Grande Arche de la Défense
Grande Arche de la Defense, completed in 1989, is a contemporary monument standing out on the outskirts of the city of Paris.
At a distance of 4 kilometers (2 and a half miles) from the Arc de Triomphe, the monument forms a part of the perspective that runs from the Louvre to the Arc de Triomphe.
Unlike the traditional military-focused Arc de Triomphe, La Grande Arche is a late-20th-century version of the monument that represents humanitarian ideals and human progress.
Its impressive dimensions of 110 meters in height, width, and depth make it large enough to accommodate the entire Notre-Dame Cathedral within its arch.
The structure offers breathtaking panoramic views of Paris from the top, including a restaurant and an exhibition area dedicated to photojournalism.
What to expect
The Grande Arche is a remarkable architectural masterpiece that is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Paris.
Built as a projection of a four-dimensional cube, the Arche is an enormous, striking concrete wall that stands 110 meters tall and 108 meters wide.
The center is empty, and its surface is covered in glass and white Carrara marble, giving it a polished, pristine appearance.
Government offices are on the Arche’s two sides, adding to the building’s significance.
The Arche’s location is carefully chosen to form a secondary axis with two of the highest buildings in Paris at the time, the Tour Eiffel and the Tour Montparnasse.
The largest roof terrace in Paris, on the 35th floor, provides a breathtaking 360-degree view of the city and suburbs.
The terrace also doubles as an open-air sculpture museum, showcasing stunning works of art against the stunning Parisian skyline on a 1,200-square-meter area.
The exhibitions continually change, ensuring a unique experience every time you visit.
You can also enjoy traditional French dishes with a twist at the rooftop restaurant, La City.
The Grande Arche offers an unparalleled view of the Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, the Montparnasse Tower, the Vuitton Foundation, Mont Valérien, and many more.
The rooftop of the Grande Arche also offers numerous events throughout the year: open-air movie screenings, yoga at sunrise, or fashion shows.
Whether you are an architecture enthusiast, an art lover, or someone who wants to experience Paris uniquely, the Grande Arche will captivate your attention.
The view from Grande Arche
The view from the top of Grande Arche is nothing short of mesmerizing and is an excellent opportunity to take photographs and create lasting memories.
You can see the Arc de Triomphe perfectly aligned with its modern counterpart.
The view from Arc de Triomphe towards the western sides also shows the Grande Arche, contrasting beautifully with the historic architecture of Paris visible from the Arc de Triomphe.
Grande Arche hours
Grande Arche opening and closing hours are as follows.
|Grande Arche area||Opening time||Closing time|
|Promenade||10 am||7 pm|
|Photojournalism||10 am||7 pm|
|Restaurant||12 pm||3 pm|
|Snacking and cocktail||3 pm||6.30 pm|
Grande Arche opens every day from 10 am to 7 pm, from the start of September to the end of March.
However, from April to the end of August, it opens at 10 am and closes at 8 pm.
The last admission to the Promenade and Photojournalism sections occurs 30 minutes before the closing.
The in-house restaurant opens from 12 pm to 3 pm, while the snacking and cocktail sections of the Grande Arche open from 3 pm to 6.30 pm.
The duration of your visit to the Grande Arche de la Defense can vary depending on your interests.
Usually, visitors spend around one to two hours exploring the panoramic terrace and exhibition spaces of the Grande Arche.
If you wish to dine at the restaurant, it can take longer as there may be a wait for a table, especially during peak hours or on weekends.
How to get to Grande Arche
Situated on La Défense, Grande Arche lies on the outskirts of the City of Paris.
It is easily accessible by various modes of public transportation, including the metro, RER, bus, and tram.
Grande Arche Address: 1, parvis de la Défense, 92 044 Paris La Défense Cedex
How to get to Grande Arche by Metro
The nearest metro station to Grande Arche is La Défense on Metro Line 1.
This line is well-connected to several other metro lines, including 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, and 14, making reaching the Grande Arche from various parts of the city convenient.
The tramway T2 also connects to the Metro and serves the La Défense station.
How to get to Grande Arche by train
The RER A train also serves La Défense station, just a few minutes from the Grande Arche.
Other RER lines, including B, D, E, J, L, R, U, and TGV, connect to the RER A.
You can use a regular t+ ticket to access the metro, but note that this ticket is not valid for the RER A train as La Défense is outside the official city limits.
How to get to Grande Arche by bus
Bus lines serving the nearby La Défense station include 72, 73,141, 144, 157, 158, 159, 160, 163, 174, 175, 176, 178, 258, 259, 275, 176, 178 and 360
Apart from public transport, you can also book a taxi from your destination to get to Grande Arche.
