Welcome to my multi-part review of our summer vacation. We spent 12 days abroad, predominately in Athens and Paris (and a half day in Amsterdam before heading home). Happy to answer questions as I finish up the series. We traveled in mid-July, so right in the middle of the Athens financial crisis. Here’s most of what I expect to cover, including links to posts I’ve already completed:
- Planning Our Summer Vacation!
- British Airways First and Business Class Lounges at Philadelphia Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Philadelphia to Athens
- A Speed Bump Upon Arrival At Arion
- Arion Guest Room Review
- Arion & Westin Amenities
- Arion Restaurant Reviews
- A Quick Trip To The Acropolis And Parthenon
- Athens Metro System
- Temple of Poseidon at Sounio
- Swimming With The Fishes
- Restaurant Review: Garbi (Seafood)
- Restaurant Review: Kiku
- Our Two Favorite Restaurants In Greece
- Tips On Getting Around Athens Airport
- Flying From Athens To Paris
- Hyatt Regency Etoile Paris, Part 1
- Hyatt Regency Etoile Paris, Part 2
- Climbing the Eiffel Tower
- Arc de Triomphe
- Disneyland Paris
- A Study of Macaroons
- Various Restaurant Reviews
- Taking The Train From Paris To Amsterdam
- Sheraton Schiphol Airport
- US Airways Business Class from Amsterdam to Philadelphia
We missed the Arc de Triomphe the first time we came to Paris so we were determined to have it on the list this time. While the Arc isn’t as popular as the Eiffel Tower but I’d still advise folks to get tickets ahead of time. While the line for tickets wasn’t that long when we arrived, we still probably saved 20 minutes by purchasing tickets ahead of time. There are a number of resources to grab tickets ahead of time, but here’s where we bought ahead of time. Tickets are 12 Euro if you buy ahead of time.
You can also purchase a Paris Pass. It includes entry into a number of different Paris attractions, including the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Palace of Versailles, Notre Dame and a Seine river cruise (though not Eiffel Tower). It can be a deal at 29 Euro. We didn’t go this route but I could see it being a decent value for folks wanting to hit the top tourist attractions over the course of a few days.
When you approach the Arc, it may seem like you can just walk across the circle to gain access. Smartly, Parisian planning includes stairwells to a tunnel on either side of the Arc so you don’t have to dodge the 3 or 4 lanes of speedy traffic. If you purchased tickets ahead of time, you can proceed right by the line you’ll see underground and head right to the stairs that take you up to ground level at the base of the Arc.
While there’s an elevator the climb up to the top really isn’t that bad. 3/4 of the way up is a stopping point where there’s a small museum of Paris (and Arc) history and a gift shop.
A short climb will take you to the roof and some great views of Paris. The height doesn’t yield nearly as commanding a view of Paris as the Eiffel Tower, but it’s worth a quick stop to see this piece of history.
It’s easily accessible via the Paris Metro, with the Charles de Gaulle Etoile Metro station right underneath.