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Paris/12th arrondissement

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Île-de-France : Paris : 12th arrondissement
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The peace fountain in Paris' Jardin Yitzhak Rabin

The 12th arrondissement of Paris is one of the largest of the city's districts even without the 2,460 acre Bois de Vincennes, which more than doubles its size. Gare de Lyon in the 12th will likely be your arrival point if you are coming from Switzerland, Italy, or the south of France.

Get in

By Métro

The newest Métro, line 14, serves Gare de Lyon and Gare de Bercy.

Line 1 crosses the arrondissement east-west serving Bastille, Gare de Lyon, Reuilly-Diderot, Nation, and Porte de Vincennes.

Line 8 crosses the arrondissement east-west serving Bastille, Ledru-Rollin, Faidherbe-Chaligny, Reuilly-Diderot, Montgallet, Daumesnil, Michel Bizot, Porte Dorée, and Porte de Charenton.

Line 6 arrives from the left bank, serving Bercy, Dugommier, Daumesnil, Bel-Air, and Picpus.

The RER-A passes east-west through the 12th serving Gare de Lyon and Nation.

See

Landmarks

  • Jardin Yitzhak Rabin. Nestled in the centre of the Parc Bercy (below) is a lovely, and truly peaceful, garden with several waterworks and other high-quality landscape-art pieces. If you are one of the many people visiting the 12th on business it would be well worth an hour of your time between meetings and dinner to explore the mound, the fountain, and the bridges, and to watch children play in complete peace, much like the peace to which the garden's namesake dedicated his life.
  • Bercy Village. For a taste of the French countryside, a visit to Bercy Village brings to life the spirit of market shopping inside Paris.
  • Palais Omnisports de Paris-Bercy. Is an indoor sports arena designed by architects, seats around 17,000.

Museums and Galleries

  • Palais de la Porte Dorée, 293 avenue Daumesnil (Métro: Porte Dorée). Housed in an amazing Art Deco building, purpose-built for the 1931 Colonial Exhibition, featuring an elaborate frieze across the front facade that depicts the achievement of French overseas territories. It houses an Aquarium [1] and an Immigration Museum [2]. The Aquarium can be seen in about an hour and is popular with families with small children.

Do

  • Opéra Bastille, Place de la Bastille (Métro Bastille), [3]. One of the truly great venues for the performing arts anywhere in the world, Paris' new opera house actually managed to inspire some neighborhood protest during its planning and contruction. Pretty much everybody is a believer nowadays though. Check out the website for upcoming shows, it might even make sense to plan a trip to Paris around one.
  • Promenade Plantée. If you were a city planner in one of the great cities of our Earth and you discovered that a railroad right-of-way had been abandoned and would never be used again what might you do? Perhaps if you knew your stuff you'd convert it into a 4 mile long park, about half of which is elevated above street level on the old rail viaduct. This long narrow park pretty much allows the visitor to walk in carfree bliss from Place de Bastille to the Bois de Vincennes.
  • Parc de Bercy. Between the River Seine and the rail yards attached to Gare de Lyon and Gare de Bercy is a green space which would seem pretty huge if the 12th weren't also the home of the Bois de Vincennes. The park is a good place to hang out waiting for the line to form for sporting events and concerts at the Palais Omnisport.
  • Bercy Expo.
  • Bois de Vincennes, (Métro Porte Dorée or Porte de Charenton), [4]. There are many beautiful footpaths, a Buddhist Temple, and a lake with rowboats available for rental (about €10 as of Feb 2009). The lake has many different kinds of birds, and islands accessible by footbridge.
  • Lafayettes Tomb (Cimitere de Picpus), 35 Rue de Picpus (Metro Nation), 01.43.44.18.54. Tu-Sa 2:30PM daily except. A must for anyone interested in the history of the American Revolution. This small cemetery includes three mass graves from the French Revolution plus a section that includes many of France's most noble families that lost members during the French Revolution and consequently have a continuing right to be buried there. In the farthest right hand corner is the tomb of General Lafayette the friend and fellow soldier of George Washington. Beside him is his beloved wife plus other members of her family, the de Noailles who were almost completely wiped out,during the French Revolution, because of their closeness to the Court. Since 1834 the American flag has apparently flown continuously over his grave, even, I was informed by the local expert, during the German occupation pf Paris during World War 2. A fascinating place well worthy of a visit.

Buy

There are any number of shops catering to the needs of travellers in and around Gare de Lyon, where you can easily replace a piece of broken luggage or even buy a suit if you suddenly find yourself with a business appointment.

The archways of the former railroad right-of-way which now support the promenade plantée are home to trendy restaurants, designer's studios, and art galleries. Taken as a whole it's known as the Viaduc des Arts', and is well worth a stroll for those interested in art and design.

Another shopping highlight of the 12th is the amazing number of electronics and computer shops, mostly clustered around rue Charenton near the Jardin de Reuilly, as one would expect the intense competition keeps prices low (for Europe).

  • Cyclades Electronique, 11 Bd Diderot, +33 1 46 28 91 54, [5]. Mon-Fri 9:30am to 6:30pm, Sat 1:30pm to 6:30pm.. A cut above the others, and on the other side of the station, Cyclades is the place to go if you need parts. Perhaps you have an out-of-production laptop which needs exactly 18.5 volts? They've got the charger. They've also got a full range of capacitors, resistors, transistors, chips, model airplane electronics and mechanics, tools, and much much more.
  • New PC Charenton, 171 rue de Charenton, +33 1 43 07 02 30. Mon-Fri 10am to 7pm, Sat 9am to 7pm.. This is just one example out of the many computer shops in the immediate area, included here to help you find them all. Check the prices here, next door, and across the street. When you find the lowest bidder plunge forward and add them here please!
  • Marché d'Aligre. Tu-Sa 8a-1p and 4p-7:30p, Su 8a-1p.. The cheapest open air market in Paris, on Rue d'Aligre. There's produce, carpets, clothes, antiques. Covered market, Marche Beauvau, is adjacent. North African influence, many food shops surround it.
  • A Carnaval & Fetes, 22 Av Ladru Rollin, +33 1 43 47 06 08.
  • During the spring time there is a carnival called the Foire du trône held in the Bois de Vincennes

Eat

Map of the 12th Arrondissement
  • l'Ébauchoir, 43-45 rue de Citeaux (at the corner of rue faubourg Saint Antoine), +33 1 43 42 49 31. A typical restaurant of the bo-bo (bourgeois - bohème) population of this district. Good traditional cooking with mid-range prices.
  • Refuge, 54 Avenue Daumesnil (just around the corner from Gare de Lyon). This charming storefront bistro offers an adventurous take on traditional French cooking, and with a couple of good selections for vegetarians, including a €12 vegetarian menu. The indoor vineyard decor appeals for its artsy clutter; the only indications that the owner and chef is a former rugby star being the newspaper clipping on the wall and the almost hidden world championship medal behind the bar. €15.
  • Le Train bleu, [6]. Located in the 1st floor of Gare de Lyon with colonial charm. Serves haute cuisine in amazing surroundings. Reservations strongly recommended
  • Le Picotin, 35 rue Sibuet (Métro: Picpus, Bel-Air), +33 1 46 28 99 00, [7]. An excellent find in a quiet back street. Good value food, with a selection wide enough to offer a good choice whilst allowing the chef to concentrate on perfecting a small number of dishes. Warm, friendly welcome and faultless service. c€20 main courses.


Drink

  • Café L'Arrosoir, 75, Avenue Daumesnil (Métro: Gare de Lyon).
  • Les Furieux, rue de la roquette. An alternative bar at the end of the Rue de la Roquette, punk, rock, metal, goth.

The Bastille area is quite well known for its many bars and clubs. Among them the Barrio Latino, a large latin music nightclub on the Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine.

Sleep

  • Hotel de France **, 12 rue de Lyon 75012 Paris (Gare de Lyon), 33(0)1 43 43 0697, [8]. Located very close to Gare de Lyon and a short walk from Bastille, it is a decent budget hotel with single, double, triple and quadruple rooms. Convenient to visit Disneyland as well as to the sights of Paris. €63-175.

