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This magnificent triumphal arch commemorating the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars is a bonafide icon of the nation's turbulent political history. Here are five things to know about it before booking your tour!
Originally known as the Arc de Triomphe de l'Etoile, it was built in 1836 – 28 years after the much smaller Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel was completed closer to the Louvre.
Jean Chalgrin, who also did work on the Palais du Luxembourg and Versailles, unfortunately died in 1811 – five years after designing the arch, and 25 prior to its completion!
Every year on July 14th, the begining of the French Revolution is marked by a military parade from the Arc de Triomphe, down the Champs-Elysées, to the Place de la Concorde.
French airmen, like the infantry, were ordered to march on foot to commemorate the end of World War I. Charles Godefroy protested by flying a biplane through it 3 weeks later!
After the Arc's vault became the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, military parades have avoided marching through the arch out of respect. Even Hitler observed the custom in 1940!
The Arc de Triomphe looks most spectacular at night, and the eternal flame that marks the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is most visible then. At a height of 50 meters, visitors can climb to the top from 10:00AM to 11:00PM (10:30PM off-season), and gaze down the surrounding illuminated boulevards. Tickets can be purchased at ground level.
The Arc de Triomphe can be easily seen at the end of each of the 12 avenues radiating from it, including the Champs-Elysées. The nearest Metro stations are Argentine and George V (both line 1), Ternes (line 2), and Kléber (line 6). Take the underpass to the arch itself, avoiding the dangerously busy roundabout that encircles it.
- When to visit10:00AM to 11:00PM peak season, 10:00AM to 10:30PM off-season.
- What is the price?Free to look at from the outside. Tickets to climb the arch are 9,50 € for adults.
- Will I need a guide?You won't need a guide for the arch, but might want to check out our best-selling tours in the area.
- How to get thereThe the Metro line 1 to Argentine and George V, line 2 to Ternes, or line 6 to Kléber.
- Additional tips** Group tickets are available at a discounted rate per person.*
What People Are Saying About Arc de Triomphe
Enjoyed the experience, just be sure you are fit enough for the stairs. Worth the view.
Brilliant idea to marriage tasty gourmet food with a 120+ minute exclusive bus tour through Paris is a "win-win" that was better than "fireworks" at the Eiffel Tower on New Yrs Eve however, swapping out Foie Gras off the 4-course menu and not attempting to "accidentally" double-charge for drinks at the end of the tour would be my only two recommendations for improvement.
A trip that lived up to all expectations, 3.5 hours of time well spent on both. Fortunate enough to do this on a sunny day which was perfect. Both very well organised and ticket office simple to find. Would have to be an experience I would recommend to everyone...
I was pleased with the ease and convenience of being able to go straight to the Arc and get to the top in minimal time. Loved it!
I couldn't have been more pleased with my experience. It took the confusion of the ticketing process out of the mix and allowed me to spend more time forgetting the long lines and enjoying the tourism that Paris has to offer. Loved it!