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What you will do
This will take you a minimum of 4 hours of your time if you walk all the way from the first stop to the last. And it will be worth it. You'll be discovering every remarkable little "villages" of the 13th and 14h districts, those micro-neighbourhoods, mostly created in the XIXth century, whose low-level houses together with paved streets and gardens, make for a distinctively charming and quiet mood, in sharp contrast with what you'd expect from such a big city as Paris.
This is a 3-part itinerary : the first part starts at the south of the 5th district, at the Îlot de la Reine Blanche, and heads West towards the Petit-Montrouge district. It can a walk on its own (a possible extension would then be to get to Denfert-Rochereau square - maybe to visit the Catacombs - and Raspail boulevard), even in reverse (in this case, you might want to get to the Place d'Italie or to the Latin quarter afterwards).
The second part is the visit of Montsouris Park, the Square de Montsouris and the Cité Internationale Universitaire. Again, this can be a standalone short walk.
The third and final part (the 4 last stops) will bring you to the many villages of the 13th district. If you choose not to go over the whole itinerary, you might then get to the Place d'Italie and, of course, the Îlot de la Reine Blanche, a bit further.
We will mention, in the following instructions, whenever you can make a shortcut using public transports.
Step by step
- You can reach this first stop from Gobelins subway station (line 7), at the North. Porte d'Italie station (line 6) is also a possibility but you'll have to walk in des Gobelins avenue almost all the way to the Gobelins station. In both cases, find des Gobelins street, at the West of the avenue of the same name. 1
- We advice you now to cross René-Le-Gall garden, alongside the Gobelins Manufactory. Exit the garden by des Cordelières street, which you'll take to the left. Then turn right into Corvisart street and head towards Arago Boulevard, where you will turn left. 2
- Find du Général-Leclerc avenue and head towards Denfert-Rochereau square. Villa Adrienne will be on your right. 3
- Cross Henri-Cadiou garden and find Léon-Maurice Nordmann street. Take it to the right towards de la Santé street (beside the prison of the same name) which you'll take at your left (southbound) : cross Saint-Jacques boulevard and find, a little on your right, Dareau street then René-Coty avenue. Take it to the right and Hallé street will be on your left, on the opposite side, a little further away. 4
- Now you should cross du Général-Leclerc avenue, take Ernest-Cresson street a bit on the right when going out of Villa Adrienne, and find Boulard street. At number 29 of the latter is another very pretty private dead-end. Then get to du Maine avenue, at the South, through Mouton-Duvernet street (turn right from Boulard street) then Castagnou street (turn left). This will take you to Alésia subway station. Now take d'Alésia street to the left, then de la Tombe-Issoire street to the right, and Reille avenue to the left again, up to the Square de Montsouris which will be on your right. If you don't want to walk along large avenues, take the subway at Mouton-Duvernet station (line 4) up to Porte d'Orleans station, then the tramway (line T3) to Montsouris station. Leave the Montsouris park to your right and find the Square of the same name. 5
- At this point, go and see Georges-Braque and Parc-de-Montsouris streets, then head towards the Cité Internationale. 6
- It's time to cross (and explore) Montsouris Park. To reach the next stop, you have 3 possibilities : first the tramway (line T3) from Montsouris to Poterne des Peupliers stations (you'll be almost there then) ; or getting to de Rungis square either from the North through Boussingault street (leaving the park, take Lemaignan street, then left into de l'Amiral-Mouchez street, and right into Henri-Becque street, and right again) or from the South through de Rungis street (leaving the park, take Liard street). At de Rungis square, simply take Brillat-Savarin eastbound. 7
- Now take des Peupliers street, up to the square. 8
- Continue northbound along des Peupliers then du Moulin-des-Prés streets, up to the Butte-aux-Cailles neighborhood, Paul-Verlaine square and Bobillot street. Find de l'Espérance street which heads left (westbound), then reaching Buot street, take it to the left until Barrault street. Little Russia is now right on the opposite side. 9
- Finally, from Barrault street, find Davier street a little to the South. 10