1. Place De La Concorde / Avenue Des Champs Élysées
I would definitely recommend visiting La Tour but not necessarily for the views from the platforms as it’s quite cold up there and, actually, the views as you ascend and descend in the glass elevators are far more spectacular. They’re warm, colourful, panoramic, and you can see everything from the teal blue waters of La Seine to the magnificent gold roof of Les Invalides, glistening in the sunlight. The view looking up at La Tour as you queue below is also impressive – it has a powerfully imposing, masculine and industrial quality. Then, as you’re exploring the rest of Paris, try to walk a different route everyday so that you get to see La Tour from different angles, explore new shops and have a fantastic adventure. Sometimes, it's easy to stick to what we know but, by doing so, who knows what you might be missing out on?!
Some great views can be seen from Avenue Anatole France in Champ de Mars Park, Pont D’Alma Bridge and, of course, from unexpected glimpses, beautifully framed by the Parisian side streets as you’re walking along.
The iconic Pont Alexandre III Bridge is only moments away so, if you do visit La Tour, don’t forget to take a detour to the bridge.
3. L'Arc De Triomphe
L'Arc de Triomphe is one of Paris’s most famous landmarks. Built in the early 1800’s as a symbol of powerful unity in response to the political changes and power struggles of the time (e.g. the French Revolution and Napoleonic War, among others), it stands proudly in the center of the Place Charles de Gaulle, on the western side of the Champs Élysées.
What makes L’Arc so interesting is that it’s so much more than just an arc. The outside is covered in majestic sculptures of heroically nude French youths against the bearded German warriors in chainmail; representing the triumphant, patriotic message that ‘We are French; we are proud to be French; and we will stand and fight triumphantly, together as Frenchmen’ – a sentiment that has clearly stood the test of time! (… ask Chef Christian Le Squer!) Then, as you venture inside, you’ll notice that the design itself is full of historical and personal sentiment. The interior wall, for example, is beautifully inscribed with the names of the generals and wars that were fought; and the ground below is home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier who lost his life in World War 1, as represented by the Memorial Flame – an ever-burning flame on the floor of L'Arc.
In fairness, L’Arc de Triomphe is not the most exciting place to visit but it’s certainly impressive; so if you are visiting Paris, it’s worth visiting for a stop-off, even if you don’t stay for long.