Buying Second Hand Clothes in Paris: A Guide to Friperies

Shopping second-hand has become more and more popular in recent years as a way to save money, reduce the waste from fast fashion, and find unique treasures.

In contemporary France, a friperie is is a thrift shop or second-hand shop (the word used to be used in English as well, though it has fallen out of use). Friperies can be run by charities or for profit, but they all sell second-hand clothing at a reduced price. The most popular area in Paris to find friperies is in the Marais, mostly on rue de la Verrerie, but these are often crowded and can be more expensive.

We’ve put together a short list of our favourite spots to find a deal. The friperies listed here have multiple locations around Paris but we’ve identified the location with the best selection and value for money.

Emmaüs Defi – Riquet

By far the best friperie in Paris, the Riquet location of Emmaüs Defi has over 1000 m² of not just clothes but also books, homewares, furniture, and sports equipment. Hardback coffee table books for 4€, real leather boots for 10€ and winter coats for less than 30€. If you’re looking to update your wardrobe as the weather gets cooler, this is the place to go.

You can also check out the other Emmaüs locations across Paris, including the brand new Emmaüs Campus at Césure.

Kilo Shop Saint Germain. Irene on the Scene.

Kilo Shop – Saint Germain

There is a growing number of Kilo shops around Paris. These shops price their clothes by weight and often have a colour coded system of how much an item will cost per kilo. Items by with a red label are the cheapest at 20€ per kilo, all the way to orange labelled items at 60€ per kilo. The Saint Germain location tends to be quieter and is a great place to hunt for knitwear or shirts.

Guerrisol. Sur la 2.

Guerrisol – Avenue d’Italie

The Guerrisol one of the cheapest thrift shops in Paris and the one on Avenue d’Italie is known for having a good range of menswear items as well as winter coats. Be prepared to hunt through the many, many racks of items for your perfect find, as it is a large store. While you’re in the neighbourhood check out some other things to do in the 13th Arrondissement in this article.

BIS Boutique Solidaire on Boulevard du Temple. Paris So Biotiful.

BIS Boutique Solidaire – Boulevard du Temple

This charity shop focusses usually on higher quality clothes, which means slightly higher prices. However their selection is so good we couldn’t leave it off this list. If you want a more curated thrifting experience that still supports a charitable cause then the BIS Boutique Solidaire is the one for you.

Vinted App. Madame Figaro.

Online Alternatives

We also have a couple of suggestions for those who prefer shopping online from the comfort of their own home. The Vinted app is a popular clothing resale app on which you can find items for every budget and taste from well known designers to vintage bargains.

Although Facebook marketplace is not as popular in Paris as in other place, there are a number of Facebook groups for buying and selling second-hand clothes e.g. Women in Paris Swap and Shop.

Imparfaite caters more to the vintage market but has a range of quality items and often collaborates with French brands to sell their archival pieces for reduced prices. A few time a year they hold in-person vintage sales in Paris, so keep an eye on their Instagram for the next one.

Top image source: Les Echos

Printing at Kent in Paris

Students are able to print on campus using their Reid Hall cards, which must be topped up with print credit.

To do so, you need to send a transfer to the European centres bank account, with the reference as “print credit” and then your student number. Once we’ve received your payment we will be able to top up your Reid Hall card.

The University’s bank details are:

Beneficiary name: University of Kent
Bank: ING Bank, Avenue Marnix 24, 1000 Brussels,
Belgium (Tel: +32 2 739 26 29)
IBAN: BE31 3751 0071 2755

When paying by bank transfer, please ensure that you include your:

  • Full name (the student’s name)
  • “Print credit” and student number as a reference

International transfers may incur bank charges. Your account will be credited with the amount received by the University, net of any wiring or transfer fees.

Once you’ve added credit to your Reid Hall card and confirmed with the Kent Paris office, follow these instructions to print in the Reading Room.

Graduate Profile: Journalist Sinéad McCausland

In the latest edition of our Graduate Profile series, we are pleased to introduce an alumna who remained in Paris after her studies. Since graduating from the University of Kent’s MA in Film Studies, Sinéad McCausland works as a journalist for France’s newspaper of record, Le Monde, in addition to producing written and video work for various media platforms.

Where are you from and what originally brought you to Paris?

