The Champs-Élysees is one of Paris’s most vibrant, beautiful avenues that anyone who visits Paris simply has to experience. Commonly referred to as “La Plus Belle Avenue du Monde” the most beautiful avenue in the world, the Champs-Élysees today is a highly famous Parisian attraction, a very long way from the empty fields it originated from. The Champs-Élysees is just over a mile long, and 70 m wide, running in between place de la Concorde and place Charles de Gaulle, right up to the Arc de Triomphe.
Originally just a part of the fields that surrounded Paris, the Champs-Élysees was lined out in 1616 when Marie de Medicis decided to line a path with trees on the east side of the Tuileries palace. It was remodeled in 1967 by the famous landscape designer Andre le Notre, resulting in the Jardins des Tuileries (Gardens of the Tuileries) being extended. It was known as the “Grand course” (the great course) or as the “Grand Allée du Roule” (the great alley of the road) and had become highly fashionable despite still being isolated from the city. Around 30 years later it was renamed the Champs-Élysees, which in English means Elysian Fields, making reference to the greek mythological term “Elusia” meaning resting place of the heroes. Since the original plantation of the trees, the avenue has been renovated multiple times, most recently in 1994 resulting in what can be visited in Paris today.
As a beautiful symbol of Paris, the Champs-Élysees is visited by over 100 million people a year of which 30 million are from around the world. It hosts many events throughout the year including the Bastille Military day Parade, which takes place on the 14th of July, and the finish line of the famous ‘Tour de France’. It also features a most spectacular display of festive lights during the Christmas season, so if you’re a festive season lover, December would definitely be the time to visit the magical avenue. As a diverse, free of charge tourist destination there is something for everyone. Whether you are interested in mainstream fashion or authentic French fashion there are stores and boutiques that will appeal to you. There are multiple small rustic cafés and fancy restaurants that will satisfy anyone’s preferences. There are night clubs to enjoy in the evenings and elite museums such as Le Grand Palais and Le Pétit Palais to enjoy art and culture during the day. Every first Sunday of the month the wonderful Champs-Élysees becomes a safe zone for pedestrians and cyclists as it is closed down in a bid to reduce pollution, this coincides with the free admission to the museums which only means the avenue will be buzzing with people. On the 9th of June 2016 it was announced that anyone on the stretch of the Champs-Élysees would have full, free access to broadband Wi-Fi allowing people on the stretch to communicate with others easily, do transactions and even allowing you to enjoy social media, sharing your experiences with all your friends across the world. The Champs-Élysees is one of the best Parisian tourist places to visit.