The best way to explore Butte-aux-Cailles is on a walking or cycling tour, starting along the main streets of Rue des Cinq Diamants and Rue de la Butte aux Cailles, then ducking off to explore the maze of side streets and alleyways. Along the way, visit the St. Anne's Church in the Butte-aux-Cailles, admire the pretty timber-fronted houses along Rue Daviel, or take a dip at the famous Butte-aux-Cailles swimming pool, fed by natural hot springs.
Most importantly, take time to soak up the ambiance of local life in the quartier. Stop for a coffee in one of the terrace cafés, browse the small shops for local produce and handicrafts, or buy a bag of croissants and pains au chocolat to munch on as you stroll through the Brassaï Gardens.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Butte-aux-Cailles is one of the most picturesque neighborhoods in Paris and has colorful street art—ideal for unique photo ops.
- The neighborhood is quieter and less touristy than those in central Paris.
- Wear comfortable shoes to take on the hills and cobblestones and dress for the weather.
- The narrow sidewalks and cobblestone side streets can be a challenge to navigate with strollers and wheelchairs, though the main thoroughfares and squares are accessible.
How to Get There
The hilly Butte-aux-Cailles is set in Paris 13th arrondissement between the Metro Tolbiac, Quartier Asiatique, and Place d'Italie stops. Take Metro Line 6 (Corvisart stop) or Line 5/7 (Place d’Italie stop) from the city center or there are numerous buses that connect to the neighborhood.
When to Get There
This neighborhood is particularly beautiful in the spring, when the many cherry trees blossom pink and the Brassaï Gardens is most lush. Most lively during the day when local bistros and shops bustle with locals, Butte-aux-Cailles is not particularly known for nightlife.
Highlights of Paris’ 13th Arrondissement
Set along the River Seine southeast of central Paris, this off-the-beaten-track neighborhood is a captivating mix of cultures and architectural styles. The 13th arrondissement is crowded with authentic Asian restaurants and hosts one of Europe’s largest Chinese New Year celebrations. Dozens of murals have transformed the area into an open-air museum, and the ultramodern National Library looms over historic hamlet-like neighborhoods like Cité Florale and Butte-aux-Cailles.
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