Famed for its grandeur and elegance, Champs Elysees is known as the most beautiful avenue in the world, and it’s easy to see why. When in Paris, you’ll likely find yourself wandering through the street running between the Place Charles de Gaulle and the Place de la Concorde. Stretching for 1.2 miles long, you’ll have plenty to see and do as you explore all of its luxury shops, cosy cafés, impressive theatres and historical monuments. Whether you want to soak up classic French culture with a visit to the Arc de Triomphe or shop for designer goods in luxury flagship stores, you can do it all and more when you visit this tree-lined avenue.
What is Champs Elysees?
When you ask a local about Champs Elysees, they’ll tell you it’s a very busy tourist avenue packed with overpriced shops and restaurants. But, that’s not always the case. The avenue was named after “Elysian Fields”, which is a tribute to the ‘heavenly’ aura of the place. It’s home to many monuments and the best shopping spots in Paris. The spacious sidewalks give you plenty of room to walk about without bumping elbows with passers-by. The avenue is like a straight line, guiding you through the Tuilerie Gardens, passing the Arc de Triomphe and bringing you into a world of wonder and luxury.
Shopaholics will struggle to keep their purses or wallets closed when walking through the Champs Elysees, which is home to countless designer stores and perfume shops begging for your attention. You’ll find high-end stores like Louis Vuitton, Abercrombie & Fitch and more along the main avenue. This is where you should go to shop for designer handbags and clothing items to add a bit of sparkle to your wardrobe.
Of course, you don’t have to stick to the expensive shops for some great finds. Other great options include Sephora, Gap, H&M, Nike, Nord Sudand and more. If you’ve got the kids with you, treat them with a visit to the Disney Store. Browse through the official Disney merchandise such as character toys, clothes and collectables.
Restaurants and places to eat
With so many cafés and restaurants to choose from, the final decision will rest on your personal taste. For a small meal away from the crowds, head over to the Café Lenôtre. Enjoy a romantic dinner on the veranda and treat yourself to one of their delicious desserts while trying to figure out your next destination to visit. For a more substantial meal, go to Fouquet’s, which lies opposite the Louis Vuitton store. This charming restaurant has been serving celebrities and royalty since 1899 and is guaranteed to make your mouth water. Try the smoked herring or the signature lobster for dinner and finish it off with a delicate dessert.
Paris Champs Elysees is where you’ll find one of the city’s most famous historical monuments, the Arc de Triomphe. Climb the steps to the top of the arch for incredible views of the city. Don’t forget to pay the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier a visit, which lies directly beneath the central arch. You’ll also discover lots of museums along and near the avenue including the Le Grand Palais. Here, you’ll find modern art and various exhibitions that change throughout the year. The building itself is a historical monument featuring an iron and steel canopy that makes it easy to spot from a great distance.
The Invalides Complex is another sight worth visiting while you’re exploring the heart of Paris. This complex of eye-catching buildings is home to a variety of monuments. It’s one of the most recognisable landmarks in the city thanks to the impressive gold dome on top of the main building. The building is home to the remains of Napoleon and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. While you’re here, make sure you check out the war museum, where you’ll take a history lesson about France’s involvement in World War II.
After a busy day of shopping and exploring the sights, it’s nice to unwind and relax in the Tuilerie Gardens. Take in the pleasant views, smell the sweet scent of the flowers and find a quiet spot to sit andrelax. There are restrooms in the park too and a beautiful central fountain, which is where most people tend to swarm to when they enter the park. At either end of the park, you’ll discover two museums; one is the Jeu de Paume, which is known for its photography collections; the second is the Orangerie, which is home to impressionist art pieces including ‘The Water Lilies’ by Monet.