The broad pavements and wide expanse of this avenue, which sweeps majestically down from the Arc de Triomphe to the place de la Concorde, no longer exude the glamour of times gone by. Although one of the places dreamed about by visitor’s to Paris, it proves a disappointment in today’s age of fast food and shopping malls. Its best feature remains a string of large-scale cinemas showing the latest releases, hard to beat for their comfort.
You can thank Marie de Médicis, wife of Henri IV, for turning it into a fashionable driweway in 1616. Then thank the landscape designer, Le Nôtre, for the gracious alleys of trees and gardens leading from the Concorde that, by 1707, had earned the avenue its name : Elysian Fields. It was in 1824 that the avenue became structured with pavements and fountains, soon crowded with cafés and restaurants and a very swish clientele. Various Universal Exhibitions helped to increase its popularity, particularly in 1900, when the Grand Palais and Petit Palais sidled up together.

You can use the Opentour Paris bus pass to discover the city for one or two days. You can buy your Opentour Paris Hop On/Off in advance and have it delivered to your home, your hotel, or a convenient pickup location in Paris if you’re renting an apartment.