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Parc des Buttes Chaumont

I am thinking of booking an airbnb in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont area. The apartment overlooks the trees of the park. Can anyone tell me anything about the neighborhood. Is it appealing? Safe? Too far from sightseeing? Or just right for a quiet area a little ways out? Is the park nice? I did a "walk-about" with Google maps, but nothing beats first-hand observations. Thanks!

Posted by
10298 posts

Probably 75020 will say otherwise, but if you don't know Paris well, IMHO, you shouldn't rent there.

It's touchier than most tourists realize and I usually don't paint negative pictures. Also, I admit I can find nothing on the following on google.fr or google.com. but I could try contacting the reporter who wrote about this via our mutual FB friend.

Here goes: about two weeks ago, he wrote there were unreported riots in the Buttes Chaumont area several nights in a row. How do I know? A currently active news reporter posted on a mutual friend's FB, out of frustration, that this wasn't making the news.

Also, I have other French friends who sold their apartment after 20 years and moved due to various neighborhood problems. They looked out on a different park/square, however . Therefore, if you aren't really familiar with Paris and its many cultures, you might want to stay more central.

Posted by
8173 posts

We have a friend who lives there, have rented in the area ourselves, and visit from time to time including this May. I love the area which is diverse and full of interesting places to eat and drink and some of the best street art in Paris and the park itself is lovely and full of people in nice weather. It is very untouristy. It is a far piece from the center and the metros are not very convenient there but the Paris transport system is so well developed that it isn't too much of a hassle to get to the center. I would not book it for a first visit to Paris just because it is so far out of the center.

Posted by
1309 posts

A friend and I did a "Paris Greeters" walk there 3 weeks ago.
It is a diverse neighborhood, and there were some charming streets and pedestrian alleyways, but the general area is rather gritty -- lots of big ugly apartment buildings and litter in the streets.
It's also quite a ways from central Paris, and, as I recall, it required at least one transfer on the metro to get to the central areas.
The Buttes itself is a large and beautiful park and I enjoyed it, but it's not someplace I would visit on my first time to Paris. (This last visit was my 8th, and my friend had lived in Paris for a year.)
The parc and surrounding areas are also very hilly, as the name implies, in case that might matter to you.
We rented a very nice apartment in the 11th arr., 2 metro stops beyond the Bastille. The neighborhood was not at all touristy but full of cafes where we were the only Americans. And it was easy to get around on both the metro and bus.
I would encourage you to find someplace closer in.

Posted by
776 posts

The Buttes Chaumont is a big park. "Overlooking the trees" covers a lot of area. An address would be helpful. I have to go with those who think for a visitor it's too far out. Depending on location near the park, the metro stops require transfers to get to Paris central. I live a little way from the park and have not had trouble there, but I'm not in the area at night when you would be coming home. Bets is right. If there have been problems around the park, they have not been covered in the news. (I'm in Florida for the summer where news of drownings is not reported in the papers for I suspect, the same reasons.)

Posted by
3984 posts

We have spent a total of 6 weeks on three different visits to Paris in a friend's apartment on Rue Simon Boulivar very near the main entrance to the park. We love her apartment, neighborhood and the park. We love being near the canal area too.

That said, if this is the OPs first or second trip to Paris I would agree that an apartment closer to central attractions would be more desirable. We did walk downhill to venues along the Seine on several occasions. It was about a 25-30 minute walk. We always took the metro home and there were multiple Metro stops to choose from. We also used the convienent busses on our street.

Posted by
2466 posts

If you want to stay someplace conveniently located for transportation or wandering around, this won't be it.
In addition, it's very probable that if you go into cafes or grocery stores, you won't find anything familiar and all conversation will cease until you leave.
I'd recommend staying either in the 11 th or 12 th - where transport options are much better and things will be more familiar...and much cleaner.
There are also lots of tree-lined streets in the 14 th.

Posted by
3984 posts

I fail to see the cleanliness issues people are describing with the neighborhoods immediately surrounding the park.we were there just 2 years ago and walked south to the Seine, west to the canals and market shops near Juarez, east to Belleville and north a little bit and didn't notice any filthy areas.

Also as far as conversations stopping in shops, we enjoyed trying our rudimentary French and sometimes had to communicate with merchants in sign language but we didn't feel like we were bothering people who lived there and weren't used to English speakers in their neighborhoods.

