Follow the route up and down, up your desire.
A paradise for excess: the Champs-Elysées
When you go down avenue du Président Wilson, you may want to take the tube for a short ride to Franklin-Delano-Roosevelt, one of the several tube stops of the Champs-Elysées. But you can also choose to explore the Golden Triangle of George-V and Montaigne avenues. Both are lined with the most exclusive fashion houses: cult Balenciaga is at n°10 avenue George-V, Dior and Gucci flagship stores are respectively at n°30 and n°60 avenue Montaigne.
While walking, you'll pass in front of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées (at n°15 avenue Montaigne), which is renowned for its concerts and operas. For a jet-setter feeling, don't miss the Plaza Athénée Bar – it's supposed to be one of the best bars in the world and was rewarded a “Best Bar Experience” at the “Best of the Best Virtuoso Awards”, in Las Vegas in 2007.
The Champs-Elysées are at the corner of avenue Montaigne. It's a must-see experience, which should be tried at least once in a lifetime. Of course, the avenue is lined with luxurious shops, but you'll also find some more affordable brands. Check Louis Vuitton (at n°101): it's the world flagship store of the famous craftsman. It displays the famous bags and trunks and it also boasts a contemporary art gallery, the Espace Louis Vuitton. You can reach it by the fantastic staircase designed by international artist Olafur Eliasson dominating the store, or at n°60, rue Bassano.
You shouldn't miss Guerlain (68, avenue des Champs-Elysées): the three levels store is a heaven of fine perfumery and high-style cosmetics. At n°66, you find the... 66, a very trendy concept-store offering cutting-edge fashion for both genders. Another great pleasure is to admire the Cartier store up the avenue at n°154. Rare jewels illuminate the window displays.
Of course, the district is great for its restaurant offer too. Nevertheless, you should expect high prices. On the avenue, iconic atmospheres and terraces welcome tourists from the whole world: you can try the famous Drugstore Publicis (at n°133, close to the Arc de Triomphe ) – which gathers a pharmacy, a tobacco shop and a café. The Toyota showroom (Rendez-Vous Toyota) offers an organic Japanese restaurant, the Kaiseki Bento (at n°79). Should you want to mix a discovery of French car industry with a drink, try l'Atelier Renault (at n° 53).
For a quieter, cosier atmosphere, visit Ladurée (at n°75) and enjoy a smoked tea and a macaroon. The Flora Danica (at n°142) is a very good Nordic restaurant.
Some more unusual addresses may be found in the vicinity. For a trendy twist, try Le Cou de la Girafe, (at n°7 rue Paul Baudry). The ultimate cutting-edge experience might be a visit to the Spoon: the original conceptual cuisine created by Alain Ducasse allows you to choose among many seasoning options for each dish.
At night, the restaurant hidden in the basement of the Théâtre du Rond-Point can be a fun choice. It serves a good traditional French cuisine in a relaxed atmosphere. On performance days, actors and directors enjoy its bar. On avenue Franklin-Roosevelt, you could also give a try to the chic Music-Hall and its festive atmosphere. It's opened until 6 AM !
It may take you another half-day, but you should visit the galeries nationales du Grand Palais and the Petit Palais . The nave of the Grand Palais is as disconcerting as a Cathedral and welcomes ambitious exhibitions (Book your ticket early to visit it).
Needless to say, the Champs-Elysées are also a great place to hang around at night, as they glitter with a myriad lights. Enjoying the scenery is free, and at some times of the year like Christmas, it's really over the top. On the other hand, beware the neighbouring clubs are expensive – and very selective too. You must dress up if you want to enter them. One of the most select is the Baron , a former low-key joint (at n°6, avenue Marceau). One of the trendiest is the Showcase (below Alexander III Bridge). You could also try the Mandala Ray or the Madam. And of course, at n°102 Champs-Elysées, the gay-friendly Queen still rules (and should sooner or later turn 20!).