Quartier Chinois or Chinatown is located in southeast Paris and is characterized by numerous residential high rises and Asian markets and restaurants. Paris’ Chinatown happens to be the largest in Europe. Although the quarter is not particularly popular among tourists, it does offer a few attractions.
Aside from the markets and restaurants that make up Chinatown, Quartier Chinois features the major collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France), which is France’s National Library; its collection traces back to the royal library of Charles V founded in 1368. Today, the François Mitterand branch in Quartier Chinois stores the major collections of the National Library (its other collections are found at the Richilieu and Louvois branches in Faubourg St Honoré). The library building in Quartier Chinois is an interesting esplanade of four identical L-shaped towers that form the shape of an open book.
In Quartier Chinois, you’ll also find La Butte aux Caille, the Stade Charléty, and Place d’Italie. La Butte aux Cailles is a charming hill that is a nice climb. At the top, you can enjoy a good lunch or picnic overlooking the view of the city below.
The Stade Charléty is a stadium that was opened in 1938 and can seat 20,000; today, it is used mostly for rugby league matches.
Finally, the Place d’Italie is the esplanade and site of the gate of Italy, which was the old Roman road the ancient Romans used on their journey to Lyon and Rome. Today, Place d’Italie is home to a large modern shopping mall designed by the famous architect, Kenzo Tange.
Bibliothèque Nationale de France (François Mitterand)
La Butte aux Caille