Human remains of millions of Parisians lie 135 feet underground at the Paris Catacombs (Les Catacombes). The 14th arrondissement attraction doesn't appeal to all, but for those who are interested, here’s how to make the most of this subterranean experience.
1 place du parvis de La Defense
La Défense sits at the western edge of Paris at the end of the Historical Axis, a 6-mile-long (10-km) route that stretches from the Louvre, along the Champs-Elysées, past the Arc de Triomphe, and across the Seine to La Défense.
The main attraction is the Grande Arche Paris La Defense, a cube-style contemporary structure with a rooftop observation platform that provides a different view of the city. Book admission in advance to avoid waiting in the ticket line. A few city tours might include a stop or drive through La Défense but it’s not common; if you’re interested in visiting with a guide, consider booking a private tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- La Défense is ideal for modern-art lovers and those who want to see a bit of local life in Paris away from the tourist sights.
- Parking can be difficult, so take public transport or a taxi.
- The open-air plaza around Parvis de La Défense is where you’ll find the Grand Arche, a shopping mall, and art pieces.
How to Get There
La Défense is accessible via Metro line 1 and the RER train A from La Défense station.
When to Get There
The area is at its most bustling during weekday working hours; this is the best time to visit if you’re looking to observe the everyday business vibe of Paris—much different from the historical center. The Grande Arche Promenade is open daily from late morning to mid-evening.
The Artwork More than 60 pieces of public art are on display in La Défense. Standouts include Slat by Richard Serra, Red Spider by Alexander Calder, a sculpture by Joan Miró, Fountain by Yaacov Agam, and The Dance by Shelomo Selinger.
- Things to do in Île-de-France
- Things to do in Marne-la-Vallée
- Things to do in Blois
- Things to do in Deauville City
- Things to do in Lille
- Things to do in Dijon
- Things to do in Brussels
- Things to do in Bruges
- Things to do in Zaventem
- Things to do in Luxembourg City
- Things to do in Horley
- Things to do in Nantes
- Things to do in London
- Things to do in Normandy
- Things to do in Nord-Pas de Calais
- Louis Vuitton Foundation
- Jardin d'Acclimatation
- Marmottan Monet Museum (Musée Marmottan Monet)
- Arc de Triomphe
- National Marine Museum (Musee National de la Marine)
- Architecture and Heritage City (Cite de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine)
- Palais de Chaillot
- Théatre le Ranelagh
- Stade Roland Garros
- Guimet Museum (Musée Guimet)
- Lido de Paris
- Paris Aquarium (Aquarium de Paris)
- Paris Wine Museum (Musée du Vin Paris)
- Palais de Tokyo