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French phrase of the day: Rue de la Soif

French phrase of the day: Rue de la Soif
Photo: Annie Spratt/Unsplash/Nicolas Raymond
This is one street you won’t find on Google Maps.

Why do I need to know rue de la Soif ?

It’s a quick way of asking directions to the fun part of town when you move to a new city.

What does it mean?

Literally “Thirst street”, rue de la Soif is meant to sound like the name of a specific street, but it’s actually a more general term to describe an area where lots of people hang out.

Une rue de la Soif is a street with a high concentration of bars where people go to hang out and get a drink. If you’re studying at a French university, these will often be the areas that students prefer for a night out.

Many French towns have one street which, though it has an official name, is commonly referred to as rue de la Soif. The Rennes tourist office has even adopted the term, advertising Rue Saint-Michel as “Drinker’s Alley”.

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Other areas which go by the name are rue Solférino and rue Masséna in Lille and rue Charles-Michels in Limoges.

Large cities like Paris will have several streets battling it out for the nickname.

So if you’re alone in a new city and want to have a drink with the locals, just ask for directions to rue de la Soif.

Use it like this

Le jeudi soir, tous les étudiants convergent vers la rue de la Soif – On Thursday nights, all the students come together around Drinker’s Alley

On est sorti dans un bar de la rue de la Soif hier soir – We went to bar in the lively part of town last night

J’habite juste à coté de la rue de la Soif, donc il y a souvent trop de bruit pour dormir – I live right next to the street with all the bars, so it’s often too noisy to sleep


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