I was born and brought up in South Wales. A draw to cities is what originally brought me to Paris. Having spent my childhood in rural towns, cities became hubs of art, culture, connection, opportunity, change – everything I wanted to be a part of. Truthfully, I could’ve ended up in any city, but, fully immersed in my French New Wave obsession when I made the decision to leave, I think it was only natural that Paris was the place I ended up.

What attracted you most about studying with Kent in Paris?

The fact the courses offered were in English was number one. Moving to a new country is tough, and not speaking the language is even tougher, so this was my primary concern. I remember being drawn to the Film modules Kent in Paris offered thanks to the scope of what was taught, from the beginnings of cinema in France through to the New Wave, and Kent in Paris’ interdisciplinary approach to learning. Being given the opportunity to study and sit in on art history and creative writing classes was a big plus.

What were some of the highlights from the course?

Being given introductory tours to the Cinémathèque Française and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France were definitely highlights. What stands out most from the course is how well each professor incorporated Paris into their classes. I think we spent more time outside of the classroom than inside it, exploring the city and its people in relation what we were learning – there was even one class [covering psychogeography] where we were encouraged to take our shoes and socks off and walk around the 6th arrondissement barefoot (I did). And working and socializing in the beautiful Reid Hall building, which I still visit regularly, is something I’d encourage all students to take advantage of while doing their programme.

How did your Master’s programme at Kent in Paris help with your career prospects?

My Master’s at Kent in Paris was invaluable. Thanks to the opportunities the programme gave me, I began an internship with Columbia University’s Paris Global Center, which then turned into a full-time position, meaning I could stay in Paris. I subsequently learned French and embarked on my career as a journalist, working for France 24, Agence France-Presse, and Le Monde.

What is your current role and how did it come about?

I’m currently a video and text journalist for Le Monde in English, the newspaper’s digital English-language version launched in 2022. I was originally a pigiste, a special freelancer status granted to journalists, for Agence France-Presse’s video service and France 24’s 24 hours news channel before joining Le Monde

What are the most rewarding and the most challenging aspects about your current role?

While there are a lot of them, the rewards far outweigh the challenges in journalism. I appreciate that a key part of my job involves staying informed on events, big and small, happening around the world, from the war in Ukraine to the Iranian protests, and so on. Still, it’s hard to switch off – the newsroom is addictive. But the best thing about journalism is that it’s a job where you never stop learning; there’s always something new to discover. 

What is it like looking for work in Paris as a native English speaker? Any advice for current students?

It’s easy to see being a native English speaker in Paris as a limitation if you’re not bilingual, but I would encourage students to see it as a plus. It’s hard to give specific advice because it depends on the work a student may be looking for, but I think if you really want to stay in the city and are proactive enough, there’s always a way to make it work. Let everyone know that you want to stay in Paris and that you’re looking for a job. And most importantly, be kind to yourself. It takes a couple of years to settle into a new country and make it feel like home.

You can view Sinéad’s work for Le Monde in English here.

Following a Vegetarian Diet in Paris

There is a stereotype that being vegetarian in France means eating chicken, but Paris is a major capital city and it’s possible to follow many different diets here. That being said, it’s not always easy to know where to go when you first arrive, so here’s a short guide to being vegetarian in Paris.

Jah Jah by Le Tricycle. Vogue.

Eating out

Although there are more and more vegetarian friendly restaurants in Paris that ever before, the average French restaurant may only have one or two vegetarian options so if you want more that a cheese omelette you might have to venture off the beaten track.

To help you find restaurants the cater to vegetarians, the Happy Cow app, made by the successful website of the same name, is a must-have for navigating Paris. It provides an interactive map of vegan or vegetarian restaurants in your neighbourhood and allows users to add reviews. It also has the option of restaurants with “vegetarian options” if you’re out with friends who refuse to have a meal without meat.

Some of the our favourite vegetarian restaurants in Paris are Potager de Charlotte, Aujourd’hui Demain, and Jah Jah By Le Tricycle.

Eating at restaurants of cuisines that naturally lend themselves to vegetarian diets is another way to ensure you have a more exciting meal. Indian restaurants or Italian pizzerias will almost always have vegetarian options and can be a safe bet if you’re out and about. Many restaurants have their menus online, or out on the street so you can check before you actually sit down at a table.

