Discover and visit Paris La Défense

Discover and visit Paris La Défense © Benedite Topuz

Paris La Défense is a district straddling several towns in the Hauts-de-Seine, it is also a business district, the first in Europe and the fourth in the world.

It is a meeting place for thousands of people who, every day, go to work in one of the countless towers or the Arche de La Défense, stroll along the esplanade to discover the artworks that line it or go shopping in one of the two emblematic places of the business district, CNIT and Westfield Les 4 Temps, which welcome more than 63 million visitors a year.

It will take you more than a day to visit the business district, starting from the access to the roof of the Grande Arche, which is 110 metres high and offers a panoramic view of the streets of the capital. Once your feet are back on the ground, you can visit Paris La Défense Art Collection, which offers more than 60 artworks from the 20th and 21st centuries with free access, and then stroll through the André Malraux Park and its 25 hectares of greenery designed by the landscape gardener Jacques Sgard or admire the view from the Japan Bridge pedestrian footbridge.

As lunch time approaches, go to one of the countless restaurants along your route or, for those who wish to have a quick lunch in the open air, to one of our famous Food Trucks which you will find at the Grande Arche, Place de la Défense, Bassin de Takis and Cours Valmy.

Afterwards, all that's left for you to do is stroll through the Westfield Les 4 Temps shopping centre, which includes fashion, electronics and multimedia, interior design and much more.

You can end your day on the 19th floor of Hotel Meliá, with the panoramic view of the Skyline Lounge Bar, which, thanks to its rooftop concept, allows you to enjoy a selection of cocktails and tapas while admiring the setting sun. All that remains for you to do is to relax in one of the hotels in the La Défense district, including the Hilton Hotel at the foot of the Grande Arche, to recover from a busy day.

Geographical location of the district and history

Paris La Défense straddles four communes: Courbevoie, Puteaux, Nanterre and La Garenne-Colombes. The district of La Défense is located in the extension of the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées. The Arc de Triomphe can be seen from the esplanade. It is the historic route of Paris, or Voie Royale, it crosses the west of Paris from the Louvre to part of the Hauts-de-Seine. And if one were to draw a line of the Voie Royale on a map, it would start from the equestrian statue of Louis XIV, in the Napoleon courtyard of the Louvre, to pass through the Tuileries garden, the Place de la Concorde, the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, the Arc de Triomphe, the Avenue de la Grande Armée, then cross Neuilly-sur-Seine and reach La Défense.

Between architecture and living space

The birth of this business district is seen as a unique urban development project. The geometry of the buildings and the symmetry of the lines are worth the diversion: it is a true architectural wealth where the eye will be surprised to capture the decor through reflections, colours and shapes, where atmosphere and light dance through the day offering an atypical spectacle.

Architects, town planners and landscape designers have turned these spaces into a place where the minerality of the buildings, green gardens, forecourts, esplanades, fountains and artwork blend in with the minerality of the buildings, offering the thousands of people who pass through here every day a pleasant, peaceful and dynamic place to live, where you can walk around on foot, without cars or noise pollution.

How to get to Paris La Défense?

All the roads lead to La Défense as the service is so optimised: RER, metro, bus, road network, easily transport pedestrians. There are numerous car parks for cars and recharging facilities for electric vehicles. Bicycles and other scooters have their own spaces dedicated to traffic and parking.

Let's not forget that La Défense is the largest pedestrian area in Europe, and a pedestrian area means priority for pedestrians! A real guide to cohabitation between pedestrians and two-wheeled vehicles has therefore been put in place to make it easier for everyone to move around in complete safety and to share the public space in a respectful manner.

Paris La Défense in figures

View of La Défense from the Arc de Triomphe

Paris La Défense in figures

The key figures for the Paris La Défense area are synonymous with immoderation, both in terms of the total surface area of its offices, with more than 3.7 million sq.m., and with its 63 million visitors per year in one of the largest shopping centres in Europe, its 300 brands and 60 bars and restaurants, reflecting its dynamism. All this on 566 hectares of developed space, including 31 hectares of pedestrian areas.

CNIT 1967 © Archives of Paris La Défense

The Cnit at La Défense in 1967 © Archives of Paris La Défense

The history of Paris La Défense

The history of this district in the west of Paris, "unlike any other", began in 1958. At first, what was only the Centre National des Industries et Techniques, the CNIT, was to become a few years later, the first business district in the Paris region, along with the La Défense district, before being named, in 2018, Paris La Défense.

Paris La Défense Information Centre

L'Espace info Paris La Défense, located 15 place de La Défense

Our reception area

You are here! 📍 Are you looking for a company? Would you like to take part in a forum, attend a congress or a trade fair? The Espace Info Défense is there to help you find your way around, to provide you with documentation, maps and guides, an agenda of key events and to answer all your questions.

From Monday to Friday: 9:00 am to 6:00 pm

During the COVID-19 period, the information area is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays.

A Food Truck from Paris La Défense on the Parvis

A Food Truck from Paris La Défense on the Parvis © Carlos Ayesta

Our Food Trucks

The Food Trucks of Paris La Défense are a delight for the employees of the surrounding offices, residents, but also tourists and visitors passing through. You will find them at the Grande Arche, Place de La Défense, Bassin Takis and Cours Valmy from Monday to Friday. In one of our famous Food Trucks or Coffee Trucks, you can have lunch or a coffee on the go.

Paris La Défense's projects

Aerial view of Paris La Défense © Philippe Guignard

The projects of Paris La Défense

As the architect François Leclerq put it so well, "A finished city is a city that does not renew itself, that dies". On the contrary, Paris La Défense is constantly renewing itself! With new projects and the continuous renovation of its towers, a symbol of its attractiveness and economic development, Paris La Défense is "living" in a real sustainable development approach.

The towers of Paris La Défense

View of the Skyline from Suresnes © 11h45

The towers of Paris La Défense

One cannot evoke Paris La Défense without mentioning its towers. Among them, the First tower culminates at more than 231 metres, which makes it today the highest skyscraper in France in front of the Montparnasse tower.

The artwork of Paris La Défense

Calder's Araignée Rouge [Red Spider], one of La Défense's many artworks © 11h45

The artworks of Paris La Défense

Under the direction of architects, town planners and artists, Paris La Défense exposes itself to everyone under the sign of culture. In addition to the monuments (the Grande Arche and the CNIT), no less than 60 artworks representing the various major artistic currents are exhibited in the open air and accessible to all. It is a genuine artistic and historical journey highlighting our unique cultural heritage.

The green spaces of Paris La Défense

The Place Basse, on the General de Gaulle esplanade

The green spaces of Paris La Défense

The district is home to numerous green spaces organised into different plant areas spread throughout the district. Paris La Défense continues to create parks and gardens to make its public spaces ever more comfortable for all users, but also to limit heat islands and combat global warming. The district also houses shared gardens open to local residents and employees.

Shopping and emblematic places

Westfield Les 4 Temps shopping centre

Shopping and emblematic places

With over 63 million visitors a year and more than 140,000 sq. m. of retail space in the heart of La Défense, the main Westfield Les 4 Temps shopping centre and the CNIT, two emblematic shopping venues, will appeal to window-shoppers and weekend strollers. Discover a wide range of brands, retailers, restaurants, cinemas, hypermarkets and a panel of increasingly innovative and personalised services in an elegant and spacious setting with numerous activities...