A leafy eastern suburb of Paris, Vincennes is on the edge of the 11th and 20th Arrondissements and is just five minutes from the Gare de Lyon on the RER. Until it was engulfed by the city, Vincennes was a town on the edge of a large forest and grew around a château favoured as a hunting lodge by medieval kings.
In Vincennes we don’t need to tell you that all of Paris is your oyster, and all of the attractions, shopping, nightlife and dining that come with it.
But with public transport, some places are quicker to get to than others from this district.
We’ll concentrate on the local attractions, and those that you can reach directly in mere minutes, either with the RER A commuter train or Paris Métro Line 1, both of which have stations in Vincennes.
Lets explore the best things to do in Vincennes:
1. Château de Vincennes
You may recognise this monument by its formidable 52-metre 14th-century donjon, which has four circular turrets, arrow loops and crenellations, all defended by an outer walled enclosure and a deep, impassable moat.
As a home for royalty, the building does have a more sophisticated side: Two medieval kings (Philippe III and Philippe IV) were married right in the fortress and three died here.
While from the 1600s onwards the donjon became a prison for high-profile figures like Nicolas Fouquet, Mirabeau, Diderot and the Marquis de Sade.
In all, the château is a tangible history lesson that will captivate anyone with an interest in the politics and intrigue of medieval and early modern France.