Even though most visitors passing though the capital do not venture into the 13th arrondissement, it is a vibrant and dynamic neighbourhood that fully is definitely worth a visit. If the area 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!
Captain Ulysses leads you through this exuberant open-air museum: get ready to discover Paris as you’ve never seen it!
Street art in the 13th arrondissement of Paris: the story behind this 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 sprang from the collaboration between a Parisian art gallery called La Gallerie Itinerrance, and the city hall of the 13tharrondissement.
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.
Emblematic international artists
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 counts over fifty gigantic murals which were designed by some of the most famous street artists in the world.
The 13th arrondissement is no longer solely Parisian but has become quite international, with artists coming from Chile (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 an unbelievable overview of the best that the street art scene has to offer!
Exploring the 13th arrondissement, an open-air museum
So, are you 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 the best option. Most of the murals are located around Boulevard Vincent Aurio and Avenue de Choisy.
To dive into the enigmatic realm of Parisian street art, Captain Ulysses highly recommends that you opt for a guided tour!
With a passionnate guide, you will find out everything there is to know of “Street Art 13” project and the most impressive murals in the area.
You can book your guided tour here.
And if you want more Parisian street art, you can venture into the neighbourhood of Belleville! Click here for more details.
Street art workshop in the 13th arrondissement
You’re not satisfied with simply being a spectator? So, why not (try and) become a street artist yourself?
Local artists created a workshop to initiate people to street art: quite a unique opportunity to design your own piece of street art!
You can book you street art workshop here ?
Paris is a very touristic city and there are plenty of accommodations available. Captain Ulysses highly recommends the website Booking.com to book your hotel in Paris. From cheap hostels to luxury palaces, you’ll have plenty of options to chose from. As for the localsiation, 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. IIf you’d rather stay in a chic and sophisticated hotel, here are the best 3 options according to the Captain : the Saint-James, the Dokhan’s and the Metropolitan.
If you want to book your visits and activities in advance, the Captain recommends that you have a look at the website GetYourGuide. Guided tours, entrance tickets, cruises, unique activities : there’s plenty to chose from. If you want to avoid queuing to get into museums and monuments, the Captain suggests that you opt for skip-the-line tickets which you can book ahead of time.
What would Paris be without the Seine ? The Captain loves sailing on the river and admiring the emblematic monuments of the capital, especially at nightfall. You will find a large choice of cruises in Paris here.
If you are spending a few days in the capital, you might want to consider investing in a citypass, which will grant you access to the most famous monuments in Paris. There are two : the Paris City Pass which also includes an access to public transportations and the Paris Museum Pass. These passes main advantages : discounts and skip-the-line accesses.
Paris’ airports are located a few kilometres outside the capital and reaching the center of Paris can be somewhat expensive, including by public transport. 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.
If Paris is a relatively dense city that is quite easy to visit on foot, but you will probably need to use public transport to explore some of the capital’s slightly more remote areas. In order to avoid accumulating (and losing) subway tickets, the Captain recommends that you opt 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 !
Planes, trains, busses or cars: any type of transport leads to Paris. If you’re planning on flying to the capital, the Captain recommends that you check Skyscanner, an online comparator which is perfect for finding the best prices. If your dates are flexible, you can even compare prices over several weeks to find the best option. Paris is also a city easily accessible by train and bus. To book your tickets, we highly recommend Trainline, which integrates the offer of 207 train and bus companies in 44 countries.