How To Get To The Top Of Arc De Triomphe


The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile stands tall as a symbol of victory, honour and the French Revolution. This majestic monument sits atop the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel which lies in the very heart of Paris and is the highest point of the city. Although the exact date of its construction is unknown, designers have been able to date it to the 1800s. It is an iconic landmark of Paris that has served as an inspiration for generations of people, whether they have a personal interest or simply admire its beauty. Today, tourists flock to this area to be awed by its grandeur and many even ascend to the top of the Arc de Triomphe to get a better look at it. But getting to the top of the Arc de Triomphe can be a challenge due to the lack of elevators providing access to the summit. As such, this article will provide information on how visitors to the area can get to the peak of the Arc de Triomphe as safely and quickly as possible.

Climbing the Stairs

One of the most common methods of accessing the Arc de Triomphe is by using the 268-step staircase located at the base of the structure. Climbing these steps can be a risk and it may take some time to reach the top (especially for those with a fear of heights). Unfortunately, it can also be quite dangerous due to the many crowds that gather around the area, making it easy to slip or suffer an injury if visitors are not careful. Furthermore, due to the irregular angle of the stairs, it may be difficult to see what is ahead and visitors should be sure to bring a flashlight.

The Elevator

The most dependable way to access the top is by using the elevator located in the north-eastern corner of the structure. Although the elevator may seem difficult to locate, it can be found by walking along the east-side of the Arc and taking the staircase leading up from the terrace. From there, visitors should take the first left and walk until they reach a small doorway. Oftentimes, this elevator is out of service due to maintenance, however it remains the quickest way to ascend the Arc de Triomphe.

Security Measures

Part of getting to the top of the Arc de Triomphe involves going through certain security measures – regardless of whether visitors intend to climb or use the elevator. Every visitor should go through a thorough security check and they must present a valid passport or driver’s licence with a photo ID before they are allowed entry to the monument. As the Arc de Triomphe is a world heritage site, visitors should also be aware that it is forbidden to bring large bags, weapons or anything that could be considered dangerous.

Cost to Enter

Visitors should also be aware that there is a cost to enter the monument – and it is important to note that there is a discount for those who are under the age of 18. Generally, the cost is 6 euros for adults and 3 euros for children, though this may be subject to change at any time. Additionally, guests have the option to purchase the Paris Pass which allows them to have unlimited access to the Arc de Triomphe and other attractions throughout Paris.

Best Time to Visit

When visiting the Arc de Triomphe it is recommended to do so during the early hours of the day or late in the evening. This is particularly true during the summer months when temperatures in the area can be extreme and it may become too hot or too crowded to comfortably enjoy the view. It is also important to plan ahead as the lines to access the Arc de Triomphe can become quite long during peak seasons, such as Easter and Christmas.


For visitors with limited mobility or those in wheelchairs, there are two options available to access the Arc de Triomphe. Firstly, those with manual wheelchairs may take the elevator, though the lift can accommodate only one wheelchair at a time and must be operated by an employee. Secondly, those with electric wheelchairs may use the ramp located at the north entrance of the monument. Unfortunately, due to its rather steep incline, the ramp may be too difficult for some individuals to ascend.

Access to the Terrace

Once at the top of the Arc de Triomphe, visitors have the option of accessing the terrace, which is a popular space for sightseeing and photography. To access the terrace, visitors must take the staircase located at the north side of the monument until they reach the top, where they will encounter a few security measures – such as showing a valid passport or driver’s licence with a photo ID. Those with a disability, pregnant women and children under the age of 12 are recommended to take the elevator rather than the staircase as the ascent may be too dangerous for them.

Views from the Terrace

The terrace of the Arc de Triomphe provides stunning views of the Champs Elysées, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum. However, visitors must be aware that the terrace of the Arc de Triomphe is a high point and that strong wind conditions can sometimes make it too dangerous to ascend. For this reason, it is essential for visitors to check the weather conditions before ascending in order to ensure their safety.

Health and Safety Precautions

When climbing the Arc de Triomphe it is absolutely essential for visitors to take adequate health and safety precautions, particularly if they have a fear of heights. Firstly, it is important to wear comfortable clothes and supportive shoes and to carry water in order to stay hydrated during the ascent. To limit the risk of an accident, visitors should use the handrails provided and should use the illuminated signs and arrows to guide them in the correct direction. Furthermore, visitors should avoid walking too close to the edge of the monument in order to prevent any slipping or hitting against the monument’s walls.


Getting to the top of the Arc de Triomphe is an experience like no other, providing visitors with breathtaking views of Paris and its many attractions. Although the climb can take some time, careful preparation can help visitors reach the peak of the monument safely and quickly. With so many options available for getting to the top, visitors should take their time to find the best route that suits their needs and plans. Careful planning and preparation will ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

Herman Shaw is a passionate traveler and avid photographer who has seen many of the world's most awe-inspiring monuments. He has developed expertise in various aspects of world architecture and culture which he enjoys sharing with his readers. With deep historical knowledge and insight, Herman's writing brings life to these remarkable artifacts and highlights their importance in the grand scheme of human history.

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