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The Champs Elysees Avenue In Paris

We are sure that you have heard of the Champs Elysees, which is actually the most prestigious and broadest avenue in Paris, but its official name, the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, is very popular with the rich and famous for a shopping trip with its luxury speciality shops and fantastic cafes.

But known as the most beautiful avenue in the world, it is not just a place for the rich, any visitor to Paris should not miss taking a walk along this tree lined avenue, where it plays host to numerous special occasions including the finish of the famous Tour de France, and the military parades held on Bastille Day, which are the largest parades in Europe. 

Did you realise that after New York City's Fifth Avenue, the Champs Elysees is the second most expensive strip of real estate in the world with rent being as high as ?600,000 or more per year for only a space of around 100 square metres, so you can no doubt imagine why there are famous names such as Guerlain Parfumerie with its beautiful curved stairacase and turn of the century elegance, Laduree tearoom, the Lido, which is famous for its risque shows and the Louis Vuitton flagship store.

The Champs Elysees Avenue In Paris
The Champs Elysees Avenue

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 H?agen-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.

Champs Elysees Avenue

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