The Arc de Triomphe seen from the Champs Elysées.
Not by any means the most interesting walk in Paris but what a tourist gotta do...
Like other Paris myths that no longer apply (doggy-doo coating the streets and surly locals) Paris drivers are much more disciplined and pedestrian-aware these days so crossing the road is rarely a near-death experience.
There are a few stunning flagship shops but plenty of downmarket places too. Big Macs have a site near the Arc. Peugeot cars, Yes! Concept cars! Mercedes, No, boring!
Not our idea of a good time but evenings are busy in cafés and restaurants along here.
Tourists leaving the Arc de Triomphe.
Crossing the eternally busy junction of 12 roads is easy via a subway (underpass) but there are those who like to challenge the French drivers by doing a runner.
The Arc de Triomphe
The Arc de Triomphe is grand, finished in 1836 and built to celebrate Napoleon's victories, particularly at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805 and epitomising the French dedication to La Gloire. The lines (visible in the centre of the picture) to get up to the viewing platform on top are also grand but less glorious.
Evenings up to 11 pm at the Arc are much less busy - but anyway still use your Museum Pass to jump the queue!
Opening times: April - September, 10am to 11pm (but entry closes half an hour before). October - March 10am to 10.30pm.
French volunteers were in such a hurry to fight Austria and Prussia in 1792 that they forgot to put their pants on.
The Arc is decorated with various spectacular friezes and sculptures dedicated to martial moments in Napoleon's history as well as an eternal flame burning in honour of The Unknown Soldier of World War I. Inside the Arch is a small, interesting museum of the history and events surrounding it.
Official Arc de Triomphe site
Near the Arc de Triomphe: not much to do other than walk the Champs Elysées.