- The Paris tourist attractions that aren’t worth a visit

ranked #6 out of 10 attractions rated 2.14 out of 5 total 360 votes

Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe)

Why the Arc de Triomphe is a Paris tourist attraction that isn’t worth a visit

Although the Arc de Triomph is “the” symbol of patriotic France, (every year a big military parade takes place from the Arc de Triomphe down the Avenue des Champ Elysees on the 14th of July, the Bastille Day, the French National Day), and you have a good sight over Paris, this tourist attraction can be easily left out during your visit in Paris.

  1. It’s quite dangerous to get there, although they have now a tunnel from the Metro to the Arc de Triomph and it’s no longer necessary to risk your life in the attempt to cross the roundabout. As you will experience the traffic in Paris is crazy!
  2. The only slightly impressive thing to see there is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the eternal flame commemorating the dead of the two world wars. The rest is more or less a shrine for Napoleon and his successful battles - on top of the Arch are 30 shields and each of them bears the name of one of Napoleon’s battles.
  3. You have to climb up quite some stairs, so you better be fit.
  4. Arch of TriumphAlthough it’s a French national symbol, it’s not really clean and quite honestly it has quite some stink there.
  5. It’s unfortunately sad but true, but the staff there at the ticket booth is quite unfriendly and you better speak some French.

We assure you, you won’t miss much, if you’re appreciate the Arch de Triomphe from a distance. Enjoy the view over Paris rather from the Eiffel Tower and save your time and money for more interesting tourist attractions.

Attraction: Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe)
Address: place Charles de Gaulle 75008 Paris
Opening hours: Days Time
October 1 - March 31 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m.
April 1 - September 30 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m.
Admission fees: Ticket type Price
Tickets €8

Rate this attraction…

  •  must see
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  •  don’t visit



  1. January 17, 2006 @ 2:15 am

    Miles said,

    I disagree!!! The view from the top of the Arc du Triomphe is fantastic. I say it’s better than from the Eiffel tower, because there’s less smog.

  2. February 15, 2006 @ 1:22 pm

    jesska said,

    i was scared walking up all those stairs to get to the top . but once i got to the top it was truly worth it

  3. November 13, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

    Roger Gauthier said,

    Let’s face it, Paris is a very big city and yes, it stinks at times in the underpass going to the Arc de Triomphe. Traffic is not “crazy”, it’s a “gyratoire” where there are many, many cars and is so big that I, for one, is not crazy enough not to take the underpass. It’s been built for that purpose, after all… If I were to underrate all monuments because of their origin or their original significance, a big number of the most beautiful monuments would go down the drain. Do Americans remember where the Statue de la Liberté, called Liberty Tower, comes from? France, of course, is a French country, and trying a few words of French here and there usually put quite a smile on people there, though I’ve seen some unfriendly fellows here and there. As in Spain, and as in the US where I o […] more

  4. December 7, 2006 @ 1:29 am

    Emma said,

    Absence diminishes small loves and increases great ones, as the wind blows out the candle and fans the bonfire

  5. December 25, 2006 @ 4:57 pm

    Bitter, Party of One said,

    I disagree with your assessment. The Arc is a MUST SEE. Yes it is dirty and yes the stairs are tough but the staff was cordial enough (even to a couple of *AMERICANS*) but the view is amazing. There is also a lift available now.

  6. January 16, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

    N.H. said,

    Not only do I disagree with this listing, but I also question how much the author of it knows about Paris. The top of the arc is an excellent place to get an elevated view of the city, though the skyline has been marred by the construction of the ’70’s, ’80’s and so on. The writer suggests that there is “now” an underground passageway, but there has been one since the 1960’s. Only an idiot would wade out into traffic at L’Etoile, although, once you get to the observation area of the ‘arc’ it’s fun to watch the idiots down below trying to weave their way through traffic. Btoom line: this is touristy but fun and often more accessible than the Eiffel Tower…. and btw, whenever one visits a foreign country some knowledge of that language is useful.

