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Paris/La Défense

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Paris : La Défense
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Paris/La Défense

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La Défense is the modern high-rise and office-tower district of Paris, located beyond the arrondissements of central Paris at the start of the western outskirts of the city, beyond the last Parisian loop of the river Seine. La Défense is the site of the Grande Arche, one of Paris' most modern and imposing landmarks, situated at the western end of the grand axis formed by the Champs-Elysées, the Place de la Concorde and the Arc de Triomphe.

La Défense is a purpose-built business district; in the 1960s, Charles de Gaulle led an effort to level the area and concentrate skyscrapers in a single business district, rather than altering the character of downtown Paris with large commercial buildings.

Paris/La Defense
La Defense, Paris

Get in


By Métro

  • Grande Arche de la Défense (ligne 1, and RER line A)
  • Esplanade de la Défense (ligne 1)

By Train

La Défense can be reached on RER A, station Grande Arche de la Défense (note: Metro station is in zone 2, but RER station is in zone 3)


Grande Arche
  • Skyscrapers in all shapes and forms. Driving - and walking - around the area can be visually stimulating, if you find pleasure in modern glass-and-steel construction.
  • The Grande Arche de la Defense, a high-rise building that reminds more of a hollow cube than an arch per se, has a viewing platform on its top. Entrance fee is € 7.50; this does include the varying small art exhibitions of more or less unknown artists on the upper floor as a "bonus". Definitely recommended for the view. Lines tend to be short.

For shopping, the "Quatre Temps" shopping mall, which when constructed was the largest shopping centre in Europe, has numerous big name as well as small stores, as well as a supermarket grocery store, and is accessible from an entrance to the left of the "Grande Arche" or via the metro station.

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