Destination: Paris
Top Ten
1 Centre Georges Pompidou
2 Les Champs-Elysées
3 La Grande Arche de la Défense
4 Les Invalides
5 Le Louvre
6 Notre-Dame
7 Orsay, Musée d'
8 Les Quais
9 La Tour Eiffel
10 La Villette
2 Les Champs-Elysées

For most visitors this prestigious avenue epitomises French elegance, but it is also a dazzling place of entertainment and a luxury shopping mall.

In the late 17th century, Le Nôtre designed a gently rising alleyway as an extension of the Jardin des Tuileries. This later lost its rustic appearance and became a fashionable avenue lined with elegant restaurants and cafés. Nowadays it is the traditional venue for a variety of events such as the Paris Marathon, the arrival of the Tour de France and the march past on 14 July, which celebrates France's national day. But 'les Champs' (the fields) is also a place where people of all ages just relax and feel alive.

The lower section, stretching from the place de la Concorde (with breathtaking views along the whole length of the avenue) to the Rond-Point des Champs-Elysées, is laid out as an English-style park shaded by imposing chestnut trees. On the left are the Grand and Petit Palais, two temples of the arts, while on the right is a monument to the French Resistance hero, Jean Moulin, who was reburied in the Panthéon on 19 December 1964.

The upper section stretches from the Rond-Point, designed by Le Nôtre, to the Arc de Triomphe. This is the 'modern' part of the avenue, recently revamped, with its pavements now restored to their former comfortable width. Banks, cinemas, airline offices, car showrooms, and large cafés spread out on the pavements, lining the way to the place de l'Etoile. Fashion boutiques cluster along the arcades running between the Champs-Elysées and the parallel rue de Ponthieu. Some shops remain open well into the night and the bustle only quietens down in the early hours of the morning.

Address: Avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 Paris
Restaurant: Choice of restaurants (Inexpensive-Expensive)
Bus: 73, Balabus (in summer)
Metro: Concorde, Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau, Franklin-D Roosevelt, George V, Charles-de-Gaulle-Etoile
French Riviera
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