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Arc De Triomphe Overview

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most celebrated arches in the history of France and it was erected in the honor of all those who fought for France. The names of generals and wars fought are engraved on the inside and top of the Arch. The top of the Arc de Triomphe offers a spectacular view of Paris and the 12 avenues that converge in the area around the Arch. The Memorial Flame burns in honor of the unknown soldier whose tomb lies underneath the Arch.

Arc de Triomphe which means “Triumphal Arch of the Star", is counted as the most popular monument in Paris, France that needs no introduction. It was erected in 1806, way before the Eiffel Tower by the designer Jean Chalgrinis.

Situated at the core of Place Charles de Gaulle and on the westernmost point of the famous Champs-Élysées avenue, this historically relevant monument, enhanced by exploring Europe trip, was made in honour of all those brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for France during the Napoleonic Wars and French Revolution.

This architecturally rich yet phenomenal arc houses the names of all French generals and French victories along with the inspiring patriotic quotes and messages on its inner and outer sides, whereas underneath it lies The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from the First World War.

The design and structure of the triumphal arch is influenced by the Arch of Titus in Rome, Italy. Arc de Triomphe, Paris stands tall at the height of 50 meters, depth of 22 meters and width of 45 meters, making it an enormously prominent structure to be admired.

Arc de Triomphe, Paris was the tallest arch in the world until the construction of Monumento a la Revolución in 1938 in Mexico. Additionally, influenced by it, La Grande Arche measuring 110 meters high near Paris and Arch of Triumph, Pyongyang were erected based on the model and perspective of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris which qualifies in the list of world’s tallest arches.

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Highlights

• The Arc de Triomphe is the iconic national symbol of French nationalism and the famed Tour de France bicycle race ends here. The annual Military Parade marking the 14th of July starts from the Arc.
• The Arch is one of the finest examples of French architecture with its ornate design and pillars with huge beautifully carved sculptures.
• The Arc de Triomphe is located in a busy roundabout and the top offers a mesmerizing view of the surrounding areas, the 12 avenues that converge here, the Eiffel Tower and lots more.
• This iconic monument is the second largest triumphal arch ever built in the world.
• The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is underneath the Arch and the Eternal Flame is one of the major highlights of the monument. 
• The most prominent highlight of the Arc de Triomphe are the engraved names of the generals that fought for France.Suggested Read: Best Things To Do In Paris In JanuaryCheckout & Book : River Seine Cruise

How To Reach

Arc de Triomphe is situated at the distance of approx 33km from the Paris CDG Airport, which can be reached via the following ways:

Metro: The closest metro station to Arc de Triomphe is Charles de Gaulle Etoile, which can be reached via Metro Line 1, 2 and 6. It can also be reached by RER A red line.

  • Time Taken: 55 minutes approx.
  • Cost: 11-12 euro.

Bus: Arc de Triomphe can be reached by bus route numbers 73, 144, 178 and 360.

  • Time Taken: 40 minutes.
  • Cost: 6-18 euro.

Private Car: The iconic Arc de Triomphe can be reached by car/taxi, however, it is not the best option as the arch is situated at the busiest roundabout of Paris. But if proper rules and regulations of driving around the arch are followed one can easily reach the arch while driving at the comfort of your car.

  • Time Taken: 30 minutes.
  • Cost: 3-6 euro.

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Best Time To Visit

The glorified symbol of valiance, Arc de Triomphe can be visited all year round. But January is considered as the best month to pay a visit here due to the fun and festivity of the holiday season still around.

You can witness the mesmerising firework display over the arch during this time of the year. Besides, evening hours post 6:30 pm are considered the best to visit the arch when you can also see the glittering lights over Champs-Elysées and flame lit over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

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Other Essential Information

Access: Taking the underpass is the best option to access the Arc de Triomphe, Paris. You can access the top of the arch by climbing 284 steps or take an elevator to reach the mid-level followed by climbing 64 steps to reach the top.

Opening Hours:

  • April to September: 10 am to 11 pm.
  • October to March: 10am to 10:30pm.

However, it remains closed on 1st January, 1st May, 8th May morning, 14th July morning, 11th November morning and 25th December.

Tickets: 

  • No ticket charges for anyone under 17 years.
  • Students (18 to 25 years): 5 euro.
  • Adults: 8 euro.
  • Groups: 6.20 euro.

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History of Arc de Triomphe Paris

The notion of this victorious Arc de Triomphe was ordered by Napoleon 1 and its design was implemented by the architect Jean-François-Thérèse Chalgrin. After the triumph of Napoleon in 1805, he told his soldiers that they all will return home with pride passing through the arches of triumph, basis which he tasked the designer Chalgrin to find the most suitable site for the construction of this monument.

The Place de L'Etoile was agreed as the location, where the foundation stone was laid on August 15th at the day of Napoleon’s birthday. However, Chalgrin passed-away in January 1811 and the entire responsibility of the project was passed onto his pupil Louis-Robert Goust.

But, unfortunately, the project was halted post the demise of Napoleon in April 1814 and it was until 1833 that the view of the completion of the project came into the picture under the rule of Louis-Philippe I, costing 9.3 million Francs which was finally inaugurated in 1836 on 26th July. 

It was 1916 when the concept of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier came into consideration, which was eventually completed on 28th January 1921 at the base of the arch. Later, in 1923, the proposal of eternal memorial flame was voiced, which immediately got approved and on the 11th November, the flame was lit for the very first time at the Nobel arc de Triomphe.

