At first sight, Passage Boudin appears to be quite unremarkable but closer inspection will reveal a cobbled passage with creeping vines dripping down charming cottage walls, colourful number plaques, pretty flower boxes and an unusual semi-circular building that would be more at home in the Mediterranean.
A sense of adventure and a genuine thrill ripples through my body when I discover out of the way places in Paris.
More often than not, the only noise I can hear is my own footsteps and my only companion is my camera.
It is times like these when I feel at peace, away from the bustling boulevards and large monuments that attract the throngs of tourists.
A little slice of serenity as I explore the often unvisited pockets of Paris, savouring what she has to offer.
Passage Boudin, located in the 20th arrondissement of Paris and not far from Père Lachaise Cemetery was originally farming land in the outskirts of Paris.
Gabriel Boudin’s grandfather had farmed the land since 1802 and inherited it from him in 1839. By 1860 Napoleon III had broadened the city limits dividing the city from 12 arrondissements to 20.
Monsieur Boudin took advantage of the redesigning of Paris and by 1866 had successfully divided his land into 23 unequal parcels with a private thoroughfare named after himself to enable access through the subdivisions.
However this was not a happy arrangement as the residents had to contribute towards the maintenance of the passage.
Eventually in 1992 the City of Paris deemed the passage public.
The only evidence today that the cottage at number 16 was home to a printing press and number 14 a bag manufacturer is the small round-about at the passage’s centre which allowed for trucks to pass one another.
A very unusual house which curves with the contours of the round-about, painted white with bright blue shutters appears that it would be more at home in the mediterranean.
However it simply adds a nice surprise to this quaint and quiet street that is full of colourful detail and packed with charm.
Although the narrow passage measures only 114 metres in length, there is so much to discover and explore.
Pretty flowers brighten windows, colourful shutters and doors liven up houses, a green bird box with wings offers sanctuary to small birds and brass knockers and mosaic number plaques are just some of the personal touches that you can find as you stroll along the cobbled path.
If you are searching for a small slice of Paris that only the locals know about, then Passage Boudin fits the bill.
Paris has many hidden treasures, you just need to know where to find them.
If you have found this information interesting or useful, please leave a comment or follow me on facebook for daily tips, photos and anecdotes, your feedback encourages me to keep this site up to date. Merci!
Discover more of Paris Adèle’s Secrets :
- Belle Époque BrothelsLavish brothels dotted around Paris during the Belle Epoque were easily identifiable, some relics exist today, if you know what to look for.
- Square de MontsourisA hidden jewel, begging to be discovered. Eclectic maisons wrapped in greenery, unseen by most tourists to Paris.
- Secret Garden Hôpital Hôtel-DieuA secret garden in an unusual location, right in the centre of Paris that thousands of tourists pass by each day without knowing it exists.
- La GalcanteVintage periodicals and books fill this small quirky, off the beaten path shop in a secluded courtyard where you may find the perfect Parisian souvenir.
- Lavirotte Building and Square RappExquisite Art Nouveau building with one of the most beautiful doors in Paris & a tiny square that offers a stunning view of the Eiffel Tower.
- Passage de l’AncreWho would know a delightful, tranquil little piece of paradise could be hidden away behind an unassuming crooked doorway in the heart of Paris.
- Rue CrémieuxA tiny paved street, that oozes charm, lined with pretty colourful houses that will take your breath away, still one of Paris' best kept secrets.
- Musée des Arts ForainsTransport yourself back in time. Ride spectacular antique carousels, play ancient fair-ground games and admire colourful memorabilia.
- Villa Olivier-MétraPretty cottages with colourful shutters line this serene leafy path with quaint personal touches added by residents who have a playful sense of humour.
- Bibliothèque Sainte-GenevièveA remarkable and historic reading room with its spectacular ceiling, books lining the vast long walls and rows of green reading lamps.
- St. Sergius Orthodox Theological InstituteHidden away on a leafy hill is the oldest Russian Orthodox Theological Institute in Western Europe.
- Restaurant Foyer de la MadeleineLurking deep in the cellars of L’église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine is one of Paris' best kept secrets, Restaurant Foyer de la Madeleine.
- An Angel in ParisSoaring high above, with it's delicate wings nestled under a fourth floor balcony and yet remarkably this rare Paris secret often goes unnoticed.
- Bibliothèque RichelieuMillions of books line the walls of this historic library under monumental ceilings and finally, it is open to the public.
- The Secret PassageThis lush and adorably sweet top secret passageway is a pure delight. Let me show you where to find it and how to gain entry. But sssh ... it's our secret.
- Passage BoudinCreeping vines, colourful flower boxes and an unusual semi-circular building that would be more at home in the Mediterranean is just some things you will find.
- Cité FloraleA secret micro village hidden away, in a small pocket, off the beaten path in the 13th arrondissement of Paris. Discover why it is called the Floral City.
- La Butte aux CaillesA secret hideway with cobbled streets, a sweet village square, interesting street art and friendly, affordable cafés, tucked away in the 13th arrondissement.
- Rue de MouzaïaOff the beaten path, Rue de Mouzaia will make you feel blessed that you discovered this secret hideaway and it’s surrounds in the 19th arrondissement.
- Rue des ThermopyleApart from locals taking a short-cut, or Parisians on a quiet stroll, what you will find here is a wisteria filled, rustic cobbled pathway.
- Square Saint-Gilles Grand VeneurHidden away behind the Hôtel du Grand Veneur in the Marais is a little known secret square with a surprising artistic connection.
- Salvador Dali SundialMany people pass this hidden gem by Salvador Dali tucked away on the Left Bank of Paris unaware that they only need to look up.