Bastille is best known as the site of a former prison which was pivotal in the events leading up to the French Revolution. All that’s left of the fortified building today are countless stories and little else. Nearby, you’ll find a completely different story: a street lined with houses of pastel pink and candy hues. This is Rue Cremieux and it may well be the most adorable street in Paris!
Rue Cremieux: A pop of colour in the heart of Paris
Rue Cremieux lies in the middle of the 12e arrondissement of the city. Wandering through the Haussmannian architecture that’s so synonymous with the city of lights means that the pretty Rue Crémieux is really refreshing. Although I wouldn’t recommend heading out of your way specifically to see this street (after all, there are plenty of cute streets all over the city!), it is definitely worth a stroll along if you are ever in the area.
Wander onto the street from nearby Bastille, and you’ll be greeted with a 144 metres long stretch of cobbled lane that looks like something straight from a movie set (and indeed turns into one during peak hours of the weekend!) After all, the street has experienced a complete surge of popularity since its ‘discovery’ on Instagram.) Instead of being whisked away in Paris, a stroll down here and you’ll feel like you’re wandering along Portobello Road in London, or perhaps even through the pretty streets in Burano, Venice.
A very brief history of Rue Cremieux
The road wasn’t always this way though. Once upon a time, the area was home to the Arènes Nationales (later called the Imperial Arena of Paris). Built in 1851, and with an entrance at Bastille, the vast arena was used as a public space to show outdoor spectacles and the like. For the next few years, until the mid-1850s, the public enjoyed plenty of carnivals and performances in the arena.
In 1855, the area was sold off to housing developers. Rue Cremieux was then transformed into a street for housing and was named Avenue Millaud until its current name change in 1897. In 1993, the street was pedestrianised, leading to the beautiful little road that many love and visit today.
Tips for visiting Rue Cremieux
Address | Rue Crémieux, 12e arrondissement, Paris, France (metro Quai de la Râpée (line 5) or Gare de Lyon (line 1)
When to go: Visit the road earlier on in the day to avoid the crowds that inevitably flock to the area to take photos and see the pretty little houses for themselves. The road is located between rue de Lyon and rue de Bercy and is entirely pedestrianised; perfect for snapping photos and admiring the façades!
Taking photos: Some residences have posted signs saying that they don’t want their residences photographed. Be respectful and also try not to make too much noise when wandering around the street as it is a residential road where people live! If you’re quiet (and lucky enough) you may even spot a neighbourhood cat or two!