Paris Region chimes in with China
Explore the cultural riches of China and escape for a visit to a museum or a walk. Between the pleasure of the eyes and the pleasure of the palate, awaken your senses to the beauties of the land of the Great Wall without having to go to the other side of the world. China comes to you in Paris Region. And enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities, which this year take place on 22 January.
China exhibits in museums of the Paris Region
Fascinated by China? Come and see some of the jewels of this thousand-year-old country’s culture and traditions at museums and monuments of the Paris Region.
First stop not to be missed is Guimet national museum of Asian arts in Paris. Founded by an avid collector, it houses no less than 20,000 pieces of art from China.
Cultures of the world meet at the musée du Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac. Popular Chinese art is represented in the “Asia” part of the museum, including jewellery, costume pieces and graphic arts from China.
The Musée Cernuschi unveils the treasures of its impressive Oriental art collection including the imposing Buddha of Megura.
To the south-east of Paris, the famous Fontainebleau château houses an unexpected Chinese museum. Extraordinary pieces from the Asian art collection of Empress Eugénie, wife of Napoleon III, are displayed here. Discover the secrets of these magnificent works on an interactive visit with a Histopad touch pad that is specially adapted for families.
Discovering the Quartier Chinois in Paris
To immerse yourself in a typical Chinese atmosphere without travelling halfway around the world, visit the 13th arrondissement, south-east of Paris, where you’ll find the Chinatown of the French capital. Located between Avenue de Choisy, Avenue d’Ivry and Boulevard Massena and known as the “Triangle de Choisy”, this district is recognised as the heart of Chinese culture in the city. During your stroll, you will find restaurants, shops selling traditional items and food stores such as the iconic Tang Frères at 168 Avenue de Choisy, an essential stop for anyone who wants to prepare a delicious and authentic Chinese meal. Take the time to appreciate the gold decorations, the red lanterns hanging from the storefronts and the aroma of Peking duck. Gaze up at the tall towers of the neighbouring Les Olympiades district and discover the shops below them with roofs that are reminiscent of pagodas.
In late January and early February the streets of the district come to life and bustle with activity to celebrate Chinese New Year. For two weeks, free events, dance performances in the street, concerts and exhibitions follow one after another to celebrate the transition to the new year which, in 2023, is represented by the Water Rabbit. The 13th arrondissement parade on Sunday 29 January between Avenue de Choisy, Porte de Choisy and Avenue d’Ivry, is the most renowned. Don’t hesitate to come early, from 12pm, to stand along the itinerary in order to admire the numerous dancers, musicians and other traditional dragons who will set off between 1pm and 2pm.
More inquisitive visitors should head east, towards the banks of the Seine. Nestled in the centre of Place Augusta-Holmes, a few minutes’ walk from the Gare d’Austerlitz, you will find an unusual sculpture depicting a Chinese dragon hiding beneath the Parisian pavement. Created by the sculptor Chen Zhen, “La Danse de la Fontaine Émergente” is made from glass and steel tubes and represents one of the symbols related to water in Chinese culture. At night, the dragon’s body is illuminated so the sculpture can be appreciated even after dark.
Around a corner in the 8th arrondissement, a few minutes’ walk from the Arc de Triomphe, hides an astonishing Chinese pagoda. Built in 1928 by Mr Loo, a famous art dealer, the red monument contrasts with the white Haussmann buildings that surround it. Now used as a space for exhibitions and events, the pagoda is not open to visitors but its architecture is worth the detour.
The best Chinese restaurants in Paris
Go on a culinary journey and savour the tastes of China in one of these popular dining spots in the French capital.
In the bustling Belleville district, head for Le Président, a true Parisian institution. It showcases the richness of Cantonese gastronomic culture.
At Bambou in the Sentier neighbourhood, former fabric workshops have made room for a setting inspired by old French trading posts in Asia. Here you can enjoy Asian cuisine with a Parisian twist.
Situated in the heart of Paris, Végébowl offers vegetarian versions of classic Asian dishes. Discover all the flavours of China and Thailand in dishes where the meat is replaced by marinated tofu. Guaranteed satisfaction and guilt-free pleasure await.
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- Copyright image: Pons / Ooshot / CRT Paris Ile-de-France