Marché d’Aligre. © OTCP Amélie Dupont

Grocery Shopping

Certainly the cheapest way to follow a vegetarian diet in Paris is to cook at home. It is possible to find vegetarian options in a regular French supermarket. Items such as falafels or bean burgers are common but organic shops often have a wider selection of vegetarian and vegan options, especially animal product replacements. These shops do tend to be more expensive than the average supermarket.

There are also weekly farmer’s markets around Paris that sell fresh seasonal produce at lower prices than the supermarkets. If you want to read more about navigating your local farmer’s market, check out this article.

Asian supermarkets are also a good place to shop for vegetarians. Paris has three china towns across the city (read more about them in this article) and an area in the 10th arrondissement referred to as “Little India” (featured in this article); there you can find ingredients such as tofu, tempeh, or paneer, and full meals that cater to vegetarian diets.

Other Apps

Too Good To Go and Phenix are both anti-waste apps that allow you to buy food that would otherwise be thrown out from restaurants and supermarkets for low prices. It is possible to filter the results to vegetarian only. Other filters on the Phenix app include organic produce, halal, gluten free, and lactose free


Top image: Montmartre District, Jan Wlodarczyk / Alamy Stock Photo.

Student Profile: Sam, MA in Creative Writing

What attracted you most about studying at the Paris School of Arts and Culture?

Probably the opportunity to practice writing in a creative environment, meet like-minded people and professional creatives, and also a really good excuse to spend a year in a city like Paris.

How has the course influenced your writing practice?

I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in the overall quality of my writing – mainly thanks to the workshops put on by the tutors here. There’s so many opportunities to practice and improve both technique and content, within the university and outside it. Personally, I try and write as much as I can first thing when I wake up, then get on with whatever work I have to do for the rest of the day, or go to class. Once I’ve done that I write some more, and usually end up in a bar somewhere in the evening. My Baar on the Boulevard Montparnasse, just round the corner from Reid Hall, is a student favourite after class – 3€ for a blonde (lager). There’s also some really cool open mic nights in various bars around Belleville we’ve been going to which are good fun.

What was your favourite module?

Very hard to choose between them, but I think it’s been Paris: Psychogeography, which mainly handled the relationship between the physical space you’re writing in and the writing itself, and Paris: Portfolio, which had some really great outings. Heather Hartley is a wonderful teacher, and it was a real pleasure to have her talk us through her own practices as an editor and writer herself and how we can incorporate some of those techniques into our own work.

Dr Rosa Rogers, who taught Paris: Portfolio, took us to some really interesting places, my favourite being the Musée Rodin, wandering around the gardens and museum filled with beautiful statues and paintings and then writing about them over a Ricard afterwards.

Describe your cohort.

We’ve come from all over, and everyone brings something different to the table. Some had written prose previovus to the course, some wrote poetry, some wrote music, some hadn’t written much at all before they came (not that you’d know it from some of the things they produced). But everyone pulled together and it made for a really nice environment. We tended to bond most over a drink (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic) after Psychogeography classes on Wednesday evenings.

What has been your most memorable Paris moment?

Either wandering the streets of Paris at night with my housemate and stumbling across a sparkling Eiffel Tower almost on accident, or Sam’s (there are two Sams) magazine launch – shameless TWI ST plug – or an old school friend’s gigs in various bars and clubs in the north of Paris. Or open mic nights at the jazz bar round the corner from where I live. To be honest, there’s too many to chose from. There’s always something going on, and no two weeks seem to be the same.

You’re from Hertfordshire in England. What was the transition from your home country to Paris like?

Very interesting – I’ve never lived in a big city before, so it was quite the adjustment. I’ve lived abroad previously so I wasn’t too worried about leaving the UK, but I had no idea how rich and diverse life in Paris would be. It’s a very liberating place. The term metropolis gets bandied about a lot, but Paris really is wonderful– every arrondissement has its own character, and is almost like a small city in itself. Where I live, in the 13th, is quiet and pretty, and you could wander around it for a while and still not see everything, and then there are nineteen other arrondissements to explore as well. There’s something for everyone. And obviously, having friends from the course helped enormously, because you already have a network of people you know you can reach out to, as well as Frank and Naomi, the Kent at Paris administrators, who are always happy to help you out with any questions or queries you might have, be that print shops or paperwork or party spots. Also, the baguettes are unreal.

