The Champs-Élysées has been called la plus belle avenue du monde ("the most beautiful avenue in the world").
The wide stretch of Parisian pavement connecting Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe is more than a thoroughfare. The Avenue des Champs-Élysées is France’s main artery. Just over a mile long, the boulevard passes art galleries and museums, cinemas and boutiques, bronze statues of French heroes, and manicured horse-chestnut trees.
On this fashionable street, you’ll wander past high-end shops that live up to their prestigious addresses as well as sidewalk cafés where locals sit for hours nursing a single coffee. Pop into Swarovski to see crystal jewelry at diamond prices, plus trinkets that range from reasonable to “you don’t want to know.” Or stop by the Peugeot showroom to browse all manner of flashy cars—modern, vintage, and toy—as well as unexpected items such as precision-made pepper mills.
And there’s no better place for people-watching. From one end of the avenue to the other, you’ll see socialites, fashion models, and lucky visitors just like you.
Photography courtesy of Simon Laird/Wikimedia
This article was first published in May 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.