The Arc de Triomphe is arguably one of the world’s most iconic monuments, with its perfect symmetry, classical style and grandeur attracting millions of visitors from across the world. Located on the Place Charles de Gaulle in Paris, it has been an iconic feature of the city’s skyline since 1836. Built to honour the fallen soldiers of the Napoleonic era, the Arc de Triomphe has a long-held history that is deeply embedded in French culture and is seen as a symbol of patriotism and pride throughout the nation. Visiting the Arc de Triomphe is an experience that offers a perfect combination of art, history and culture. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to visit the Arc de Triomphe and provides an insight into the region’s impressive culture.
History of the Arc de Triomphe
The 200-year-old monument is a symbol of historical importance and has an intricate past that is deeply embedded in French culture. Napoleon I commissioned the construction in 1806 to commemorate his victories and was completed by Louis-Philippe in 1836. The arch is inscribed with the names of those who fought and died during the Napoleonic Wars, such as the Battle of Austerlitz and the Battle of Waterloo. It also contains several famous pieces of artwork including the famous sculpture of Napoleon himself riding a chariot. Despite its grandeur, the architect died before the completion of the structure, however, it stands firmly as a symbol of patriotism and pride.
The Arc de Triomphe is located in the centre of Paris, along the Place Charles de Gaulle. The exact address of the Arc de Triomphe is Place Charles de Gaulle, 75008 Paris, France. The monument is easily accessible to tourists as it is close to many of the major Paris attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees, Louvre and Notre Dame. The Arc de Triomphe is also conveniently served by two subway stations, the Charles de Gaulle-Étoile on Line 1 and the Étoile on Line 6.
Opening Times and Ticket Prices
The Arc de Triomphe is open year-round, but opening times vary depending on the season. In winter, the opening times are from 9am to 11:30am and from 2:30pm to 5:30pm, and in summer, the opening times are from 9am to 12:30pm and from 2:30pm to 6:30pm. There are free admission days twice a year, on the first Sunday of the month from November to March, as well as on July 14th, however, general admission tickets can be purchased online or on the day of visit. An adult ticket costs 12 euros, while a child ticket costs 8 euros.
Visit the Monument
The monument is accessible for visitors to climb to the top. The 260 steps of the monument offer a great vantage spot to take in stunning views of the city and observe the intricate relief carvings adorning its walls. Once at the top, visitors can also take in the beauty of the famous sculpture of Napoleon “La Marseillaise”, a giant bronze equestrian statue of him. This is a great spot for photographs and to learn about the monument’s history.
Explore the Alderman Museum
As part of the trip to visit the Arc de Triomphe, visitors can also explore the Alderman Museum located underneath the arch. The museum is dedicated to Napoleon I and houses a vast collection of artefacts and memorabilia that provide visitors with a unique insight into the tragic history of the monument. The museum entrance is included in the ticket price, and the museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm.
Visit the Immaculata
Also known as the “miracle of the Arc de Triomphe”, the Immaculata is an awe-inspiring sight. Located inside the Arch, on the side facing the observation deck, is a golden statue of the Virgin Mary that is said to have miraculously appeared in 1836, when the work on the monument was completed. The Immaculata is a significant Catholic shrine and has been the site of many important ceremonies, such as the coronation of Napoleon III.
The area surrounding the monument also offers several dining options with a variety of restaurants. From Michelin-starred restaurants to casual cafes and lounges, there is something for everyone. The nearby Champs-Elysees is also a great spot to grab a quick bite or to enjoy a refreshing drink while admiring the beautiful views.
Visiting the Arc de Triomphe is a unique experience that allows visitors to explore the rich history and culture of Paris while admiring the impressive structure and its unique artwork. With the museum, the Immaculata and the great dining options in the area, the Arc de Triomphe is a great destination for tourists of all ages.