What advice would you give incoming students?

Just come with an open mind and you’ll be fine. You don’t need to have been a professional writer, or even have written anything at all before you come, so don’t worry about that aspect of it. Practice will start to come naturally once you start writing regularly, which you’ll do in class anyway, and your tutors and classmates will help you with that.

Remember to try and make the most of the other aspects of Parisian life as well, all the museums and exhibitions and galleries and concerts and things. But mainly, that you get out of it what you put in, and you’ll meet some amazing people and experience some incredible things once you put your mind to it.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I’ll be teaching English at the Sorbonne University come September thanks to some connections the University of Kent have with that particular establishment, for which I’m very grateful, so I’ll be in Paris for another year. Feel free to reach out when you get here! After that, who knows – whatever happens, I’ll still be writing and playing music and things, no matter where I’ll end up, but I’ll always have fond memories of Reid Hall, the Paris School campus. Especially of Youki, the cat that lives in the library.

Youki, Reid Hall’s resident cat, on her constitutional.

Refractions: Paris Postgraduate Festival 2023 Full Programme

In a world of sensory stimulants, art is the prism through which we refract our experiences. This year’s Paris Postgraduate Festival takes on the theme of Refractions. Taking place from 5th-9th June, these 5 free events will disperse the prismatic visions of artists across multiple Parisian venues. Please see the festival website to sign up and RSVP. 

Pop-up Exhibition. Agora.

Monday June 5, 2023: Festival launch and Pop-up Exhibition

The 2023 festival will launch with a pop-up exhibition featuring artworks, sounds, and, of course, wine. Visit us in the 11th district of Paris where we will exhibit the work of a range of emerging artists, based in Paris, accompanied by audio inspirations.

WHEN + WHERE: 5:30-9:30 PM, Mon Pop-up Paris, 14 rue Jean Mace, 75011 


Peniche Cinema – La Baruda. Time Out.

Tuesday June 6, 2023: Sounds & Visions 

We present an experimental event incorporating live jazz music from Antoine Karacostas, accompanied by a programme of exceptional short films. Experience a new form of silent cinema, an amalgamation of contemporary and archive.

WHEN + WHERE: 5:30 PM at La Péniche Cinéma – Le Baruda in La Villette, 75019 Paris



Wednesday June 7, 2023: Featured Author – Rebecca Watson

We invite you to join Featured Author Rebecca Watson in an afternoon of literary discussion and workshops. Experience an experimental writing workshop and an exclusive reading from Rebecca’s debut novel little scratch.

WHEN + WHERE:  2 PM at The Red Wheelbarrow Bookshop, 11 rue de Médicis No. 9, 75006 Paris

Space is limited – please sign up 

Thursday June 8, 2023: The Menteur Launch Party

Join us in celebrating the launch of Voyager, the 2023 edition of The Menteur, the Paris School of Art’s annual literary magazine. Come get your free copy of the magazine, listen to readings by featured authors, and clink a glass to celebrate! 

WHEN + WHERE: 1 PM at Rosa Bonheur Buttes Chaumont, 2 Av. de la Cascade, 75019 Paris


Parc des Buttes Chaumont.

Friday June 9, 2023: The Art of Communications

We close the festival with a workshop that will awaken all your senses; the writing and reading of poetry informed by olfactory exploration. This poetry and perfumery workshop will take place in the beautiful hills of Buttes Chaumont.

WHEN + WHERE: 6:30 PM at Parc Des Buttes-Chaumont, 1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris.

Precise location will be provided to participants prior to the event.

Space is limited – please sign up 

Student Profile: Lauretta, MA in Creative Writing

What attracted you most about studying at the Paris School of Arts and Culture?

Undertaking the MA in Creative Writing was a huge change for me. My undergraduate degree is in Accounting and Finance and I had a successful career in finance before coming to Kent. A common question I was asked was “why don’t you keep your job in finance and write after work and on weekends?” I knew I would be doing myself an injustice if I didn’t enrol in a programme that allowed me to dedicate a significant amount of time to my dream.

I had the opportunity to study at another, equally prestigious school but what swayed my decision was the course structure at the Paris School of Arts and Culture. The most important thing was for me to able to create and work on a novel idea. Kent’s programme has allowed me the headspace to explore my new city, perform research, and play with new genres. I had to ensure that if I was going to take one of the biggest risks in my life, it would be at a place like Kent, where I knew my ideas would be nurtured and my boundaries pushed.

