All you need to know about the Champs-Élysées Paris

What to see in the neighborhood Champs-Élysées?

The Champs-Élysées quartier is a byword for urban sophistication. Centered around the striking Haussmann boulevard, Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the neighborhood is awash with Michelin-starred restaurants, upmarket boutiques, and 5-star hotels. With many shops and a handful of landmarks, the “world’s most beautiful avenue” is the most famous street in France. If you’re wondering why, here’s our pick of what makes the district stand out.

My TOP 5 Highlights in the Champs-Élysées

  • Soak up the views atop the imposing Arc de Triomphe (Pl. Charles de Gaulle, 75008): There are several spots to grab panoramic views of Paris, yet only one sits in the center of a busy roundabout. From the rooftop, you get engaging views down 12 urban arteries that fan out like a clock. The structure itself is impressive, inlaid with ornate designs and historical detail. But the views from the top are the real payoff.
  • Take a relaxing along the Champs-Élysées on a traffic-free Sunday (Avenue des Champs-Élysées, 75008): The famous avenue needs no introduction. This is where Charles De Gaulle famously rode into Paris after liberation. It is the setting for the Bastille Day military parade and Tour de France finish line. And it is also a thriving hub for shops and eateries. A walk along the congested boulevard is endlessly diverting at any time. But you can see the avenue in its full traffic-free glory, just as it was when first built, if you head there on the first Sunday of the month. The pedestrianized road is a surreal experience for anyone familiar with the avenue.
  • Marvel at the Grand Palais (3 Av. du Général Eisenhower, 75008) and Petit Palais (Av. Winston Churchill, 75008): Sitting opposite each other, the big and little Palaces are striking landmarks that deserve a look even if you don’t go inside. Inside is a treat for culture seekers: a wonderfully diverse gallery of fine art in the Petit Palais and an ever-changing program of cultural events in the Grand Palais. Yet more reasons why Paris is the art capital of the world.
  • Entertain big and little kids at the Palais de la Découverte (Av. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 75008): The Discovery Palace nestles in the Grand Palais. It is an exciting and enlightening day out that kids and adults can enjoy. Bursting with compellingly interactive displays, the museum is a fun-filled break from the somber show-and-tell museums nearby.
  • Lido de Paris (116 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008): Cabaret is the quintessential Parisian entertainment. And the Lido de Paris, a relative newcomer, offers one of the city’s best shows. Their stage has played host to legends like Édith Piaf and Marlene Dietrich, keeping it in the top rank of cabaret venues since opening in 1946. Although essentially a nostalgic throwback, the shows are still wildly entertaining. Time flies by in a choreographed whirlwind of energy. Settle down for the uplifting experience with a glass of champagne and lose yourself in the colorful flamboyance.

General information

The illustrious avenue is the main attraction for daytrippers, drawn to its grandeur and the diversity of shops in the area. It may surprise first-time visitors that the quartier is also a bustling office district, home to many commercial headquarters. Above all, the quartier is known as an upmarket neighborhood with some of the finest hotels and restaurants in Paris. Some visitors will be turned off by the naked commercialization of the area, reflected in the high prices found on menus. Not to mention unyielding traffic. But with iconic points of interest like the Arc De Triomphe and the historic Place de la Concorde, the Champs-Élysées is firmly on the tourist map. And if you like shopping, you’ll be in your element. There is little to worry about around the neighborhood beyond the occasional risk from pickpockets and inconsiderate drivers. Want to avoid the traffic? Try to visit on the first Sunday of any month. The avenue is pedestrianized, which creates a completely different vibe.

How to get to the Champs-Élysées

Several Métro stations drop you right on the Champs-Élysées and are conveniently situated for reaching other parts of the neighborhood.

  • Concorde (the ideal starting point for a walk up the Avenue des Champs-Élysées): Lines 1, 8, 12
  • Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau (drops you near the Grand and Petit Palais): Lines 1, 13
  • George V (for the Arc de Triomphe): Line 1
  • Buses: 28, 42, 52, 73, 80, 93, N11, N24

Attractions, activities, and tours in the Champs-Élysées

Although many visitors head to the 8th to shop (and eat) until they drop, there are enough landmarks and diversions to keep visitors and residents returning. Here’s a round-up of the best things to do in the Champs-Élysées.

Best attractions

In this neighborhood there are many attractions that you should visit. You can find the best ones here.

