FRANCE: Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe

Paris France Arc de TriompheParis France Eiffel TowerThere is no question that the two most iconic structures in Paris, France are Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. No Paris vacation will be complete without visiting both the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe. Not only that they are they symbol of Paris but they are also both architectural wonders. Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe are not your typical look-and-go type of structures. You need to stare of it for a while to be able to appreciate their beauty. For tourists, seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe with your own eyes completes the realization that you really are in Paris.

Paris France Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro
View of Eiffel Tower from Trocadéro
Paris France Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars
View of Eiffel Tower from Champ de Mars
There are many places in Paris where you can catch a great view of the Eiffel Tower. The two most popular however are Champ de Mars and Trocadéro. Champ de Mars is the garden right across the Eiffel Tower while Trocadéro is an espalande with a view deck and garden at the other side of the Seine River opposite to the Eiffel Tower.

Paris France Eiffel TowerBoth Champ de Mars and Trocadéro are easily accessible from the Champ de Mars - Tour Eiffel RER Station. The only RER line that stops in the station is RER C. If you are taking the Metro, then get to École Militaire Station for Champ de Mars, and Trocadéro Station for Trocadéro. You can also walk right under the Eiffel Tower and ride the elevator to get to its observatory. Beware of the long line though that could take at least a couple of hours of your vacation time and if you want to avoid the line and have priority, you have to book in advance and pay a higher price. We did not bother doing this because just as we learned in Tokyo, we enjoyed the Tokyo Tower more while we were in Seaside Top in Hamamatsucho Station than being in Tokyo Tower's observatory itself because obviously, you cannot see the Tower while you are in the Tower.

Paris France Arc de TriompheThe Arc de Triomphe is a massive structure right in the middle of a wide roundabout that connects twelve main roads. It was built as a memorial for French soldiers who fought and died during the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Beneath the Arc de Triomphe also lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from World War I. The tomb features an eternal flame to remember the dead who were never identified, now for both World War I and World War II.

Paris France Arc de TriompheArc de Triomphe is easily accessible by train since it has a station for both RER and Metro train lines. The station name for both RER and Metro is Charles de Gaulle - Étoile Station. From Arc de Triomphe, you can also walk to one of the main street that ends in it which is Champs-Elysées. It is a street known for its outlet stores that sells expensive name brand apparel and accessories. Also along Champs-Elysées Avenue are expensive restaurants which are known and marked as tourist traps that should be avoided by any tourists traveling on a budget.