Best time to travel to Paris

Abandoned Railway Abloom in Paris

This densely flowered railway is an ideal refuge from all the urban fuss, and one of the most romantic walking ways in Paris

Best time: March–May

Abandoned Railway Abloom
Abandoned Railway Abloom
Abandoned Railway Abloom

The tunnels leading to the Paris catacombs are covered with urban style graffiti, and cozy cafes located by the former railway stations heartily welcome travelers for a coffee break. The most delightful spectacle is available during the spring months when the railway valleys are entirely overtaken by bright spring blossoms. This railway is named the Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture, literally meaning "little belt railway." It was built in the mid-19th century and abandoned around a hundred years later for the newly-emerged Paris Metro and growing number of motor vehicles. Though as you see even in its non-functioning state the railway enjoys great popularity among travelers seeking unusual places.

Practical info

What is the best time of year to see spring blossoms at Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture?

For those who want to see the bright spring blossoms at Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture, the best time of year to visit is between March and May when the valleys are in full bloom. Summer weather heats up and increases crowds, so travelers should avoid visiting during this time for maximum enjoyment. Show more

Where can I locate the flower-covered, abandoned railway in Paris?

Paris’ Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture is an abandoned railway surrounded by flowers and greenery. It provides visitors with a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The railway spans many districts in the city, and tourists can access some parts of it. Metro stations nearby include Place Balard, Porte d'Auteuil, and Porte de Clichy. The railway covers four Parisian arrondissements: 15th, 16th, 17th, and 20th. Show more

What was the original purpose of the railway in Paris and what events led to its disuse?

Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture railway was built during the mid-19th century as a way for Parisians to move both goods and people around the city center. As the Paris Metro system and use of cars increased, the railway was no longer necessary and was abandoned. Since then, it remained unutilized and overgrown, giving visitors a rare nostalgic glimpse into the fascinating past of industrialization in Paris. Show more

When was the railway officially closed?

The Petit Ceinture railway was not in use by 1991 when it was officially closed. Urbexers, photographers, and travellers flocked to the site, which has been left to nature since. Although rehabilitation has improved some of the landscape, most of the railway remains as an overgrown and abandoned sight with a compelling story to tell visitors. Show more

What alternative activities exist for tourists to discover beside walking at Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture?

For explorers, who are looking to find more than flowers during a visit to Chemin de Fer de Petite Ceinture, you can appreciate the graffiti and street art, which decorates the tunnels leading to the catacombs of Paris. In addition to exploring, visitors can enjoy beverages and snacks at surrounding cafes located near former railway stations. Guided tours showcasing railway history and significance are another option, and the area has several cycling trails for active travelers. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin