Would you like to discover Paris in an unusual way? Fancy a change of scene from your daily grind? Did you know that it is possible in Paris to travel to Asia then back to the Middle-Ages in less than 15 minutes?
Follow us for a walk that will take you from the Chinese quarter of Paris (in the 13th district) right to castle that’s symbolic of France’s history, the Castle of Vincennes
The Parisian Chinatown
Yes! You maybe didn’t knew it but there is a Parisian Chinatown. From Peking duck to Buddhist temple, from jiaozi & baozi to 6-door limousines rented for weddings, you will all the cultural and culinary specialties you’d want on a trip to China…without leaving Paris!
Where is the Chinese district in Paris?
The French Chinatown is in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Initially lying between the Choisy avenue, the Ivry avenue and the Masséna boulevard , Paris’ Chinatown today extends across the surrounding streets around the Olympiades districts.
You can access to it by subway stations Porte d’Ivry (line 7), Porte de Choisy (line 7 and tramway 3a), and also Olympiades (line 14).
Why should you visit the Paris’ Chinatown?
The architecture of the Chinese neighborhood of Paris is not as picturesque as Chinatown in London or San Francisco, but the Chinese influence is unrivalled thanks to the multitude of trades on offer, which are almost exclusively Asian.
If you are crazy about Chinese food or if you just want to try some fresh Asian products that you’d fine nowhere else in Paris, go for it.
Two big Tang Frères supermarkets (Chinese Laotian property) and Paristore offer unheard products imported 100 % from China. The place serves as a meeting point for the Chinese and Indochinese people from Northern France.
Most importantly, do not miss the Chinese New Year’s Eve that takes place in the Paris Chinatown between January 21st and February 20th each year . A wonderful parade, where lion and dragon dances are mixed together, bringing the streets to life with a festive mood.
The Castle of Vincennes
Do you dream of going to the Parisian Middle Ages? No need to go far : Vincennes and its historic castle, amongst best-preserved castles in Europe, has everything to please you!
Where is the Castle of Vincennes ?
The Vincennes Castle is situated on the Paris avenue , in Vincennes, a suburb close to Paris. It is open from May 21st to September 22nd, from 10 am to 6 pm, and from September 23rd to May 20th, from 10 am to 5 pm.
There are several ways to get there. We recommend that you visit the RATP website to find the quickest way to get there.
Why visit the Vincennes Castle ?
Like the Louvre, the Vincennes Castle was constructed during the reign of Charles V in the 14th century. Considered to be one of the biggest and best conserved Castles in Europe, the Vincennes Castle is also one of the most important Castles in French history. If you want to learn more about this period of French history, the Middle Ages, Vincennes is the ideal place for you.
You will be impressed by this wonderful historical site and you will also be able to continue your visit by walking through the picturesque and charming streets of Vincennes. The Castle also has also a huge forest of Vincennes and zoo that you can explore with your children.
How to get from Chinatown to Vincennes Castle in under 15 minutes ?
It’s very simple !
In Chinatown, at the end of Ivry avenue, take the Tramway 3a « T3a » (orange color) in the direction of « Porte de Vincennes » and get off where it terminates! You will arrive right in the middle of Paris avenue and in front of the Vincennes Castle!
Did you enjoy our route? Do you know a walk in Paris that makes for a change of scene that’s not far away by metro, tramway, train or RER ? Tell us about it…