  1. 01

    Avenue des Champs-Élysées

    Square in Quartier des Champs-Élysées
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    Lovely panoramic aerial view of the famous Avenue des Champs-Él
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    It is impossible to talk about the 8th arrondissement without mentioning the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, oft-described as the “most beautiful avenue in the world”. The wide boulevard is defined by grand Haussmann-style buildings that give way to retail giants, luxury boutiques, cafés, and theatres. It may be a crowded walk down the 1.9 km (1.2 mi) boulevard, but it remains an essential Parisian experience.

  2. 02

    Palais de la Découverte

    Museum in Quartier des Champs-Élysées
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    Photo du Palais de la Découverte, Paris, France
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    The Palace of Discovery is a wonder for families in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. Engaging and enlightening, this interactive science museum is a fun alternative to the often-stuffy art galleries that Paris is known for. With a planetarium and plenty of hands-on activities, this is an entertaining escape, whether for bored kids or from rainy days.

  3. 03

    Petit Palais

    Museum in Quartier des Champs-Élysées
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    Champs-Élysées, Petit Palais – Paris, France
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    The Grand Palais’s smaller sibling was also built for the momentous Paris Exposition of 1900. It may not share the same scale but is no less attractive. Inside, you will find a permanent display of fine art from several periods, including masterpieces from towering figures like Rembrandt and Rodin. Permanent displays are free, so even if you don’t love art you’ll want to investigate the sumptuous interior of the little palace.

  4. 04

    Place de la Concorde with Obelisk

    Square in Quartier des Champs-Élysées
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    Place-de-la-Concorde-Paris-Sehenswuerdigkeiten.jpg
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    At the eastern end of the Champs Élysées, an impressive building towers overhead. In the heart of the spacious Place de la Concorde, you will find the 22-metre-high Luxor Obelisk. The obelisk dates back to the 13th century BC. However, it has only stood in its present location since 1836, as it was a gift from the Egyptian king of the time for the help of French archaeologists and scientists in deciphering and translating hieroglyphs. The square itself also has a turbulent history. It was built in the mid-18th century by order of King Louis XV and also named after him. During the French Revolution, King Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette and over 1100 other people were executed here. After the end of the Revolution, the square was given its current name.

Best tours

There are many things to do in Montparnasse. Here you can find the best tours.

  1. 01

    Arc de Triomphe Entry with River Cruise and Breakfast

    Combi Tour in Quartier des Champs-Élysées
    GYG Champs-Elysees Arc de Triomphe River Cruise Tour
    Source: getyourguide.com
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    Grab a light continental breakfast before skipping the line to take in the views from the Arc de Triomphe. Afterward, enjoy city views from a river cruise, all in one booking.The audio guide on the cruise is available in 14 languages (inc. English, French, German, Spanish).

  2. 02

    Paris Classic Tour in 2CV

    Combi Tour in Quartier des Champs-Élysées
    viator Champs-Elysees CarTour
    Source: viator.com
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    Recapture the spirit of pre-90s France in a classic (and comfortably restored) Citroën 2CV. An unforgettable way to travel down the Champs-Élysées and around the Arc de Triomphe. A guide fills in the blanks as you hurtle on to other sights around the capital. The tour is available in English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.

  3. 03

    Private Tuktuk Tour in Paris

    Combi Tour in Quartier des Champs-Élysées
    viator champs-elysees tuktuk tour
    Source: viator.com
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    Gain a unique perspective as you zip around Paris on a Tuktuk, including a hair-raising ride down the Champs-Élysées. Your guide and pilot keep you informed and entertained along a tour you can tailor to your needs. On this private tour, you and your fellow travellers have several tours to choose from: from 60-minute tours in the centre of Paris to extended tours that last a whole eight hours! The tours are available in English and French.

  4. 04

    See 30 Plus Top Paris Sights with a Fun Guide

    Walking Tour in Quartier des Champs-Élysées
    viator champs-elysees 30plus sights tour
    Source: viator.com
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    This all-in tour gives you half a day in the company of an English-speaking guide who will whisk you from sight to sight using public transport. Expect to see the best of Paris, from the Arc de Triomphe to the panoramic views from Montmartre. See more than 30 sights of Paris on a half-day tour. The tour is available in English.

Eating & drinking in the Champs-Élysées

The stylish 8th arrondissement is full of haute-cuisine temples, including some renowned Michelin-starred restaurants. But there’s an eatery for every budget and appetite, from fast-food to laidback cafés. Here are a few favorites.

