La Defense in Paris is Europe's largest business district and an open air museum of modern sculpture and architecture. La Defense boasts two the monumental Grande Arche and the huge Les Quatre Temps shopping mall. Paris business.Booking.com
La Defense 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 Defense, this very modern Paris district five kilometers west of the Arc de Triomphe and Champs Elysees. The systematic development of La Defense by EPAD, a public organisation, in the perspective of the Champs Elysees 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 Defense.
With 500 companies and company headquarters including those of multinational companies Areva, Axa, Cap Gemini, EDF, Engie, Saint Gobain, Societe Generale, Suez, Total and Thales, La Defense is the largest business district in the city and a first class European economic powerhorse. A pedestrian district with underground car traffic, La Defense 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 Defense attracts yearly millions of tourists and shoppers.
You plan a business trip to La Defense business district near Paris. You can stay in a hotel in La Defense, 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 Elysees, a lively district connected to La Defense by RER A (one metro stop) and metro line 1 (15' ride).
One of the best shopping malls in the City of Lights, Les Quatre Temps have 250 stores, plus restaurants and 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 Defense Grande Arche metro station plus 10' to the city by the metro. Locate Les Quatre Temps on Paris map.
Paris metro: La Defense 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 Defense by public transport. The travel time from the city centre (Chatelet Les Halles station) to La Defense by metro is 20'. Normal metro tickets can be used up to La Defense on line 1 only. Special tickets have to be bought to ride RER A from and to the city.
Years ago, La Defense 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. Food market, afterworks, sport activities, Christmas market. Check the agenda.
La Defense is named after the statue La Defense de Paris, erected in 1883 to commemorate the soldiers who had defended Paris during the 1870 Franco-German War.
La Defense 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 Defense 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.
After a stagnation in new development in the mid-1990s, La Defense 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:
Carpe Diem Tower : 44 000 m², height: 162 m, 2013
D2 Tower: 54 530 m², height: 175 m, 2015
Arena Nanterre La Defense. Architect: Christian de Portzamparc, 33 000 m² of office and convention center, up to 32,000 people for supporters, up to 40,000 people for events. 2017.
The Link : Architect: Philippe Chiambaretta. 120 000 m², height : 244m. In 2022, 6 000 employees will move into the new world headquarters of the Total Group, the fourth Oil company in the world.
Hermitage Piazza Towers. Architect: Norman Foster. 260 000 m² of residential housing, hotel, office space, retail space and student housing. Height: 320 m. 2024.
The various projects can be seen on La Defense map.