One of the largest arrondissements, the 12th is a residential neighborhood with a pleasant park to the east, the Bois de Vincennes. With its zoos, museums, palaces, boating lakes, and flower garden, it is frequented by Parisian families. It has two famous restaurants: Au Trou Gascon and Le Train Bleu. The latter is actually found in the large railway station of the Gare de Lyon, and is known mainly for its painted ceiling and Art Nouveau décor which have been preserved as national artistic treasures.
The 12th is lately being rescued from its urban decay with new housing, shops, and restaurants being erected throughout. One of its most notable revived areas is the Bercy Village, called a "French village in the heart of Paris," which is built along cobblestone streets and composed of late 19th-century warehouses that have been converted into shops and restaurants.
The area divides into 4 main areas: Bercy, Bastille/Gare de Lyon, Daumesnil and Picpus.
Bercy: modern family developments, mostly for-sale, rather than for-rent.
Bastille and Gare de Lyon: Much Haussmann architecture, although the northern viaduct area has a mix of traditional and more recent developments.
Picpus and Daumesnil: Calm areas, specially toward the outer fringes. A favourite with families - there are large apartments, and it is close to one of Paris’ largest parks, the Bois de Vincennes.