  7. February 28, 2007 @ 2:21 am

    Pheobe-Primrose said,

    it stinks it stinks it stinks waste of my leg use….. it stinks it stinks it stinks waste of my valuble “”time”" it stinks it stinks it stinks some “monument” it stinks it stinks it stinks

  8. June 23, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

    Paul said,

    TOTALLY DISAGREE with the initial assessment of the Arc De Triomphe. It is a magnificent structure. The climb to the top is worth the effort with spectacular views of the entire city as your reward. A “little effort” at speaking the language of the country you are in will go a long way to a positive response. Every person we met in France, we started with a little French - it didn’t take them long to figure out that we were not French — they all responded in English (if they were able to — and in most cases they were), and the few that did not understand English attempted to help. It really depends on “your attitude” on how they respond. I was very apprehensive at first based upon the popular believe that the French people are rude and arrogant — our experiences were totally the […] more

  9. October 10, 2007 @ 6:40 pm

    Lisa said,

    Just back from a day in Paris and must say that the Arc is much less crowded the the Eiffel Tower and is well worth the 200 + steps to the top. The views are fantastic and I found it fast and clean. After doing the Arc we walked to the Eiffel Tower. Line up was extremely long(2 hours) and as I have been up before we passed on it. Paris is a large busy city where French is the spoken language. Why do English speaking people assume that English must be spoken? Stop being ignorant and brush up on some basic French. Become a part of French culture. Do not force it to become part of yours.

  10. November 13, 2007 @ 10:25 pm

    Boo Radley said,

    The traffic is interesting to watch from the safety of the Arch (how are collisions avoided? Amazing) The stair climb was nothing compared to Notre Dame, and the museum at the top was interesting. Some fierce sculptures up there, too. Didn’t notice a stink, really. Musty, perhaps. Pretty much all the French you need is “bonjour” and “merci” anywhere you go in Paris.

  11. January 1, 2008 @ 8:48 pm

    Javed A. Bhalli, Pakistan said,

    It is a worth seeing place and view from the Arc is more fantastic than the Effile tower especially the symmetry of the streets is amazing. There are 280 steps from groud to the top, ut once you are up it is amazing and wonderful

  12. January 31, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

    IAN said,

    If Ian Was A Prankster?

  13. February 7, 2008 @ 1:48 am

    peweli said,

    The Arc is a famous and historical symbol of Paris. I’ve learned about it in school, read about it in textbooks and when we go to Paris (in a few weeks)…I would NOT skip it for the world no matter what lame reasons you may have.

  14. March 22, 2008 @ 12:52 am

    peweli said,

    Just got back from Paris and I still stand by my previous comment. Getting to the Arc was convenient and we didn’t notice a bad smell nor did we think it was dirty at all. The ticket person is just like any other ticket person we’ve encountered (you tell them what you want, they give you the price and you pay…can’t expect them to strike a conversation). The climb up the stairs was a surprise, but it was a good workout. The view from up the Arc was pretty amazing! We really enjoyed it. It would be a big miss if you skipped the Arc.

  15. April 16, 2008 @ 11:46 am

    Tayla said,

    hey, im ten years old and i totally disagree with this! I learn French at school and i think that the Arc de Tropmh is a wonderful place because it is apart of Paris! those poor family who’s dads, brothers, uncles and grandparents respect that building because of that soldier in that tomb!! this website is a waste of money and a waste of your time!!!! >=[

  16. May 8, 2008 @ 9:55 am

    Madie said,

    I have been researching the arch and I think that your assessment is quite harsh. Even if it stinks its a place to honor soldiers that made this world a more secure place for us to live. So what if it smells? You should look past that and respect the soldiers it commemorates and enjoy the wonderful view at the top.

  17. July 29, 2008 @ 6:07 pm

    kevin toft said,

    I cannot belive that the Arc De Triomphe would not be a must see. The history olone is amazing. The view from the top is the Centre of Paris rebuilt!! Sure you have to go up some narrow stairs, but hey, it’s OLD. You cannot get a beeter view of Paris and its famous streets. At night beyound belive! If you do not go you have not been to Paris.

