13th Arrondissement - Gobelins
Much of Paris was constructed as a showcase for its period and a monument for its Bonapartist rulers, spiritually closer in many ways to Pyonyang than to more business-minded cities such as London or New York. But not all of Paris is like that: there are also parts where the city spits into its hand and goes to work. Welcome, then, to the 13th arrondissement.
Of all the city's arrondissements, the 13th is the one that feels least like Paris: whether you find yourself in the glass-and-concrete desert of the Bibliothèque neighborhood, whether cargo trains thunder over your head on Rue Watt or whether you walk through the area east of Tolbiac, Europe's biggest Chinatown. Come here for the largest Chinese supermarkets and the biggest Chinese New Year celebrations in town.
Having said that, the Butte aux Cailles is a lovely little neighborhood on a hill (often called the 'Montmartre of the south') tucked away just off the Place d'Italie and its massive mall. Have a walk and sit down for a coffee in one of the many outdoor cafés such as 'Les Cailloux on Rue des Cinq Diamants – a little piece of "Old Paris", forgotten by time.© NileGuide