For someone like me, passionate about street art and biking, nothing could be better than a street art bike tour. This genial idea now exists in Paris and I enjoyed this perfect combination last week organized by the super cool Alternative Paris commanded by the journalist and expert in Street-Art Demian Smith.
Alternative Paris also offers 3 times a week, a walk tour focused on Belleville neighbourhood. In April I enjoyed the walk tour and was a really important moment that add so much in my work as a journalist for street art and was also a moment that Demian and I met first time and started to make some street-art projects together. I need to confess you that the bike tour was much more fun and a full experience in a way of having a more complete lesson about street art scene in Paris in just on day.
The Paris bike tour started on Boulevard Richard Lenoir, close by the tour started showing us two huge works by the artists Bonom and Zoo Project. After it goes to the 13 arrondissement, on the way we crossed a bridge that gave us one astonishing view of the Seine river.
On the beginning of the thirteen we came to the shore of the Seine to appreciate the Le M.U.R XIII, an association that brings a new street-art work each 15 days . Going up, we enjoyed the work of C215, the massive work of Shepard Fairey, Jana and JS, Inti, M-City and also my “coupe de coeur” of the day, a work by the Portuguese artist Vhils who uses a unique technique of chiselling out of the wall. This piece is a beautiful portrait of a man with intense eyes that really impressed me.
Yet on the thirteen we came to the charming Butte-aux-Cailles, to see the stencil of the famous Parisians street-artists Jef Aerosol and Miss Tic. With a lot of work to discover between the walls of the coffees and restaurants, the tour makes a pause for a lunch in a Basque restaurant named Chez Gladines that welcomes you with two Miss Tic works on their front wall. I had a delicious and massive salad with a glass of wine for affordable €10. (Be careful, on this restaurant I recommend the salads but the plates are huge and you will have to continue to bike after lunch).
On the way down we passed inside the romantic Ile Saint-Louis (by the way, my favorite spot in Paris) and had a tour at Le Marais to appreciate the famous and huge Jef Aerosol close to the Centre Pompidou. We also enjoyed works by Konny Steding, Fred Le Chevalier, THTF, Le MoDuLe De ZeeR and the two top works in Paris from Space Invaders.
Crossing Le Marais to go back to the point where the tour started, we passed in front of Place des Voges which is considered one of the most beautiful and symmetrical squares in Paris, finishing our tour seeing one literally lovely work by Nick Walker and also one piece from Sten and Lex made using a really interesting technique.
More than just appreciating the best of street art in Paris explained by the guide Demian who has a huge expertise on the subject, was enjoying so many different atmospheres of Paris. I used to say that biking is the best way to explore the city, you can go faster and enjoy all the sights that you wouldn’t have on the subway. So you can now imagine how this Paris bike tour is a really perfect combination allowing you to see the best street art in Paris and also the unique architecture of one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
The Paris bike tour took around 3.5 hours of pure delight. It happens twice a week. It’s important to bring water, wear comfortable clothes and use the hand signs (explained before the tour starts). It costs €29 which includes the bike (there’s a discount you have your own). I totally recommend it! Don’t miss it!!!