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What you will do
Get ready for the most varied experiences in only half a day. The parisian East has so much more to offer than meets the eye, and here's a demonstration.
The first part will feature a walk along the exquisite Canal Saint-Martin, the second part's highlight will be the most visited cemetary in the World, the Père-Lachaise. In-between, you'll have discovered some rather unusual places, as well as the huge Place de la République - and if you don't want to walk all the way, we will stay close to subway stations for the most part of the itinerary.
"Dark tourism" lovers will obviously be happy : apart from the Père-Lachaise, we'll also stop near the former prisons of the Roquette, of sinister fame. Others will delight in the poetry of the Canal Saint-Martin or the quietness of the Père-Lachaise. Definitely, there will be something for all.
Step by step
- Let's start near the Gare de l'Est train station (subway lines 4 and 7). 1
- Get to the Canal Saint-Martin through de Strasbourg boulevard, opposite the train station, then Saint-Laurent street to your left, and des Récollets street in the continuity. The garden of Villemin and the canal's embankments (Valmy and Jemmapes) are popular but highly pleasant. As you'll come across the Verre Volé restaurant (very good natural wines here), take des Vinaigriers street which makes a right-angle turn form de Lancy to Lucien-Sampaix streets. Take the latter to the left until de Magenta boulevard, then the Cité de Magenta and the Cité Hittorf, opposite right. When you'll reach Pierre-Bullet street, get to du Château-d'Eau street by walking along the back of the 10th district's town hall. 2
- At this point, you may skip this stop by taking subway line 5 at Jacques Bonsergent station (for that, take de Magenta boulevard through Lucien-Sampaix street from du Château-d'Eau street). Otherwise, follow du Château-d'Eau street southbound until de la République square and find Béranger street, at the South of the square. From there, you'll find the entrance of the Passage Vendôme. 3
- Go back to de la République square then take Voltaire boulevard southbound until beyond Oberkampf subway station (you will get off the subway here if you took it 2 stops earlier). 4
- You may take subway line 9 this time and get off at Voltaire station, then take de la Roquette street to the Père-Lachaise. Or you can walk by following Voltaire boulevard then taking Saint-Ambroise street to the left, then du Général-Guilhem to the right, and crossing the Square Maurice-Gardette before taking du Chemin-vert street to the left until Servan street which you'll take to the left until de la Roquette street, right after the Square of the same name. 5
- Now cross the Square de la Roquette, follow Duranti street to the right, and get back to du Chemin-vert street. Take the latter to the right also, and get to the Square Samuel-de-Champlain to solve one of the riddles of this stop. Then enter the cemetery through des Rondeaux street. Fell free to follow the proposed itinerary, or not. 6
- Exiting the Père-Lachaise through de la Réunion street, you'll get straight to your destination. You may then take de Bagnolet street to the right if you want to take subway line 2 at Alexandre Dumas station. 7