Arc de Triomphe picture
Arc de Triomphe
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Key Info

Place Charles de Gaulle

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.0scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Situated at the western end of the Champs-Élysées, the towering Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoléon to honor the Grande Armee during the Napoleonic Wars. The arch, which is the largest of its kind in the world, is adorned with several impressive, intricately carved sculptures. Underneath the Arch travelers will find the names of the battles fought during the first French Republic and Napolean's Empire as well as generals who fought in them. Travelers will also find the famous tomb of The Unknown Soldier. The unknown soldier currently buried there is meant to represent all the unidentified or unaccounted for soldiers who lost their lives during World War I. The flame that was lit when the soldier was laid to rest has not extinguished since it was initially lit in the 1920s, and is rekindled every night at 6:30 p.m. by a member of the armed services. 

Aside from admiring the arch, visitors can climb to the top and take in the Parisian panorama. Most visitors are wowed by the immense size of the structure and recommend ascending to the top for the spectacular Paris views. Visitors caution that you'll have to wait in line to get to the top and the climb, which is made up of hundreds of stairs, can be a serious workout. Others strongly cautioned against trying to cross the street to get to the Arc. Instead, take the underground tunnel near the metro that leads directly to the base of the structure. 

The interior of the arch and the viewing deck is open every day from 10 a.m. to 10:30 or 11 p.m., depending on the season. You can admire the arch from the outside for free, but climbing to the top will cost 8 euros ($8.94) for anyone older than 17. Children 17 years and younger can enter the arch for free and those between the ages of 18 and 25 can enjoy a discounted entry fee of 5 euros ($5.59). The closest metro station is Charles de Gaulle Étoile, which service lines 1, 2 and 6 as well as RER A. To learn more, visit the Arc de Triomphe website.

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Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)
Musée du Louvre
Type
Time to Spend
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#1 Notre-Dame Cathedral (Cathedrale de Notre Dame de Paris)

Note that the cathedral sustained significant damage as a result of a fire on April 15, 2019. Its wooden roof and spire collapsed during the fire. It remains closed until further notice.

Like the Eiffel Tower, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is seen as a Parisian icon. Located right along the picturesque River Seine, the Notre-Dame Cathedral is considered a Gothic masterpiece and is often regarded as one of the best Gothic cathedrals of its kind in the world. Construction of the famous cathedral started in the late 10th century and final touches weren't made until nearly 200 years later. And once you get an eyeful of the cathedral yourself, you'll start to understand why it took so long.

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