Arc de Triomphe is one of the most distinguishing symbols of the city of Paris, alongside, of course, with the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. The arc impresses with its magnificent architecture and enormous sizes – the constriction is 50 meters high and 45 meters wide. The attraction is located in the downtown of the city, right on Charle de Gaulle square that by the way, gathers at one point 12 boulevards in total, which is why is also known by the name of Etoile (in French, it means a star). To reach the arc you can pass by the most famous French boulevard – Champs Alize.
To build Arc de Triomphe, its creator, the architect, Jean François Chalgrin, had inspired by Rome’s classical architecture style. The construction of Arc de Triomphe started during Napoleon’s era and ended up in 1836th year. Today, it’s the second-largest triumphal arc, right after the one in Pyongyang.
What to see?
The arc was built in honor to perished French soldiers during Napoleon’s wars, as well as during the fights of the First French Republic wars. There’s even a roll of honour with all of the soldiers’ names on the walls of the arc. Don’t miss the chance also to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier placed under the vault arch. It’s where, by the way, every single evening there’s fire in the name of the perished warriors during the First World War.
There’s a 5-meter frieze standing on the top of the arc, and it’s decorated with 30 shields that are engraved with the names of all the battles lead by Napoleon in Africa and Europe. The pylons of the arc are adorned with 12-meter bas-relieves among which we find La Marseillaise, Triomphe de Napoleon by the side of the Elysian Fields, while Resistance and Peace are located towards Champs Alize.
In the inner side of the arc, you can see the permanent exhibition provided by Maurice Benayoun, as well as the architect, Christophe Girault.
As a final for your visit, you can enjoy the 360-degree view of Paris on the terrace. You can get on it with the elevator or by climbing the 284 steps towards it.
What should we know before visiting Arc de Triomphe?
- To avoid the big queues, better get a digital ticket in advance. You can directly scan it on the entrance of the arc.
- It’s not allowed to enter the attraction with suitcases or big bags, as well as with strollers, roller skates, scooters or other means of transportation.
- You should be dressed appropriately as this is a memorial complex and it’s a must to express honour to the relished soldiers.
- Climbing up the stairs up to the terrace is not recommended for people who have problems with height or medical cardio issues.
- Make sure to wear comfy shoes.
- Check out Arc de Triomphe working time in advance, as well as where the first and the last visits are allowed because sometimes these details are not mentioned in the digital tickets.
- Due to security measures for safety, sometimes, Arc de Triomphe is closed for visitors with no notification in advance. Thus, in case of a preliminarily purchased ticket can become invalid or you might be required to wait on the queue with the rest people who haven’t bought tickets.
- Individual tour – you can see the arc thanks to the informative brochure (available in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Russian languages)
- Arranged tour – lasts one and half an hour. It’s available in French, English and Spanish languages. It’s necessary to book one in advance.
- There are discounts for tourist groups and youths between 18 and 26 years old who are citizens of the EU.
- Group ticket – a group, should consist of minimum 20 people
- Group tour – a reservation should be made at least 4 weeks in advance
Free access available for:
- People under 18 years old
- Youths between 18 and 26 years old that are citizens of the EU
- Jobless and socially indigent people
- People with disabilities, as well as their companions
- Journalists with valid press cards
The memorial isn’t accessible to visitors in wheelchairs.
How to reach Arc de Triomphe?
- Subway – 1,2 6 lines, station Charles de Gaulle – Etoile
- Train (RER) – line A, station Charles de Gaulle – Etoile
- Busses – lines 22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92 and Balabus
- We strongly recommend you to use the city’s public transportation. Thus, you will move faster, and it’s going to be cheaper for you.