Thursday, June 20, 2024

the whole information to Paris’ deserted railway


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La Petite Ceinture is likely one of the locations in Paris, that’s hardly ever visited by vacationers. It’s a bit off the middle, and never as thrilling because the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. However an ideal spot to discover if you’re eager on discovering essentially the most outstanding off-the-beaten-track actions.

The deserted prepare tracks in Paris are a tad troublesome to seek out, although. The entrances are principally hidden, however that’s what makes exploring the petite ceinture so thrilling. And if you’re up for this journey, then learn on. As a result of I’m sharing with you each element you could know for visiting these outdated prepare tracks.

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The Petite Ceinture are Paris' abandonned Railways
The Petite Ceinture within the 14th arrondissement

The Petite Ceinture in brief: What’s it?

The petite ceinture is a 36 km lengthy railroad that spans round Paris. They had been used to transporting freight and passages, however the service shut down a long time in the past. Since then, the tracks had been deserted and closed to the general public till not too long ago.

Fast historical past of the Paris’ deserted railway

The outdated rails belong to the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture, a round railway round Paris that served as soon as as the primary city transport system. Completed in 1867, the railway turned shortly an necessary connection between the village-like elements of Paris. Each for the transport of freight and as a passenger service.

With the launch of the primary Metro traces in 1900, its utilization declined slowly however steadily till the prepare providers had been completely shut down in 1934.

Petite Ceinture in the 15th arrondissement
View on the Petite Ceinture within the fifteenth arrondissement

Since then, the rails lay principally deserted and fallow

Till a number of years in the past. An initiative launched a number of initiatives to rehabilitate the outdated chemin de fer, aiming to rework it into an city park. The mission was so successful, that the Metropolis of Paris and SNCF (the French railroad operator) hopped on the bandwagon and made increasingly more sections accessible.

On the time of writing in June 2023, 9 rail segments are open to the general public. Some out of date former prepare stations had been even reworked into bars, eating places, or cultural areas. At the moment, there are plans for 8 extra sections, which might be speculated to be transformed into public areas and opened by 2026.

CHECKLIST to your Paris Journey

Biodiversity, tradition and concrete forests on the Petite Ceinture in Paris

The purpose of changing the outdated railways is to maintain the patrimony of the railway on one hand, but in addition to protect biodiversity on the opposite. And it’s going properly. The rails are coated with wild flora, which is unbelievable to see in seasonal modifications. By now, you may already spot greater than 200 plant species.

But in addition animals really feel at dwelling on this small city jungle. Greater than 70 animal species have been counted thus far. I as soon as noticed a bit of lizard there, a species I’ve by no means seen in Paris earlier than.

The Petite Ceinture in the 15th is also nice to visit with kids and discover Paris off the beaten path as a family. Don't worry if you're coming with a stroller, there are elevators :)
Paris Deserted Railways: the petite ceinture within the fifteenth

In the event you had been hoping to set off quickly for a wild hike following the tracks throughout Paris, I should disappoint you. Sadly, the railroads are solely partially open to the general public, and this received’t change. As a result of some rails within the west are used as we speak by the Parisian suburb trains RER and most of the tunnels are sealed for security causes.

So visiting the deserted railways of the petite ceinture is extra of an on-off journey than a protracted Paris loop, however nonetheless a delight.

Nevertheless, you may nonetheless go on a Paris loop by following the GR2024. It’s a mountain climbing path that leads you as soon as round Paris and allows you to go to numerous parks and all of the railroad sections on the way in which.

GR2024 Bois du Boulgone in Paris
The GR2024 leads by means of the Bois du Boulogne

go to the deserted tracks of the Petite Ceinture?

Not each little bit of the petite ceinture is accessible and open to the general public. Some sections of the deserted tracks in Paris are closed for security causes, and a few are utilized by the RER trains as we speak. However 9 (and counting) are rehabilitated and are a very cool place to go to.

Learn on to know the place precisely you could find the open route sections of the petite ceinture and when to go to them.

