In earlier centuries, a very active wine trade was conducted in this part of the city. Stroll through this delightful area, which has a relaxed tempo today.
Until the late 20th century, Bercy, in Paris’ 12th arrondissement, was the place where wine merchants carried out their trade of exporting vintages. The chais, or wine warehouses, still line the banks of the Seine River but have transformed into stores and restaurants. When you visit Bercy, walk down the tree-lined outdoor mall to escape the fast-paced city and experience a variety of businesses.
Bercy has a long tradition of selling the country’s wines. It even carried the tag of Bercy Fever to describe how Parisians overindulged with the area’s tax-free wine. The modern world brought an end to this form of business in the 1970s and buildings began to degrade. Appreciate the area’s charm as you view the structures that the city has resurrected.
The main shopping street, Cour Saint-Emilion, doesn’t allow car traffic. Leafy trees lining both sides of the road invite you to rest on the benches and have a snack or picnic lunch.
Continue your relaxation by going through the divided Parc de Bercy connected by walking bridges. One part is traditional while the other is formal, featuring flowerbeds and even a small vineyard in keeping with the district’s heritage.
On rue de Bercy find the Cinémathèque Française designed by Frank Gehry, architect of Spain’s Bilbao Guggenheim Museum. Inside, displays feature film culture, although originally the building was the location of the American Center.
Plan to attend one of many big-name events or concerts at AccorHotels Arena, which has a grassy exterior that blends in with its surroundings. The site is ranked in the world’s top indoor venues.
Enjoy a night out at a choice of bars, restaurants and dance clubs on one of the converted barges, including a lighthouse ship, moored near the Pont de Bercy.
Travel to Bercy by going to the nearby main train station, Gare de Lyon, or taking the Metro to the Bercy stop. Your admiration of the area may have you keeping Bercy as your own little Paris secret.