How has the course influenced your writing practice?

A lecturer I worked with during the autumn term gave me the support to polish my pieces but also enter them into as many competitions as I could. During my time in Paris, I have had sections of my novel published in literary magazines and read out loud at numerous events. And I was recently shortlisted for a Penguin Random House competition!

As I worked away at my career in finance, I knew that what I needed the most was time. Time to push myself, which is what the Paris School offered me. I owe much of my success to the course structure, which allowed me the breathing room to not only develop my ideas but also put pen to paper.

What was your favourite module?

Identity, Trauma and Sexuality in 20th and 21st Century Narratives was my favourite. It appealed to the part of me that loves books. Every week I was able to pick up a new text, which covered some really hard hitting material. After every text, I felt myself getting smarter and my view on the world shifted and became more textured. Certainly, a module I would recommend!

Describe your cohort.

We were thrown together initially but soon I found we had so much in common. On the first day, I heard people laugh over a pub they both visited in Birmingham as another group squeezed together to look at photos of someone’s hometown in Italy. There are some stars who burn blinding bright and some quieter types who brood mysteriously out of windows, but everyone has a place. We are all so willing to support each other whether it’s sharing recipes, a place to stay or bringing over a specific brand of all-purpose seasoning from England. We’re a family.

What has been your most memorable Paris moment?

It has to be at one the first house parties I went to in Paris, hosted by a fellow student. I sat by a window, clutching a glass of wine as I spoke with violent passion about that day’s metro experience, and I laughed. I laughed because I finally felt settled in a city where I didn’t speak the language and where six weeks before, I knew absolutely nobody.

Either that or the day I learnt the correct terms to order a perfectly baked baguette from the boulangerie: pas trop cuite!

You’re from London. What was the transition from London to Paris like?

I stand firm in my belief that London is the capital of the world. I can, however, entertain conversations around New York or Paris also being the capital of the world. So, in my mind, I was moving from one world capital to another. This allowed for the ease of certain things, such as using a metro system and the mechanism of the economy. However, in other places I had less surefootedness. For example, the etiquette around payments and phone calls and the slower nature in which things run in Paris was an adjustment for me, but I did adjust.

What advice would you give to incoming students?

As a creative writing student, I found that myself and other students who had an idea of what they wanted – to spend the year writing – took more away from the course. I was able to ask targeted questions about my work and propel myself towards my goal. Modules such as Fiction and Psychogeography allowed for exploration of new forms, genres and styles which ultimately only strengthened my core focus, my novel. The idea you come with doesn’t need to (and in fact shouldn’t) be set in stone but knowing what you want to leave the year with will ensure you are not simply being blown by the wind.

Paris is a city that must be approached with adaptability. Even if you’re from a huge city, or you’ve visited Paris before, living here is wildly different. The ability to adapt will make it easier to thrive. Things occur unexpectedly but that’s what makes things exciting and the more willing you are to bend, the more fruitful your time here will be.

What are your post-graduation plans?

I am moving to Medellin, Colombia after graduation to embark on other life changing adventures. I’ll also be trying to get my book over the finish line with the help of all the tools I gathered this year!


Alongside her studies, Lauretta works as a barista in Paris’ 3rd arrondissement.

Merci beaucoup, Lauretta!

Exploring the Ruins of Roman Paris

The history of the city of Paris begins with the small Roman settlement of Lutetia (Lutèce in French) which was built on the hill that now houses the Pantheon the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in the first century BC. Later in the Roman period the settlement relocated across the Seine to the Île de la Cité.

Paris today has very little left to remind us of its Roman past . However, there are still some signs of the ancient city hidden in the Paris we know today. We’ve put together this list of the ruins around the city that you are still able to visit.

Roman Baths

The ruins of the city’s roman baths can be found at the Musée de Cluny, although the museum itself is largely dedicated to the medieval period. Known as the Thermes de Cluny in French, they constitute about one-third of a massive bath complex that is believed to have been constructed around the beginning of the 3rd century. The best preserved room is the frigidarium, with intact architectural elements such as Gallo-Roman vaults, ribs and consoles, and fragments of original decorative wall painting and mosaics. While you’re there check out the rest of the museum, you might be inspired to search for more of medieval Paris.

