The best day to visit the world’s most familiar triumphal arch is 2 December, the date that marks Napoleon’s victory at the Battle of Austerlitz in 1805, when the sun sets in line with the Champs-Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe, creating a spectacular halo around the building. Work began on the 50-m (164-ft) arch in 1806 but was not completed until 1836, due, in part, to Napoleon’s fall from power. Four years later, Napoleon’s funeral procession passed beneath it, on its way to his burial in Les Invalides. Today the arch is a focal point for numerous public events.

  • Place du Général-de-Gaulle, 75008

  • 01 55 37 73 77 (enquiries), 01 55 37 73 78 (tours)


  • Open Apr–Sep: 10am–11pm daily; Oct–Mar: 10am–0:30pm daily

  • closed 1 Jan, 1 May, 8 May (am), 14 Jul (am), 11 Nov, 25 Dec and for major events

  • Admission €9.00

The Great Axis

The Arc de Triomphe is at the centre of three arches and together they create a grand vision of which even Napoleon would have been proud. The emperor was responsible for the first two, placing the Arc de Triomphe directly in line with the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in front of the Louvre, which also celebrates the 1805 victory at Austerlitz. In 1989, the trio was completed with the Grande Arche at La Défense. The 8km-long (5-mile) Grand Axe (Great Axis) runs from here to the Glass Pyramid at the Louvre.

Arc de Triomphe pediment

Try to get here early, as the morning light shows the golden tone of the stonework at its best.

Enjoy a coffee and the old-world charm of Le Fouquet (99 ave des Champs-Elysées) – expensive, but worth the treat.

Top 10 Features
  1. Viewing Platform

    Taking the elevator or climbing the 284 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe gives visitors a sublime view of Paris. To the east is the magnificent Champs-Elysées and to the west is the Grande Arche of La Défense. Note that after the lift there are still some 40 steps to climb.

  2. Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

    In the centre of the arch flickers the eternal flame on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a victim of World War I buried on 11 November 1920. It is symbolically reignited every day at 6:30pm.

  3. Museum

    Within the arch is a small but interesting museum which tells the history of its construction and gives details of various celebrations and funerals that the arch has seen over the years. The more recent of these are shown in a short video.

  4. Departure of the Volunteers in 1792

    One of the most striking sculptures is on the front right base. It shows French citizens leaving to defend their nation against Austria and Prussia.

  5. Frieze

    A frieze running around the arch shows French troops departing for battle (east) and their victorious return (west).

  6. Triumph of Napoleon

    As you look at the arch from the Champs-Elysées, the relief on the left base shows the Triumph of Napoleon. This celebrates the Treaty of Vienna peace agreement signed in 1810, when Napoleon’s empire was in its heyday.

  7. Battle of Austerlitz

    Another battle victory is shown on a frieze on the arch’s northern side. It depicts Napoleon’s heavily outnumbered troops breaking the ice on Lake Satschan in Austria, a tactic which drowned thousands of enemy troops.

  8. Battle of Aboukir

    Above the Triumph of Napoleon carving is this scene showing Napoleonic victory over the Turks in 1799. The same victory was commemorated on canvas in 1806 by the French painter Antoine Gros and is now on display at the palace of Versailles .

  9. General Marceau’s Funeral

    Marceau died in battle against the Austrian army in 1796, after a famous victory against them only the previous year. His funeral is depicted in this frieze, which is located above the Departure of the Volunteers in 1792.

  10. Thirty Shields

    Immediately below the top of the arch runs a row of 30 shields, each carrying the name of a Napoleonic victory.

Top search
- Foods That Cause Miscarriage
- Losing Weight In A Week With Honey
- Can You Eat Crab Meat During Pregnancy?
- 4 Kinds Of Fruit That Can Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Some Drinks Pregnant Women Should Say No With
- Signs Proving You Have Boy Pregnancy
- Why Do Pregnant Women Have Stomachache When Eating?
- Top Foods That Pregnant Women Should Be Careful Of
- 6 Kinds Of Vegetable That Increase Risk Of Miscarriage
- Paris Top 10 : Sacré-Coeur
- London's Top 10 : Natural History Museum
- London's Top 10 : Tate Britain
- Berlin's Top 10 : Schloss Charlottenburg (part 2) - The Hohenzollern and Berlin
- Berlin's Top 10 : Schloss Charlottenburg (part 1)
- Berlin's Top 10 : Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtnis-Kirche
- San Francisco's Top 10 : San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (part 2) - Yerba Buena Gardens’ Features
- San Francisco's Top 10 : San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (part 1)
- San Francisco's Top 10 : Grace Cathedral
- Washington, D.C.'s Top 10 : Washington National Cathedral
- Washington, D.C.'s Top 10 : Library of Congress
- Rome's Top 10 : The Colosseum and Imperial Fora
- Rome's Top 10 : Galleria Borghese
- Hong Kong's Top 10 : Temple Street Night Market
- Hong Kong's Top 10 : Stanley
- Madrid’s Top 10 : Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales
- Madrid’s Top 10 : Plaza Mayor
- Beijing's Top 10 : Bei Hai Park
- Beijing's Top 10 : Lama Temple (Yonghegong)
- Chicago's Top 10 : John G. Shedd Aquarium
Top keywords
Miscarriage Pregnant Pregnancy Pregnancy day by day Pregnancy week by week Losing Weight Stress Placenta Makeup Collection
Top 5
- 5 Ways to Support Your Baby Development
- 5 Tips for Safe Exercise During Pregnancy
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 2)
- Four Natural Ways Alternative Medicine Can Help You Get Pregnant (part 1)
- Is Your Mental Health Causing You to Gain Weight (part 2) - Bipolar Disorder Associated with Weight Gain