If you’re looking for a new neighborhood in Paris to explore, Belleville is a great option. It is a neighborhood that once provided wine and weekend escapes to Parisians before Paris expanded it’s northern boundaries in the 1860s. Famous singers like Edith Piaf, and artist used to live in Belleville. Today, it is home to foreigners, expats, artists, and professionals alike. It is a neighborhood full of culture, charm, quaint little side streets, full of hills, and definitely a place worth exploring to get another perspective of Paris outside the postcard images. This guide to Belleville will provide you with many ideas of things to SEE & DO, EAT, and places to SHOP.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
For nature lovers or if your looking to get a little break from all the pavement you can head to Buttes de Chaumont . It is the fifth largest park in Paris and it is a great place to go for a stroll, running, and for picnics when the weather is nice. There are even little waterfalls in the park and a little lake.
Parc de Belleville
There is a beautiful panoramic view of Paris that many people forget about when they are listing the top places in Paris for a great view. The park is really animated in the summer time, with picnics, and outdoor concerts and salsa dancing.
Right off a little side alley when you exist metro Belleville you will find an open air gallery to street art and graffiti.
Belleville is home to many artist’s galleries and studios. The association of artist in Belleville is comprised of over 250 artists of different disciplines (photography, ceramics, painting, sculptures). You can check out their site here, for upcoming expositions and open houses to visit when you’re in the area.
Edith Piaf’s childhood apartment
Belleville was the home to the legendary singer Edith Piaf. While you’re in the area you can stop by and snag a picture of her childhood home at 72 de la rue de Belleville.
Père Lachaise cemetery
Did you know that Père Lachaise cemetery is one of the most visited cemeteries in the world? It is a huge place (around 44 hectares) and it is often frequented to visit the tombs of famous artist/ musicians such as Jim Morrison, and Oscar Wilde, as well as Edith Piaf.
Rue de Belleville not to be confused with Boulevard de Belleville runs in a long stretch. Going in the directions towards metro Jourdain, you will find a street full of life that has everything you could think of on one street. You’ve got your local boucherie, boulangerie, chocolaterie, cave de vin, fromagerie, fleuriste… you name it is there.
Asian markets– if you are looking for ingredients to make your favorite Asian dishes, you can find everything right on rue de Belleville as well close to metro Belleville.
Diyannako African goods shop-has tons of beautiful pieces from Africa (instruments, fabric, jewelry), that the owner brings back from her travels throughout different countries in Africa. If you’re looking for unique gift, Diyannako is a great place to go.
Rue de La Villette – has many cute little shops (vintage shops, épiceries, concept shops)
Options are endless in the area. Here are some of my favorites:
Brûlerie de Belleville– is a well known suppliers of quality coffee to some of Paris’ favorite cafés. On the weekends you can come into their roasting lab and take a ‘cupping’ class to learn about the complexity of coffee, and try their different roast.
Brûlerie de Jourdain– is another coffee roasting option that is family owned since 1955. You can find a variety of roast from Africa, South & Central America, and even a roast from Indian for your household coffee needs, as well as teas, and honey ( produced 100% in France).
CREAM, is a new café addition to the area which is a great place to stop for a good cup of coffee and people watching the bustling street of Rue de Belleville.
Le Barbouquin, is a cozy little café/ library/ art gallery off the graffiti street that was mentioned earlier (rue Dénoyez).
Mama Shelter– is a boutique hotel with a great restaurant down stairs. They serve brunch as well as dinner and they even have a section dedicated to pizza.
La Bellevilloise– offers a jazzy brunch. For 29€ you can enjoy a complete brunch menu with sweet and savory options as well as a jazz concert while eating.
Culture Rapide– is a low key place to grab drinks in the evening. They also host weekly spoken word open mic nights every Thursdays in English.
Cave de Belleville– is new wine bar that opened up last summer. They have unlimited choice of wine that you can pair with charcuterie and cheese planchas.
Triplettes– feels like you’re somewhere in the lower east side of NY, with its exposed brick deco and walls full of mirrors. Triplettes has happy hour menus, street food, and great dj sets in the evenings.
Aux Folies– You can always spot people having a drink on the sidewalk terrace taking advantage of the amazingly cheap beers for about 2.50€ and 5€ cocktails
Rosa Bonheur –is located inside Buttes du Chaumont park. When it is nice out it is great place to grab a drink and enjoy the view of the park, they often have live music and different events that are worth checking out here.
Mon Oncle le Vigneron is a cozy family style restaurant. The chef prepares a different menu every day, and everyone eats the same dish. You have to call to reserve in advance because the restaurant doesn’t hold more than 4 tables at a time.
Il Posto– One of the best places in Paris for fresh brick oven pizza.
Samsara– is a friendly family owned Indian food restaurant. Their dishes are full of flavors with generous portions at an affordable price.
Mon Coeur Belleville– is located just above Parc de Belleville. You can have drinks or dine on the terrace and take in the beautiful view of Paris.
Hobbes is a new vegetarian restaurant near Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Great place for brunch, lunch or dinner.
Le Jourdain – is a small little tapas bar on rue des couronnes. The owners are extremely welcoming and their tapas are delicious. They use fresh produce and the menu options are constantly changing. They also have a nice wine list to pair with the different tapas.
Les Piaules– brand new youth hostel and bar to the neighborhood.