How is 13th District in Paris?

Nov 16th, 2000, 06:01 PM
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How is 13th District in Paris?

Is this a safe, clean, quiet area? I am specifically interested in the Place d'Italie, near Paris' Chinatown area.
Nov 17th, 2000, 04:53 AM
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I can't comment on safety, but I wouldn't call it centrally-located, especially if you are a first-time visitor. Unless you don't want centrally-located.
Nov 17th, 2000, 05:59 AM
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I lived for two years in that area. It is not the most central nor the most romantic part of Paris, but Métro connections are good. It's a reasonably safe, middle-class area. The backstreets behind Place d'Italie (towards Nation etc) can even be quiet. Chinatown stretches roughly from the Place d'Italie towards the Porte de Choisy / Porte d'Ivry. There are many highrises there, some horrible, some quite modern & expensive. The asian restaurants there are cheap and GREAT. I don't know what you mean by 'clean'...this is, after all, a European big city. It's not antiseptic, but the 13ème is an OK area.
In southern Paris, the 14th arrondissement, especially the area south of the Cité Universitaire Internationale and Parc Montsouris is maybe slightly quainter.
Nov 17th, 2000, 09:17 AM
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If this is your first visit to Paris, I wouldn't recommend this area. It's pretty non descript - not the most exciting area of Paris. There are lots of other neighborhoods that are more interesting.
Nov 17th, 2000, 12:38 PM
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I would describe Place d'Italie as a large urban traffic circle, basically, with some unattractive buildings around it and not quiet; in general, I think you should avoid large traffic circles if you want quiet in any city. In fact, quiet is kind of funny as it is the gathering point at 10 pm on most Friday nights of thousands of skaters and bicyclists led by police escorts for a several-hour roller derby thru Paris, starting there and going north usu on ave des Gobelins, finally returning to the place. I think there are some cheap hotels right on that place, but I would not stay there. There are some decent areas around that quartier that are quieter and I wouldn't mind staying around (Square Rene le Gall, Buttes-aux-Cailles, etc, I kind of like Avenue des Gobelins north to bd de Port Royal and then west on that blvd), but not right on that circle. I think the city is trying to resurrect or renew that part of Paris right now from my observation. I lived one summer down at Cite Universitaire, just across the border from the SW corner of the 13th and that part of the quartier is relatively quiet and village-y (west of place de Rungis to Parc Montsouris). I had a class near Nationale metro stop and seemed to be on ave Tolbiac a lot shopping or something--just regular nonfancy residential and shopping areas. The area south of place Italie and east of ave d'Italie sort of seems largely like a public housing project to me; there are good Chinese stores and supermarkets on ave d'Ivry, for one place, if you want that. There is an outdoor food market on bd Auguste Blanqui (going west from place d'Italie) on Sun morning, as I recall. So, if you are choosing a hotel, I would not stay there, it is rather drab and not so central; if you have some housing arrangement set up in that area (student or longterm, etc) and must stay there, then it is fine, but it is nicer not right on pl d'Italie.

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