Budget

Allée Royal in the Bois de Vincennes
  • Hostel Blue Planet, 5 rue Hector Malot (Métro: Gare de Lyon), +33 1 43 42 06 18 (fax: +33 1 43 42 09 89), [9]. This hostel, within a block of the Gare de Lyon station, has bunk beds in shared rooms sleeping 4-6 people. Some rooms have showers and toilets. A basic breakfast of pastries and hot drinks is included in the price. 25,00€ per bed. Towels and sheets extra..
  • Hôtel Prince Albert, 38 boulevard Diderot (Métro: Gare de Lyon), +33 1 43 43 54 92 (fax: +33 1 43 47 39 50), [10].
  • Hôtel de l'Aveyron, 5 rue d'Austerlitz (Métro: Gare de Lyon), +33 1 43 07 86 86 (fax: +33 1 43 07 85 20). checkin: 21.09.2008; checkout: 24.09.2008.
  • Hôtel Royal Bel Air, 10 Avenue du Bel-Air, +33 1 43 45 26 00 (fax: +33 1 43 45 98 88).
  • Corail Hotel, 23 rue de Lyon (Métro: Gare de Lyon), +33 1 43 43 23 54 (fax: +33 1 43 43 82 55), [11].
  • Hotel Le Quartier Bercy - Square, 33, boulevard de Reuilly, +33 1 44 87 09 09 (fax: +33 1 43 07 41 58), [12]. Hotel Le Quartier Bercy Square, located in the 12th arrondissement, is right between Metro stations Dugommier and Daumesnil (Lines 6 and 8). It has easy access to Palais Omnisports at Bercy, Cours St. Emillon with its lively area of shops, restaurants, and bars, and train stations Gare de Bercy and Gare de Lyon. And with Line 14 at Bercy station just down the road, the rest of Paris is only minutes from you.

Mid-Range

  • Grand Hôtel Doré, 201 avenue Daumesnil (Métro: Daumesnil), +33 1 43 43 66 89 (fax: +33 1 43 43 65 20), [13]. Having opened its doors at the beginning of the 20th century The Grand Hotel Doré has been owned and operated by the same family ever since, giving the place plenty of character and quite a bit of charm. Guests tend to be a pretty even mix of business and pleasure travellers.
  • Ibis Gare De Lyon Diderot, 31 Bis Boulevard Diderot (Métro: Gare de Lyon, use the side entrance of the station downstairs), +33 1 43 46 12 72, [14]. This particular branch of the Ibis chain is a bit more comfortable than most, especially worthwhile if you have just arrived at Gare de Lyon. The website has current price information, and links to their 650 sister hotels across Europe. Breakfast (€10, until 10AM) is the pretty ordinary buffet fare.
The patio at Hotel Le Quartier Bastille, Le Faubourg
  • Hotel Le Quartier Bastille, Le Faubourg, 9 rue de Reuilly, [15]. The big draw at Le Quartier is the interior patio which really is as nice as advertised and is full of plants and an interesting designer fountain. The location is good for those looking for an easy stumble from the bars around Bastille.
  • Hotel Palym, 4, rue Emile Gilbert, +33 1 43 43 24 48 (, fax: +33 1 43 41 69 47), [16]. This nice little hotel is around the right price and probably has the closest possible access to the Air France airport buses.
  • Hôtel de la Porte Dorée, 273, avenue Daumensnil, +33 1 43 07 56 97 (fax: +33 1 49 28 08 18), [17].

Splurge

  • Mercure Paris Gare de Lyon, 2, place Louis Armand (Métro: Gare de Lyon), +33 1 43 44 84 84 (fax: +33 1 43 47 41 94), [18].
  • Sofitel Paris Bercy, 1, avenue Terroirs de France (Métro: Cour St-Emillion), +33 1 44 67 34 00 (fax: +33 1 44 67 34 01), [19].

Contact

Internet Cafés

  • Les Meilleur des Mondes, 4 bis rue Michel Chasles (Métro: Gare de Lyon), +33 1 43 46 01 64 (fax: +33 1 43 46 02 52). M-F 9AM-11PM, Sa-Su 10AM-7PM. Internet access and office applications.
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