Thanks to its central location and proximity to other must-see landmarks, visiting Champs-Élysées is easy. Why not stroll along after a day at the Louvre? Or, head to the Arc de Triomphe via the avenue for a great way to enhance your day. There are plenty of ways to enjoy this beautiful corner of Paris.
Home to some of the most iconic boutiques in Paris, the Champs-Élysées is ideal for fashionable shoppers. You can also find a choice of eateries and entertainment on the boulevard, too. So you can make the most out of your time, here’s everything you need to know about getting around this fabled destination!
Getting to the Champs-Élysées by train
If you're travelling from within France to Paris, the capital is served by plenty of high-speed SNCF lines from all corners of the country. These are some of the most popular services to Paris, most of which arrive into Gare du Nord or Gare de Lyon stations:
|Avignon to Paris||2h 41m||Yes|
|Bordeaux to Paris||2h 09m||Yes|
|Lyon to Paris||1h 55m||Yes|
|Marseille to Paris||3h 12m||Yes|
|Nice to Paris||5h 44m||Yes|
|Strasbourg to Paris||2h 23m||Yes|
From its convenient 8th arrondissement location, the Champs-Élysées is very well-served by the city’s Metro and RER network. There are several ways to get to the area by train. The stop you choose will depend on your plans for the day and whether you’re visiting other spots nearby. Let’s take a look at how to get to the Champs-Élysées by train.
Which metro station is nearest to the Champs-Élysées?
The closest metro stop to the Champs-Élysées is Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau. If you’d like to take the train directly to the avenue, this is the spot to get off. There are two more on the street itself, called George V and Franklin D. Roosevelt. All of these stops are along line 1.
If you’re looking for the full experience, we recommend hopping off at the end of the Champs-Élysées. When you disembark at Concorde, which is at the eastern end of the avenue, you’ll be able to walk its full length and enjoy some of the best views of this iconic stretch of road. You might also like to get off the Metro at Charles de Gaulle – Étoile, which is beneath the famous Arc de Triomphe.
If you’re travelling on an RER service, you can also hop off at the Charles de Gaulle – Étoile stop. Why not visit the triumphal archway before heading along the Champs-Élysées? You’ll be able to enjoy bird’s-eye views along the boulevard, a great way to start your trip!
Paris Metros and RER train services run very frequently, so you won’t need to worry about planning your departure time or booking a specific journey. Simply head to your nearest connecting stop whenever you’re ready and wait a few moments for a train to arrive. You’ll be at the Champs-Élysées in a matter of minutes.
Walking down the Champs-Élysées
Whether it’s your first or fiftieth time in Paris, a walk along the Champs-Élysées never fails to impress. There are a couple of great places to start your journey and lots of spots to stop off along the way, so get ready for an experience you’ll never forget!
Let’s look at some of the main points of interest along the Champs-Élysées. From plazas and parks to retail and landmarks, there’s something for everyone along this beautiful stretch of Paris, including:
- Place de la Concorde
- Champs-Élysées Gardens
- The Arc de Triomphe
- Champs-Élysées pedestrian-only days
Place de la Concorde
Smack between the Champs-Élysées and Tuileries Gardens sits the Place de la Concorde, the largest square in Paris and an impressive spot to start your visit to the area. The Place de la Concord is aesthetically beautiful today. Still, its elaborate history makes it stand out among the many picturesque spots in Paris.
Built between 1757 and 1779, the square saw dramatic changes during the French Revolution. In 1792, the area, which was then called the Place de Louis XV, was renamed Place de la Revolution, or Revolution Square. The infamous guillotine was erected and as the Revolution descended into mayhem, the beautiful Place de la Concorde we know today became the stage of more than 1,200 executions. Some of the most famous figures to meet the guillotine here include King Louis XVI, his wife Marie Antoinette, and Maximilien Robespierre, leader of the French Revolution.
Visit today for quite a different picture. You can enjoy a 3,300-year-old Egyptian obelisk, two elegant fountains, and views of the Arc de Triomphe along the Champs-Élysées.
The Champs-Élysées Gardens, or Jardin des Champs-Élysées, is a vibrant public park which extends along either side of the bustling boulevard. This is a perfect spot for travellers who aren’t interested in shopping. So, if you’re heading to the Champs-Élysées with a reluctant friend or partner, let them relax and stroll through the gardens as you indulge in some peaceful retail therapy. The gardens are beautiful and extensive, making this a win-win afternoon for everyone!
There are lots of features to discover among the park, including fountains, sculptures, and even a couple of museums.
The Arc de Triomphe
The Champs-Élysées most famous landmark, the Arc de Triomphe sits on the Place Charles de Gaulle. This circular plaza is surrounded by 12 of the city’s most significant boulevards, which radiate outwards like a star. If you’re planning a visit to the Arc de Triomphe, and we recommend you do, a walk along the Champs-Élysées can elevate your experience.
Read our Arc de Triomphe guide for everything you need to know about visiting the celebratory landmark.
Champs-Élysées pedestrian-only days
Good news, pedestrians! On the first Sunday of every month, the usually traffic-filled Champs-Élysées is closed off to vehicles. The pedestrian-only initiative has been an enormous success since its launch. Lots of visitors enjoy sitting on the road, eating picnics, and playing with children under the shadow of the Arc de Triomphe. If you’re lucky enough to be in Paris on one of these Sundays, get ready for a relaxed few hours in this one-of-a-kind setting.