Top restaurants

  1. 01 L'Avenue

    L’Avenue in the 8th arrondissement is one of the hottest places in Paris right now. With its perfect location on Avenue Montaigne, you can watch the passers-by and get lost in the Parisian atmosphere. It is a classic place to go out in Paris to feel the luxury life and have a cocktail between shopping and sightseeing. To be honest, L’Avenue is a bit pricey but the excellent food and exquisite location make up for it. It is always worth a visit.

  2. 02 Chez Gabrielle

    In Paris, it is easy to find carefully cooked French fare, especially if you avoid the tourist traps. This enduringly popular venue close to the Arc de Triomphe has been open since 1908. The owners focus on doing what it does best, delivering a classic Parisian dining experience that won’t break the bank.

  3. 03 Contraste

    If you were hoping to find sublime gourmet restaurants in Paris to blow your mind and budget, Contraste in the 8th arrondissement will not disappoint. Discretely tucked away in a quiet street, this Michelin-starred restaurant has a short but inspired menu and an outsized reputation. The three-course lunch menu is a winner for tighter budgets.

  4. 04 François Félix

    If you’re seeking somewhere vibrant and easygoing, this welcoming bistro-bar in the 8th arrondissement checks the boxes and is just a short distance from Place de la Concorde. Live music, sharing plates, and a lengthy bar menu are suited to casual dining. Our tip, go for the planche de charcuterie or fromage for the pleasing apéritif dînatoire.

  5. 05 Le Chalet du 8eme

    Crêpes with a twist are on the menu at Le Chalet du 8eme in the 8th arrondissement. This affordable restaurant sits in a quiet corner of the quartier and could be overlooked in the surrounding sea of eateries. But a talent for making generously filled and inventive crêpes and galettes keeps this alpine-themed restaurant busy.

The most beautiful cafés

The Champs-Élysées manages to be both a buzzing commercial center and a historic Parisian district. This means you can find everything from quaint Parisian cafés to minimalist bean-focused coffee shops. If you’re looking for comfort, value, and a touch of character, you’re sure to find something you like in our pick of cafés around this neighborhood.

  1. 01 Le Carré Elysée

    A traditional Parisian café with a neighborhood vibe, just off the Avenue des Champs-Élysées. While the crowd-pleasing list of French café standards is inexpensive, the same cannot be said about the drinks. But the terrace is a compelling location to rest weary feet, making the prices more palatable.

  2. 02 Café Joyeux Champs-Élysées

    Overlooking the famous boulevard of Champs-Élysées, Café Joyeux is a bright and modern coffee shop. This café is a big friend of the local community, with a policy of employing and supporting people with cognitive disabilities. It also serves damn good coffee.

  3. 03 Café La Belle Ferronnière

    If you can get past the eyebrow raising prices, this big airy café in the 8th arrondissement is a convivial space to kick back and watch the world go by. The corner terrace bursts with energy when the sun sets, so get there early to grab a seat and a dish from the menu of French standards and global favorites.

  4. 04 IWI Coffee

    If barista-perfected brews are your daily fuel, IWI coffee in the 8th arrondissement has a glowing reputation for bean quality and coffee making skills. This snug coffee shop has few seats but is a top-tier spot to grab takeout.

  5. 05 La Flamme

    Offering a traditional menu in traditional surroundings, this café-bar-brasserie caters to everyone, from casual drinkers to hungry diners. The corner terrace with views of the Arc de Triomphe is reason enough to stop here.

Shopping in the Champs-Élysées

Upscale boutiques and specialist outlets compete with international brands around the Champs-Élysées. There’s something for everyone, but here’s a handful of noteworthy stores.

  • Galerie des champs Élysée (branch of the famous department store, Galeries Lafayette): 60 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008.
  • Village Royal (quaint shopping passage known for its occasional street decorations): 25, rue Royale Paris, 75008.
  • Galerie du Claridge (petite shopping gallery): 74 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 La Pistacherie (gourmet nuts and nougat): 5 place de l’Alma, 75008.
  • Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse (a branch of the celebrated chef’s chocolate empire): 60 avenue Des Champs-Élysées, 75008.
  • Ladurée (outlet and café of the fabled macaron maker): 75 Avenue des Champs Élysée, 75008.
  • DIOR: 127 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008.
  • MONTBLANC: 152 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008.
  • Hugo Boss Store: 115-117 Avenue des Champs Elysée, 75008.
  • Louis Vuitton: 101 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008.
  • Gucci: 60 Av. Montaigne, 75008.
  • Longchamp: 77 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008.
  • Levi’s: 76 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008.
  • Lacoste: 50 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008.
  • Adidas: 22 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008.

