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Erected by Napoleon I, to the glory of his Grand Army in 1806, the day after his overwhelming victory at Austerlitz against the Austrians and the Russians, the Arc de Triomphe is a French national symbol.
Located at the top of the most beautiful avenue in the world, the avenue des Champs-Élysées, it offers a magnificent view of the Haussmannian buildings, the Place de la Concorde and its obelisk, the Tuileries garden and the Louvre museum.
The Arc de Triomphe Flame of Remembrance is rekindled every evening at 6:30 p.m. This ceremony is public and free, within the security measures limits (more information ).
Visiting the Arc de Triomphe at the end of the day in winter allow to admire the sparkling Eiffel Tower.
As the Arc de Triomphe is a memorial, proper attire is desired when visiting the site.
A smartphone application is downloadable to make your visit unforgettable: click to download it.
The Arc de Triomphe is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.. Last access 45 minutes before closing.
Exceptional closings: 01/01, 05/08 (morning), 07/14 (morning), 11/11 (morning) and 12/25.
The Arc de Triomphe is located in the middle of the Place de l’Étoile. Fortunately, two underground passages allow access to the monument frome the square periphery (entrances near the metro “Champs Elysées” and “Grande Armée” exits).
Attention: do not try to cross the roundabout on foot.
The site is reachable by public transport:
Metro: lines 1, 2 or 6 “Charles de Gaulle-Etoile” station
- Train: line A “Charles de Gaulle-Etoile” station
- Bus: lines 22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92 “Charles de Gaulle – Étoile” stops or Balabus.
Several paid car parks are available near the Place de l’Étoile to come by car.
Access to the Arc de Triomphe forecourt is free and does not requires ticket. It can be reached by borrowing undergrounds.
Normal price: €13
Group rate (from 20 people): €11
School groups: €30
Free access under conditions (see official website).
Please note: free tickets are not available online and must be collected at the ticket office.
Reservations required for groups of 7 or more.
Tickets are bookable online or can be purchased at the ticket office located in the “passage du souvenir” (underground passage to access the monument).
The visit is a self tour with a document delivered at the ticket office (French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese and Russian) or downloadable from the official website
Visit duration: 1 hour.
Free guided tours in french are offered every daya t 10:30 a.m. (45 minutes duration).
Conference visits (French, English or Spanish, 1h30 duration) are also possible for individuals or groups upon reservation on the official website.
Buy your tickets online before coming to save time.
The Arc de Triomphe access is free every first Sunday of the month between November and March.
As part of Vigipirate operation (see NEED TO KNOW), security check will be carried out when entering the site.
Maximum luggages size authorized: 40 cm x 40 cm x 20 cm (no luggage storage on site).
Strollers, scooters, bicycles and other transportation means are prohibited.
Glasse bottles, headsets and camera tripods (without authorization) are also prohibited.
It is strictly forbidden to smoke and eat in the monument.
Access to the Arc de Triomphe is free for people with reduced mobility and their companion.
A drop off point has been set up to the west of the Place de l’Étoile central square (opposite the Avenue de la Grande Armée). The SOUTH-WEST pillar is equipped with an elevator to access the attic room where the museum and the bookstore-shop are located. The Arc de Triomphe terrace is unfortunately not accessible to people with reduced mobility at this time.
The Center of National Monuments started work for an elevator installation between the attic room and the terrace. You can contribute to this project by making a donation
Please note: Dogs and other pets are not allowed on site.
Only guide dogs are allowed to access the monument.
The Arc de Triomphe site is equipped with free toilets.
Public toilets are also accessible for free near the site at the next address: 18 rue de Tilsitt, 75017 Paris.
A bookshop-gift shop is located on the Arc de Triomphe 1st floor (attic room) and is open at the same hours as the monument.
Taking photos is authorized in the Arc de Triomphe and on its terrace.
It is possible to photograph sunset under the Arc de Triomphe twice a year (in May and August). The Champs-Élysées roundabout is an ideal place to take this shot.
Another option is to take the photo from the Place de la Concorde, but the sun will not be fully visible under the arch from this place.
Free access to the Champs-Élysées WiFi hotspot. This network allows the Arc de Triomphe visit application downloading (here).
As for all major tourist sites, there is a risk of pickpockets presence around the Arc de Triomphe. Watch your personnal belongings.
For more information, see the recommendations in the chapter
NEED TO KNOW
The Arc de Triomphe complete name is the “Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile”.
The architect Jean-François Chalgrin drew inspiration from the Roman arch of Titus (Rome, Italy) to draw the Arc de Triomphe.
Orginally, the arch should have been a giant elephant shape 3-story building. Proposed by the architect Charles Ribart to Napoleon I, this project was finally given up.
The foundation stone of the building was laid on Napoleon I birthday, on August 15, 1806.
In 1810, a life-size model of the arch was constructed to give the illusion that the monument was completed when Archiduchess Marie-Louise entered Paris on the occasion of her marriage to Napoleon I.
Victor Hugo funeral vigil took place under the Arc de Triomphe on the night of May 22, 1885, before his burial in the Pantheon.
In 1919, an aviation ace, Charles Godefroy, passed with a biplane (Nieuport 17) under the Arc de Triomphe to salute all the airmen who perished during the First World War (video).
The unknown soldier was buried under the Arc de Triomphe on June 28, 1921. Two years later, on November 11, 1923, the Flame of Remembrance (or Flame of the Nation) was lit to pay tribute to the soldiers who died in combat during the different wars. Since 1923, the flame has never fade away, not even when the Nazis entered Paris in 1940.
The four high-relief sculptures decorating the Arc de Triomphe symbolize the Volunteers Departure in 1792 (also called La Marseillaise as the French national anthem title), the Triumph, the Resistance and the Peace.
With its 50 meters in height, the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is the 2nd highest triumphal arch in the world, after the Pyongyang one in North Korea (60 meters in height, built in 1982).
The Arc de Triomphe weighs 50,000 tonnes and more than twice this weight with its foundations sunk 8 meters underground.
Its construction, started in 1806 and completed in 1836, took 30 years. Napoleon I never saw the finished building as he died in 1821.
You have to climb 284 steps to reach the Arc de Triomphe terrace.
30 shields, bearing the names of the great battles of the Revolution and the Empire, adorn the attic of the Arc de Triomphe.
The Arc de Triomphe receives 1.7 million visitors each year.
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