The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most iconic monuments in the world and a symbol of French history and culture. Set in the heart of Paris at the Place Charles de Gaulle, the Arc de Triomphe is a 50m-high limestone arch that was commissioned by Emperor Napoleon in 1806 to commemorate his victories in the Romanian and German campaigns. It is considered one of the most important memorials in France and is a popular tourist attraction. Visitors from across the world seek to visit the Arc de Triomphe to experience its beauty and history.
If you’re planning a trip to the Arc de Triomphe, here is everything you need to know to make the most of your visit. The first step is to decide how to get there. Depending on your location and method of transport, it may be easiest to take the bus, train, metro, taxi or even rent a bike.
Taking the Bus
Taking the bus is the most affordable and convenient way to get to the Arc de Triomphe. Bus lines 30, 31, 52, and 73 will drop you off at the monument, or at a stop that is a short walk away. You can also take the 92 and 82 night buses on weekends. All of these buses will take you from the major Paris metro towns, like Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, and Gare Montparnasse. Bus tickets can be purchased at the bus station or on the app.
Taking the Train
The closest train station to the Arc de Triomphe is the Charles de Gaulle-Etoile station. It takes only a few minutes to walk from the station to the monument. Trains from Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, and Gare Montparnasse will take you directly to the Charles de Gaulle-Etoile station. Tickets can be purchased at the station or on the app.
Taking the Metro
The easiest way to get to the Arc de Triomphe from anywhere in Paris is to take the Paris Metro’s Line 1. It will take you from Chatelet or La Defense to the Charles de Gaulle-Etoile station in just a few minutes. From there, it is a short five-minute walk away from the monument. Ticket prices depend on the distance traveled and they can be purchased at the station or on the app.
Taking a Taxi
Taxis in Paris are reliable and efficient. Taking a taxi is the most comfortable way to get to the Arc de Triomphe and it only takes about 10 minutes from most parts of Paris. The cost of the fare can vary depending on the time of day, the traffic, and the distance traveled. Taxi drivers accept both cash and card payments.
Renting a Bike
Renting a bike to get to the Arc de Triomphe is a great way to explore the city. There are many bike rental companies in Paris that offer bikes for hire. The cost ranges from €20-30 per day and the journey from most parts of the city to the Arc de Triomphe is about 30 minutes by bike. Additionally, there are many bike trails in Paris that make your journey more scenic and enjoyable.
Planning your Visit to the Arc de Triomphe
If you are planning to visit the Arc de Triomphe, it is important to plan your visit in advance. Be mindful of the hours of operation and plan to arrive early to avoid the crowds. You should also remember to bring a hat, sunscreen and comfortable walking shoes as the monument is located at the top of a hill and there is a lot of walking to do. Additionally, keep your belongings close to you as the area can be crowded and pickpockets may be present.
Understanding the History and Significance of the Monument
Before visiting the Arc de Triomphe, it is important to understand the history and significance of the monument. The arch was built in 1806 to commemorate the military victories of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. It has since become a symbol of French culture and pride and is an important part of Parisian history. The Arc de Triomphe is located at the center of the Place de l’Etoile and the twelve thoroughfares that radiate from it were designed to represent the twelve major battles won by Napoleon.
Exploring the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
At the base of the monument is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which is dedicated to the memory of those who died in World War I defending France. It is surrounded by several urns that contain eternal flames and names of battles fought by French soldiers. The tomb is an important part of the Arc de Triomphe experience and is a must-see for all visitors.
Viewing the Monument From Above
For a different perspective of the monument, you can climb the staircase at the top of the Arc de Triomphe to get a bird’s-eye view of Paris. Here, you can enjoy stunning views across the city, see the amazing architecture of the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower, and take the perfect photo of the Arc de Triomphe. Here, you can also observe the changing of the guards and honor the memory of those who died for their country during war.
Tasting the Local Cuisine
Exploring the local food is one of the best ways to experience the culture and history of Paris. When visiting the Arc de Triomphe, be sure to try some of the local dishes and savor the flavors of French cuisine. Sample delicious pancakes and pastries, try boiled mussels with fries, savour a hearty cassoulet, and enjoy a glass of French wine with the meal. There are plenty of options to choose from and you can even grab a takeaway for a souvenir.
Souvenirs and Shopping at the Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is home to some of the best souvenir shops in Paris. From postcards and souvenir mugs to t-shirts and inexpensive trinkets, you can find just about anything related to the Arc de Triomphe or France. There are also some high-end stores that offer unique and stylish souvenirs like jewelry, artwork, chocolates, and perfume. Shopping here is an enjoyable experience and is a memorable way to take a piece of the Arc de Triomphe home with you.