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La Defense

In stark contrast to Paris’ winding, cobblestone streets, ancient landmarks and medieval architecture, this neighborhood is an ultra-modern business district.

La Défense is a bustling urban development that’s home to tens of thousands of Parisians and, with its many hotels, is popular with business travellers. It’s outside the city’s 20 arrondissements, about 30 minutes on the Metro from the city center.

Thanks to its sleek, contemporary design, manicured green spaces and avant garde landmarks, this 77-acre (31-hectare) urban oasis attracts visitors seeking a modern Parisian experience. 

The area’s biggest attraction is the brazen Grand Arche. This enormous cube-like structure was designed to be a modern version of the Arc de Triomphe. Standing 360-feet (109-meters) tall and 354-feet (107-meters) wide, the arch is large enough to fill the Notre Dame cathedral. It’s visible from the Arc de Triomphe’s viewing platform. Visit the monument at night when the glass and Carrara marble structure is lit up in all its glory. Check access to the viewing platform, however, as it has been closed to the public since 2011. 

Another major attraction is the huge Les Quatre Temps shopping mall. With more than 2 million square feet (185,806 square meters) of retail space, it’s the largest mall in continental Europe. Here you will find well-known stores and brands, hundreds of restaurants to choose from and an enormous movie theater. If you’re craving a little fresh air, Les Quatre Temps has a breezy outdoor terrace area — Le Dome — with a handful of eateries and cafés in addition to the myriad options in the indoor food court. 

Outside, you’ll find the statue that is the namesake of this district. Louis Ernest Barrias’s bronze statue La Défense de Paris was erected in 1883 to commemorate the soldiers who fought in the 1870 Franco-Prussian War. Positioned on the edge of a pedestrian esplanade near the multi-colored Agam fountain, the statue’s classical, weathered beauty stands out against the futuristic-looking high-rises. 

Look out for more recent works, too, including César’s gigantic Le Pouce (The Thumb), the spectacular Le Grand Stabile Rouge (The Red Spider) by Calder, and Miró’s colorful Deux Personnages Fantastiques (Two Fantastic Characters) outside Les Quatre Temps.

La Défense is located on the western outskirts of Paris, along major bus and subway lines, as well as the railway. It’s about a 30-minute drive from the city center, and there’s plenty of street parking.


Guide to Exploring La Defense


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See all 3,510 Hotels in La Defense
$97
CitizenM Paris la Défense

CitizenM Paris la Défense

194 Jardin de l Arche, Nanterre
4.8
of 5, from 6 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the entertainment district, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Les 4 Temps, Grande Arche, and CNIT Convention Center. Palais des Congres de Paris is 2.9 mi (4.6 km) away.

$142
Pullman Paris La Défense

Pullman Paris La Défense

11 Avenue de l'Arche, Courbevoie
4.3
of 5, from 219 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

Fully renovated 5-star glass hotel set in the Paris business district of La Défense, facing the CNIT conference center and less than 10 minutes walk from Les Quatre Temps shopping center and cinema.

$68
ibis Paris La Défense Centre

ibis Paris La Défense Centre

4 Boulevard De Neuilly, La Defense, Courbevoie
3.7
of 5, from 55 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grande Arche, Arc de Triomphe, and Palais des Congres de Paris. Palais de Chaillot and Parc Monceau are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$158
Sofitel Paris La Defense

Sofitel Paris La Defense

33 Voie des Sculpteurs, Puteaux
4.5
of 5, from 311 reviews
5.0 out of 5.0

This family-friendly Puteaux hotel is located in the business district, within 3 mi (5 km) of Grande Arche, Arc de Triomphe and Palais des Congres de Paris. Palais de Chaillot is 3.1 mi (5 km) away.

$142
Melia Paris La Defense

Melia Paris La Defense

3 Boulevard de Neuilly, Courbevoie
4.5
of 5, from 79 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Situated in the business district, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grande Arche, Arc de Triomphe, and Palais des Congres de Paris. Parc Monceau and Palais de Chaillot are also within 3 mi (5 km).

$54
Hôtel Princesse Isabelle

Hôtel Princesse Isabelle

72, Rue Jean-Jaurès, Puteaux
3.9
of 5, from 59 reviews
3.0 out of 5.0

Located in the heart of Puteaux, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Grande Arche, Arc de Triomphe, and Palais des Congres de Paris. Theatre Andre Malraux is 3 mi (4.9 km) away.

$107
Novotel Paris La Défense

Novotel Paris La Défense

2 Blvd De Neuilly La Defense 1, Courbevoie
4.1
of 5, from 402 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This contemporary hotel is located 1.8 miles (3 kilometers) from the center of Paris, the Arc de Triomphe, and the Champs-Elysées.

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