Passage Boudin, Paris © French Moments
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Last Updated: 29 April 2021


This little lane will surprise you if you are walking in the neighbourhood of Charonne. Passage Boudin in the east of Paris is lined with colourful houses. It almost looks like strolling in a quiet rural atmosphere.

Passage Boudin: A bit of history

Passage Boudin, Paris © French Moments
Street plaque © French Moments

The Passage Boudin in the 20th arrondissement of Paris is 114 m long and only 3 m wide. It is situated in the neighbourhood of Charonne between number 39 of rue Alphonse Penaud and number 20 of rue de la Justice.

The name of the lane comes from Gabriel Boudin (and not Eugène Boudin, the painter). In 1838, Boudin inherited a piece of farming land from his grandfather. The land covered 100 m by 30 m and was situated north of the village of Charonne.

When Charonne was annexed to Paris and integrated into the newly created 20th arrondissement, Boudin decided to subdivide his land into 23 unequal sized lots to be sold individually. Between the rue Alphonse Penaud and rue de la Justice, he had a three meter-wide passage created. In the middle of the lane, a little roundabout was added to facilitate the manoeuvres of coaches.

To the wish of the residents, the private lane has been listed in the public domain only since 1992.

The change of scenery

The entrance to the cobbled lane from rue Alphonse Penaud is not particularly striking with tags painted on the walls. But a few steps later, the change of scenery takes place.

Passage Boudin, Paris © French Moments
A quiet lane in central Paris! © French Moments

The lane is lined with many colourful houses with clinging vines, wisteria and ivy. Many of them have personal touches that make the lane very attaching: a bird box, flowerpots, mosaic number plaques, etc.

Passage Boudin, Paris © French Moments
Passage Boudin, Paris 20th arrt © French Moments

At the roundabout, a surprising semi-circular house brings the Mediterranean to mind with its white façade and bright blue shutters.

Passage Boudin, Paris © French Moments
Little roundabout in Passage Boudin, Paris 20th arrt © French Moments
Passage Boudin, Paris © French Moments
The little roundabout of Passage Boudin, Paris 20th arrt © French Moments

You don’t need to plan a specific trip to stroll along the lane as it will take you only a few minutes. You can also discover in the neighbourhood the rural-looking houses of La Campagne à Paris and the Village of Charonne.

There are other similar passages in the neighbourhood accessible to the public:

  • Passage Perreur,
  • Villa Perreur, and
  • Square Chauré.
  • Also, check out the shared garden at the end of rue de la Justice (on the way to Boulevard Mortier).

More photos of Passage Boudin

More photos I took during my last visit to the alleyway:

The narrow street in the 20th arrondissement of Paris © French Moments
The little quiet lane © French Moments
The narrow street in the 20th arrondissement of Paris © French Moments
Passage Boudin, Paris 20th arrt © French Moments
The narrow street in the 20th arrondissement of Paris © French Moments
Bright colours and with clinging vines, wisteria and ivy © French Moments

How to get there

  • Location of the Passage Boudin (link opens a google map):
  • Closest métro stations: Saint-Fargeau and Pelleport (line 3bis), Porte de Bagnolet (line 3) or Séverine (tram line T 3b).
  • Have you been to some similar rural-looking places in Paris? Share with us your Paris discoveries by commenting below! We’d love to hear from you!


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About the author

Pierre is a French/Australian who is passionate about France and its culture. He grew up in France and Germany and has also lived in Australia and England. He has a background teaching French, Economics and Current Affairs, and holds a Master of Translating and Interpreting English-French with the degree of Master of International Relations, and a degree of Economics and Management. Pierre is the author of Discovery Courses and books about France.

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