Paris off the beaten path: Goussainville - Abandoned Town in the Suburbs of Paris

When I decided to travel to Paris I spent a good while googling possible day trips and off the beaten path destinations. Whilst there seemed...

When I decided to travel to Paris I spent a good while googling possible day trips and off the beaten path destinations. Whilst there seemed to dozens of palaces that people considered worth visiting, I couldn't find a single recommendation for areas worth urban exploration let alone anything that wasn't labelled as a tourist destination. Just a week before the trip I ended up discovering Goussainville, an abandoned ghost town in the suburbs of Paris by accident. Hell yes, sounds like my kind of place!

It's not Goussainville that's been abandoned, to be exact, but the part that's nowadays been referred to as Goussainville Le Vieux Village. As far as I know, people started to flee from town around 40 years ago due the noise pollution caused by the airport that was built nearby. The ones that weren't bothered by the noise left due a plane accident that killed multiple residents and destroyed some parts of the village few years later and most of the village still remains untouched.

I found myself wandering around Goussainville in one cloudy morning. Most of the buildings being still abandoned and slowly falling apart, I was quite surprised to find out that there were plenty of people still living in there. Whereas the center of the small village was completely abandoned, the outskirts of the town had started to attract people again. It was fairly bizarre to see small children cycling on the streets of the town that could have perfectly fine been a set of a horror movie. It was extremely strange and maybe a bit fucked up but I gotta say that it also increased the charm of the place.

I spend few hours walking on the streets the village. It's not a huge place and most of the buildings being either in a condition too dangerous to enter or the entrances being blocked, I spent most of my time on the streets taking pictures. The only other travellers I ran into were couple of French guys who scared the shit out of me in a rather shady backyard of one of the abandoned houses. They were shooting a documentary about abandoned places in France and kindly pointed me to the direction of the abandoned mansion I hadn't been able to find.

The mansion, located up in a grassy hill, was surely the highlight of my trip. It's a massive three story building and an impressive sight even when covered in graffiti and the insides of the mansion having collapsed. You can just imagine what the place has looked like half a century ago! Even though most of the windows and doors are blocked there's a small entrance on the front side of the building. You do however, need some climbing skills to access it so I, being relatively poorly prepared for any sort of exercise or getting my hands dirty that day, settled for admiring the building from the outside.

If you're searching for some off the beaten path destinations in Paris or abandoned places in France you should totally come and check this place out!


Tips for visiting Goussainville

  • You can get to Goussainville by taking the RER D -line from Gare du Lyon. The train will take you to Goussainville in about half an hour and once you get to the station you need to start heading south towards Goussainville Le Vieux Village. If you don't have a map or GPS just head to the direction of a church tower.
  • Many of the buildings are in rather bad condition and likely to collapse soon so please take caution if you choose to enter any of them
  • The abandoned mansion is located up a grassy hill, slightly separated from the rest of the town

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  1. This would be so eerie to walk around but amazing at the same time. Will be adding this to my list for when I go to Paris :D - Got a few Parisian friends too I will be passing this post on to them for them to check out :D

    1. That's pretty much how it was :D But yeah you should defo check this place out! Cheers!

  2. I like to visit abandoned buildings, so this looks like a great place to visit. I bet the Mansion was really impressive when it was originally built. I will have to look this place up next time I am in Paris.

    1. I googled some older pics and it looked absolutely beautiful! This place is definitely worth checking out if your into abandoned stuff :)