Champs Elysees

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by Jim Rosenberg on November 4, 2000

If it is not the most famous street in the world, it certainly ranks near the top and for good reason. Like Picadilly in London, Paris's Champs Elysees is a safe, reliable and active place for diversions well into the night -- and that may well be the best time of all to enjoy it. Crowned by the Arc de Triomphe on one end and Place de la Concorde at the other, the history of this street dates back to the 1600s.

The Champs Elysees today is lined with cafes, brasseries, movie theatres, high-end retailers and fashionable boutiques -- along with a couple of palaces and impressive monuments thrown in for good measure. If there is a better place to grab a bench and just sit and watch people, I can't imagine where it is. The sidewalks are incredibly wide and lavish, leaving plenty of room for a wide array of sidewalk cafes, beverage and dining options running the full range from McDonald's to posh and pricey French restaurants. Expect to pay at least $4 for a beer or $9 for a mixed drink in even the most modest sidewalk cafes -- well worth the price for a table with a view of the activity on the Champs or a place in an active, animated brasserie.

There is rarely a lack of activity on the Champs Elysees once the day is underway and the bright lights and action continue until late into the night. It would be difficult to truly say you've visited Paris without spending at least a little time here. For a quick sampling, take Metro Line 1 to the George V stop and you will be right in the heart of the Avenue when you emerge. Walk in up to the Arche de Triomphe and drink in the ambiance; stop for an espresso, visit some stores. It's sounds simple and it is, but it is simply exhilerating. Night time is the best, but a daytime visit is no less worthwhile. (And if you are heading back to the Place de la Nation neighborhood that I've been touting in this journal, you can take the metro home from the Charles de Gaulle etoile stop via the "long way" on metro line 9, getting somewhat of a tour of the left bank since a good portion of the run is above ground.) Would you like to see what's happening there right now? Go to:

Avenue des Champs-Elysées
Avenue Des Champs-elysées
Paris, France, 75008

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