Visit the Champs-Elysées Avenue in Paris
Bordered by large sidewalks, crossed by 100 millions of visitors per year (about a third of them are tourists) , it is said that the Champs-Elysees represents the « most beautiful avenue of the world ».
And the good news is that it’s a min’ close to the youth hostel in PARIS : BVJ CHAMPS-ELYSEES MONCEAU !
A place of entertainment, shopping and walks, the Champs-Elysees did not keep changing over the time . It is now considered as the main street for luxury and big brands. However, the Champs-Elysees also are a gathering place where all the Parisians meet during symbolic events.
The avenue has not always been the temple of luxury and tourism. At the begining of the 17th century , the district was just a ground made of fields and swamps outside the city. Until Marie de Medicis decided to build a sidewalk along the Seine with trees in a row : the first road of the Champs-Elysees was born.
Louis XIV later asked his gardener « Le notre » to develop this long avenue to get a direct connection between his two palaces of « Tuileries » and « Versailles ». Full of gardens the place began to attract more and more people and the Parisians start gathering there during spare time.
However, the Champs-Elysees avenue kept its rustic appearance and had a bad reputation, mainly occupied by tavern and badly known robbers.
The avenue just started to become famous from the the 19th century. Progressively, it get sidewalks, gas lighting , cafés, restaurants, concert hall and theaters The district began to attract the upper middle class people, bankers and wealthy industrialists who took place in sumptuous hotels along the avenue .
The Second Empire will give to the avenue all its elegance: the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris is at the top of its history and start becoming the fashion district. Ice rink , circus , bal , velodrome, it is the place of entertainement where Parisians are going to show off and be seen.
The 30s saw the birth of new entertainement places that are today emblematic of Paris.
We can talk about the Lido for instance, that is still hosting among the first modern shows, or the indepedent cinema Balzac (opened in 1935).
In the 60s, nightclubs and shops began to attract the hipsters of the capital.
For the past 30 years , the growing popularity of the Champs has caused an impressive rise of the real estate prices. Only a few people can afford to live on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris.
The upper floors are often occupied by the headquarters of large bankers or lawyers group .
The biggest names in the luxury and automobile industry have their store on the « Champs » : Lacoste, Hugo Boss , Louis Vuitton, Nike, Cartier, Adidas, Guerlain… In 1962 , Renault opens the Renault pub: a store of display and sale with a mezzanine restaurant.
The RER arrival simplified the access to a great number of people and brought the appearance of popular signs . The Champs-Elysees has become more than ever a central shopping artery in Paris. The entertainement is non stop with most of the shops open till midnight, Sunday included.
More than anything , the Champs-Elysees avenue remains a popular and symbolic gathering place where French people meet for historical and sporting events.
Historically , we can mention the « General Charles de Gaulle » that goes down the Champs-elysees with the government for the freedom of France in 1944.
Every year in Paris, on 14th July, the French army meets on the Champs-Elysées to celebrate the National Holiday and parade in front of the government and French people.
Every major sporting event is then entitled to its glory moment on the Champs-Elysées Avenue.
Every year, the avenue marks the final step of the ” Tour de France ” gathering all the competitors and supporters for the final sprint. In 2018, the arrival is scheduled for July 29th in the evening. To fully enjoy the show, it is recommanded to arrive just after lunch.
Recently, after the France victory at the football world cup, all Parisians took the direction of the Champs-Elysees shouting and singing to finally all gather at the bottom of the Arc de triomphe until the end of the night .
And to admire all this from above, all you have to do is climb at the top of the Arc de Triomphe.
Accessible until 23pm, you can enjoy an exceptional view of Paris, the Champs-elysees and obviously the Eiffel tour ! Finally if you are looking for a place to stay right next to the most famous avenue of Paris, come in our hostel in PARIS : BVJ Champs-Elysees, its only a few minutes walk !« Go back to news