The finest art galleries and museums

The quartier might be known for its shops, restaurants, and offices. But there are several exceptional galleries and museums that fit right in, even if they are eclipsed by the world beaters in nearby quartiers. Here are my recommendations for a slice of culture close to the Avenue des Champs-Élysées.

  1. Photo du Palais de la Découverte, Paris, France

    01 Palais de la Découverte

    The Palace of Discovery is a wonder for families in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. Engaging and enlightening, this interactive science museum is a fun alternative to the often-stuffy art galleries that Paris is known for. With a planetarium and plenty of hands-on activities, this is an entertaining escape, whether for bored kids or from rainy days.

  2. Marcel Dassault building hosts Artcurial auction house in Paris, France. It located at the corner of Avenue Montaigne and the Champs-Elysees.

    02 Artcurial

    Artcurial is an auction house selling fine art and valuable objets in the 8th arrondissement. You can take a peek, but be aware nothing hangs around for long. A café and art bookshop will appeal to curious art buffs, and the handsome former hôtel particulier is an agreeable sight for anyone.

  3. 03 Galerie Bartoux

    Chic and intimate, this quiet space gives you time to admire the art of emerging artists in the 8th arrondissement. Tastefully displayed over several floors, everything is on sale with prices set for people who don’t need to ask.

  4. Champs-Élysées, Panoramic view of Grand Palais (Great Palace) in Paris, France.

    04 Grand Palais

    This cavernous exhibition hall — sandwiched between the Avenue des Champs- Élysées and the Seine — was built for the 1900 Paris Exposition. The pretty art-nouveau building fills with sun via its glass ceiling, and it was designed to host the biggest art spectacles in Paris. It still fulfills that role today. Check the changeable program for some outstanding exhibitions.

  5. Champs-Élysées, Jeu de Paume is an arts center for modern art, Paris, France

    05 Jeu de Paume

    Overlooking Place de la Concorde, this museum has an extensive photographic and cinematographic art collection in the 1st arrondissement. The building started life as a tennis court for Napoleon III (jeu de paume was an early form of the sport, now called lawn tennis), and earned notoriety as a sorting house for Nazi loot. Historically intriguing, but more significantly a place to see some arresting contemporary art.

The most charming hotels

Some of the capital’s most sumptuous accommodation is found in the 8th arrondissement. The dazzling architecture and proximity to itinerary-topping attractions, combined with a concentration of wealth, keep prices high. If you’re looking for next-level luxury and comfort, these hotels all stand out in the Champs-Élysées quartier.

  1. booking champs elysees Grand Powers Hotel2
    Credit: booking.com

    01 Hôtel Grand Powers

    5 Stars | The stunning boutique Hôtel Grand Powers sits in the classy Triangle D’or (Golden Triangle) in the 8th arrondissement, home to luxury brands and multi-garlanded restaurants. 50 sumptuously decorated and fully equipped rooms, an intimate café, and an elegant spa await guests in this acclaimed hotel. When I first walked through the doors of the hotel, I fell instantly in love. The attention to detail is unmistakable and reflected in every corner of the hotel. The color and material combinations are pleasing to the eyes and have a high aesthetic appeal.

  2. booking champs-Elysees Hotel du Rond-Point
    Credit: booking.com

    02 Hotel du Rond-Point des Champs-Elysees - Esprit de France

    4 Stars | A compact 36-room hotel that offers a lot of bang for your buck. Tucked away down a side street in the 8th arrondissement, the terrace and balcony rooms would enhance any stay in Paris. With the addition of a small but attractive swimming pool and art-deco furnishings, you can see why the owners talk about ‘cocooning’ guests from the hustle and bustle outside.

  3. booking Champs-Elysees Hotel Ekta
    Credit: booking.com

    03 Hotel Ekta

    4 Stars | Inserting a playful 70s style into a district awash with bourgeois luxury, this swish boutique hotel has just 25 well-appointed rooms. The hotel is in a prime location in the 8th arrondissement, and the modish decorations make a refreshing change from the neighborhood norm.

  4. booking champs-Elysees Le 123 Elysees Astotel
    Credit: booking.com

    04 Hôtel Le 123 Elysees - Astotel

    4 Stars | Part of a small Parisian chain of boutique lodgings, this hotel is an affordable option that doesn’t cut corners. Refined, crisply decorated rooms have all the four-star touches — air-con, mini bar, WiFi, etc. And with many attractions within walking distance, the Le 123 Elysees offers hard-to-find value in the 8th.

