There are 6,100 roads in the French capital. Do you know which are the narrowest streets in Paris? Many travelers flock to this iconic city to see grand sweeping boulevards like the Champs Elysées, Avenue Victor Hugo or Rue Rivoli.
But have you wondered about the tiniest ones? We have and surprisingly, there are a few contenders vying for the honour.
No doubt the narrowest passageway is Sentiers des Merisiers in the 12th arrondissement – but is it a street? It certainly qualifies as the narrowest laneway at just 1m wide with some sections only a squeezy 87 cm across. Opened in 1857, it was named after the wild cherry trees that originally grew there. The passageway was badly lit for many years, but the lighting was upgraded in the 1980’s. It’s now a more pleasant way for residents of the half-timbered Norman style houses to access their gardens.
At a miniscule 80cm wide, another contender for the skinniest street in Paris is the Passage de la Duée in the 20th. But again, is it a passageway or a real street? It doesn’t matter now as restructuring works in the 2000’s completely changed the layout. With a current width of a few metres, we can now cross it off the list.
The Winner – Narrowest Streets in Paris
To save us from this confusion, the street that officially takes the top spot is Rue du Chat-qui-Pêche. You’ll find it in the 5th near the famous “Shakespeare and Company” bookshop. It runs between Quai St-Michel and Rue de la Huchette, although when it was built in 1540, it opened directly onto the banks of the Seine.
For all of it’s 29 metres, this quaint little street is only 1.80m wide. It takes it’s name from a picture on a shop sign – Street of the Fishing Cat. The original name was Rue des Étuves, but it has also been known as Rue du Renard and Rue des Bouticles.
So next time you’re in the city of light, why not explore the narrowest streets of Paris as well as the grand boulevards.