Opening occasions of the petite ceinture

One thing to remember when planning to discover the deserted tracks in Paris is that the petite ceinture is operated as a public park. This implies it’s not open 24/7 and certain to moderately strict opening hours and surveillance.

In Paris, public parks often open at 9h through the week and at 9:30h on weekends. The closing time is determined by the season:

  • Might to August: 20:30
  • September: 19:30
  • October: 18:30
Petite Ceinture Paris in the 20th arrondissement
Petite Ceinture within the twentieth arrondissement

The place to seek out the 9 public sections of the petite ceinture in Paris?

With out additional ado, listed here are for you the precise addresses of the general public sections of the petite ceinture in Paris.

#1 Petite ceinture within the twentieth Arrondissement, PC20

Within the east of Paris, you discover the Petite Ceinture of the twentieth arrondissement. On the time of writing, this part is 220 m lengthy, however it’s deliberate to increase the stretch to 800 m sooner or later. Both method, it’s a cool spot to go to. Particularly if you’re eager on exploring Paris vibrant road artwork scene.

The tracks are close to the Belleville neighborhood, a hotspot for artists, individualists, and different existence. This dynamic vibe is very current on the petite ceinture of the twentieth. This small stretch is roofed in art work. From small items to large graffiti. Confidently, you may even see a number of artists at work. Otherwise you go away your individual inventive footprint by becoming a member of a graffiti workshop.

Entry: 79 Rue de Menilmontant or 11 Rue de la Mare (accessible to individuals with decreased mobility)

Petite Ceinture Paris 20
The petite ceinture within the 20 th arrondissement

#2 Petite ceinture within the nineteenth Arrondissement, PC19

In the event you’re seeking to set off to discover a classy and non-touristy a part of Paris, head to the nineteenth arrondissement. As a result of there’s loads to see and do: La Villette, the Cité de Science, the gorgeous Butte-Chaumont, plus even 2 sections of the Petite Ceinture to stroll on. In whole, the railway stroll within the nineteenth is 800m lengthy.

One part begins close to the RER Station Rosa Parks, on 95 Rue Curial, and leads south route Metro Station Corentin Cariou. This stretch is a small part of only a few hundred meters, however it holds one thing particular for you: the jazz membership Le Gare / Le Gore

The 2nd part of the petite ceinture within the nineteenth begins only a bit additional down the street on the pedestrian bridge Passerelle des Ardennes. From right here you may cross the Canal de l’Ourqc and stroll midway to the Butte-Chaumont.

Otherwise you stroll down the Canal and hop on a ship that brings you thru the locks of the canal and thru the vault beneath the Bastille again to the middle of Paris. You will get additional particulars on this unbelievable channel tour right here.

Entry: 30 rue de Thionville for the first part and 177 Avenue de Flandre for the 2nd part

Bridge over the canal de l'Ourqc
Passerelle des Ardennes within the nineteenth arrondissement with the petite ceinture

#3 Petite ceinture within the 18th Arrondissement, PC18

The petite ceinture within the 18th arrondissement is particular. As a result of opposite to the opposite rail sections, this one didn’t begin with opening the tracks for recreation, however the station. Two of them, even.

The constructing that after was the Ornano Practice station is as we speak LaRecyclerie. It’s a cultural assembly place devoted to sustainability and ecology. Right here you discover upcycling initiatives, markets, an city farm, and seasonal occasions, but in addition a bar, a restaurant, and loads of attention-grabbing workshops. It’s for my part, one of many trendiest eating places in Paris.

A number of hundred meters down the tracks, you might have the previous Station of the Avenue de St.Ouen, which is as we speak dwelling to Le Hasard Ludique. It’s a spot not a lot completely different from the Recyclerie, with initiatives and themes round nature, ecological duty, workshops, live shows and, after all, a bar, and a restaurant.

