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Bercy - Nation - Gare de Lyon

See the next district

This is the district where the oldest traces of civilisation have been uncovered. This owes to the River Seine’s role in several invasions, as well as its great contribution to trade, notably wine and wood. Today, this modern district is a mosaic of villages.

Map Bercy - Nation - Gare de Lyon

The Gare de Lyon with its famous belfry, built for the Universal Exposition of 1900, rival the architectural daring of contemporary Paris. The Ministry of Finance bridge-shaped building, the Paris-Bercy Omnisports centre, with its huge stage, its 17,000-person seating capacity, and its lawn-covered walls, the François-Mitterrand library and its four gigantic 80-metre-high books, and the Simone de Beauvoir walkway are a response to the futuristic Paris-Rive-Gauche district, adorned with its mills that have been converted for use by the university.

Opposite, at the Cour Saint-Émilion and the Parc de Bercy, you can take a break for shopping, a film or a meal. In former times, barrels of grands crus from Bordeaux were conveyed on the Seine before being served in the finest restaurants of the Capital.

Going deeper into the district towards Nation, the present fades away and various traditional neighbourhoods appear, all facing the Seine. The Faubourg Saint-Antoine is well known for furniture and house fittings. The Marché d'Aligre, where there is as much food on display as there are trinkets, is one of the most picturesque markets in Paris. The more modern Rue Montgallet will please you if you’re looking for powerful computer equipment at reasonable prices.

If you prefer something impromptu, take a walk on the Promenade Plantée. It follows the abandoned Petite Ceinture railway line, whose trains circled the Capital in the 19th century. Today it’s a paradise for families and joggers, with rest stops that give incredible views of the entire 12th arrondissement. It will bring you to the Viaduc des Arts, a structure originally designed by Vuigner and occupied by a large number of remarkable art studios, including Le Tallec, le Temps Passé, la Verrerie de l'Opéra and Roger Lanne Luthier.

You’ll then arrive at the Place de la Nation, with its huge Masonic columns of the Throne and its statue of the Triumph of the Republic, created by Dalou. There you will find a number of nice terraces and, on the Cour de Vincennes, opportunities for shopping. You should also not miss enjoying a bit of working-class Paris at Prosper’s, the Irish Corner or the Marco Polo.

Must-see sites
  • Gare de Lyon, its frescoes and its belfry
  • POPB – Paris-Bercy Omnisports centre
  • Cour Saint-Émilion
  • Bercy Park and its cinemas
  • The Musée du Cinéma
  • The Marché d'Aligre
  • The Promenade Plantée and the Viaduc des Arts
  • The François-Mitterrand Library
  • Quartier Paris-Rive-Gauche et les Frigos
  • The French Fashion Institute
  • The Botanical Garden
  • The Natural History Museum
  • Place de la Nation and the Cour de Vincennes