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Welcome to the 12th Arrondissament

12th-Arr-Bois-De-Vincennes-in-ParisSituated on the right bank of the Seine, this area is most known for being home to the second largest opera house in Paris, Opera de la Bastille and one of the largest public parks in Paris Bois de Vincennes and expansive landscaped green space in urban surroundings where you can hire a small rowboat and spend a few hours on the lake for a relaxing afternoon.

Free fun at little or no expense

If you’re there during the summer, enjoy a sun filled day at the four mile long Promenade Plantee. It features a retired train track running from the Bastille to the edge of the city, footbridges, tunnels and the world’s first elevated walkway offering a great view over eastern Paris. Afterwards, enjoy a stroll through the green gardens that surround. Meander down La Promenade Plantee, formerly a railroad track but now after a floral makeover is now a unique and scenic elevated route. Or take a stroll through the Marche D’Aligre. These bustling markets provide the perfect opportunity to find a variety of fresh local produce in an outdoor street environment. Some of the hightlights include the cheese stalls, butchers and bakeries.

Soak up the atmosphere for just a little more

12th-Arr-Place-de-la-Bastille-and-the-Opera-BastilleWhat better way to absorb the atmosphere than at one of the many cafés or patisseries in the area. One of the best to grab a croissant or bagel at the Boulangerie Bazin bakery or enjoy the live jazz on a Sunday at Le Viaduc Café. For something sophisticated try Le Baron Rouge which is a wine bar which offers among other delicacies, plates of oysters piled high in a lively indoor and outdoor location.

The 12th arrondissement is also home to the Paris Zoological Park. Given the size of the city, it certainly doesn’t rank among the world’s largest zoos but the animal enclosures are surprisingly spacious and well worth visiting if you’re in the area.

Take a visit to Palais de la Porte Doree, an exhibition hall which is a great example of an art deco architecture. Within the building you will find Le Musee de l’histoire which houses a vast array of immigration related documents and artifacts, as well as a spacious aquarium, home to a wide variety of exotic fish that will likely be a hit with children.

Make the most of your time in this arrondissement

Of course if you do intend to visit the Opera de la Bastille, why not engage in an exclusive private backstage tour while you’re there to complete your experience. You will be accompanied through a variety of stage sets, workshops and secret areas inside this prestigious institution by a knowledgeable guide.

For an intimate dining experience in the area try Le Marquis. It’s perfect for an intimate dinner with friends and offers quintessentially high quality French cuisine with attentive and reliable service at affordable prices. Another popular choice with locals is Assaporare on rue Saint Nicolas. The restaurant has an Italian influence and the owner travels specifically to Italy obtain specific ingredients. The caliber of the cuisine makes this restaurant very popular so be sure to book in advance.

Your Cheaperthanhotels Team

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