Le REcyclerie in one of the old train stations of the petit ceinture
Le REcyclerie is positioned in one of many outdated prepare stations of the petite ceinture

Sadly, on the time of writing, you may’t merely stroll from one to the opposite utilizing the tracks of the petite ceinture. There’s a lengthy tunnel in between each eating places, that’s locked up. Nevertheless, on some uncommon events and particular occasions, they open the gates and you may cross.

For the top of 2023, it’s deliberate to rehabilitate additional sections of the out of date tracks of the petite ceinture within the 18th arrondissement.

Entry: 83 boulevard Ornano (Recyclerie) and  128 Av. de Saint-Ouen (Hasard Ludique)

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Avenue Artwork on the Petite Ceinture within the 14th.

#4 Petite ceinture within the seventeenth arrondissement, PC17

Since 2019, the 700 m lengthy part within the seventeenth arrondissement is open to the general public. This stretch is similar to the one within the 14th: a straight observe surrounded innately, with out a lot human intervention, and greater than 170 plant and animal species.

It’s one of many sections that lies beneath road stage, which makes the plush nature much more omnipresent.

Entry: 2 Boulevard Péreire

view from le Petite Ceinture on Balard - Paris - secret Paris - off beat Paris - secret gems of Paris
View from la Petite Ceinture at Balard, Petite Ceinture 15

#5 Petite ceinture within the sixteenth arrondissement, PC16

This part is 1.2 km and one of many longer stretches of the petite ceinture. Opposite to another elements, the rails obtained eliminated on this part and the previous railway is now a protracted walkway by means of a really inexperienced house, that resembles partially extra a forest than a former railway.

Entry: 77 Boulevard de Montmorency, 27 and 61 Boulevard de Beauséjour, and throughout Rue de Assomption

#6 Petite ceinture within the fifteenth arrondissement, PC15

The previous rail tracks within the fifteenth arrondissement are a few of the largest stretches of the petite ceinture that you may entry as we speak. It’s positioned between the Parc André Citroen and the beautiful flea market at Porte de Vanves.

If you wish to see Paris from a special angle, visiting the outdated rails is unquestionably one of many distinctive non-touristy issues to do in Paris.

Petite Ceinture Paris 15th arrondissement
Petite Ceinture Paris fifteenth arrondissement

The petite ceinture stretches 1.5km alongside the south of the fifteenth arrondissement. The park is a robust distinction to the neatly maintained Parisian parks – its pure biodiversity holds greater than 200 species of untamed vegetation and 70 species of animals. To protect this piece of city nature, the park just isn’t artificially illuminated or planted.

My tip: Enter the park on the Balard Metro station and stroll east. From right here, go to the Park Georges Brassens and proceed east till you attain the Part of the 14th arrondissement. It leads you virtually to the Catacombs and the excellent (free) Museum of the French Resistance.

Entry: 99 Rue Olivier de Serres or Place Robert Guillemard

street art Paris
Avenue Artwork within the 14th arrondissement

#7 Petite ceinture within the 14th arrondissement, PC14

The petite ceinture part within the 14th arrondissement is by far my favourite one. It’s a straight line of rail tracks beneath road stage that permits you to simply neglect that you just’re in Paris. You stroll by means of lush and untouched vegetation, hear birds chirping, and see a lot of artwork installations and artworks alongside the way in which.

This part connects Rue Didot with Rue du Général Leclerc and obtained not very a lot modified. It even nonetheless comprises the outdated prepare station platforms and the outdated prepare station constructing itself. The partitions of the constructing are used as canvas for graffiti artists that showcase their abilities. Relaxation assured, it’s not simply tags.

If you’re thirsty (or hungry!) after your stroll, cease by Poinçon Paris. This bar and restaurant is positioned within the outdated prepare station of the petite ceinture. Additionally they have a really good out of doors seating space!

