The world's largest start-up campus was unveiled by French president, Emmanuel Macron, in mid-2017. At any one time, some 3000 resident entrepreneurs from all over the world work away on groundbreaking new ideas and businesses, supported by 30 high-tech incubators and accelerators in this unique start-up ecosystem. Station F is in the 13th arrondissement, which is also home to the new business district of Paris Rive Gauche.
Tours and public spaces
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. Guided tours can only be booked online; reserve well ahead.
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 is home to Europe’s largest restaurant. The immense La Felicità (Italian for 'happiness') sprawls over 4500 sq metres, with 1000 seats, five kitchens and three bars across a series of spaces including train carriages that reflect the building's origins as a railway depot. Styled as a 'food market', it specialises in pizzas and pastas made from Italian produce.
Everything, from bread to gelato and even the coffee and beer, is house-made. It doesn't take reservations; skip the queues at individual counters by ordering directly from the app. Kids are welcomed at all times and often have special activities available for them. Look out for events such as pop-ups, concerts and DJ sets.