  18. August 17, 2008 @ 12:51 pm


    When i got a glimpse of the structure, i did not think that it was just a portion. Arc De Triomphe is a part of history of the place, so, it’s also a must see. Anyway, it’s not that everyday I can visit Paris and not everybody can even visit Paris, so why not enjoy the sight! ok men?

  19. September 25, 2008 @ 6:26 pm

    MusGar said,

    Hi disagree

  20. October 23, 2008 @ 10:05 pm

    ed said,

    wow, this is why french people hate americans…

  21. October 23, 2008 @ 10:06 pm

    ed said,

    it wouldn’t hurt you to climb some stairs and learn basic french :-) … wow, this is why french people hate americans…

  22. February 4, 2009 @ 9:55 pm

    flo said,

    i disagree, this is a butiful place and the veiw is amazing!! and all you need is a little exersize to get up the stairs and a computer to translate FRENCH when BEFORE you go to FRANCE.- its commen scence

  23. June 29, 2009 @ 1:14 pm

    Ashlee said,

    I havent been to this place but i have been researching it and i would love to go there however i wouldnt like to go around the roundabout. hopefully i will e able to go soon and see this wonderful looking place

  24. December 15, 2009 @ 1:02 am

    Fred said,

    I went on top of the Arch of Triumph and I liked it, it’s another vantage point to get photographs, if it’s going to be a once in a lifetime trip do it you will wish you had also walk by some of the side street shops

  25. January 6, 2010 @ 9:46 pm

    Rochelle said,

    I was surprised to see the green side or should i say untouched part of Paris in one side here at the viewing deck. Awesome.

  26. February 11, 2010 @ 3:05 am

    Carl said,

    The arc of Triumph is Paris. Napoleon is Paris. It is well worth seeing.

  27. April 25, 2010 @ 10:48 pm

    Giseli said,

    I liking of Paris city. But the arc of Triumph is very weak.

  28. June 27, 2010 @ 3:45 pm

    Malinda said,

    Just got back from Paris, this is truly a must see. It is “easy” to get to from the Metro, you pop out and voila, you are looking right at it. The street scene in and of itself is worth looking at. It is beautiful, clean, and beautifully french. Don’t miss it!

  29. November 12, 2010 @ 6:29 pm

    The arc of triomphe paris said,

    […] Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe) - Find out why this Paris Find out why you can easily miss to climb the Arc de Triomphe at your visit in Paris. Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe) - Find out why this Paris […]

  30. November 15, 2010 @ 1:18 am

    jye said,

    i think that it is a great view and should hope fully will stay there for a very long time

  31. January 16, 2012 @ 2:02 am

    Jully said,

    Recommeneded websites […]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[…]…

  32. April 16, 2012 @ 10:50 pm

    Arch Of Triupmh – Paris | Travel Tips said,

    […] Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe) - Find out why this Paris ... : Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe) Why the Arc de Triomphe is a Paris tourist attraction that isn’t worth a visit. Although the Arc de Triomph is “the” symbol of ... […]

  33. June 5, 2012 @ 4:39 am

    Jill R. said,

    I have a picture of my granddad and his unit from WWII in front of the Arc de Triomphe. It was touching to me to see it in person. I am planning another trip to Paris soon and will definitely see it again. I love it.

  34. June 18, 2012 @ 5:38 pm

    btca said,

    This is a must see. Visited in spring 2011 and found it clean and the staff friendly. The view, below and atop the arch, is great.

  35. January 29, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

    cmac said,

    No, no - it is a MUST SEE, but one must climb to the top just before sunset. Absolutely breathtaking view of Paris - better than from the Eiffel Tower, as one poster said.

  36. February 4, 2015 @ 12:18 pm

    gurtoertil said,

    Sources […]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[…]…

  37. March 27, 2015 @ 6:18 pm

    Arch of Triumph (Arc de Triomphe) - Find out why this Paris tourist attraction isn't worth a visit said,

    amtortesdi Find out why you can easily miss to climb the Arc de Triomphe at your visit in Paris.

  38. November 30, 2016 @ 9:36 pm

    Jenny Thompson said,

    I visited Paris in June. The Arch of Triumph was well worth the time and the climb to the top.

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a comment