Rue Saint-Denis certainly is one of the most lively streets of Paris: whether it’s daytime or nighttime, you’ll never find yourself alone in this very characterful part of the capital city.
During the day, it is full of tourists who can enjoy the multicultural character of this part of the capital city of France as well as the medieval architecture of the buildings surrounding the street with their sometimes sloping facades. Of course, it’s also a place where you will find the usual drug dealers and little traffickers you find in any touristic place, but in the end, I wouldn’t say it feels unsafe, or rather, even though you should be careful with your belongings there, I do not think you will get mugged during daytime.
However, the most interesting face of this street is the one it has at night. Then, the streets are crowded with people of all origins coming here to find some place to eat, and restaurants are not what Rue Saint-Denis lacks, to say the least. You will find everything you might want to eat: Indian food, Turkish food, Chinese food, Italian food… Rue Saint-Denis could be nicknamed “the popular stomach of Paris”. It’s also the time when prostitutes get out and work on the street, which contributes to the sulphurous reputation of the street.
Whether you like it or not, I really think it’s a place you have to visit if you stay some time in Paris. First, the place on its own is quite interesting: old medieval buildings, numerous passages… Second, the atmosphere is quite unique: even though it’s quite a safe place, you still feel you enter a very popular street, where trafficking is common, where you’ll have no difficulty at all to find whatever illegal service or product you might be looking for. Last, it’s not far from Paris downtown, so you may just come across this street by chance, and it would be a shame not to make a detour via this notorious street, where you can always find something nice to photograph.
Some square stairway in a building, Rue Saint-Denis
Stairway, Rue Saint-Denis
Un réverbère la tête en l’air
Some narrow street near Rue Saint-Denis
A leaf in Square Emile Chautemps