Paris is famous for its historic monuments, museums, buildings, bridges, and plazas. But even when you think you have seen all the main sights, Paris will always find a way to surprise you. In this case, with the most colorful street in Paris: Rue Crémieux.
If you are Paris obsessed like me and have devoured way too many guides, you would think you know most things there is to do and see in Paris. But to be fair it would probably take a few years of living in Paris to even get close to really understanding this big complex city. Nonetheless, in all of the guides I have read I never once saw the quaint and colorful Rue Crémieux mentioned.
So, what is it?
Rue Crémieux is a pedestrian street located in the 12th arrondissement, just a few steps away from Gare de Lyon.
What makes this Parisian street so unique is the eye-catching houses painted in bright colors along the street. A very rare sight in Paris. The street has a feeling of being its own private little neighborhood. The houses are all well maintained and decorated with pots of greenery by the doorstep.
Rue Cremieux was initially constructed in 1857 and was meant to be used as workers’ housing. From 1865 to 1898 the street was called rue Millaud, until it got renamed after Adolphe Cremieux, a French lawyer and politician. And clearly, that is the name that stuck ever since. The street was then closed to vehicles in 1993 and is now a quiet residential area.
This cobbled stone street is 144 meters long. And it’s lively, somewhat rustic, charm in the middle of such a monument heavy city seems bizarre. Walking through Crémieux makes you forget that you are in Paris for a second. It gives you the feeling of being somewhere else. Somewhere in Latin America for example. The Old Town of San Juan in Puerto Rico has a very similar vibe to it.
Visiting Rue Crémieux is a quick stop that you can easily fit into your itinerary. It may not be the Louvre or Palais Royal, but it is certainly something very unique in Paris. A splash of color in the center of a beige city.
Daydreaming of visiting Paris?