Bastille

Marking the heart of the Right Bank’s eastern side, Bastille is a fascinating neighbourhood. It has gone through many changes over the years, and is home to a wide variety of inhabitants, from fancy families to punks and party-going students, making the Bastille area a must-see during your trip to Paris.

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The story of Pierre-François Palloy is a part of the Bastille’s history. In charge of the destruction of the prison, he kept as many stones from the building as possible. He then used these to create a whole range of products, such as keys, jewellery, boxes, ink-holders and many more. Some of these trinkets can be found in France’s main museums, but many remain on Parisian mantelpieces. If you want a real Parisian experience, head over to the Aligre street market (Place d'Aligre), which seems not have been affected at all by the era of modern supermarkets. You can fill your basket full of fresh local produce for a very low price, or just stroll around and enjoy the atmosphere. You'll find fresh fruit, vegetables and meat but also, in the centre, a small flea market with all types of antiquities, books and second-hand treasures. Read more...

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Affordable bars, cafés and restaurants. Good for for shopping with many international chain stores. Many theatres at average prices.

Touristy area: not really around the Bastille Place, but it becomes more touristy the closer you get to the Seine. Population: quite young, many families, shop-keepers, students and a minority of businessmen.

  • Main Metro station: Bastille (lines 1, 5, 8 ), Sully-Morland (line 7), Bréguet–Sabin (line 5), Ledru-Rollin (line 8)
  • Bus: 69, 76, 86, 87, 91, 20, 65, 29

  • Place de la Bastille
  • Cour Damoye
  • Rue de Lappe
  • The Canal
  • The Opera

Young Parisians love to hang out on the banks of the Bastille canal and at the cafés around the Place.

History

  The Bastille Place gets its name from the Bastille prison which occupied the square for around four centuries. Built at the beginning of the 15th century, the Bastille was firstly an extension of the walls surrounding Paris, aiming to protect the city as well as being a prison for the criminals of the time. Many famous names from France's history were imprisoned at the Bastille: the famous writer Voltaire, Nicolas Fouquet, the cousin of the Marquise Sévigné (for having written a book), Jean-François Marmontel (for having read a poem that ridiculed a noble person), the list goes on. Read more...

Who you'll find there

Bastille's population is quite young and lively. It is a meeting point for many people who don't necessarily live in the area, so it is sometimes difficult when walking around to know who really lives here. Read more...