Posted by
2466 posts

The main tourist areas are positively spiffed up and are what tourists expect to see.
The outer arrondissements do not receive as much care.
Tourists who do not speak rudimentary French will likely be frustrated in trying to make their needs known.
That's why it's recommended that most tourists stay basically in the central arrondissements so they will feel more comfortable.
The fact that you enjoyed yourselves doesn't mean that anyone else would feel the same way.

Posted by
3984 posts

That's not what I implied in my first or second response to this thread and I was careful to NOT recommend this further out area to a new visitor to Paris. What I asked in my second post is about the "filthy" conditions since two of you noticed this. What PBC neighborhoods or area do you see these conditions in?

Posted by
776 posts

Mona, I'm with you. I live in the area and except for the rue de Belleville which is always a disaster for many reasons, I think the area is pretty clean. I too would like to know the specific areas around the Buttes that other posters have in mind when they mention dirt and gritty.

Posted by
47 posts

Thank you, all, you've been helpful. I am not worried about the "gritty" comments, since I am well-traveled to places beyond touristy Europe and I trust those who live near the area. However, I speak not a bit of French, other than polite phrases, so this is perhaps not the area for us. I now have two others on my radar and would like your feedback. One is one block off of the Canal St. Martin somewhere near Gare de l'Est and the other is near the Jussieu metro station and the University of Pierre and Marie Curie. Are either of those preferable? Thank you in advance for all your help!

Posted by
776 posts

Heather:

Areas in East Paris can vary block by block. In your case, an address would be helpful. I don't know the area around Jussieu metro well enough to make a comment. In general, the 5th is interesting, lively, close to what you're looking for but can be very crowded.

Posted by
2466 posts

I never mentioned the words "filthy or gritty". And I wish people would stop putting words where I have not used them.
I specified that the tourist areas and monuments are kept cleaner than most other neighborhoods - apparently according to the wishes of The Mayor's Office.
My neighbourhood could use a good sprucing up, come to think of it.

Heather - depending on the closest Metro stop near Canal St Martin, and how close it really is to the Canal, it will probably be noisy on the weekends.
I don't believe that Metro Jussieu is anywhere near the Curie, so you might check on that. I believe that's around rue Saint Jacques, near Luxembourg gardens.

Posted by
10298 posts

The main tourist areas are positively spiffed up and are what tourists expect to see.
The outer arrondissements do not receive as much care.

I agree thoroughly, but would say the outer east side doesn't receive the care the outer west side receives: 8th vs. 20th for example.

Posted by
776 posts

Location of the University Pierre and Marie Curie ( UPMC) (Wiki)

The Jussieu Campus (Campus Universitaire de Jussieu) is a higher education campus located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the main campus of the Pierre and Marie Curie University (Paris VI)

The campus is served by the Paris Métro station Jussieu

Posted by
10298 posts

Jussieu is next to the main mosque of Paris, with its delightful tea room, not far from the old Roman arena, Monge and the Jardin des Plantes, but almost on the river. That's a good place to be.

edit: Have they stopped serving mint tea at the Grande Mosquée? --probably have to go over to the Institute du Monde Arabe, which is also close by, for tea service.

Posted by
2466 posts

There is also a cancer hospital named for Pierre and Marie Curie on rue Saint Jacques, near the Luxembourg gardens.

Metro Jussieu is not a very convenient station, though you can hike to most places in about 20 - 30 minutes on foot.

If the Canal Saint Martin apartment is too near Gare De l'Est, it will be a very busy place, though not in any way dangerous or "gritty" . Good transport options, but no trees anywhere.
If you could choose another apartment, and if you like trees, you should look around Luxembourg gardens or in the 14th arrondissement.

Posted by
20321 posts

One is one block off of the Canal St. Martin somewhere near Gare de l'Est

Stayed in this area a few years ago (Rue de Recollets & Rue Lucien Sampaix). I liked it, as it had the feel of the Lower East Side in the 80's. Canal St Martin nearby, a short walk to Gare de l'Est Metro station, and lots of trendy restaurants. Favorite is Les Enfants Perdus on Rue de Recollets.

Posted by
3300 posts

In 2015, we stayed at the Le Citizen Hotel on the Canal St. Martin and I loved that area - more than anywhere else I've been in Paris (3 short visits). We walked around the PBC and the neighborhood seemed fine to me. I felt more like a "temporary local" than the tourist I really am.

Posted by
776 posts

The Canal is lined with trees and the parc Villemin has a bumper crop of them.