Neighborhood Guide | Belleville
Welcome to Belleville, one of the most culturally rich neighborhoods in Paris! This neighborhood, situated in 20th arrondissement along the border of the 19th, started as an independent wine-making village before being occupied by Paris’ many different cultures. First the Armenians, Greeks, and Jews, and later the North Africans, Sub-Saharan Africans, and Chinese, making for quite a melting pot! Here is our neighborhood guide to Belleville:
The easiest way to get to this neighborhood is on the Metro line 11 to the Belleville stop, landing you in the middle of Chinatown, steps from the three dim sum giants: Le Président (120 rue du Faubourg du Temple), Le Pacifique (39 rue de Belleville), and Wezhou (24 rue de Belleville). Immediately upon arriving you can tell this neighborhood is quite different from other neighborhoods in Paris; beautiful street art and long-stretching markets make for lots of foot traffic.
Home to the creative types of Paris, Belleville has a score of artists ateliers, famously at the Place Sainte Marthe and Rue Dénoyez. If you’d like to hit a few birds with one stone, head to Les Ateliers d’Artistes de Belleville (32 rue de la Mare), which houses artwork from over 200 artists from Belleville. The association is known for organizing the Belleville Portes Ouvertes d’Ateliers d’Artistes, an annual event held in May where the local artists open their ateliers to the public.
Here’s a fun fact: legendary Parisian Edith Piaf is said to have been born under a street lamp on rue de Belleville, and there is a plaque to commemorate it! Stop by number 72 to see the plaque, then head over to the museum dedicated to her at 5 Rue Crespin du Gast at the Ménilmontant Metro stop.
If you’re feeling outdoorsy, head to the Parc de Belleville, situated on the famous hill in Belleville, over 100 meters high, making it the highest park in Paris. Head all the way to the top to walk around the terrasse and take in the beautiful panoramic views, and stop in at the Maison de l’Air, a small museum about fresh air and the harmful effects of pollution.
Belleville is also the perfect neighborhood if you’re looking to escape the traditional Parisian bar scene. Belleville is home to many famous bars and nightclubs, well known for its dive bars, cheap drinks, and fluorescent lighting. Aux Folies (8 rue de Belleville) is one of those famous bars; stop by here for cheap beers on tap and live music on the terrasse. If you’re looking for something a bit more refined but still retaining that Belleville attitude, head to Le Baratin (3 rue Jouye-Rouve) for incredible bistro food in an atmosphere unlike your traditional Parisian bistro. This place ignores the aesthetics aspect of a restaurant and jumps straight into delicious food, sure to please every time.
If you’re looking for a cup of coffee and some down-time, stop in at Cream (50 rue de Belleville), the ultimate hipster coffee joint. Opened about a year ago, this place has become a Belleville hot spot, participating in the third-wave coffee revolution taking Paris by storm. Head over and order a cappuccino, sit at the window bar, and watch the world pass by.
September 3, 2018
July 23, 2018