Arc de Triomphe

Vacation Travel Guide
Arc de Triomphe showing street scenes, night scenes and heritage architecture

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.

Top Hotels Close to Arc de Triomphe

Hotel Derby Eiffel
Hotel Derby Eiffel
3 out of 5
5 Avenue Duquesne Paris Franc, Paris, Paris
The price is $123 per night from Nov 7 to Nov 7
Located in Paris City Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Rue Cler, Les Invalides, and UNESCO Headquarters. American University of Paris and Rue ...
3.8/5 Good! (979 reviews)
"This property is less than ten minutes walking distance from the Eiffel Tower."

Reviewed on Oct 19, 2021

Hotel Derby Eiffel
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
4 out of 5
18 avenue de Suffren, Entrée au 22 rue Jean Rey, Paris, Paris
The price is $264 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 2
Located in 15th Arrondissement, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Eiffel Tower and Champ de Mars. Rue du Commerce and Place du Trocadero are ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (974 reviews)
"Service was amazing and view is unbeatable"

Reviewed on Oct 26, 2021

Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile
Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile
4 out of 5
3, Place du Général Kœnig, Paris, Paris
Fully refundable
The price is $195 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
Located in 17th Arrondissement, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Palais des Congres de Paris, Champs-Elysees, and Arc de Triomphe. Luis Vuitton Foundation ...
4.2/5 Excellent! (973 reviews)
"Very modern, gréât view, excellent service"

Reviewed on Oct 6, 2021

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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Best Lodging Options Near Arc de Triomphe

Grand Hotel Leveque
Grand Hotel Leveque
3 out of 5
29 rue Cler, Paris, Paris
The price is $99 per night from Nov 7 to Nov 7
Grand Hotel Leveque
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
4 out of 5
18 avenue de Suffren, Entrée au 22 rue Jean Rey, Paris, Paris
The price is $264 per night from Nov 2 to Nov 2
Pullman Paris Tour Eiffel
Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile
Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile
4 out of 5
3, Place du Général Kœnig, Paris, Paris
The price is $195 per night from Oct 31 to Oct 31
Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile
Hotel Derby Eiffel
Hotel Derby Eiffel
3 out of 5
5 Avenue Duquesne Paris Franc, Paris, Paris
The price is $123 per night from Nov 7 to Nov 7
Hotel Derby Eiffel
Shangri-La Paris
Shangri-La Paris
5 out of 5
10 Avenue d'Iena, Paris, Paris
The price is $1,054 per night from Nov 17 to Nov 17
Shangri-La Paris
Hotel Raphael
Hotel Raphael
5 out of 5
17 Avenue Kleber, Paris, Paris
The price is $357 per night from Nov 15 to Nov 15
Hotel Raphael
K+K Hotel Cayre Paris
K+K Hotel Cayre Paris
4 out of 5
4 Boulevard Raspail, Paris, Paris
The price is $202 per night from Nov 7 to Nov 7
K+K Hotel Cayre Paris
Le Grand Hotel de Normandie
Le Grand Hotel de Normandie
4 out of 5
4 rue d'Amsterdam, Paris, Paris
The price is $105 per night from Nov 7 to Nov 7
Le Grand Hotel de Normandie
Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées
Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées
5 out of 5
74 avenue des Champs-Elysées, Paris
The price is $358 per night from Nov 21 to Nov 21
Fraser Suites Le Claridge Champs-Elysées
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.