Located at one of the craziest roundabouts in Paris, the Arc de Triomphe is an important monument mixing detailed architecture and history. The view from under is very impressive due to its size and ornaments. Plus you can climb inside and admire Paris from the top with a great view of the Eiffel Tower.
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INFO & PLANNING TIPS - Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the main monuments in Paris. It honors those who fought and died for France in the French Revolutionary and the Napoleonic Wars. Beneath is also the tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I
The arch stands 50 meters (164 ft) in height, 45 m (148 ft) wide and 22 m (72 ft) deep.
Designed in 1806, construction finished only in 1836. Find out a lot more history information on this website dedicated to the Arc de Triomphe.
The last section of this article show you pictures of Paris from the platform, one of the best place to watch Paris from above.
Access to the exterior and to the inside
Everybody looked confused when arriving, so I decided to clarify things for you.
- Take the underground pass - in the middle are 2 staircases.
- If you only want to visit the outside of the monument. This is free. Don't worry about queues. Take the stairs on the left side and pass the barrier.
- If you want to visit the platform and have a Museum Pass, go straight to the monument via the left stairs and show your pass at the monument entrance
- If you do not have a ticket, the queue is on the left staircase (on the left side of the barrier. The ticket booth opens at 10am. Before that it is not clear where to queue. Well it is there in front of the blue round door.
Visit to the top requires climbing more than 200 steps – there is a special entrance for people with limited abilities, ask at the ticket counter
The underground pass
Arc de Triomphe from the Etoile place
The Arc de Triomphe is decorated from every side. It is therefore fascinating to tour the Charles de Gaulle place.
Here is the Arc de Triomphe from the Champs Elysées:
And walking around the whole Charle de Gaulle roundabout:
From one angle you can even spot the Eiffel Tower in line with the Arc:
The Arc de Triomphe from up-close
The many sculptures on the arc are fascinating. When you get up-close you see all the details and the volumes. The arc is kept in very good condition.
Inside the Arc de Triomphe
To get to the top platform you get to climb more than 200 steps in 2 times inside the Arc de Triomphe itself.
- First a circular staircase to a big chamber where you will find some commemoration decorations, toilets a small museum room and a gift shop. I had not idea it was so big inside!
- Then, still inside the monument, you climb a straight staircase to the platform.
View from the top of Arc de Triomphe
The platform is practical to take pictures. You feel safe with the matal gard but it does not prevent you from taking unobstructed shots. At each end there is a panorama map indicating the various momuments.
The platform at the top of Arc de Triomphe does not have the best view of Paris (which I think is hold by the Saint-Jacques Tower) but it has one of the best views of the Eiffel Tower.
The Arc de Triomphe is one of the best places to see and photograph the Eiffel Tower.
And a fun shot
As I walked around the arc I spotted the car. Fun shot!
Want to see MORE of PARIS?
Discover more things to do with planning information and photos in my online Paris Travel Guide.
How can a such a simple monument be so fascinating?