Arènes de Lutèce

In the 5th arrondissement by the metro stop Place de Monge, you can find the Arènes de Lutèce (Arenas of Lutetia). These listed monuments, built between the 1st and 2nd century, were able to hold up to 15,000 people. Visitors can still see the site where the actors stood, the stage platform and lapidary parts. Today they make up part of the Place Emile Mâle, and are a popular spot for relaxing or playing football or boules on a sunny day.

The City Walls

It was in the later Roman period, after a barbarian invasion in 285AD, that many of the residents of Lutetia moved across the Seine to Île de la Cité, destroying the bridges behind them. At that time, ramparts were constructed about 7 feet high. Today, only the outline of a small section of the Roman wall can be seen at 5 Rue de la Colombe and there’s a historic plaque on the wall to mark the place.

Remains of the archaeological crypt of Ile de la Cité © Pierre Antoine

Archaeological Crypt

Beneath the Notre-Dame Cathedral square lies the archaeological crypt of Paris containing the foundations and vestiges of buildings dating from the Gallo-Roman era through to the 18th century. These remains were discovered during excavations from 1965 to 1972, and were made open to to the public in 1980. The crypt offers a unique look at the urban and architectural evolution of the Île de la Cité.

Remnants of Ancient Aqueducts

You can find a piece of the old Roman aqueduct at 42 Avenue Reille, 75014 Paris, which was discovered and dug up during construction work in the area.

To learn more about the history of Paris, head to the Musée Carnavalet

street art in Paris 75013

Our Guide to the 13th Arrondissement, beyond la Bibliothèque nationale

Many of our Kent Paris School students will be spending a good deal of time at la Bibliothèque nationale, France’s National Library, especially as they work on their final papers and dissertations. But if you want to take a break from your research, Paris’ large 13th district has plenty of gems to discover. From street art to Chinatown and from former villages to thought-provoking contemporary architecture, here are our favourite things to do in the 13th: 

Station F and La Félicità

Just next to the Library is the large co-working venue, Station F. Located within a former rail freight depot dating from 1927, since 2017 it has been home to the world’s biggest start-up “campus” or incubator. Many of the dynamic creatives who work there drift over to the restaurant part of the complex, La Felicità, a massive Italian food emporium where you can find great coffee, dine in a former train car or sip aperitivo on its terrace at the end of a long day. 

Cité de la Mode et Design Paris

Photo Credit: Cité de la Mode et Design

Paris Rive Gauche – Contemporary Architecture District

The 13th has positioned itself as a cluster of innovation – evidenced not only through the high concentration of start-ups, but also through its rapidly evolving architecture. Throwing off the Haussmannian rigidity, the 13th arrondissement contains a particularly rich collection of exciting contemporary buildings just to the east of the Bibliothèque nationale. Called Paris Rive Gauche, the district has a mix of residential, office and university buildings. You can explore these thanks to this useful article (in English) available on the Paris City Hall website.

port de la gare parisPort de la Gare

On the quais just in front of the Bibliothèque nationale is one of the nicest – and coolest – sections of the Seine river banks within Paris. The pedestrian walkway is the perfect place to stretch your legs during a study break, for a picnic in balmy weather or to end your day. Its floating bars (known as péniches in French), including one on an old-fashioned boat, are very popular with eastend Parisians. From late spring to late summer, and especially on weekends, these péniches expand with quai-side seating and activities. There is also a CROUS (university canteen serving low-cost meals), the Le Cafétéria Pont supérieur, inside one of the barges. 

Passerelle Simone-de-Beauvoir. Photo: AHert / CC

Passerelle Simone de Beauvoir

The newest of Paris’s 37 bridges, the footbridge was inaugurated in 2006 and named in honour of France’s great feminist philosopher and writer. It was designed by Feichtinger Architectes and constructed by the Eiffel company (yes, Gustave Eiffel’s company lives on to this day!). You can gaze up at the bridge from the Port or access it from the Library’s esplanade. Looking west, from the bridge you have a great view of the Pont de Bercy where métro line 6 zips by every few minutes. 

