The 8th arrondissement is one of the most famous districts of Paris, but there’s so much more to the area than designer stores and the Arc de Triomphe. From scientific museums to stunning nights of Parisian cabaret, see Culture Trip’s recommendations for how to spend a day on the Champs-Élysées.
Start your day with petit dejeuner (breakfast) at Bread & Roses. With a small but delicious breakfast menu, focused mainly on specialities from their boulangerie, it’s a perfect place to take in the famous cobblestone streets before the crowds of people take them over. The croissants and brioche are particular crowd-pleasers.
See the best views of Paris at the Arc de Triomphe
If you want to see the Arc de Triomphe – it’s probably one of the main reasons you’re headed to the Champs-Élysées – head over when access opens to the public at 10am. For a small fee and the effort of climbing up 280 stairs, you’ll gaze upon one of the best panoramic views in Paris. If you’re not into heights, there’s still plenty to see at ground level. The four pillars depict some of France’s greatest military victories, and you’ll be able to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lit by an eternal flame.
Indulge in some retail therapy
While there’s plenty of shopping to be done on the Champs-Élysées, the stores are less quirky Parisian boutiques and more huge versions of chain stores. However, there are some standouts: the massive flagship Sephora, the Guerlain store, which has been on the Champs-Élysées since 1914, and Ladurée for those with a sweet tooth – expect to wait in line though if you want to dine in the iconic mint-green restaurant. It’s also worth swinging past the Louis Vuitton store, which is listed as a historical monument – there’s always a fantastic window display (though, again, be prepared to wait in line if you actually want to enter the store).
Take in an exhibition
After lunch, take a break from shopping to give your wallet a little bit of relief and expand your senses by checking out a museum or two. Le Grand Palais and Le Petit Palais are both within walking distance, as is the Palais de la Découverte, a museum focused on science with interactive displays that are fun for all ages. In 2000, Le Grand Palais was designated a historic monument, and it hosts many exhibitions, including the Chanel fashion shows.
For a spectacular dinner sans showgirls, go for a decadent meal at Le Fouquet’s. A real Paris institution, the brasserie, founded in 1889, hosts dinner for the Cesar Awards every year. Though the menu is on the pricier side, the restaurant is known for serving delicious food like Fouquet’s devilled eggs, served with avocado and tuna. However, make sure you book well in advance!
If you’re searching for an affordable meal on the Champs-Élysées, swing by Doobie’s, which serves a small menu of Parisian staples like beef carpaccio and magret de canard. The restaurant turns into a cosy late-night hang-out spot at midnight when a DJ takes to the decks.
The Freedom Pub may not be as upscale as some of the other bars on the Champs-Élysées, but it should be your go-to place if you’re after a fun, unpretentious night out. The English-style pub is an ideal spot to visit with a group of friends for a couple of beers. Serving up traditional pub food, it offers a selection of burgers and beers from different parts of the world.
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