5 Reasons To Visit The Champs Elysees in Paris


 

Perhaps one of the most famous avenues on the planet, the Champs Elysees calls Paris’ 8th arrondissement home.

To put the Champs Elysees into perspective: it it 1.9km in length, and 70m in width. This expansive range means that there is a ton to see, do and eat while walking the avenue.

The Champs Elysees is a hub of many attractions within one single attraction; the avenue itself. If you’re not yet sold, here are for more reasons to head to the 8th…

Champs Elysees – by daniel james – Unsplash

1. Shopping, Shopping and More Shopping on the Champs Elysees in Paris

Amongst other things, the Champs Elysees is predominantly a retail strip for international and luxury fashion.

Paris, for the most part, is a sophisticated place known for its stylish and trend-setting culture. The Champs Elysees was a street that pioneered much of the city’s fashion accessibility, and one that continues to attract fashion-lovers from around the rest of the content and world.

Champs Elysees – by Melanie Pongratz – Unsplash

Some of the oldest stores on the Champs Elysees have been here since as early as 1913. You’ll find a balanced mix of tiny designer boutiques, global brands like Zara and H&M, & big-name fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, Chanel and YSL to name a few.

Both the Champs Elysees and its side avenues are used to house the many retail venues. If shopping is of interest to you while in Paris, you’ll need the better part of your morning or afternoon to spend moving from one side of the strip to the other.

2. The Champs Elysees is the Home of the Lido Cabaret 

During the last century, the Champs Elysees has undergone much upscaling and modernization. The Lido Cabaret is one of the only historic entertainment venues that managed to retain its relevance throughout all the years of change.

The Lido rose to fame in 1946, when the then theatre was transformed into a cabaret venue by two Italian brothers. It quickly became the place to see and be seen at, employing some of the best cabaret performers in the world and regularly hosting artists such as Edith Piaf and Elton John.

Lido on the Champs Elysees – by flightlog – Wikimedia Commons

Glitz and glam are taken to a whole new level the moment you enter into the Lido venue. It’s a transportive space right back to Paris in the 50s and 60s, when cabaret really started to pick up in popularity in the French capital.

Visiting the Lido makes the trip to the Champs Elysees well worth it. Book tickets in advance for the dinner theatre experience as this is the best way to have your first encounter with the Lido.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION
Opening Hours: Nightly
ADDRESS: 116 Av. des Champs-Élysées, 75008 Paris
Metro STATION: George V

3. The Christmas Light Spectacle

The third thing that really puts the Champs Elysees on the map is its annual Christmas light show that takes place every year between November and January.

The Champs Elysees is world famous for this evening, as it is one of the only light shows in the world where over one million light bulbs are used in its erection. It’s a spectacle from start to finish, one that sees the avenue blocked off from all vehicle access to that people can walk the lights in safety.

If you are lucky enough to be visiting Paris during this magical time, then make this an unmissable part of your itinerary.

Champs Elysees – by Stephanie LeBlanc – Unsplash

It changes year to year, but generally one can expect the lights to be up from the third week of November, and only to be brought down the first or second week of January.

Because of the chaotic nature of the Champs Elysees at the best of times, I recommend visiting the light show between the hours of midnight and 2am, which is when they turn them off.

4. Visit the Arc de Triomphe from the Champs Elysees

The Champs Elysees runs between two major squares in Paris: the Place de la Concorde on the eastern end, and the Place Charles de Gaulle on the western.

In the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle stands the Arc de Triomphe; an important triumphant archway that is an important attraction for the city of Paris.

The Arc de Triomphe is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city, drawing in nearly as many visitors as both the Eiffel Tower and the Sacre Coeur Basilica.

Arc de Triomphe – by Mika Baumeister – Unsplash

When you’re on the Champs Elysees, it’s worth passing by for a view of the arch and perhaps a quick photo. Architecturally, it’s a wonder, and you won’t have to pay to climb to the top to experience it to its essence. Simply walking underneath the arch and through the pillars is enjoyable enough.

If you would like to go to the top, you’ll have a panoramic view over the entire Champs Elysees as well as greater Paris.

5. Yearly Events on the Place de la Concorde

As mentioned, the Place de la Concorde is the square on the easternmost end of the Champs Elysees. This is the biggest public square in the French capital, and has been used for decades as a point of entertainment and mobilization for the civilians of the city.

Regardless of when you visit Paris, you can expect to find something happening on the Place de la Concorde. During the winter months the Big Wheel of Paris is erected, in the summer, there are regular markets, carnivals and art installations taking place across the courtyard.

Place de la Concorde – by Nitot – Wikimedia Commons

The Place de la Concorde is also home to the Luxor Obelisk, a breathtaking Egyptian obelisk that has called the square home since 1836. You’ll want to do a few laps around this intricate structure.

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