Street Art

Over the last decade or so, the 13th has come to boast one of the highest concentrations of street art. Today the district’s large tower buildings are decorated with over 50 murals as well as scores of smaller works by French and international artists like Obey, Inti and C215. Although these are scattered around the 13th, you can see many larger ones as you walk down Boulevard Vincent Auriol and see smaller works around Les Buttes aux Cailles (see below). You can locate them with the help of this interactive map and you can learn more about top Parisian street artists in this blog post.


A stone’s throw from both Chinatown and busy Place d’Italie is one of the loveliest of Paris’s former villages. Once a small hamlet on the outskirts of the city, the Butte-aux-Cailles gradually became associated with the Parisian working class. Luckily, the neighbourhood escaped Haussmann architectural injunctions. Today, the quartier is lined with restaurants and bars popular with students from nearby campuses. A favourite neighbourhood haunt is Le temps des cérises, a cooperative-model bistrot. Opened in 1976, the bistro’s menu, prices, and operating model pay hommage to the working class (and the bistro’s name, the Time of Cherries, is a nod to the Paris Commune of 1871). Read more in our guide to the former villages of Paris at this link.

Les Olympiades, Jean-François Gornet


A section of the centre of the 13th district, the area around the modern high-rises of Les Olympiades, is well-known for its bustling Chinatown. The largest Chinatown in Europe, this can be found between Avenue d’Ivry, Avenue de Choisy and Boulevard Masséna. You can learn more about its history, as well as dining recommendations, in our guide to Paris’s Chinatowns.

Le Château de la Reine Blanche 

Le Château de la Reine Blanche. Siren-Com / CC

Le Château de la Reine Blanche 

The Château de la Reine Blanche, or Castle of the White Queen, (6 Rue Gustave Geffroy, 75013) is one of the arrondissement’s hidden gems. The structure dates back to 1290 and takes its name from Blanche de France who inherited the manor house from her mother. Parts of the building are from the 14th and 15th century. Today the castle is privately owned and unfortunately rarely open to the public (except on the Journées du Patrimoine held in mid September), but you can still view it from the street. Discover other lesser known medieval sites in Paris in this article.

Square René Le Gall

photo: Sonia Yassa/ Ville de Paris

Square René Le Gall

The 13th arrondissement does not have an abundance of parks, but this pretty one is tucked away on a side street near the Château de la Reine Blanche. The Square René Le Gall is located next to where the Bièvre River once flowed, Paris’s second river that only exists underground now within the city limits. The park was built over a land mass in a fork of the river previously called Monkey Island; a little stream runs through the garden, tracing the path of the semi-defunct river. The perfect place to read on a sunny day, the park has some rose arbors, a quirky obelisque, fruit trees, sycamores and a huge Indian chestnut tree planted in 1894.

Renowned French Women Artists & Where to See their Art in Paris

All too frequently overshadowed by their male counterparts, women artists have gradually carved out their rightful place on France’s art scene. This foundation was laid by courageous women artists of the late-19th century, with more following little by little over the course of the 19th and into the 20th century. Here are ten of the most renowned artists who helped pave the way for today’s generation of women artists in France.

Portrait of Marie Antoinette, Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun © Château de Versailles, Dist. RMN : © Christophe Fouin

Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842)

Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun was one of the most renowned artists of the end of the 18th and first half of the 19th century. A child prodigy, her talent for drawing was noticed at a young age by her father, a pastel artist, who let her dabble with his supplies. After several years at a convent school, she began an apprenticeship with an artist. A professional artist by age 14, within only a few years she began painting high-level aristocrats and she was one of the first women accepted into a French painting academy, or guild. Her work soon attracted the attention of the royal court (then looking to rehabilitate the Queen’s reputation); she became the Queen’s official portraitist and painted her over thirty times. Fleeing during the Revolution, she was able to return to her artistic career under the Napoleonic regime.

Where to see her art: Musée du Louvre (French Painting Department), Versailles (le Petit Trianon)

Portrait de Rosa Bonheur dans son atelier au château de By
©Chateau de Rosa Bonheur

Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899)

Also the daughter of an artist father, Rosa Bonheur’s love of animal paintings began as a child and continued throughout her career. She studied animals in the suburbs of Paris, the Bois de Boulogne and the National Veterinary Institute. Bonheur’s first major success was Ploughing in the Nivernais, on display at the Musée d’Orsay, and was awarded a gold medal in 1849. Adored by the US market, Bonheur was the first female French artist to be awarded the Legion of Honour.

