Arc de triomphe

Oct 14th, 2002, 10:55 AM
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Arc de triomphe

Hi! How do you rate going to the top of the arc? We're planning on visiting it, but it might be before it is open to go up to the top. Should we change plans or just enjoy the sculture at sunrise? We will be seeing Paris from the top of the Eiffel, Sacre Coeur, and Pompidou as well, if that makes any difference in your answers. Also, about how long does it take to walk down the champs-elysees (No shopping included!)
Oct 14th, 2002, 11:15 AM
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It's kind of neat to go to the top; there's a museum just before you go out onto the roof, You walk up an enclosed circular staircase to reach the top. The view showcases how the streets are laid out; you're at the centre of the wheel..we have some amusing video footage of cars jockeying for position as they enter and leave the circular road around the base. Stupid us...we didn't realize there was an underground passageway to get you across the lanes of traffic!! As to hw long it takes to walk the Champs Elysees; well, guess it depends how fast you walk and how many windows draw you over for a look. To walk from the Arc de Triomphe to the Louvre as a leisurely pace would probably take about an hour. It's a lovely stroll past shops, then park area; lots of benches, snack kiosks, along the way.
Oct 14th, 2002, 01:11 PM
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Linda is quite right. You get an excellent view and insight from the top of the Arc into how the city of Paris is laid out. However, compared to other vantage points, it's not the be-all, end-all experience.
Oct 14th, 2002, 01:18 PM
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My husband and I just returned from Paris and the top of the Arche was one of our surprise highlights of our trip! We absolutely loved seeing the boulevards radiate out from the Arche (we also had amazing and clear weather this day). We made a game out of trying to spot buildings, gardens and monuments. We also did Pompidou (our second favorite), Sacre Coeur (not big fans - be careful of the sketchy crowds) - and skipped the Tour Eiffel (too crowded). I highly recommend the Arche!
Oct 14th, 2002, 01:58 PM
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I highly recommend going to the top at night.

We did that on our first trip to Paris in '98 and have a drop-dead terrific picture of us with the lit up Tower in the background. I have that pic. pasted in my wallet (over my lic.) and I get more compliments on it. People ask me if it's one of those "fake" pictures from a computer! Not!

Go there and watch the sunrise, then go back for sunset.
Oct 14th, 2002, 02:31 PM
mary kay
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Our group of 6 adults rated the trip to the top of the Arc, and the view, as one of our top experiences while in France. We went in the evening and everything twinkled like fairyland! The cars below looked like carnival bumper cars.

Be sure to take the underground passage and don't try to cross over multiple lanes of traffic!
Oct 15th, 2002, 03:39 AM
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You get great views of paris from the roof terrace of the Samaritaine department store (on Rue de Rivoli) - and it's free to go up there!!
Oct 16th, 2002, 07:09 AM
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We really enjoyed going to the top of the Arc. We actually enjoyed it more than the Eiffel Tour as it did not seem so crowded. It was a beautiful, warm day and the view was excellent!
Oct 16th, 2002, 09:04 AM
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I enjoyed the view but am curious. No one complained about climbing up all those stairs. Am I the only idiot who doesn't know about an elevator? I was quite tired climbing all the stairs; I think it was equivelent to 16 flights!!!

But, I would do it again; I just wouldn't take my 65 year old father up again.
Oct 16th, 2002, 10:52 AM
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I agree, the stairs can be knee-killers. It wasn't so bad for me on the way up, but the way down was hard. As for the elevator, the first time we visited the AdT, we took the elevator up. But on our most recent climb up the Arc, the elevator was restricted to people over 75 (!!) or the handicapped. Maybe the policy has changed again to be a little kinder to aging knees.
BTilke (Brussels)
Oct 17th, 2002, 12:14 AM
Napoleon fan
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The top of the L'Arc de Triomphe offers a nice overview of Paris. It is not one of the "usual" places that tourists all flock to for a view, so it is not as crowded as, say, the Eiffel Tour, or Samartin dept store, etc. Along the way up, you can see the historical museum and there is a gift shop for souvenirs.

As far as the Champs Elysees is concerned, it depends on where you are starting. It is very conceivable to walk it in about 30-40 minutes' time without stopping and shopping.
Oct 17th, 2002, 01:05 AM
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I was in the top of Eifeel tower and Arc de triomph and I found the sight seeing from the Arc more enjoyable.


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