Even though most visitors passing through the French capital do not venture into the 13th arrondissement, it is a vibrant and dynamic district that is definitely worth a visit. If the 13th arrondissement is mostly known to be the Parisian version of China town, it is also home to a bold art scene, far from the Louvre and the Joconde!
Follow Captain Ulysses on a tour of this exuberant open-air museum!
💡 The Captain’s tip 💡
Want to know more about the history of Paris? Captain Ulysses highly recommends this free guided tour of the capital. It’s up to you to choose how much you wish to tip the tour guide!
Are you looking for a hotel in Paris? Be sure to check out the Captain’s article: Where to stay in Paris ? Advice & recommendations
Street art in the 13th arrondissement of Paris: the story behind the audacious project
If in popular belief, street art is often synonymous with tags and nonconformism, the “Street art 13” project is nothing of the sort!
The idea to turn the area into an exuberant and colourful open-air museum springs from the collaboration between a Parisian art gallery called La Gallerie Itinerrance, and the city hall of the 13th arrondissement.
Since then, two other galleries have joined the “Street Art 13” project: the Mathgoth Gallery and the By Night Gallery.
The idea behind this street art tour in the 13tharrondissement? Introducing the public to new forms of art, and promoting the area, which (unfairly) suffers from a somewhat negative image.
Pretty much everybody who’s anybody in the world of street art was invited to participate in the project
With 22 artists coming from all around the globe, the casting is indeed quite impressive.
In 2019, ten years after the start of the project, the arrondissement counted over fifty gigantic murals which were designed by some of the most famous street artists in the world.
Berlin is one of the most cosmopolitan cities with artists coming from Chile x (Alapinta, Inti), Spain (BTOY, David de la Mano), Ireland (Conor Harrington), the US (Cryptik, Faile, OBEY, Tristan Eaton), the UK (D*Face), Brazil (Ethos), Germany (Jana & Js), Poland (M-City, Sainer), Portugal (Pantónio, Vhils) and Belgium (Roa).
French artists are also fairly well represented, with pieces designed by Bom.K, C215, Rero, Invader, Maye, Seth or Stew.
The 13th arrondissement offers quite a spectacular overview of the best that the street art scene has to offer!
Exploring the 13th arrondissement
Ready to explore the 13th arrondissement and discover its amazing street art pieces? Good! You have two options:
- You can either visit the area on your own
- Or you can join a guided tour
Visiting the 13th arrondissement on your own
If you want to take your time, visiting the 13th arrondissement on your own is probably your best option. Most of the murals are located around Boulevard Vincent Aurio and Avenue de Choisy.
In order not to miss any of the murals, you can follow the interactive map which is available on the official website of “Street Art 13” project: here.
To dive into the enigmatic realm of Parisian street art, Captain Ulysses highly recommends opting for a guided tour!
Accompanied by an enthusiastic tour guide, you’ll discover everything there is to know about the “Street Art 13” project and be able to admire all of the most impressive murals in the area.
And if you’d like to explore the Parisian street art scene some more, Captain Ulysses recommends venturing into the districts of Belleville and Montmartre.
Street art workshop in the 13th arrondissement
You’re not satisfied with simply being a spectator? Why not (try and) become a street artist yourself?
Local artists created a workshop to try your hand at street art: quite a unique opportunity to design your own piece of street art!
👉 Skip the lines : book your tickets and visits in advance!
👉 Looking for advice and recommendations? Here are all of Captain Ulysses’ suggestions!
🛏️ Accommodation: Looking for an accommodation in Paris? Good news: there are plenty of options in the French capital. To book your hotel in Paris, Captain Ulysses highly recommends the website Booking.com. From cheap hostels to luxury palaces, you’ll have plenty of options to chose from. As for the localisation, it depends both on your budget and on what you’re looking for. If you can’t afford staying in the most expensive areas of the capital, the Captain recommends that you look for a hotel in the 12th or 13th arrondissements: they’re not as central, but are very well connected to the centre of Paris. The Buttes au Cailles, which looks just like a small village, is one of the Captain’s favourite neighbourhoods in Paris. If you’d rather stay in a chic and sophisticated hotel, here are the best 3 options according to the Captain: the St. James , the Dokhan’s and the Metropolitan .
🎟️ Activities : in order to book skip-the-line tickets, tours and activities in Paris, Captain Ulysses highly recommends GetYourGuide and Civitatis. Guided tours, entrance tickets, cruises, unusual activities: there’s plenty to chose from. If you want to avoid queuing to get into museums and monuments, the Captain suggests opting for skip-the-line tickets.
⛵ City cruises: Can you really visit Paris without going on a cruise on the Seine? The Captain loves sailing on the river and admiring the emblematic monuments of the French capital, especially at nightfall. You will find a large selection of cruises in Paris here.
🎫 City cards : If you’re planning on staying in Paris for a few days, you should definitely consider investing in a city card giving access to the capital’s top museums and landmarks. which includes access to the most famous monuments in Paris.
🚐 Transfers: the parisian airports are located outside the city and getting to the city centre can be quite expensive.
If your budget is tight, the Captain recommends the RATP shuttles that will drop you off at Opera if you’re coming from Roissy airport and at Denfert-Rochereau if you’re coming from Orly airport.
But for a few extra euros, you can book a transfer that will take you directly to your hotel.
If you are traveling in a group, this option is all the more interesting. Find out more here.
🚌 Transports: While you’ll be able to explore part of the city on foot, you will have to use the parisian public transports to explore some of the capital’s landmarks. In order to avoid accumulating (and losing) metro tickets, the Captain recommends opting for an unlimited transport pass. You can buy it directly at in any metro station.
Open tour buses (audioguides included) are also a good option.
If you’d rather explore Paris on a boat, you will love the batobus, a river shuttle on the Seine !
✈️ Flights, trains & buses : Good news: getting to Paris is quite easy! If you’re planning on flying to the capital, the Captain recommends Skyscanner, an online comparator which is perfect for finding the best deals. If your dates are flexible, you can even compare prices over several weeks. Paris is also easily accessible by train and bus. To book your tickets, the Captain highly recommends Omio, which integrates the offer of 207 train and bus companies in 44 countries.
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