Where to see her art: Musée d’Orsay, Chateau de Rosa Bonheur (near Fontainebleau)

Le jardin à Bougival (1884) Berthe Morisot, and top image: Self-Portrait (1889), Berthe Morisot, both Musée Marmatton-Monet

Berthe Morisot (1841-1895)

A rebellious artist from her early days, Berthe began painting alongside her sister. A close friend of Édouard Manet, the two exchanged frequently on art; Morisot would later marry his brother. She was one of the founding members of les “Artistes Anonymes Associés,” a group of innovative artists including Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, Camille Pissarro, and Edgar Degas who would later be called the impressionists. Today her work features in many of the world’s most prestigious museums.

Where to see her art: Musée d’Orsay and the Musée Marmottan-Monet

The Blue Room (1923), Centre Pompidou – Musée National d’Art Moderne

Suzanne Valadon (1865-1938)

Interested in drawing as a child, Marie-Clémentine Valadon, later called Suzanne, came from a poor family and was obligated to begin work aged 11. After an accident at the circus where she was an acrobatist, she started modeling for artists including Berthe Morisot, Renoir, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. These encounters encouraged her to pursue her own artistic career. Known for her bold nudes as well as portraits, still lifes, and landscape, she became the first woman painter admitted to the Société nationale des Beaux-Arts. Valadon and her son, the notable painter Maurice Utrillo, are celebrated at the Montmartre Museum, part of which comprises their former studio.

Where to see her art: Musée d’Orsay, Centre Pompidou and Musée de Montmartre

Marie Laurencin

La Répétition (1936), Marie Laurencin, Centre Pompidou
Marie Laurencin (1883-1956)

A multi-talented artist born in Paris, Marie Laurencin got her start in art by learning the trade of porcelain painting at the École de Sèvres before she moved on to the Académie Humbert. It was here where she met Braque and Picabia, steering her in the direction of modernism. A fauvist before becoming a prominent cubist, Laurencin became a popular society portraitist after the Great War. She also dabbled in theatre set design and costumes.

Where to see her art: Musée de l’Orangerie and Centre Pompidou

Louise Bourgeois, Spider

Louise Bourgeois, Spider (Araignée) (1995). Don de la SAMAM en 1995 © The Easton Foundation / ADAGP, Paris 2020 / Julien Vidal / Parisienne de Photographie

Louise Bourgeois (1911 – 2010)

One of the most renowned artists of the 20th century, Louise Bourgeois might be best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art, however, her work evolved dramatically over her long career. After her mother’s death, Bourgeois abandoned the study of maths to pursue art, first at the École des Beaux-Arts and the École du Louvre, before moving on to independent academies in Montparnasse and Montmartre. It was after moving to New York with her husband, an art scholar, in the late 1930s that her career and individual style began to flourish, especially when she joined the American Abstract Artists Group in the 1950s.

 Where to see her art: Centre Pompidou and the Modern Art Museum of the City of Paris

Clement Dorval / Ville de Paris

Stravinksy Fountain ( 1983), Niki de Saint Phalle, Photo: Clement Dorval / Ville de Paris

Niki de Saint-Phalle (1930-2002) 

Born in France and raised in the United States, Niki de Saint-Phalle is best remembered for her monumental, curvaceous and colourful sculptures. Nevertheless, Saint-Phalle was also a painter, filmmaker and illustrator. The self-taught artist portrayed her traumatic childhood through violent assemblages shot by firearms, which caught the attention of the international art world. She collaborated with other notable artists like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Jean Tinguely. Her sculptural commissions decorate public spaces around the world. In Paris, her most notable work on display is the colourful, nouveau realist Stravinksky Fountain created with her husband Jean Tinguely in 1983.  

Where to see her art: Centre Pompidou.

Sophie Calle, Gallerie Perrotin (75003)

Sophie Calle, Gallerie Perrotin, Paris

Sophie Calle (1953- )

Born in the Parisian suburb of Malakoff and raised in the South of France, Sophie Calle is one of the most prominent living artists on the international art stage. A globe-trotting feminist activist in her youth, Calle returned to Paris and turned towards art. Known for her very personal work exploring identity, Calle crisscrosses genres from writing to photography and from installation work to conceptual art. She frequently exhibits in contemporary art galleries around the world. 

Where to see her art: Gallerie Perrotin (75003)