Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees Walk With Kids
Activity: Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees. Metro Stop: Charles de Gaulle-Etoile. Then follow the Sortie #1 Champs-Elysees/Arc de Triomphe signs. Cost: Covered by your museum pass, otherwise 8 €/adult, 5 €/18-25, free under 18. Hours: 10 am - 10:30 pm.
This walk is two miles and takes 2-3 hours including a one-hour visit to the Arc de Triomphe and is best in the late afternoon or early evening. The Arc De Triomphe is HUGE. It’s hard to grasp the size from pictures.
I prefer climbing this to climbing the Eiffel Tower because you can see the Eiffel Tower! When you're at the top look down at the streets below you. Every boulevard in Paris was designed to end here, but nobody planned for cars.
Here are the rules in the roundabout. The drivers entering the roundabout have the right of way. Every accident in this roundabout is split by insurance companies 50/50, no matter who is at fault. Driving here is like playing chicken for all parties involved! My husband spent more time watching the hilarious traffic than admiring the Eiffel Tower.
As you climb down, notice The Tomb of the unknown soldier. The arch was built in the early 1800s to symbolize victory in war. When the French would win a war, the victory parade went right through this arch, until The Tomb of the Unknown Solider was built. Then the marching went around the arch and down the street.
Unfortunately in June 1940, the Germans tried to join the triumphant marching tradition. Hitler and his Nazi soldiers goose-stepped around the Arc and down the Champs-Elysses, symbolizing the Nazi occupation of Paris. Four years later, American and French soldiers marched together to symbolize the end of World War II.
The Champs-Elysees features monumental sidewalks, stylish shops (including my favorite Parisian kid’s shop, Le Petit Bateau!), cafes, and many strutting Parisians. Join their strut and find dinner. It was here, a few days into our adventures, we caved and got McDonalds. Will sell out for high chairs and nuggets. The window at McDonalds was actually really well suited for people watching, and our baby was happy, so it was one of the most enjoyable meals we had in Paris. Ah, how parenthood changes your priorities.