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12th Arrondissement
12th Arrondissement

12th Arrondissement

Free admission
Paris, 75012

The Basics

The 12th Arrondissement on the right bank of the River Seine is perhaps best known as the home of the celebrated city park, Bois de Vincennes. The 12th is also an ideal foodie destination. Take a food walking tour to discover the best culinary stops around the neighborhood; tours typically visit the must-see food market, Marché d'Aligre, and various neighborhood confectionaries.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Among the 12th Arrondissement's attractions is the Château de Vincennes, a 14th century castle offering daily tours.

  • Don't miss a stop at Place de la Bastille, which was once home to the notorious Bastille prison.

  • For a unique take on urban renewal, stroll the Promenade Plantée—a walkway built on an old railway line.

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How to Get There

The best way to reach the 12th Arrondissement is by metro. Plan to take the 1 or 14 lines to the Paris Gare de Lyon—one of the neighborhood's transit hubs. For easy access to the west side of the Bois de Vincennes, take the 8 line to Porte Dorée stop. For a visit to Château de Vincennes, take the 1 lines to the Château de Vincennes stop.

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When to Get There

Though there's really no bad time to visit the 12th Arrondissement, expect more pleasant weather if you visit in spring, summer, or fall, since winter in Paris tends to be cold and dreary. Visit during the day if you want to explore the Château de Vincennes, and for Paris lights glistening along the water, take an after-dinner Seine stroll.

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Exploring the Bois de Vincennes

Located at the eastern side of the 12th Arrondissement, the Bois de Vincennes is a sprawling green space perfect for taking a break from the energetic city. Gardeners especially appreciate the Parc Floral—with its 86 acres (35 hectares) of manicured gardens—while a stroll around the Park's Lake Daumesnil is another diversion. If you're excited about dining alfresco, bring a baguette and cheese for a romantic picnic at Promenade Maurice Boitel.

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