Station F

Top choice research centre in Montparnasse & Southern Paris

The world's largest start-up campus was unveiled with much pomp and ceremony by French president, Emmanuel Macron, in mid-2017. At any one time, some 3000 resident entrepreneurs from all over the world beaver away on ground-breaking new ideas and businesses, supported by 30 high tech incubators and accelerators in this unique start-up ecosystem. Guided tours take visitors on a 45-minute waltz through the gargantuan steel, glass and concrete hangar – a railway depot constructed in 1927–29 to house new trains servicing nearby Gare d'Austerlitz.

Two public passageways divide the 'Create' zone (where all the serious action happens) from the 'Share' zone – embracing the vast lobby with monumental Jeff Koons Playdough sculpture and the Anticafé co-working space where hipsters pay €5 an hour to drink coffee, snack and plug in – and the 'Chill' zone. The public Chill zone, to open in mid-2018, will star La Felicità, a gigantic restaurant with five different kitchens, vast pavement terrace, bar, and funky dining in two graffiti-covered train wagons. Best up, it will be open 24 hours 7/7 – another bold Paris first.

Guided tours (in English) can only be booked online; to ensure a spot on tours that have been selling out like hot cakes, reserve at least six weeks in advance.