Belleville is an edgy neighborhood that boasts some of the best bars and most diverse restaurants in the city. If you are planning a visit to this historic area, then you’re in for a real treat. Located between the Parc des Buttes Chaumont and the canal, and stretching over four arrondissements, this bustling neighborhood is a stunning representation of a singularly modern and artistic location in Paris.
It’s a multicultural hodgepodge filled with open-air street markets and spectacular street art. This entire up-and-coming area is untapped, with many hidden gems for eager visitors to explore. From Chinese and Thai to Vietnamese and French Bistro, you’ll find a wide variety of eateries and cafes to revel in.
Also, the neighborhood is filled with vibrant markets, lush green parks, and there are lots of activities you can take part in. There are new foods to try, tasty drinks to be had, and people to meet around every corner.
Without any further ado, let’s take a look at some of the most exciting activities and sights Belleville neighborhood has to offer.
Stop for coffee at the Café Aux Folies
This cafe is a noted landmark in the neighborhood of Belleville. It played host to Edith Piaf, back in the days before her meteoric rise to fame. This enchanting little cafe has a certain charm that makes it stand out from among all the other cafes in the neighborhood.
It has a stunning art-deco look with walls that are painted with unique cubist mosaics. Having weathered storms and come out with its charm intact, this cafe is a must-see any time you’re visiting the neighborhood of Belleville. It offers a beautiful place to enjoy affordable coffee, cocktails, and drinks during your explorations of this neighborhood.
Enjoy panoramic views at the Parc des Buttes Chaumont
This park is the fifth largest one in Paris, and it is undoubtedly one of the city’s best spots where you can truly revel in the greenery all around. The Parc des Buttes Chaumont has a lookout and hills with magnificent views. It also has an exquisite lake with cute waterfalls. Located right in the core of the Belleville neighborhood, this place is a must-see for all who come here.
There aren’t many tourists who know about it, which means that there are no bustling crowds or queues to contend with. Whether you’re alone, with your partner, or traveling with your family, if you visit this venue, you can be sure that your time here will be well spent.
Spot vintage finds at the Rue de La Villette
Do you take pleasure and pride in finding the best vintage bargains? If so, then you’re in luck. In Belleville, you’ll find one of the best vintage stores and concept shops where you’ll discover tons of cool, unique, and even bizarre items to take home as souvenirs of your trip. Get ready to hunt for whimsical treasures at Rue de La Villette.
You can also check out the grocery stores in the same street to check out some of the goods from locals right here in the neighborhood. In this same area, you’ll find a lot of health food stores, as well. All in all, this street is a wonderful place to spend a day of exploration and fun.
Visit Marché Belleville
If your visit to the Belleville neighborhood happens to fall on either a Tuesday or Friday, then you will have the opportunity to discover the Boulevard de Belleville – Marche Belleville, in particular. From 7 am to 2.30 pm on these days, there is an open-air market featuring stands filled with fruits and vegetables. Here, you will also experience a wide range of exciting displays, including Asian, Middle Eastern, and African goods and specialties.
There are savory and hot spices, as well as brightly colored fabrics, home decor items, food, flowers, and other knick-knacks up for grabs. You will have a wonderful time sifting and sorting through all the different things on offer here.
Check out Père Lachaise cemetery
In Belleville, you will find a celeb-filled cemetery. Although young ones may find a visit here a little macabre, for older visitors, this cemetery offers a walk through history. There are many famous people buried here, and you can spend time discovering the final resting places of poets, artists, painters, politicians, musicians, and scholars – to name but a few. Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Chopin, and Oscar Wilde are just some of the famous people who were laid to rest here.
Many of the tombs of famous French people have installations and sculptures that you’ll find very interesting. This cemetery sees a lot of visitors as tourist fans come through to pay their respects.
Soak in the street-legal art at Rue Denoyez
While the word ‘graffiti’ has negative connotations, the art that you’ll see at Rue Denoyez is decidedly different than any other graffiti art you may have seen in other Paris neighborhoods. Having been pronounced legal for artists to use street art in this laneway, this area of the Belleville neighborhood is filled with quirky installations of photographs, ceramics, action figures, and various types of graffiti to please the eye.
Although street art can be seen in many other spots around the neighborhood, this particular lane is simply teeming with it. Even the delivery trucks, trash bins, and flower pots in this lane are all covered in graffiti, making the entire area a vibrantly colorful wonderland.
Experience French delicacies and treats
Last on our list, but certainly not least, you can visit the Cafe Cherie, where you’ll be able to wile away your summer afternoons amidst groups of fun-loving locals. You can also party away the late hours partying, drinking, dancing, and reveling in the unique nightlife that the Belleville neighborhood has to offer.
The Cafe Cherie is undoubtedly the best bar in the neighborhood, and it’s always packed to the brim with people who come here to enjoy a decent cup of coffee or a mug of beer in the company of other locals and tourists. The street-facing chairs and tables in the cafe make it the ideal place to take a break during your exploration of this beautiful neighborhood. Simply sit back, relax, and sip on your libation of choice as you watch the Parisians go about their daily life.
The Final Word
As previously mentioned, Belleville stretches over multiple districts, and it’s a very short walk to other beautiful neighborhoods. If you’re set for a day of exploring, you can discover all the gems listed in this article before checking out the other neighborhoods to see what they have to offer.