Avenue des Champs-Élysees: shops and palaces
One of the most outstanding streets in the world, the main shopping center of Paris, the most beautiful avenue… Let us tell you why you need to take a walk along the Champs Elysees.
By the way, the Champs Elysees is located in the very center of Paris and is perfect for enjoying comfortable and even luxurious life. Check out the best hotel deals on the Champs Elysees at this link.
Where are the Champs Elysees located?
First we should tell you that the Champs Elysees or Champs Élysées in French is just a name. As tourists can notice, there are no fields (“champs” in french) here. It is actually a long avenue from Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, which is divided into two zones: the one is a park area and the other is a center of shopping and entertainment. The easiest way to get to the Champs Elysees is by metro.
- Concorde (lines 1, 8, 12)
- Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau (lines 1 and 13)
- Franklin D. Roosevelt (lines 1 and 9)
- George V (1st line)
- Charles de Gaulle – Étoile (lines 1, 2, 6, and RER A)
» READ MORE – How to use Paris metro?
Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees
The main attraction of the Champs Elysees is the Arc de Triomphe of Napoleon Bonaparte. Unfortunately the ordering customer did not live to see the completion of its construction, so the whole triumph went to the French people. From all sides, the monumental arch is decorated with symbols of the empire. However in fact it has become a symbol of the French Republic. Under it you can see an eternal flame and the tomb of the unknown soldier. All the official memorial events are held here.
The greatest value of the Arc de Triomphe is being an observation deck. From its flat roof one can look around the whole city. The Arc’s height provides an over-the-top view of the Eiffel Tower, the roofs of Parisian palaces and, of course, all the Champs Elysees from start to an end. From above, it becomes clear immediately why Charles de Gaulle Square, on which the arch stands, used to be called Star Square (Place Etoile). Don’t miss this attraction and book your Arc de Triomphe ticket in advance (you can do it here).
How did Champs-Élysees get its name?
The name comes from Greek mythology and means the “beautiful fields of the blessed in the afterlife on the banks of the Ocean River, where, at the end of mortal life, heroes beloved by the gods fall”. There is no sickness or suffering and eternal spring reigns on the “Isles of the Blessed” (Champs Elysees).
Shopping on the Champs Elysees
There are hundreds of shops and restaurants here. You will definitely find goods at any price range starting from McDonald’s hamburgers to Louis Vuitton bags, from Swarovski crystals to concept cars that haven’t even hit the market yet. We have selected the top 10 stores on the Champs-Elysées for you in a separate article.
Opening hours of shops
Shops on the Champs Elysees are open until 11-12 pm. For Paris and France in general it’s a real phenomenon!
» READ MORE – Shopping the sales in Paris
Events on the Champs Elysees
This is a street of parades and festivities. There is a big parade with Patrol de France on Bastille Day (July 14), on May 8 there is a mini-parade. A gay parade and a tropical carnival take place in summer, on January 1 there is a fun New Year‘s parade. The Champs-Elysées hosts the last section of the famous Tour de France in July. And in April, the Paris Marathon takes place here.
Since recently, the main New Year’s celebrations are also held on the Champs Elysees near the Arc de Triomphe. However the famous Christmas market was moved to the Tuileries Garden.
Sights on the Champs Elysees
The Champs Elysees is one of the main attractions of Paris, it is almost two kilometers long. The avenue starts from the Place de la Concorde and the Tuileries Park and ends at the Place Charles de Gaulle at the Arc de Triomphe. Haussmann facades give it a uniform architectural appearance. And there are real palaces on the avenue.
Grand Palais and Petit Palais
As a matter of fact no one has ever lived in these palaces. They were built for the World Exhibition and represent a single architectural ensemble.
These luxurious buildings were designed for exhibitions, and that is still their value. The Petit Palais is home to the Parisian Museum of Fine Arts. It looks like a smaller version of the Louvre. That’s why we recommend visiting it if the great Louvre itself scares you with its size and entrance charges.
The Grand Palais serves as an exhibition area. Festivals, fashion shows, horse races and sports competitions are held here. Also in winter there is a huge skating rink inside the Grand Palais welcoming visitors. There is an important role assigned to this place in the upcoming Olympics in Paris, so now it is closed for reconstruction.
» READ MORE – Paris museums you have to see
The Elysee Palace
There is a residence of the President of France on the Champs Elysees, the Elysee Palace. However, it is not easy to approach it. The palace is hidden in the park and you just won’t be able to see it. But it can be freely visited on the second weekend of September during the European Heritage Days.
Mansion of La Paiva
Not at all incidentally the mansion of one of the most famous courtesans of the 19th century is located on the same street. The luxury of its interiors can challenge even royal chambers. But it’s not that easy to get in. It is necessary to sign up for a guided tour, which is held once a week on Saturdays and only in French.
Everyone wants to live on the Champs Elysees, but not everyone can afford it.Book a hotel on Champs Elysees
Le Lido de Paris
The most luxurious cabaret in Paris should also be on the Champs-Élysées. It was, but Cabaret Le Lido closed to become the musical theater Lido2Paris. The King is dead, long live the King!
The first performances took place in December 2022. If you’ve already been, tell us in the comments! What was it like?
Enjoy your adventurous walk!
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