Parking near Grande Arche
If you wish to arrive by car, you can use any one of the car parks available in the La Défense business district.
- Center – Grande Arche
- Coupole Regnault
- The Terraces
- Reflections / Iris
- Q-Park La Défense – Seasons
The average parking cost per hour is around €2.
Best time to visit Grande Arche De La Défense
Unlike the more traditional and well-known monuments such as the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, the Grande Arche is a more subtle and understated landmark offering a unique and less crowded experience in Paris.
The best time to visit Grande Arche De La Défense is during the spring and fall seasons, with the weather generally mild and the crowds much smaller than during the busy summer months.
Visiting the Grande Arche during the weekdays is also a good option when the area is much quieter, as most visitors are locals working there.
Things to do near Grande Arche De La Défense
While the bustling La Défense business district is known for its corporate buildings and skyscrapers, there are still plenty of things to do near Grande Arche.
One of the main attractions in the area is the La Défense shopping mall or CNIT, a four-minute walk from the Arche.
Many shops sell everything from fashion and accessories to electronics and beauty products.
More affordable than other areas of Paris, La Défense is a great place to pick up souvenirs or gifts for loved ones.
Other modern artworks in the area include Les Signaux Lumineux de Takis and After Olympia, just a two-minute walk away.
The Grande Arche De La Défense is also great for hanging out and soaking up the vibrant urban atmosphere.
Its modern architecture makes it a great place to experience a different side of Paris, away from the typical tourist hotspots.
Best hotels near Grande Arche De La Défense
There are plenty of great hotel options near Grande Arche to choose from.
Located just minutes from the monument, the hotels offer a comfortable stay with all modern amenities in the bustling La Défense district.
One of the most popular options for travelers looking for luxury accommodations is the Pullman Paris La Defense, with spacious rooms, stunning city views, and a range of amenities, including a fitness center, sauna, and restaurant.
The Hilton Paris La Defense is another great choice, offering elegantly decorated rooms, an on-site restaurant/bar, and a 24-hour fitness center.
The citizenM Paris La Defense is an excellent choice for a more modern and affordable option, offering compact yet stylishly designed rooms, high-tech amenities, and a vibrant atmosphere.
The Novotel Paris La Defense and the Renaissance Paris La Defense Hotel are other great options, both offering comfortable rooms and on-site dining options.
Best restaurants near Grande Arche De La Défense
If you’re looking for a bite to eat near the Grande Arche De La Défense, there are a few dining options to consider.
Le Faubourg La Défense is a great choice for seafood and meats. The Crêperie de l’Ancienne Poste is a charming spot with delicious French specialties for a relaxed lunch or dinner.
If you’re looking for vegetarian options, Le Paradis du Fruit and Quinte & Sens are excellent choices. Le Paradis du Fruit offers a wide variety of fruit-based dishes, smoothies, and salads, while Quinte & Sens serves healthy food in a relaxed atmosphere.
For something a little different, Hanoi Ca Phe is a popular Vietnamese restaurant offering authentic Vietnamese cuisine.
Another option is a quick meat of burritos, tacos, or bowls at Chipotle Mexican Grill, the popular chain restaurant.
Grande Arche De La Défense tickets
To save time and avoid long queues, we recommend you buy a Grande Arche ticket online in advance.
The Grande Arche rooftop admission ticket includes access to the panoramic terrace with stunning views of Paris, the restaurant, and the open-air exhibition area.
The ticket prices are as follows:
Adult ticket (19 and above): €16 (US $17)
Child ticket (3 to 18 years): €8 (US $9)
Infant (below 3 years): Free admission
If you’re looking for a thorough experience of the La Défense area, purchase a private La Défense walking tour and discover the hidden gems of this unique part of Paris.
Led by a knowledgeable guide, with an option of several languages, this tour allows you to explore the dynamic urban landscape, architecture, and modern art masterpieces.
You can also buy the Paris city pass that offers access to over 35 attractions and tours in and around Paris for 2 or 3 days.
With a digital guide and map included, the pass is perfect for those exploring the city independently.
Is the Grande Arche worth it?
As a significant modern architectural landmark, the Grande Arche De La Défense is impressive, and the panoramic views from the top are breathtaking.
The stunning design of the structure and its sheer size make it a must-see attraction for architecture enthusiasts and anyone interested in modern art and design.
How long does it take to visit the Grande Arche de la Defense?
It can take between 30 minutes to two hours, depending on what you wish to experience at the monument.
If you only want to take a quick look at the view from the top of the monument, it may take only around 30 minutes.
If you want to explore the exhibitions and savor a meal at La City, it could take up to two hours or more.
Featured Image: Tripadvisor.in