Champs-Élysées is a popular commercial street in Paris. Also called the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, it’s home to a variety of luxury shopping establishments, cafes, and theaters. The 1.9-km street stretches between Place Charles de Gaulle – where you’ll find the famed Arc de Triomphe – and Place de la Concorde.

Champs-Élysées welcomes approximately 7 million tourists every year, making it one of the most famous streets in the world. While it's mainly popular for its shopping and restaurant offerings, fans of the annual Tour de France would recognize it as the finishing avenue of the bike race. The Bastille Day military parade takes place on Champs-Élysées on 14 July each year, bringing together locals and tourists on this monumental day.

Champs-Élysées in Paris - one of the highlights of 10 Best Things to Do in Paris and 14 Most Instagrammable Places in Paris (Read all about Paris here)

A brief history of Champs-Élysées

Unlike its grand outlook today, the area surrounding Champs-Élysées was mainly made of fields and gardens in the past. In 1667, the architecture of Champs-Élysées began to take form as an extension to the Tuileries Garden of the Tuileries Palace. The boulevard was officially named Champs-Élysées in 1709.

Since then, further beautification of the Champs-Élysées and its surroundings were added, with boutiques and restaurants lining the 70-metre-wide street. Its main landmark, Arc de Triomphe, was later commissioned in 1806 but was not completed until 1836.

Today, Champs-Élysées plays host to a wide selection of branded shopping establishments and famous coffee shops, including Zara, Louis Vuitton, and Tiffany & Co.

What are the highlights and features of Champs-Élysées?

Shopping is at the forefront for visitors to Champs-Élysées in Paris. Although it is home to luxury boutiques and fast fashion hubs like H&M, you can explore many medium-sized French malls for local purchases. However, note that prices may run steep at Champs-Élysées, given its luxurious standards. Some even call the boulevard as the Golden Triangle of Paris.

If you’re feeling hungry after a stroll down Champs-Élysées, you’ll want to visit the many restaurants and cafés along the avenue. A notable establishment is Le Hide, a Japanese-style French bistro just 2 minutes away from the Arc de Triomphe. Offering affordable 3-course meals with dishes like lamb shoulders with chanterelle mushrooms, it’s easy to see why there’s always a line of hungry patrons waiting for a table. Unfortunately, the restaurant does not accept bookings, so you’ll want to get there early to secure a table.

Between late November to early January, Champs-Élysées becomes heavily decorated with seasonal lights for the Christmas and New Years’ vacations. Many locals and tourists visit the avenue on these days, turning it into a large gathering ground for the celebrations.

Good to know about Champs-Élysées in Paris

Making your way to Champs-Élysées is made convenient by the Paris Metro Line 1 which runs directly beneath the avenue. You can stop at numerous stations, depending on where you’d like to start your journey. To begin on the west end where the Arc de Triomphe is, alight at the Charles de Gaulle–Étoile station. On the southern end of the avenue, Concorde station takes you to the Place de la Concorde of Champs-Élysées.

For a bird’s-eye view of the Champs-Élysées, we recommend climbing to the top of the Arc de Triomphe monument. While there is a small fee to pay for this attraction, you’ll be rewarded with an aerial view of the avenue.

We also recommend starting your walk from Place de la Concorde toward Place Charles de Gaulle if this is your first visit to Champs-Élysées. This allows you to view the Arc de Triomphe from afar – it's especially beautiful at sunset.

Champs-Élysées in Paris

Elie Lam | Contributing Writer