5. Esplanade de La Défense
Unless you’re on a business trip the appeal of La Défense will lie solely in its shopping, modern architecture and avant-garde sculpture.
You can get a taste for all of this on the long and broad Esplanade de La Défense, which is like walking on a canyon floor between walls of skyscrapers.
If you’re taking it slow you can pause to observe some peculiar pieces of public art, most of which was installed in the 80s and 90s.
See Michel Deverne’s Grande Mosaïque and Le Pouce (a massive Bronze thumb) by César Baldaccini.
You can also see where La Défense began at the double-shelled, reinforced concrete CNIT building.
This dates to 1958 and still as spellbinding as any of the newer structures.