This famous avenue is also actually the second widest in Europe,
after the Unirii Boulevard in Bucharest, but also has chains stores like Gap, Zara and
Nike, plus a Virgin record store and a Häagen-Dazs
Ice Cream House and although there are still some really nice cafes and restaurants you will also find a McDonalds and
other fast food outlets. There are also lots of banks, car show rooms, airline
offices, cinemas, theatres and hotels situated
on the Avenue des Champs Elysees.
However, if want to visit the really famous designer stores such as Chanel, Christian
Dior, Guy Laroche, Givenchy, Cartier, Yves Saint Laurent, etc then you will need to
venture off to one of the very fashionable side streets such as the Avenue Montaigne or
the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honore, but bear in mind that a lot of stores in Paris are
closed on a Sunday.
Now when you look back at the history of the
Champs Elysees, up until the 17th century it was originally fields and market gardens,
that is until Marie de Medici decided to extend the garden axis of the Palais des
Tuileries with an avenue of trees. And then in the later part of the 1600's Andre Le
Notre, who was the garden designer for King Louis XIV, designed the avenue so that there
was a great view from the Tuileries gardens, but it didn't become the avenue as we know it
today for a very long time.
It was lengthened in the 18th century from the Place de la Concorde with its obelisk right
up to Place Charles de Gaulle, which was formerly known as Place de l'Etoile and is the
location of the famous Arc de Triomphe, although
that was not in place at the time. Now approximately two kilometres long it had
footpaths and street lighting added in around 1828 when the city of Paris took over along
with lovely fountains, yet over the years the Champs Elysees has undergone numerous
transitions and the most recent was only in 1994, when the paths were widened for the
comfort of pedestrians to be further away from the continuous traffic.
So when you are on holiday in France and have a
chance to visit the capital city Paris, one of the places you have got to see is the
incredible Champs Elysees in the 8th arrondissement, and if you start at the Paris landmark, the Arc de Triomphe, you can then walk
all the way down the avenue eventually reaching the Tuileries Gardens.
Here you can then get to see and visit another famous Paris
monument, which is The Louvre, but before
becoming one of the most famous museums in France, it
was originally was a palace prior to the construction of the Chateau de Versailles and the Tuileries gardens are
actually a part of the Musee du Louvre.
We would however like to point out that when your legs are feeling tired and your feet
hurt, it can be nice to relax with a coffee or bite to eat on one of the many cafe
terraces dotted along the Avenue des Champs Elysees, but these can be rather
expensive. So venturing off to one of the bistros or restaurants in a side street
can provide far better value for money, but again watch out as there also some very
expensive Paris restaurants in this area as
well. But if you do not need to sit down, yet feel peckish, then there are even
mobile snack bars and stalls serving beverages and burgers, etc that will not burn a hole
in your pocket.
The Champs Elysees is also great on a nice day, but with not much coverage, can be a real
drudge when it is pouring with rain, but at Christmas when the committee get together and
adorn the avenue with lots of lights, this is for us, by far the most magical time to see
one of the most famous streets in the world.