La Défense in Paris is Europe's largest business district. Les Quatre Temps, La Défense shopping mall, is the second biggest in France. La Défense is also an open air museum of modern sculpture and architecture worth visiting. Paris business.Booking.com
La Défense near Paris is Europe's largest business district with 3 million m2 of offices and shopping centers. 180 000 employees work in skyscrapers, 45 000 students study, 42 000 people live in La Défense, this very modern district five kilometers west of the Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysées.
The systematic development of La Défense by EPAD, a public organisation, in the perspective of the Champs-Elysées from 1958 until today is a typical example of parisian planned urban development. As a result, most skyscrapers in Grand Paris are concentrated in La Défense.
The second biggest shopping mall in France, Les Quatre Temps has 220 stores, 48 restaurants, 24 movie theaters.
Many French and international brands are represented. Les Quatre Temps are open 10am to 8pm Monday to Sunday. The spectacular CNIT building is an extension to Les Quatre Temps. Paris metro: 5' from La Défense Grande Arche metro station plus 10' to the city by the metro. Locate Les Quatre Temps on Paris map.
With 500 companies and company headquarters including those of multinational companies Axa, Cap Gemini, EDF, Engie, Saint-Gobain, Societé Générale, Suez, Total Energies and Thales, La Défense is the largest business district in the city and a first class European economic powerhorse.
A pedestrian district with underground car traffic, La Défense displays splendid architecture, including the famous CNIT and the Grande Arche, a huge white arch in the perspective of Arc de Triomphe and one of the top 20th century monuments in the city. It is adorned with sculptures from famous artists such as Miro, Calder and Cesar.
As a result, La Défense attracts yearly millions of tourists and shoppers in addition to professionals coming for business.
La Défense on Paris map
Printable La Défense map
Download La Défense key figures
You plan a business trip to La Défense business district near Paris. You can stay in a hotel in La Défense, a pleasant pedestrian area with easy metro connection to Paris.
The best hotels are Hilton, Novotel and Renaissance. The choice of restaurants in the district is not great and you should rather go to the city for dinner. Nightlife too is rare.
You can also stay in Paris. We recommend a hotel near Champs-Elysées, a lively district connected to La Défense by RER A (one metro stop) and metro line 1 (15' ride).
Paris metro: La Défense is a key transport hub: driverless metro line 1 and RER A to Paris (board RER B in Les Halles to Charles de Gaulle Airport), trains to Versailles, T2 tramway station, 16 bus lines. Every day, more than 500,000 people arrive in La Défense by public transport.
The travel time from the city centre (Chatelet Les Halles station) to La Défense by metro is 20'. Normal metro tickets can be used up to La Défense on line 1 only. Special tickets have to be bought to ride RER A from and to the city.
After a stagnation in new development in the mid-1990s, La Défense is once again expanding and is now the largest purpose-built business district in Europe. Construction work is never ending and projets abound, among them:
Hekla Tower: high Hekla Tower was designed by architect Jean Nouvel and completed in 2022. 76 000 m², height : 220m.It offers innovative work spaces for interaction, wellbeing and all-round excellence.
Carpe Diem Tower : 44 000 m², height: 162 m, 2013
D2 Tower: 54 530 m², height: 175 m, 2015
The Link : Architect: Philippe Chiambaretta. 120 000 m², height : 244m. In 2025, 6 000 employees will move into the new world headquarters of the Total Energies Group, the fourth Oil company in the world.
Hermitage Plazza Towers. Architect: Norman Foster. 260 000 m² of residential housing, hotel, office space, retail space and student housing. Height: 320 m. 2025.
Years ago, La Défense was only a practical place to work. Les Quatre Temps changed that and added shopping. Epad, the public organization managing the business district and its developppment agressively developped all kinds of activities around the year to animate this huge pedestrian district. La Defense Arena, food market, afterworks, sport activities, Christmas market.
Viparis, the organizer of exhibitions in Paris Nord Villepinte Exhibition Center and Porte de Versailles Exhibition Center has created the Cité de l'Histoire in Grande Arche. Web site.
La Défense is named after the statue La Défense de Paris, erected in 1883 to commemorate the soldiers who had defended Paris during the 1870 Franco-German War.
La Défense is a planned urban development projet that has been from the start managed by EPAD. In 1958, the Esso Tower was built, followed by others which slowly replaced the city's factories and shanties. The CNIT was inaugurated too in 1958. This building is the largest unsupported concrete span enclosed space in the world. Its triangular structure is supported on three points 218 meters apart.
In 1970, the RER A metro line was opened from La Défense to Paris. The biggest commercial centre in Europe at the time, Les Quatre Temps, was inaugurated in 1981. The Grande Arche was inaugurated in 1989.
The Paris La Défense Arena is a multi-use domed stadium located near Grande Arche in La Defense. It is one of two multi-use domed stadium built in Europe. The venue stages sport events and concerts. In its rugby configuration, it has a seating capacity of 32,000. For concerts, it is able to seat 40,000. Finally, a movable stand allows it to also be used for a variety of indoor sports with a capacity of as low as 5,000 being possible. The venue also includes 33,000 square metres (360,000 sq ft) of office space, 300 student rooms, shops, including a club shop, a brewery and a gourmet restaurant.