Arc de Triomphe is the most famous historical monument in Paris, France.
Commissioned by Napoleon I in 1806, this monument celebrates the greatest times of the French military’s prowess.
This Paris attraction is flanked by nearby attractions like Petit Palais, Grand Palais National Galleries and Historical restaurant Fouquet’s.
At the base of the monument, you can relish hundreds of years of French history.
From the observatory space at the top of the monument, you can fall in love with the amazing Parisian view.
In this article, we cover the following topics –
1. Opening hours
2. Best time to visit
3. How to reach Arc de Triomphe
4. Free Entry
5. Arc de Triomphe tickets
6. Combo tour tickets
7. Arc de Triomphe free with Paris passes
8. Visiting the Arc at night
9. Arc de Triomphe FAQs
What is Arc de Triomphe?
The Arc de Triomphe is a historical monument.
Inspired by the Arc of Titus in Rome, designed by Jean Chalgrin and commissioned to be built by Napoleon in 1806, Arc de Triomphe honors the sacrifices of the French army.
It represents the works of legendary artists such as Jean Chalgrin, Jean-Nicolas Huyot, Jean-Arnaud Raymond, Louis-Robert Goust and Guillaume-Abel Blouet.
Arc de Triomphe is the world’s second largest Arc. The first being the Arc in Pyongyang, North Korea. Find out more Arc de Triomphe facts
Where is Arc de Triomphe located?
Arc de Triomphe stands at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, Paris.
Place Charles de Gaulle, Paris was earlier called Place de l’Étoile — the étoile or ‘star’ because junction was at the center of twelve radiating roads.
Arc de Triomphe hours
The opening hours of this Paris monument differ every month.
From 2nd January to 31st March, the Arc de Triomphe is open every day from 10 am to 10:30 pm.
From 1st April to 30th September, the opening time remains 10 am but closing time is extended till 11 pm.
From 1st October to 31st December, the timing is again changed to 10 am till 10:30 at night.
The last admission happens 45 minutes before the closing time. This is also the time when the ticket counters close.
The monument can only admit a certain number of visitors.
Sometimes, the ticket desks may close early during peak hours.
In such events when the ticket counter is closed early, the entry to the Arc may be refused.
When is Arc de Triomphe closed?
The Arc is closed on the following days –
1st January- New Year’s Eve
1st May- Labor Day
8th May – Victory 1945*
14th July-Bastille day
11th November – Armistice 1918*
25th December- Christmas day
*Closed only in the morning
Best time to visit Arc de Triomphe
The best time to visit the Arc is after 6:30 pm, when the flame of the Unknown Soldier can be clearly seen and the Champs Elysées is bathed in shimmering lights.
This evening time will enhance the beauty of the monument and everything around.
During this time, one can also enjoy the best view of the Eiffel Tower, the Sacré Coeur and the Louvre from the observation deck at the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
But of course, it is no easy task to reach the top for the Arc de Triomphe is crowded in the evening.
How to reach Arc de Triomphe
There are quite a few ways by which you can easily reach Arc de Triomphe.
If you are taking the rapid Paris Metro, opt for lines 1, 2 and 6 and get off at the Charles de Gaulle-Étoile station.
Réseau Express Régional(RER) is a hybrid suburban commuter system serving France, Paris and its suburbs.
It is like a Metro but much faster because it has fewer steps.
Board RER at line A and exit at the Charles de Étoile station.
For those traveling by bus, take the bus from lines 22, 30, 31, 52, 73, 92 and Balabus.
If you are taking the car from the suburb, your stop should be at Porte Maillot and avenue de la Grande Armée or you should exit Porte Dauphine and avenue Foch.
From Paris downtown, drive down the Champs Elysées to reach Arc de Triomphe.
Is Arc de Triomphe free?
You can walk freely around the base and under the arches of the Arc de Triomphe without paying any fee.
Standing under the central arch, the monument seems even more massive.
On this free tour, you can read the names of the 660 Generals and observe the grand reliefs on the exterior.
However, if you want to climb up the 280 stairs, you must buy a ticket worth 9.50 Euros. Buy rooftop tickets, now!
After all, the lovely view of Paris from the observatory at the top is worth it.
Arc de Triomphe free entry
Arc de Triomphe is free on the 1st Sunday of every month from 1 January to 31 March and from 1 November to 31 December.
Note that the monument is free on the Saturdays and Sundays of the ‘European Heritage Days’ which are organized on the 3rd weekend of September.
The Arc de Triomphe also allows free entry to young people under 18 with valid ID cards.
Teachers who hold an education pass can also enter without a fee.
It is also free for young people between 18 to 25 years old who are EU or EEA nationals and assimilated, and holders of a residence permit or a long-term visa (EU and EEA). These visitors also have to bring in a valid ID card.
Job seekers with an official document from POLE EMPLOI and a valid ID card can also enter freely.
