Street art and architecture – we explore the Butte-aux-Cailles

There’s an area near our hotels that has a village-like atmosphere to it, with paved streets and a swimming pool that’s a listed monument.

It’s here also that your find ‘la petite Alsace’ and – surprisingly – a lot of great street art.

On a pubic holiday, when many streets are closed off to traffic for most of the day, we went to explore la Butte-aux-Cailles, a neighbourhood that will take you back in time and make you feel like you’re not in Paris any more…

La Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
photos : JasonW

The 13th arrondissement is perhaps known for its 70s apartment blocks and Chinese area (well worth exploreing alos), but if you take the métro to place d’Italie and walk down rue Bobillot, there’s a whole different ambiance that awaits you.

La Butte-aux-Cailles is lucky enough to have loads of little paved streets, small houses and cute gardens. Greenery is everywhere.

Also, on Sundays and public holidays, many fo the streets are closed off to traffic, giving the place a real village feel.

We started by exploring these streets with no particular route in mind. The mix of paving stones and greenery seemed like a good start for our walk…
La Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
Very quickly, we realised that the are’s architecture has remained small-scale, with lots of pristine two-storey houses, and early 20th century apartment blocks…
La Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
It’s also an area where street art seems to be not just tolerated but positively encouraged. You’ll see works by Miss-Tic, Invader and many others on every street corner…
La Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
For a real step back in time, we recommend the cul-de-sac Villa Daviel which (logically) starts on rue Daviel, also known as ‘la petite Alsace’ for its wooden-beamed architecture.

Here, all the houses are sweet, there are flowers everywhere, and its a cat paradise…
La Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
There’s also this beautiful building nearby, which now houses Télécom ParisTech, but used to be the école nationale supérieure des télécommunications in the 1930s. The sculpture on the façade is extraordinary…
La Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
And you shouldn’t miss checking out the Butte-aux-Cailles swimming pool, one of the oldest public pools in Paris, which used to get its water from a hot spring serving water at 28°C!

There are three pools here, two fo which are outdoors, and the architecture is magnificent.
La Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
And after all your exploration, don’t worry – there are plenty of bars and restaurants ready to help you get your strength back!
La Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, ParisLa Butte-aux-Cailles, Paris
The whole area is perfect for a summer Sunday walk. Go check it out!

To see all our photos of the Butte-aux-Cailles, click here.

So much #streetart in #paris

A post shared by Catherine Kellogg (@catkellogg) on