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Arc de Triomphe

We are seniors in reasonably good physical shape. We'd like to walk to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. Any feedback from folks who have done it would be welcome. We'll be in Paris the week of 9/14.

Posted by
8293 posts

As Yosemite says, there is an elevator but you need to ask the attendant for "permission" to use it.

Posted by
2261 posts

It's a piece of cake, if you can catch the flame lighting ceremony it's quite nice, and happens each evening at 1830. Terrific views from the top!

Posted by
5059 posts

Definitely worth it -- perhaps the best views in Paris as one can see the Eifel tower from a totally different perspective.

Posted by
37 posts

I'm thinking the staircase is stone and fairly narrow, but there is no reason you can't take the stairs if you normally use stairs. There are just more of them! We saw people who had stopped and rested, so so you can feel comfortable pacing yourselves.

Posted by
16 posts

You can do it. My parents used the elevator when my mother's ankle was bothering her. you have to ask as the elevator is mainly for those who can not climb the stairs. You mentioned being in reasonably good shape so I'm guessing you'll be fine. AND the effort is well worth the view. Been a few years since I walked up it but as someone else mentioned I think you can rest on the level with the gift shop before going to the top.

Posted by
2147 posts

There are about 285 steps, but they are wide and there's no crowding or pushing. There are benches where you can stop to take a break. Don't count on taking the elevator. We were there in May and it was shut down at 7 pm. Not sure if there is a scheduled shut-down time. Nice views, good photos!

Posted by
7078 posts

I did it 3 years ago at age 67 and not in very good shape. It wasn't bad at all. I also did the Notre Dame tower that year and that was much worse. Both were worth the climb.

Posted by
1540 posts

When I was there in Feb. everyone was using the elevator. At the top of the elevator there are still a few steps to go to the outside deck. The views are amazing !!!

Posted by
45 posts

I will be 71 tears old when I visit Paris in September. Can I get permission to use the elevator on the Arc de Triomphe?

Posted by
5697 posts

I was insulted the first time I was asked if I wanted to use the elevator, and took the stairs up at 60 -- last year it was "oui, merci!" One flight of narrow steps after the elevator, but great views from the top ! (NO views from the top of the elevator, though)

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks for your info. We will definitely put this on our to do list for our trip.

Posted by
1 posts

We are traveling to Paris Nov 4-8. I noticed that we cannot find an open tour, as-if that is prudent or recommended, until Nov 29, but can we still access the Arc, and stairs to the top with a standard museum/monument entry fee?

Posted by
2261 posts

Jim-yes, you can just show up, pay your entry, and climb up to the top, no tour necessary.

Enjoy!

Posted by
23 posts

I am 64, husband is 67. I'm in pretty good shape - I do work out. Husband does not. neither of us have any heart or lung problems. I sprained my ankle 4 weeks before climbing the Arc. I think there are 287 steps? We live in Florida - no hills anywhere and no steps to climb anywhere we go. We both did fine this summer. Able to climb the whole distance without stopping. Our Rick Steves tour guide wasn't surprised that the elevator was "out of order" - he said 75% of the time it is out of order. We also climbed plenty of hills on our RS "Paris and Heart of France" tour, including to our hotel room at the top of Mont St-Michelle.

Posted by
703 posts

We used the elevator in May. We didn't have to ask but were asked if we would have any issues with all the steps. Both in our 60s so it was very nice not to have to climb all those steps.

Posted by
11294 posts

I loved the view from the top of the Arc de Triomphe so much, I went up twice - once each by day and by night. Of course, the fact that it's free with the Paris Museum Pass had something to do with that. So, if you're getting the Pass, be sure to go up the Arc on a day when your pass is active.