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Paris – 8th Arrondissement
The 8th arrondissement is very popular with Right Bank visitors to the City of Light and standing on the famous Avenue des Champs-Elysées will surely bring a thrill. The most exclusive retail real estate in the world is surrounded by famous monuments, so consider a stop at a sidewalk café to recharge and take-in some people-watching before a nice long walk. Note that the avenue is lined with mostly large chain retailers now, including American brands like Banana Republic and Abercrombie & Fitch.
Start at the top of the Champs Elysées at the Arc de Triomphe. Hike to the top of Napoleon’s monumental arch and your reward is one of the most beautiful panoramic views over Paris– a true shutterbug’s delight! If you’re a couture and luxury shopper, make a detour to the Golden Triangle at avenue Montaigne, where you’ll find Fendi, Bulgari, Chanel, Hugo Boss and countless upscale boutiques ready to welcome you. Louis Vuitton and Guerlain are also gorgeous. If you keep walking down to the Seine, you’ll see the Flame of Liberty near Pont d’Alma, better known today as “Diana’s Flame” in honor of Princess Diana, who perished in the tunnel below the monument.
You’ll pass the majestic Grand Palais before arriving at the American Embassy (sorry, no tours and guards will ask you to refrain from taking photos) at the Place de la Concorde at the bottom of the avenue. Some say this open expanse, the widest square in Paris, has the best street level view of the city and we won’t argue. If you’re a Tour de France fan, you’ll recognize this view, with cyclists racing around the Corcorde Fountain on their dash up to the Arc de Triomphe. This is where the infamous guillotine drew mobs during the French Revolution, and it is here Marie-Antoinette met her fate. The Luxor Obelisk stands now on that spot, which once marked the entry to the Ammom Temple in Luxor, Egypt and a gift to France in the mid-19th century.
If you’re a shopper, continue on rue Saint-Honoré, another exclusive shopping street with brands such as Hermès, Lanvin, YSL, Versace, and many more.
Should culture be on your mind, the Paris 8th is rich with options, such as: Musée Jacquemart-André,Musée du Petit Palais, Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Musée Nissim de Camondo, Chapelle Expiatoire, and La Madeleine, where you might catch a classical concert or chorale performance.
Lead photo credit : Arc de Triomphe by Thesupermat/ Wikimedia Commons