However, even if you don’t qualify for a free entry, we recommend you buy your tickets and climb up Arc de Triomphe. The view will be worth it.
It isn’t for nothing that the Arc de Triomphe is rated highly on Tripadvisor.
Arc de Triomphe tickets
If you want to visit Arc de Triomphe, you have the option to choose from three different Arc de Triomphe tickets. Each of these tickets offers a different kind of experiences.
The first ticket enables you to skip the line and head for the top of the Arc de Triomphe to enjoy the view from one of the most iconic monuments in Paris.
The second ticket allows you to skip the line and have a guided tour of Arc de Triomphe.
The third ticket takes you on a full day tour of a few monuments built by Napolean Bonaparte, one of which is Arc de Triomphe.
All these tickets get delivered to your smartphone within five minutes of your purchase.
And on the day of your visit, you walk up to the entrance, just show the ticket in your email (on your smartphone) and enter.
1. Skip the line Arc de Triomphe rooftop tickets
This Arc de Triomphe ticket costs 12 Euros and allows you to skip the line and head straight for the top.
With these tickets, you directly go to the stairs located on the right-hand side of the ticket office. Once inside, go straight to the reserved entry line on the right.
Show your ticket at the security checkpoint and enter.
There’s no elevator to reach the top, so you must climb the 284 steps. Comfortable shoes are highly recommended.
For kids below 18 years, EU citizens and regularized EU residents aged 18-25, French jobseekers and disabled visitors with valid IDs and their carers entry is free.
Adult ticket (for 18+ years): 12 Euros
2. Guided tour to Arc de Triomphe
With this ticket, you can skip the line and take a guided tour of the Arc de Triomphe.
The local guide regales you with tales related to the Parisian monument and points out items and places of interest during your 90-minutes tour.
The guide also shows you the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with its Eternal Flame.
Adult ticket (for 18+ years): 29.99 Euros
Youth ticket (for 10-17 years): 16 Euros
Kids (9 and below): Free entry
3. Arc de Triomphe combo tour tickets
Many people who come to visit the Arc de Triomphe often prefer to visit nearby attractions like Chateau de Malmailson and the Invalides to discover Napoleonic life.
The Invalides houses Napoleon’s tomb and is only 2 Kms (1.25 Miles) from the Arc de Triomphe. A taxi will take you there from the Arc in less than 4 minutes.
The Chateau, on the other hand, is 8 Kms (5 Miles) from Arc de Triomphe. A taxi or car will easily take you there.
There are two kinds of combo tickets that visitors prefer over the normal ones.
a) Napoleon, the legend’s tour
Take a full day guided tour of the best of Napolean’s monuments.
Three classics are covered in this tour.
You start with the 17th century spectacular gold-domed Invalides where Napoleon’s tomb is housed.
You then visit Chateau de Malmaison, which was once the residence of Napoleon and his first wife, Empress Joséphine.
The third stop of this tour is Arc de Triomphe, where you skip the line and head right to the rooftop for the best views of Paris.
Your tour ends with an evening on Champs Elysées, one of the most famous avenues in the world.
Travel between the three monuments will be on a luxury coach.
Adult ticket (for 18+ years): 144.90 Euros
Youth ticket (for 11-17 years): 125.60 Euros
Younger kids (for 4-10 years): 76.30 Euros
Infants (3 years and below): Free entry
b. Château de Malmaison & Arc de Triomphe tour
This three-hour tour starts when you board a luxury coach for the short trip to Malmaison Chateau, which is on the edge of Paris.
After Napoleon and his wife Josephine’s countryside home is explored, you get back to the center of Paris and visit Arc de Triomphe.
The skip the line ticket at the Arc takes you right to the top. No hassle of navigating the crowd or waiting in the line.
Before you melt into the Avenue des Champs Elysées, like the other Parisians, you can get tips from your local guide on how you can best spend your evening.
Adult ticket (for 18+ years): 119.90 Euros
Youth ticket (for 11-17 years): 104.90 Euros
Younger kids (for 4-10 years): 69.00 Euros
Infants (3 years and below): Free entry
Arc de Triomphe free with Paris passes
You will be glad to know that if you have the Paris Sightseeing Pass or Paris City Pass, you can freely visit plenty of city attractions using skip the line entry.
In fact, the Arc de Triomphe becomes a free monument with both the Paris passes.
1. Paris Sightseeing Pass
With the Paris Sightseeing Pass, you can enter the Arc de Triomphe for free.
In fact, with this Pass you can explore 60 other Parisian attractions for free.
Some of the best attractions where you can enter for free through the Skip The Line entrance are – Musée du Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou, Châteaux de Versailles, Pantheon, Tours de Notre-Dame, our Montparnasse, Musee Grevin, etc.
Paris Sightseeing Pass comes in 2,3 or 6-day pass. Depending on how long you are in Paris, you can buy the most appropriate package.
