Shimmering glass-and-steel skyscrapers tower over La Defense. The purpose-built business district is home to some of the tallest high-rise buildings in Paris and is lined with banks, blue-chip companies and financial services firms. Beyond business, you’ll find amazing outdoor art installations, leafy parks and a dizzying rooftop observation deck.
Things to do in La Défense
Business isn’t the only thing on the agenda in La Defense. The district features a permanent open-air art exhibition featuring dozens of contemporary sculptures and street murals. Highlights include a larger-than-life thumb by famous French sculptor César Baldaccini, colourful figures by Catalan painter Joan Miro and a magnificent fountain designed by Israeli artist, Yaacov Agam.
Grande Arche de la Défense soars more than 100 metres over the district. It was built in 1989 to mark the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution and features a striking granite-and-marble frame wrapped in glass. Enjoy sweeping views over Paris from the rooftop observation deck. It’s easy to spot iconic landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and Louvre.
Escape the urban scene in André Malraux Park. The 25-hectare park was laid out in the 1970s and features winding paths and grassy picnic lawns. Relax under the shade of leafy maple trees and watch ducks swim around the pond.
Browse more than 200 fashion and specialty stores in Quatre Temps. The mall is one of the biggest in Paris and features a mix of French favourites and international brands. Catch a film at the cinema and enjoy everything from burgers to bubble tea in the food court.
Food trucks lend a unique flavour to La Defense. Queue up with local office workers and order “galettes bretonnes” savoury crepes, gourmet sandwiches and colourful salads. Enjoy contemporary French cuisine at chic bistros and gastropubs geared towards executives.
Getting around La Défense
La Defense is pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. Choose from several public transport options, including metro and overland trains, buses and trams. The district is a 30-minute drive from Central Paris and Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.