After the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe is the most famous monument in Paris. Much more impressive in real life than in a photo on Google, its construction pays tribute to the men who fought for France.
In addition to the photos of the Arc du Triomphe from the ground, you can visit the monument and climb on its roof.
In this article, I give you all the information you need to visit it and publish some pictures taken on the spot.
The Arc de Triomphe: a monument wanted by Napoleon
Before writing this article, I didn’t even know the full name: the Arc de Triomphe de l’Etoile. But that’s not surprising since everyone simplifies it and calls it the Arc de Triomphe.
With a height of 49.54 m for 45.1 m length and 22.2 m width, the Arc de Triomphe is huge and was built in the early nineteenth century.
From 1806 (to 1836), the construction wanted by the emperor Napoleon I was built to pay tribute to the battle of Austerlitz.
In 1921, France chose to commemorate the soldiers of the First World War by burying the remains of a soldier. This remains of the Unknown Soldier is accompanied by a flame of remembrance lit in November 1921. This eternal flame is rekindled every day at 6:30 p.m.
Today, the Arc du Triomphe is a monument that attracts more than 1.5 million visitors each year.
Highlights of a visit to the Arc de Triomphe
- Architecture: The Arc de Triomphe was designed by the French architect Jean-François Chalgrin. It is a remarkable example of neoclassical architecture.
- The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Under the Arc de Triomphe is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which honors the soldiers who died in the First World War. It is a place of meditation and reflection for all visitors.
- Symbolism: The Arc de Triomphe is a symbol of France and its history.
- The breathtaking view: When you climb the stairs to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you can enjoy a 360-degree panoramic view of Paris.
- The museum: Yes, there is a small museum inside the Arc de Triomphe!
Disadvantages during a visit to the Arc de Triomphe
- Crowds: The crowds are high, especially during peak periods. This can make the visit less enjoyable if you don’t like crowds.
- Stairs: To access the Arc de Triomphe, you must climb a large number of stairs. If you have mobility problems, use the elevator.
- The maximum baggage size is 40x40x20 cm and there are no lockers.
What can you see during a visit to the Arc de Triomphe?
A visit to the Arc de Triomphe always begins with an observation of the exterior. This architectural achievement impresses. Go to the square and walk around the monument observing the sculpture work.
Even if you don’t have the desire or the time to take your tickets to visit the inside of the monument, the trip to the feet of the Arc de Triomphe is an activity to do in Paris.
If you buy a ticket, you will make the following discoveries, among others:
- Visit the museum: The Arc de Triomphe houses a museum that presents the different phases of its construction, as well as famous battles.
- Climb to the top: Climb the 284 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe for a 360-degree view of Paris.
- Contemplate the view: Take time to admire the panorama of Paris from the top of the Arc de Triomphe. You’ll have a perfect view of the city’s main monuments, such as the Eiffel Tower and the Sacré-Coeur Basilica.
- Pay tribute to the Unknown Soldier: Under the Arc de Triomphe is the tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Take the time to salute the memory of the soldiers who died in the First World War.
- Attend a temporary exhibition: The Arc de Triomphe regularly hosts temporary exhibitions.
If you are in Paris on November 11 (World War I Armistice Day) or July 14 (French National Holiday), military celebrations take place around the Arc de Triomphe. Come several hours in advance to find a good spot in the crowd and you will witness a memorable event.
What is the entrance fee for the Arc de Triomphe?
The price for a free visit of the Arc de Triomphe is :
- 13€ for an adult
- free for people under 18 (or under 25 if you are French or from a European Union country) and disabled people.
How long does the visit to the Arc de Triomphe last?
The visit is short if you don’t take advantage of the panoramic view. But, if you like to admire the Parisian horizon, it gets longer.
On average, visitors stay at the Arc de Triomphe between 40 minutes and 90 minutes.
Where is the Arc de Triomphe located?
The Arc de Triomphe is on the Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris.
This place has the particularity to look like a star. From it, 12 roads lead to the rest of Paris.
How to get to the Arc de Triomphe?
As always in Paris, the most convenient way to get there is to use public transport.
The public transport lines near the Arc de Triomphe are:
- Metro 1, 2 and 6 (Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile station)
- RER A (Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile station)
- Bus 22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92.
What are the opening hours of the Arc de Triomphe?
The Arc de Triomphe is open every day from 10a.m. to 11p.m.
Exceptional closures take place on January 1, May 8 (morning), July 14 (morning), July 24, November 11 (morning) and December 25.
Others may take place if ceremonies are held in the vicinity or when weather conditions require it (e.g., during a thunderstorm).
What other activities can I do near the Arc de Triomphe?
Paris is full of activities. Less than 3 km from the Arc de Triomphe, you can visit:
- The Eiffel Tower
- The Palais de Tokyo
- The Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel (in the Tuileries Garden)
- The Grand Palais
- The Louvre Museum
- The Garnier Opera House
- The Orsay Museum
As a professional blogger, I take advantage of my flexible schedule to travel a lot. I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list!