Entry 124 avenue du Général Leclerc and 96 bis rue Didot

Petite ceinture in the 14th arrondissement
Petite ceinture within the 14th arrondissement

#8 Petite ceinture within the thirteenth arrondissement, PC13

This part is 500 m lengthy and belongs to the backyard Poterne-des-Peupliers within the south of Paris. If you’re within the space, I recommend you additionally go to the Parc Montsouris. A beautiful inexperienced house with wild parrots and a few of Paris lovelies streets simply across the nook. You can also head to Avenue d’Ivry or Avenue Choisy to go to the Parisian Chinatown.

My Tip: The Banh Mi from Tang Gourmand

Entry: 9 Rue Augustin Mouchot, 26 Rue de l’Interne Loeb, Jardin de la Porte des Peuiliers

#9 Petite ceinture within the twelfth arrondissement, PC12

This final stretch of the petite ceinture is completely positioned to discover two off-the-beaten-path sights in Paris directly. As a result of the railway tracks which might be referred to as the petite Ceinture are branching off the Coulée-Verte-René-Dumont, also called the excessive line of Paris.

My tip right here is to get off the Metro at Bastille and stroll from there alongside the Coulée Verte till you attain the Metro Bel-Air. Right here you retain proper to merge into the petite ceinture.

For a break alongside the way in which, I like to recommend making a cease at Floor Management. It’s a cultural heart with eating places, bars, exhibitions, and pop-up shops positioned in a constructing that belongs to the Gare de Lyon prepare station. We’re in keeping with our theme right here: trains, tracks, and stations.

Entry: Villa du Bel Air or Charles Pèguy Sq., additionally rue des Meuniers and rue du Sahel

Discover Paris off the beaten path and take a walk along the abandoned railways of the 15th arrondissement
Uncover Paris off the crushed path and take a stroll alongside the deserted railways of the fifteenth arrondissement
Not all parts of the Petite Ceinture are great for rollers like this section but the kids definitely have some fun
Not all elements of the Petite Ceinture within the fifteenth are nice for scooters like this part, however the youngsters positively have some enjoyable
Petit Ceinture Paris 15th arrondissement
Petite Ceinture Paris fifteenth arrondissement
Graffiti and street art all along the Petite Ceinture - it's really a unusual thing to see in Paris and great for everyone interested in urban art and secret places in Paris
Graffiti and road artwork all alongside the Petite Ceinture within the fifteenth – it’s actually an uncommon factor to see in Paris and nice for everybody fascinated by city artwork and secret locations in Paris
Petite Ceinture Paris 15th arrondissement
View from the Petite Ceinture Paris within the fifteenth arrondissement 

Voilà, Paris’ deserted prepare tracks. I hope you’re within the temper now to set off to those lesser identified elements of Paris and to see the town from a really completely different perspective. The petite ceinture just isn’t a fundamental sight, and it received’t go away you speechless, however it’s an excellent begin to discover Paris off the crushed path.

And if non-touristy issues are what you’re in for, then you’ll benefit from the petite ceinture for positive.

Lena Paristipps

I’ve lived in Paris since 2005, and I’m joyful to point out you round. Be part of me on Fb for updates and information about Paris.

PS: Try these posts, they’ll make it easier to plan your journey to Paris

FAQ Petite Ceinture, Paris deserted railway

How do I get to the Petite Ceinture?

The petite ceinture is an outdated railway loop round Paris. Therefore, to enter the completely different sections, it’s important to go to the outskirts of Paris. On the time of writing, 9 sections of the petite ceinture are accessible to the general public. Within the twentieth, nineteenth, 18th, seventeenth, sixteenth, fifteenth, 14th, thirteenth and twelfth arrondissement.

How lengthy is La Petite Ceinture?

The petite ceinture has a complete size of 32,5 km. Nevertheless, solely round 7 km are open to the general public.

What’s the deserted prepare tunnel in France?

The deserted tunnel that you just typically see in photos belongs to the petite Ceinture in Paris. It’s a railway belt round Paris, that was used within the nineteenth century and lies deserted for nearly a century. For a number of years, sections of the tracks have been rehabilitated and opened as public gardens and walkways.

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