La Défense

La Defense

La Défense is the only truly modern neighbourhood in the immediate vicinity of Paris and the largest administrative district in the entire Île-de-France region and one of the largest in Europe. The first skyscrapers were built here in the 1960s and 1970s, inspired by New York's Manhattan and Chicago's Downtown.

La Défense is home to many multinational companies, one of the largest department stores in France and the tallest building in Paris, the Tour First at 231 metres.

The district is built at the end of the 10-kilometre-long Axe historique, which starts at the Louvre Museum and continues past the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe to La Défense.

Grande Arche

Le Défense's biggest landmark is undoubtedly the Grande Arche, a modern triumphal arch that complements the pair of historic arches in the city centre. The Grande Arche is a massive concrete-and-glass structure designed by Danish architect Otto von Spreckelsen and built in 1989. It is 105 metres high and features a restaurant on its roof and a view of the old Paris skyline, led by the Eiffel Tower.

Admission and opening hours

It is open daily from 10:00 to 19:00, but the last entry is at 18:30.

We recommend buying tickets online at the official website, they are only sold for a specific date, not an hour. You can visit the viewpoint at any time on a given day.

How to get here

Although La Défense is not administratively in Paris, it belongs to the city's zone 1-3, so your all-day or multi-day ticket for Paris applies here.

It's very easy to get here from the centre. There's the RER line A train (faster) and the metro line 1 (slightly slower). The station is directly named "La Défense".


Hotels in La Défense are mainly catering to the business clientele and therefore you will find better quality and more expensive accommodation with prices starting from 140 eur at the 4* CitizenM Paris La Défense and from 220 eur per night for 2 at the 4* Renaissance Paris Hotel La Défense or Hilton Paris La Défense.

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