Discover Chinatown from the Hostels in Paris

Apr 24 06:55 2015 Lisa Jeeves Print This Article

If you're staying in one of the excellent hostels in Paris, it's easy to explore the delights of Chinatown.

When you think of Paris,Guest Posting the usual images that spring to mind are the cutting edge of fashion, elegant boulevards, street cafes and fine dining restaurants. The Seine, the Eiffel Tower and the Notre Dame are all iconic attractions, however, there are other delights to uncover. If you stay in any of the well-placed hostels in Paris, you'll not only get to meet other likeminded travellers, you may even get to pick up some good local tips as well. One place not often on the itinerary to explore is Chinatown.

Chinatown

As is true of all vibrant cities around the world, there are always two sides to the coin - and Chinatown, or Quartier Asiatique, is a very good example of this. This fascinating place is the largest Chinatown in Europe, with a diverse population made up predominately of Vietnamese, Chinese and Laotian. The buildings in the area are 1960s tower blocks, so are not as aesthetically pleasing as the main tourist areas of the city. However, it's here you can get to experience an authentic sense of the Orient within one of the oldest cities in Europe.
As with all Chinatowns, there is a fantastic mix of people who all bring with them their own cultures, creating a vibrant and exciting atmosphere. Some of the great hostels in Paris are within easy reach of the area, or the metro stations at Place d’Italie and Olympiades will get you here to discover this bustling part of the city.

Chinese New Year

One of the most exciting times to visit Chinatown is, of course, Chinese New Year. There are spectacular displays of dragons, lion dances, banners and firecrackers and it is an experience not to be missed. Although there are not the usual pagodas, many of the shop signs are written in Chinese and even the local McDonalds has been designed in the Chinese style and is adorned with Chinese characters. The streets and restaurants are always packed and there are special musical and theatrical performances going on throughout the day and night.

Easy to Get to

Any of the staff at the hostels in Paris will be able to tell you how to get there and the different activities that might be going on. There are actually two Chinatowns, but the biggest is in the 13th arrondissement. If you want to walk, instead of getting the metro it is only about 40 minutes walk from the centre of the city. You could take an alternative route along the Seine, but this is likely to take you a couple of hours. Depending on which of the hostels in Paris you choose it may, of course, be closer to your home base.

Experiencing the many different sides of the French capital city will enrich your stay and give you a greater insight to how it works. Chinatown will certainly give you a very different picture to the main touristic image of the city and one that is certainly worth experiencing.

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About Article Author

Lisa Jeeves
Lisa Jeeves

 Jason H. Cunningham works for Hostelling International, a company with more than 4,000 hostels worldwide. For the best Paris hostels or anywhere else, join our global community and say hi to the world.

 

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