Arc de Triomphe

Arc de Triomphe

The beautiful and large Arc de Triomphe de l'Étoile is one of the most famous triumphal arches in the world and one of the icons of Paris. Every year, the Tour de France cycling race ends here.

It was built for 30 years in the early 19th century by Napoleon Bonaparte to celebrate his victory at the Battle of Austerlitz. It was completed in 1836 and is shown to the world in the purest style of classical architecture.

Its size makes it one of the largest, decorated with war stories, Roman mythology and the names of military figures.

It stands in the middle of the busy Étoile, or Star, roundabout, from which 12 streets radiate out, including the most famous, the Champs-Élysées, leading up to the front of the Louvre. The roof of the arch offers the most beautiful view of this ray of streets.

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The dimensions of the Arc de Triomphe

The Arc de Triomphe was designed by architect Jean Francois Chalgrin and its form is truly monumental. It measures 51 metres in height, 45 metres wide and 22 metres deep. It is decorated with one main arch 29 metres high and two smaller side arches 19 metres high.

The Arc de Triomphe in Paris is the second largest in the world after the Arc de Triomphe in Pyongyang, North Korea, in 1982.

Memorial to the Fallen and the Eternal Flame

Directly below the arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where an eternal flame burns in memory of the more than 1 million soldiers who died in World War I.

The memorial and the whole area under the arch is free to enter.

Admission and climb to the roof

Open daily 10am-10:30pm, and until 11pm in summer.

There is a fee to climb to the roof, you can buy tickets on site (expect queues around the clock in summer) or online at the official website:

  • Adults - 16 eur
  • Children under 18 - free
  • Minors 18-25 years old - free on presentation of ISIC card


Aside from the monument itself, the area around the Arc de Triomphe is one of the main transfer points for Parisian public transport, so living in this area is strategically very convenient. See what hotels in the area we would choose for you.

  • Princesse Caroline - The cheapest 3* hotel nearby, just 200 metres from the Arc, with prices from 128 eur per night for 2
  • Arc de Triomphe Etoile - a modern 3* hotel just 300 metres from the Arch with prices from 143 eur per night for 2
  • Radisson Blu Champs-Elysées - 5* classic just a few metres from the arch with prices from 293 eur per night for 2

How to get there

There is a metro station directly under the roundabout Charles de Gaulle-Étoilewhere metro lines 1, 2, 6 and the RER A train run.

  • Metro 1
    • Louvre, Place de la Concorde, Petit + Grand Palais, Chatelet, Hotel de Ville, Le Marais, Bastille, Nation, Chateau Vincennes, La Défense
    • Gare de Lyon
  • Metro 2
    • Montmartre, Bassin de la Villette, Nation, Père-Lachaise Cemetery
  • Metro 6
    • Trocadéro - Eiffel Tower, Tour Montparnasse, Catacombs, Place d'Italie
    • Gare Montparnasse, Gare de Bercy
  • RER A
    • Chatelet, Hotel de Ville, Centre Pompidou, Opera Garnier, La Défence, Nation, Disneyland
    • Gare de Lyon
  • Buses from the station Charles de Gaulle Étoile Champs Élysées
    • 73 - Place de la Concorde, Petit + Grand Palais, Champs-Elysées, Musée d'Orsay, La Défense
  • Buses from bus stops Charles de Gaulle - Etoile - Friedland
    • 22 - Gare Saint-Lazare
    • 52 - La Madeleine Church, Opera Garnier
  • Buses from bus stops Charles de Gaulle - Etoile - Kléber
    • 22 - Trocadéro, Porte Saint-Cloud
    • 30 - Trocadéro, Eiffel Tower, Parc André Citroën
  • Buses from stops Charles de Gaulle - Etoile - Marceau
    • 91 - Invalides, Gare Montparnasse, Pont de l'Alma, Porte d'Orléans
  • Buses from bus stops Charles de Gaulle - Etoile - Wagram
    • 30 - Place de Clichy, Moulin Rouge, Pigalle (Montmartre)
    • 31 - Gare de l'Est, North of Montmartre, Pont Cardinet
  • Buses from the stop Charles de Gaulle - Etoile - Mac Mahon
    • 91 - Pereire, Port de Champerret
    • 341 - Pereire, Gare de Clichy, Clichy - Saint-Ouen, Porte de Clignancourt

There are several bus stops around the roundabout with similar names. There are underground passages leading to the roundabout itself, which is freely accessible.

The 3 triumphal arches

Did you know that Paris doesn't have just one single triumphal arch? In fact, it is just the largest and part of 3 arches built in one 8 km long line.

The first one is also Napoleon's Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel from 1809, standing just next to the Louvre Museum.

The other is the modern 105-metre high Grande Arche, which is actually a skyscraper resembling a triumphal arch. It is located in the famous modern district of La Défense.

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