Students: What is there to do in La Défense? - YouFirst Campus
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Esplanade de la Défense pendant l'heure bleue

What is there to do around our young professional and student residences in La Défense?

Updated on March 16, 2023
Student Life

As Europe’s leading business district, La Défense welcomes thousands of people who come to work in one of its iconic towers every day. And you don’t have to go up to the rooftop of the Grande Arche to realise that La Défense is a great district for both students and young professionals to live in. If you’ve just moved into the student residence La Défense or the student residence Grande Arche residence, here is a guided tour of your new favourite district!

La Défense: Make the most of your student or professional life

The heart of La Défense doesn’t stop beating as soon as the offices close or classes finish. In fact, the reality is quite the opposite! Here are some of the top spots to go to help you relax at the end of your day:

To spend time with friends after classes or work, head to Corcoran’s bar for a beer or l’Apogée for some wine tasting. Our top pick? The cocktails at the Skyline Bar, to enjoy a stunning view of Paris!

Team Break and Escape Game Aventure escape games are a good choice to take your mind off things with an activity that is a little different! Unless you prefer to challenge your friends to the Donut Quiz...

Does shopping help you forget your day at work or classes? Then head to the Westfield Les 4 Temps shopping centre. Whether it be fashion, shoes, multimedia or culture, it’s impossible not to find what you’re looking for in one of its 200 shops.

And if you get a little peckish while trying on clothes, the Yaya or LOBSTA food trucks on the esplanade are an absolute must. For those craving a cheat meal, the classic Burger King and McDonald’s aren’t too far away either…

Esplanade de la Défense été

“Don’t sweat it!”

Because moving is essential to feeling well and in shape, here are our top six most fun sports activities near our residences for students and young professionals!

La Défense is actually a paradise for sports lovers, starting with cycling enthusiasts! Our student residence at La Défense and Grande Arche residences are located 4 km from Avenue Verte, which connects Paris to London by bike, and close to the cycle path that leads directly to the centre of Paris. It’s up to you to choose which path to take!

Looking for a gym? Keep Cool, Fitness Park and Neoness are all located in La Défense. Whether you prefer machines or group classes, it’s your choice.

If you’re looking for a more unusual sporting activity, why not try bouldering at Blocbuster or Climbing District? Or at Dynamo you can even try spinning, a sport that uses music and rhythm to give you the chance to push yourself to your limits.

For those who prefer outdoor sports, the Île de Puteaux is the perfect green space to go running. For swimmers, the splendid Piscine du Palais des Sports has both indoor and outdoor pools for you to enjoy. 

Paris la Défense coucher du soleil

Did somebody say art?

Culturally speaking, La Défense is an amazing district where you can always find something to see or do. Here is an overview of the best spots to introduce a little art into your life.

For film buffs, UGC La Défense will be your new HQ. And the best part? They offer discounted rates for students.

When it comes to music, whether you prefer jazz, pop or rock, there’s something for everyone! Paris La Défense Arena is renowned for its eclectic programme.

La Défense also hosts festive events throughout the year, such as the Jazz Festival in June and Urban Week, a free festival dedicated to urban culture that takes place in September. Remember to check it out!

Finally, look out for the Paris La Défense Art Collection artistic experience. This open-air museum showcases 60 contemporary works exhibited outdoors, and it’s totally free. Don’t miss the red spider or the car on the lamppost during one of your walks.


Whether you’re a student or a young professional, there’s plenty of things to do in the La Défense district! If, despite all this, you’re still left wanting more, the RER A or metro line 1 will take you into the heart of Paris in just 11 minutes. It’s over to you!