four massive pillars beneath an attic form a vaulted passageway so wide a pilot flew his plane through it in 1919. In 1920, the body of an unknown soldier was buried here and an eternal flame was added in 1923, in remembrance of those who died in World War I. The flame is rekindled in a daily ritual at 6:30 p.m.

The arch is a memorial to all those who fought for France, but particularly those in the Napoléonic wars. Its inner sides and top are engraved with the details of various wars and the 558 generals who fought in them. Each of its four pillars is decorated with a sculpture in relief. The most famous is Francois Rude’s The Departure of the Volunteers of 1792. It depicts everyday French people ready to defend their country, lead by the allegorical figure of Liberty. This work so encapsulated the patriotic zeal of the nation that it became known as La Marseillaise, after the national anthem.

Napoléon I commissioned the arch after his victory at Austerlitz in 1806. He promised his army they would “return home through arches of triumph”, but died before his grand tribute was completed in 1836. 

The Arc de Triomphe is located in the 16th arrondissement on Paris’ Right Bank. It’s open daily, but one of the best days of the year to visit the arch is July 14th, Bastille Day. The Bastille Day parade follows the length of the Champs-Élysées and a huge flag billows from the arch’s crown creating a colorful photo op. This monument is easily accessible via bus, subway, railway or on foot. Driving is a bit trickier, as parking can be difficult to find.


Guide to Exploring around Arc de Triomphe


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Lodging Near Arc de Triomphe

See all 3,291 Hotels near Arc de Triomphe
$282
L'Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe

L'Hotel du Collectionneur Arc de Triomphe

51-57 rue de Courcelles, Paris
4.3
of 5, from 1,085 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

A modern seven-storey Paris hotel inspired by the Art Deco style, overlooking Parc de Monceau, one kilometer from the Champs-Élysées.

$179
Hotel Magda Champs Elysées

Hotel Magda Champs Elysées

7 Rue Troyon, Paris
4.4
of 5, from 115 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in 17th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lido, Arc de Triomphe, and Parc Monceau. Palais des Congres de Paris and Grand Palais are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$141
Princesse Caroline

Princesse Caroline

1 Bis Rue Troyon, Paris
4.2
of 5, from 124 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in 8th Arrondissement, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Arc de Triomphe, Parc Monceau, and Palais des Congres de Paris. Grand Palais and Palais de Chaillot are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$200
Splendid Etoile Hotel

Splendid Etoile Hotel

1 Avenue Carnot, Paris
4.6
of 5, from 90 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in 17th Arrondissement, this romantic hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Arc de Triomphe and Palais des Congres de Paris. Parc Monceau and Palais de Chaillot are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$180
Le Meridien Etoile

Le Meridien Etoile

81 Boulevard Gouvion Saint-cyr, Paris
3.9
of 5, from 371 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Set 800 metres from the Arc de Triomphe, this stylish Paris hotel is located just off the Champs-Elysées, opposite the Palais des Congrès Convention Center.

$187
Royal Hotel Champs Elysées

Royal Hotel Champs Elysées

33 Avenue De Friedland, Paris
4.1
of 5, from 125 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in 8th Arrondissement, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lido and Arc de Triomphe. Parc Monceau and Grand Palais are also within 1 mi (2 km).

$179
Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel

Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel

20 Rue Jean Rey, Paris
4.1
of 5, from 3,089 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Mercure Paris Centre Tour Eiffel is less than a 5-minute walk from the Eiffel Tower and the Seine. The Louvre and Jardin du Luxembourg are both about 15 minutes by subway.

$151
Mercure Paris Arc de Triomphe Wagram

Mercure Paris Arc de Triomphe Wagram

3 Rue Brey, Paris
4.3
of 5, from 128 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Located in 17th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Lido, Arc de Triomphe, and Parc Monceau. Palais des Congres de Paris and Grand Palais are also within 1 mi (2 km).