Le Notre, the landscape architect of King Louis XV, built the Champs Elysées in 1667. The avenue was named after the Elysian Fields from Greek Mythology. During the Second Empire of Napoleon III the Champs Elysées was turned into a playground for the rich and famous, as luxurious restaurants and theaters lined the avenue. Nowadays, the avenue is still known for its fantastic theaters, cinemas and cafes. Furthermore, it has become one of the most famous shopping streets in the world.
In this article we’ll introduce you to the great avenue that is the Champs Elysées. We’ll show you some of the best places to shop, where you can find nice cafes and restaurants, and what museums and landmarks (such as the Arc de Triomphe) you can find in the area!
Go Shopping at the Champs Elysées
- The Champs Elysées is known for its great collection of upscale boutiques. Along the avenue you’ll find names such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss, Guerlain, Lancel and Lacoste. If you’re looking for more luxury stores, head to the Avenue Montaigne just off the Champs Elysées. Here you’ll find such retailers as Christian Dior, Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Valentino and more.
- For more affordable but still fashionable clothing, head back to the Champs Elysées. Many flagship stores of international brands are located on the avenue. Among a diverse list of retailers you’ll find Abercrombie & Fitch, H&M, the largest Adidas store in the world, Banana Republic, Marks & Spencer, Benetton, Levi’s and Zara.
- For more browsing options, check out the huge Disney Store on the Champs Elysées, as well as MAC and a Monoprix for grocery shopping. There are also several car showrooms located on the avenue, such as Renault, Citroen, Peugeot and Mercedes-Benz, all of which boast amazing designs.
- If you’re set on heading to the Champs Elysées on a rainy day, check out the “passages” (covered galleries) along the avenue. Among others, there are the Les Arcades de Champs Elysées, Galerie 26 and Galerie des Champs Elysées.
Relax in a Café, Restaurant or Club on the Champs Elysées
When you come to Paris you simply have to try a macaron, a typical French treat. Ladurée on the Champs Elysées has some of the best macarons in town, and that’s saying something!
Café George V is a great place for people-watching, but because of its location right on the Champs Elysées it can get quite crowded.
Fouquet’s is another fashionable place to get some lunch.
For a truly special night out, visit Pavillon LeDoyen just behind the Petit Palais. This gourmet restaurant boasts three Michelin Stars.
For a night out on a budget, try Yuppies Café on Rue Montenotte just off the Champs Elysées.
Café Lenôtre is beautifully located in a garden right on the Champs Elysees. It offers a tranquil ambiance ideal for enjoying lunch or dinner.
Le Duplex close to the Arc de Triomphe is a great club comprising of several stories so you can enjoy a variety of music.
Le Queen is a club on the Champs Elysées famous for its fantastic resident DJs (David Guetta was once the artistic director of the club!). Le Queen was also well known as a gay club, but in recent years the club crowd has become more mixed.
Culture on the Champs Elysées
Part of the Axe Historique, you’ll find many great museums and landmarks near the Champs Elysées. One of the most famous of these is the Galeries Nationales in the Grand Palais. The neighboring Petit Palais also has a beautiful museum, completely free to visit! Other great museums in the area include the Palais de la Découverte, Musée des Beaux Arts de la Ville de Paris, and Musée Dapper (Museum of African Arts).
For years now, The Champs Elysées has brought to mind thoughts of cinema and theater. Two of the most beautiful theaters on the avenue are the Théâtre du Rond-Point and Theâtre Marigny, close to the Grand Palais. For a great cabaret show, head to Le Lido, which is one of the most famous show establishments in Paris and has seen performers such as Elvis Presley, Edith Piaf and Elton John. Another famous theater in the area, though not actually located on the Champs Elysées, is the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées on Avenue Montaigne.
Two famous movie theaters on the Champs Elysées are the Gaumont Champs Elysées and UGC George V.
Events on the Champs Elysées
On the 14th of July (Bastille Day) the Champs Elysées pays host to a huge military parade.
The Champs Elysées has also been the finish line of the Tour de France since 1975!
During the months of November and December you can catch the Holidays Lights Show and Christmas Market on the Champs Elysées.
Moreover, people often gather on the Champs Elysées spontaneously for big events such as New Year’s Eve.
Stay in an Apartment Close to the Champs Elysées
Convinced the Champs Elysées is the place to be when you’re in Paris? Consider staying in an apartment on or near the Champs Elysées during your trip! We have many vacation rentals available in the area of the Champs Elysées where you can enjoy your holiday in Paris in style. Furthermore, if you want to stay in Paris for a longer period, we also have fully furnished apartments available in the Champs Elysées area. By staying in an apartment, you’ll truly experience Paris as a local!
Explore the Arc de Triomphe
To visit the Arc de Triomphe, you may take a pedestrian underground passage from the Champs Elysées. Don’t try crossing the Charles de Gaulle roundabout – it is really dangerous! The admission to go up into the Arc is €8. To get to the top of the Arc de Triomphe, you first take an elevator and then climb 40 steps. The view from the 50-meter-high monument (164 feet) is absolutely spectacular! You can check out the view from the top in the second part of our Champs Elysées video tour.
Some other famous landmarks located nearby are the Place de la Concorde, the Palais de l’Elysée, which is the official residence of the French President, and La Défense.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this introduction to the Champs Elysées and the Arc de Triomphe. What is your favorite landmark in Paris?