Champs-Élysées History and Facts
The Champs-Élysées is a picture-postcard scene and arguably the most beautiful avenue in the world. It’s lined with luxurious boutique shops and gastronomic gems, so it can be hard to believe the area started out as nothing more than a few muddy fields. Everything comes from somewhere, and the Champs-Élysées is no exception. Let’s take a look at how the boulevard has developed with some history and facts to get you excited about your trip.
How the Champs-Élysées came about
In the beginning, Paris was much smaller than it is today. The area we know as the Champs-Élysées started out as nothing more than a group of fields, or champs in French. Merchants grew vegetables to sell in the city markets, which weren’t too far away from the then-rural spot.
Along comes the 17th century, and French Queen Marie de Medici. She wanted to create an avenue of trees leading up to Tuileries Gardens, so the stretch was cut out among the fields. Over the next century, the road was developed and embellished, before receiving its name, the Champs-Élysées, in 1709.
What does Champs-Élysées mean?
Champs-Élysées translates to ‘Elysian Fields’, a homage to the landscape and a reference to a Greek idea about the afterlife. Elysium, or the Elysian Fields, was where Greek gods and heroes went after death.
Over the 18th century, many grand houses and elegant buildings were developed along the Champs-Élysées and nearby. The area had become fashionable, with plenty of wealthy residents moving in. In 1828, the avenue became the official property of Paris. The council commissioned fountains and gas lamps and cleared footpaths along the road.
Significant events on the Champs-Élysées
As one of the most beautiful avenues in the world, it should come as no surprise that the Champs-Élysées has been the venue of choice for lots of significant Parisian ceremonies.
The funeral procession of Napoleon Bonaparte I travelled along the Champs-Élysées, as well as French and US victory parades to celebrate the liberation of France from Nazi occupation. The 1885 World Fair also took place here and was attended by visitors from all over the world.
Today, the annual Bastille Day military parade runs along the Champs-Élysées, as well as the last leg of the Tour de France. Modern visitors can also enjoy New Year’s Eve celebrations and breathtaking Christmas lights along the avenue.
Restaurants, bars, and shops on the Champs-Élysées
If you’re visiting the Champs-Élysées, you undoubtedly want to experience some of the famous boutiques and eateries along the avenue. There’s plenty to choose from, so you’re sure to find something to pique your interest no matter what you’re into. Let’s take a look at a few favourite spots.
Where to eat around the Champs-Élysées
There are restaurants and cafés along and around the Champs-Élysées to suit every taste. Here are some of the best laidback bistros and fancy restaurants, so you can choose an option that suits you.
- Paul – a chill bakery for fresh croissants, sandwiches, and more
- Marxito – gourmet fast food by Thierry Marx
- Ladurée – a famous bakery specialising in French macarons
- Bistro des Champs – think checked tablecloths, traditional meals, and good vibes
- Chez André – for authentic French cuisine and a homey atmosphere
- Fouquet’s – a famous brasserie with exceptional traditional French cuisine
- L’Alsace – a sophisticated brasserie serving traditional Alsatian dishes
- Tosca – Michelin guide Italian in an aesthetic setting
- Lasserre – a one-of-a-kind setting and a perfect example of La Belle Époque
- Le Cinq – a chateau-style setting with three Michelin stars!
Whatever type of meal you’re after, you’re sure to find something tasty on the Champs-Élysées. There are lots of coffee shops and fast-food chains scattered about too, so even the fussiest eaters can enjoy a bite to eat.
Shopping on the Champs-Élysées
Although its history and beauty are partly to thank for the Champs-Élysées’ icon status, it’s the shopping that draws in the crowds. Home to some of the city’s most fashionable boutiques, the avenue is a perfect place for stylish visitors to indulge. Travelling on a budget? No problem! There are plenty of opportunities to window shop too. Browsing fancy stores is a great way to pass an afternoon in one of the chicest cities on earth.
From mainstream fashion brands like Levi’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, and Zara, to high-end boutiques like Hermès, Gucci, and Celine, there’s something for everyone to discover. The Louis Vuitton flagship store remains one of the area’s most popular. At the same time, the Chanel boutique is an absolute must-visit.
Champs-Élysées opening times
Shops in Paris open at 09:00 and close at 19:00, Monday to Saturday. Some independent shops might close for lunchtime, between 12:00 and 14:00, although most Champs-Élysées spots stay open throughout the day. While some Parisian shops close on Sundays, the Champs-Élysées is open daily, making it a great place to visit when there’s little else going on.
Whatever time you visit the Champs-Élysées, you’re almost always guaranteed a great atmosphere. As one of the most famous spots in Paris, the beautiful boulevard is always bustling with tourists and locals.
So, whether you head there for a couple of hours’ window shopping or a full day’s indulgence, we’re sure you’ll find a way to enjoy this one-of-a-kind avenue that suits you. With plenty of nearby parks, museums, and landmarks to discover, there’s something to keep everyone entertained in the Champs-Élysées area!
Visiting Paris from further afield?
Europe is so well connected by rail that you can get to Paris on the train easily from mainland Europe and the UK. Not only is it the scenic way to travel, you'll be doing your bit for the environment, too. These are just some of the journeys you can take to get to Paris from Europe:
|London to Paris||2h 16m||Direct|
|Barcelona to Paris||6h 38m||Direct|
|Amsterdam to Paris||3h 20m||Direct|
|Brussels to Paris||1h 22m||Direct|
|Zurich to Paris||4h 06m||Direct|
|Munich to Paris||6h 37m||1 change|
|Stuttgart to Paris||4h 13m||Direct|