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Val de Marne: discovering the guinguettes

An inspiration for many artists over generations, the banks of the Marne river, located a few kilometers from Paris, are ideal spaces for recreational activities, mostly known for their guinguettes, these popular, typically French cabarets.

Rédigé par Saliha Hadj-Djilani translated by Joséphine Foucher le Lundi 21 Mars 2016

Guinguette Gégène
Guinguette Gégène
« True symbols of the culture of the Marne banks, the guinguettes are a defining element of the Boucles de la Marne identity. Their history is linked to the recreational activities of workers and to “Sundays by the Water.”

At the start of the century, people would go there on sundays and during holidays to participate in a wide range of activities, often in relation to water
(regatta, canoeing, swimming, diving competitions, rowing races, joust, fishing…),explains Alexis Bertrand from the events service of the Tourism Office of Val de Marne - but also to have fun playing traditional games, like ninepin bowling, ball games, and swings… People would enjoy a simple meal paired with white or red wine and then would dance the waltz, polka, and later the “Musette” waltz.

Three guinguettes not to miss by the Marne

The Ile du Martin-Pêcheur Guinguette in Champigny-sur-Marne
Located on an island, this guinguette has a 3,000 m² wooded plot of land, a terrace, a garden with a swing, and a children’s playground. From Thursday to Sunday, a ball takes place with an orchestra and accordion player.

Chez Gégène in Joinville-le-Pont
This guinguette is an institution that welcomed the biggest names of French cinema and is the only facility that never closed since its opening in 1918. The authentic 50-60s decor is impressively well preserved. The outdoor terraces bordering the Marne are very pleasant during the warmer days. Every Saturday evening and Sunday at noon balls and dance meals take place.

La Guinguette Auvergnate in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges
This guinguette is located near the water with a terrace overlooking the Seine. A musical evening takes place the 2nd and 4th Fridays of each month, and a lunch dance takes place every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month.

Practical Information

Tourism Office of Val de Marne
16 rue Joséphine de Beauharnais
94500 Champigny-sur-Marne

Getting to the guinguettes?

Guinguette of the Martin Pêcheur Island
Driving: Highway A4, direction Nancy (at porte de Bercy), exit 4 Joinville. Toward Champigny la Fourchette: take a right on rue Floquet, then rue de Verdun on the left, take a right on rue de la plage, then quai Victor Hugo.
Public transportation: Direction Boissy St Léger. Stop at Champigny. Cross the Champigny bridge and take the left platform. 7 min walk.

Guinguette Gégène 
Driving: A4 from Paris. Arrive at Joinville le Pont, taking towards "guinguette de Polangis et parking des guinguettes”. Once at the parking, head towards the Marne river banks on the right.
Transportation: Coming from the Paris. RER direction Boissy St. Léger, stop at Joinville le Pont, and take the bus 101 to the station.
Walking: from the RER station of Joinville, go down on the Joinville bridge and take the second staircase on the left, and follow the Marne banks until the guinguette.

Guinguette auvergnate 
Driving: Guinguette Auvergnate is a 20 minute drive from Paris. It is located next to the A 86, exit Choisy le Roi.
Transportation: in RER, stop at Villeneuve Triage on line D of the RER, 10 minutes from Gare de Lyon. La Guinguette Auvergnate is right in front of the Villeneuve-Triage station. By bus, take the bus 182 at Porte de Choisy and stop at the stop Gare de Triage (last stop.)

Val de Marne : A la découverte des guinguettes

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