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Interesting Facts about Arc de Triomphe

  • Charles Godefroy, a French aviator flew a fighter plane through the arch in 1919 to pay tribute to the french Airmen who died during the world war.
  • Arc de Triomphe was built even before the Eiffel tower was constructed.
  • The place where the Arc de Triomphe is erected was earlier occupied by a three-story elephant-shaped building.
  • It's been more than 100 years now that the eternal flame is being lit every evening at the arch, it was first lit in 1923 on 11th November. 
  • A small replica of the Arc de Triomphe was made for Napoleon, under which he tied the knot with his wife Marie Louise in 1810.

Tips to Visit

  • The best time to visit the Arc de Triomphe is in the evening just before sundown when you can take the sunset and watch the Eiffel Tower and the city light up. 
  • The best time of the year to visit the Arch is March, April, September and October. 
  • Entry to the rooftop is free for those who have bought the Paris Pass.
  • Take the underground passage that leads straight to the Arch instead of crossing the busy roundabout. 
  • There is an elevator inside the Arch that takes you to the top but taking the stairs will be far more interesting.

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Point of Interest for Arc De Triomphe
Architecture Of Arc de Triomphe
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Architecture Of Arc de Triomphe

The decorated Arc de Triomphe is the world’s largest exulting arch-shaped monument that was designed by the architect Jean François Thérèse Chalgrin in memory of all those courageous French soldiers who lost their lives in the line of duty for France during French Revolution and Napoleonic wars.

This patriotic symbol is engraved with the names of 558 French generals of the first french empire and war victories. The epochal arch also comprises the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which was named after an unknown soldier who was buried underneath it and a flame of remembrance is lit since 1920 as a tribute to all those gallant soldiers.

The simple let alluring architecture and design of the arch is influenced by the typical romantic neoclassical style of the 18th century. Each pillar of the massive arch is graced with huge sculptures that signify Triumph of Napoleon, 1810 by Cortot, The Departure of the Volunteers, 1792 by Francois Rude, Resistance, 1814 by Etex and Peace, 1815 again by Etex. 

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The View from the Top
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The View from the Top

Climb up the Arc de Triomphe and enjoy the most spectacular views of the City of Lights. Due to its height, at 164 feet, the terrace presents a very different view of the city. You can see rooftop gardens, chimney pots, private courtyards, the 12 avenues that converge at the area around the Arc and a breathtaking view of the Eiffel Tower. It is particularly fascinating at night as you also get to enjoy the shimmering city lights and the light show of the Tower.

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Tourism Board Alliances

Arc De Triomphe FAQs

Is the Arc de Triomphe free?

There is no admission fee for the European citizens below 25 years of age at the neoclassical Arc de Triomphe. Also, the entry is free every first Sunday of the month from 1st of January to 31st of March and 1st of November till 31st December.

Why was the Arc de Triomphe built in Paris?

The plan of construction of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris was proposed in 1806 by the French Emperor Napoleon 1 to honour the glorified French Army after they had conquered a majority of European sites.

Why is the Arc de Triomphe so famous?

The laudable Arc de Triomphe signifies the valour of all those brave soldiers who sacrificed their lives for France during the Napoleonic wars and French Revolution. The arch is decorated with the war-time slogans and sayings along with the name of French soldiers on its inner and outer sides, and below it lies the Tomb of Unknown Soldier that as well contributed in making the arch so popular. Apart from this the stunning architecture and intricate design of the arch makes it so impressive that people from far and wide come to visit this place.

How many Arc de Triomphe are there in Paris?

There are three Arc de Triomphe in Paris. The first one is Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, situated in front of the Louvre museum, the second one is known as the Charles de Gaule, located in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the third one is called the Grand Arc in the La Defence area.

Is Arc de Triomphe worth?

The famed and esteemed Arc de Triomphe is worth a visit as it is situated at the busiest roundabout of the city leading off to 12 roads. Over and above the aerial view from the top of the arch and centre of the star or Etoile is just phenomenal that offers a panoramic sight of the city of lights, Paris.

Who is buried under the Arc de Triomphe?

At the base of the sought-after Arc de Triomphe lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier who died during the first world war. This unidentified soldier was buried there on 10th November 1920 and the tomb also has an inscription “Here lies a French soldier who died for his fatherland 1914-1918” written on the top of it.

Arc De Triomphe Reviews

Traveller image gallery
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Esteban Andres Sciarresi
Reviewed: 21 Nov 2022
5.0/5
Everything was ok. Quick response. We really had a good time!
Esteban Andrés Sciarresi
Esteban Andrés Sciarresi
Esteban Andrés Sciarresi
Esteban Andrés Sciarresi
Esteban Andrés Sciarresi
Esteban Andrés Sciarresi
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Chaewon LEE
Reviewed: 23 Apr 2023
5.0/5
I received my tickets 30 mins finished my reservation. It was easy to access and the night view was really cool ! 
Chaewon LEE
Chaewon LEE
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Robert
Reviewed: 31 May 2023
5.0/5
Experiencing a monument of history. Seeing it on history shows, then in person. Be prepared for nearly 300 steps to the top.
Robert
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Jordan Van Belle
Reviewed: 14 Nov 2022
5.0/5
Amazing point of view of Paris, especially on sunny day !
Jordan Van Belle
Jordan Van Belle
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Maki Yamanaka
Reviewed: 22 Nov 2022
5.0/5
It was first time to go up.it was too excited for us!Wonderful!
Maki Yamanaka
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Scott Nelson
Reviewed: 13 Nov 2022
5.0/5
It was very easy to book and the views was amazing at night i would definitely recommend going

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