This amazing Paris pass can be canceled 24 hours prior to the tour.
Paris Sightseeing Pass Price
Adult Pass (for 18+ years): 131 Euros
Youth Pass (for 12-17 years): 81 Euros
Kids Pass (for 4-11 years): 44 Euros
Infants (3 years and below): Free Pass
2. Paris City Pass
The Paris City Pass, or the Paris Passlib as its popularly known as is yet another means to save money while holidaying in the French capital.
Paris Passlib provides free access to the tourists’ favorites such as Arc de Triomphe, Louvre Museum, the Versailles Estate, the Panthéon, Notre-Dame, Tomb of Napoléon etc.
This pass also provides free unlimited travel on the Parisian public transport system.
If you buy the Paris Passlib, you can get into the hop-on and hop-off Big Bus for free. In fact, this pass can also help you cruise down the River Seine aboard the iconic Bateaux Mouches.
This Paris Pass can be canceled 10 days prior to the tour.
Paris City Pass Price
Adult Pass (for 18+ years): 109 Euros
Youth Pass (for 12-17 years): 65 Euros
Kids Pass (for 4-11 years): 35 Euros
EU Citizens Pass – with ID (for 12-25 years): 65 Euros
Arc de Triomphe at night
Here is everything you need to know about visiting Arc de Triomphe at night –
Arc de Triomphe – day or night?
Regardless of what time of the day you travel to this Paris monument, you will enjoy the historical beauty of the monument and the mesmerizing view of Paris from the top.
This is a must-visit attraction at any time of the day. If you can afford it (and if your body can afford the climb!), we recommend you try this once during the day and once at night.
However, if you are short of time, visit Arc de Triomphe at night.
The pretty lights shimmering over the entire city is worth climbing all the stairs.
Visiting Arc de Triomphe at night
At night, the Eiffel tower seems incredibly close to Arc de Triomphe. Twinkling and sparkling under the night sky, it is the prettiest sight on the Paris landscape.
The panoramic city view, dizzying traffic lights and the Champs Elysées can make Arc de Triomphe one of the best spots to see Paris at night
The Eternal flame too looks more beautiful and prominent at night time.
It is not very crowded late at night so you can take your time clicking some pictures.
View from Arc de Triomphe at night
Loved it, didn’t you? Book your Arc de Triomphe ticket now!
Frequently asked questions on Arc de Triomphe
The below given questions are frequently asked by tourists planning a visit to Arc de Triomphe.
1. When was Arc de Triomphe built?
It was commissioned in 1806 by Napoleon after his victory in Austerlitz.
However, after Napoleon’s abdication in 1814, the construction stopped for a few years, starting again in 1826.
It took 30 years to build the Arc de Triomphe and it was finally inaugurated in 1840.
2. Who built Arc de Triomphe?
Even though the Arc de Triomphe was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806, he didn’t finish it.
After his abdication in 1814, work on Arc de Triomphe was stopped.
The construction started again in 1826 and the final monument was completed under King Louis Phillipe, between 1833-36.
3. What is Arc de Triomphe’s height?
Arc de Triomphe stands at an overall height of 50 meters.
Its larger vault is 29.19 m high while the smaller transverse vaults are 18.68 m high.
The Arc’s width is 45 meters and depth is 22 meters.
4. Who is buried under Arc de Triomphe?
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies buried under the Arc de Triomphe.
In 1916, during World War I, the Senate and deputies of France decided to honor one soldier to symbolize all those who died in battle for their country.
The soldier was buried on 10th November 1920 with the inscription ‘Here lies a French soldier who died for his fatherland 1914-1918.’
5. Arc de Triomphe view from the top
From the top of the Arc, all the top landmarks can be spotted, along with the wild traffic around the base.
The view down the three lined Champs-Élysées towards Place de la Concorde and Louvre museum is mesmerizing.
There are twelve streets opening out from Place Charles de Gaulle.
The Eiffel tower rises above the rooftops of Parisian buildings.
The tower of Montparnasse, twin towers of Notre Dame and the white Basilica of Sacré-Coeur are also visible in the distance.
6. Arc de Triomphe stairs
There are 284 stairs in the Arc de Triomphe. They are circular and very narrow.
The 284 steps only get you to the gift shop/museum. There are an additional 40 steps to reach the observatory at the top.
For those less able, there is an elevator available but it doesn’t take you all the way to the top. You still must climb 64 additional steps.
7. How to avoid Arc de Triomphe traffic?
The Arc de Triomphe round-a-bout is feared even by the insurance companies. There are twelve roads which lead to this round-a-bout.
It may get difficult to dodge the traffic in this area.
To avoid the traffic, take the stairs from the North side of Champs-Elysées that lead visitors to the tunnel that goes under the round-a-bout and delivers you straight to the base of the monument.
If you arrive by metro, get off at station Charles de Gaulle Etoile and follow the signs to the tunnel.