  5. booking champs-elysees Hotel Lord Byron
    Credit: booking.com

    05 Hotel Lord Byron

    4 Stars | Tucked away down a quiet street off the Champs-Élysées, the sleek and modern stylings of Hotel Lord Byron create an enticing refuge. Recently renovated, the 54-room hotel features a leafy patio, steam bath, and self-service bar with an honesty box. A welcoming space that consistently earns glowing reviews.

History & Facts

Until the early 17th century, the area was simply known as champs (fields) that supplied food for the citizens of Paris. But the fields eventually caught the attention of the royal household living in the nearby Louvre. Royal gardener André Le Nôtre was charged with creating a tree-lined avenue to complement the Jardin des Tuileries. The Avenue des Tuilleries, as it was initially titled, was renamed the Avenue des Champs-Élysées in 1709 to evoke images of the Elysian fields of Greek mythology. This area quickly became a favorite of aristocrats, with palatial homes emerging in an early example of gentrification.

Infamously, Place de la Concorde was built to house a statue of King Louis XV. At the time, he was also busy sowing the seeds for a revolution that would topple his successor. In a macabre turn of events, the Place de la Concorde would instead house the guillotine where Louis XVI and queen Marie-Antionette were executed. Of little consolation, no doubt, leading revolutionaries also met the guillotine there, including Georges Danton and Maximilien Robespierre.

Having ultimately swapped a king for an emperor, Napoleon I was next to have plans for the avenue. The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile (Triumphal arc of the star) was the emperor’s monument to his martial sucess. It was unfinished when Napoleon Bonaparte was sent into exile a second (and final) time. In a fitting twist, what France’s first emperor had started in 1806 was completed on the orders of France’s last king, Louis-Philippe, in 1836. For 102 years, Napoleon’s legacy monument was the tallest triumphal arch in the world. It remains a leading national monument and now serves as a memorial to France’s war dead, after the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was placed there in 1920.

Arc de Triomphe in the Champs Élysées at sunset.

In 1880, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées was forever tied to the Revolution when it was chosen as the location for France’s annual Bastille Day Military Parade. Realizing the avenue’s role as a focal point for national spectacles, the Champs- Élysées is also the finish line in France’s greatest sporting spectacle, the Tour de France. Firstly, for ceremonial purposes and, since 1975, as the final stage of the national road race. Today, the symbolic importance of Champs-Élysées is ingrained into the national consciousness. A far cry from its days as a bread basket for Paris.

FAQ

Is the Champs-Élysées easy to explore on foot?

Yes because one defining feature of Haussmann’s reconstruction of the arrondissement is the orderly, straight streets. You can get a real sense of this at the Arc de Triomphe roundabout, which branches off in 12 symmetrical directions. At the heart of the district is the 1.2-mile (2 km) Avenue des Champs-Élysées, a handy waypoint if you get lost.

Is the Champs-Élysées expensive?

The Champs-Élysées is unquestionably one of the more expensive areas in an already expensive city. With a mix of big-spending tourists and well-heeled residents, restaurants, bars, and hotels are not priced for budget getaways. But there are also numerous chains and international brands selling everything from food to clothes at conventional prices, so don’t be discouraged from visiting.

Is the Champs-Élysées safe?

Yes because this is a monied district and an important tourist hub, where even the nightlife can feel refined and restrained. There are very few quiet spots, so you will rarely be alone or unsafe. As ever, take care to stash your valuables securely, leaving you nothing to worry about except crossing the endlessly busy roads.

Neighboring districts

The Champs-Élysées quartier is surrounded by high-profile districts. East of Place de la Concorde is the 1st arrondissement, home to the Louvre, Jardins Tuileries, and the Musée de l’Orangerie. North of the district is the Madeleine quartier, where the Élysée Palace (French presidential residence) is located. Cross the Seine to the south of Place de la Concorde via the stunning Pont Alexandre III or more prosaic (but older) Pont de la Concorde and you arrive in the Quartier des Invalides. Dominated by the giant military museum and former veteran retirement home, Hôtel des Invalides, where you can visit Napoleon Bonaparte’s tomb. Head east along the Right Bank to reach the majestic Musée d’Orsay, a rival to the Louvre’s crown as the city’s favorite museum. As Haussmann intended, the Champs-Élysées is a central point around which the highlights of Paris revolves.

About the author
Laura Schulze

I love traveling! Whether it's the Australian outback, the fjords of Norway or city trips to the most beautiful cities in the world like Paris, Singapore, Barcelona or New York - I'll write down my best tips so that your trip will be a very special highlight.

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