What to do in Paris' 20th arrondissement ?

If you went to Bastille or near le Canal St Martin, you may have already passed close to the 20th arrondissement but never stopped. While the 20th arrondissement is less visited than many of Paris’s more central neighbourhoods, I recommend you take a walk in this colourful arrondissement. There are a lot of hidden treasures and a real artistic vibe. Let’s go for a virtual tour of this cosmopolitan district! (photo © parisianavores Paris)

paris 20th arrondissement

What to see in Paris' 20th arrondissement ?

La campagne à Paris

“The countryside in Paris” is the name of this small island of pavilions perched on top of a hill near the Porte de Bagnolet. A unique place in Paris.

Everything contributes to giving this area an atmosphere that you will not find anywhere else in the capital. First of all, its immutable silence, a rare luxury in Paris, which adds a delicious solemnity to the beauty of the place. You will also find charming pavilions which present both a unity of construction and a personality of their own. While some pavilions have pretty canopies, you will see others with small gardens overflowing with wisteria and roses, or facades that have chosen to stand out with bright and original colors.  The pavilions were built at the beginning of the 20th century for the working population, intended to improve their living conditions and facilitate their access to property.

Cemetery Père Lachaise

The Père-Lachaise Cemetery is one of the most famous cemeteries in Paris, if not in the world.  It is visited by just over a million people each year ! Funny enough it is also the biggest green space in Paris:  the Père-Lachaise cemetery has around 5,000 trees representing around 50 different species spread over an area of ​​44 hectares.

The visit if free but if you’d like to know more, you could contact the Storyteller of Père Lachaise. Every weekend, he takes you on a lovely ride. He has a lot of anecdotes about Marcel Proust and Oscar Wilde to tear you from unexpected smiles. (maybe: …Wilde that will bring about an unexpected smile.”)

If you take a guided tour of Pere Lachaise, you’ll also discover a unique, nearly secret, garden at the back gate of the cemetery. Located at the end of the narrow rue de la Réunion, le Jardin naturel Piere-Emmanuel has simply been allowed to evolve, with no plantings, mowings, or other types of normal gardening. There’s a pond where water plants grow, along with tadpoles.

Le parc de Belleville

At the heart of Belleville Hill, Le Parc de Belleville offers one of the most beautiful views of Paris. It’s a beautiful little-known panorama that you can sometimes enjoy almost alone !Unlike the other large Parisian parks created during the Haussmannian works (Les Buttes Chaumont, Montsouris …), le Parc de Belleville is a modern construction (from 1988).

Until the 19th century the parc hosted many vineyards. Now the terraced gardens offer different floral settings and even a waterfall that ends below in a water garden. (photo © un jour de plus à Paris).

parc de belleville

La petite ceinture (the small belt)

Between rue de Ménilmontant and rue des Couronnes, access to la petite ceinture has been opened to the public and developed over a length of 220 m and a space of 5,000 m² framed by 2 tunnels closed to the public. A large wooden dock with a few seats was built to relax. Below, a path accessible to people with reduced mobility and strollers runs along the old railway line which was used to transport passengers until 1934.

Le Pavillon Carré de Baudoin

Located at the corner of rue des Pyrénées and rue de Ménilmontant, the Pavillon Carré de Baudouin offers free access to exhibitions and conferences all year round.Managed administratively and artistically by the Town Hall of the 20th arrondissement, this remarkable building is today considered the most important cultural space in the district today.

This popular place of culture, open to all, offers a demanding and totally free program with exhibitions, conferences and an urban art wall. For photography lovers, you often have free exhibitions (Willy Ronis, Bamako photo in Paris,…)

Street Art

In Paris’ 20th arrondissement, magnificent or strange works of art are displayed without complex, around many streets, on a facade or a pillar. Urban art has long been part of the DNA of the French capital. To discover street art, you to go up rue de Ménilmontant. In particular, you will discover an emblematic fresco, produced by Jérôme Mesnager. Further up the same street, you can admire recent works on the facade of the Pavillon Carré de Baudoin. Renowned artists repaint it regularly. Also take a walk in the famous rue Denoyez, des Maronites, rue de la Forge, rue de Belleville and Place Frehel. In all of these passages, you can admire magnificent frescoes, which are really worth a look!

Where to eat in Paris' 20th arrondissement ?

Les canailles Menilmontant

15 Rue des Panoyaux 75020 PARIS

Great traditional French cuisine with a friendly service. Located in the hip part of town, with a reasonably priced and great wine selection, it is one of my favourite restaurants

canailles menilmontant paris

Floreal Belleville

43 Rue des Couronnes, 75020 Paris

Associative place of life, between café, bar, exhibitions and meetings. The Floreal promotes young creation and emerging artists. With a sparkling turquoise Art Nouveau facade, industrial trendy décor covering 200 square meters, vintage touches and bouquets of wild flowers, it’s a perfect Frenchie cozy place

floreal bar

l’Entracte bistrot

 21 Rue Malte Brun, 75020 Paris

As a couple or with friends, a stop at L’Entracte is a must when passing through the Père Lachaise district. The decor is neat, the plates are comforting, and the wines well selected by the owner. It’s a very good neighbourhood restaurant with well presented dishes.

entracte paris 20

Rouleau de printemps

42 Rue de Tourtille, 75020 Paris

A hidden gem in the midst of the city of culture! A great priced restaurant which offers a great selection of Vietnamese food and can cater for all dietary needs! With an authentic Vietnamese ambience, it’s an ideal quick stop.

rouleau de printemps paris 20

Where to shop in Paris' 20th arrondissement ?

Le monte en l’air librairie

2 Rue de la Mare, 75020 Paris

Before becoming a bookseller, Guillaume Dumora worked in publishing at “L’Association”, a house that publishes comics and graphic novels. But he was also an outfielder in a street performance company. Which sums up quite well his capacity for flexibility and adaptation necessary for the bookstore profession he has been carrying out since 2005. It is because of his past as an acrobat that his bookstore is called so !

monte en lair paris 20

A tout lire

141 Avenue Gambetta, 75020 Paris

Located between Pelleport and Saint-Fargeau in the heart of the 20th arrondissement, this cute bookstore offers you on 200m² and two levels a very large choice of books and works.  You will find thousands of references, all aspects of the literary production both new and classic, from paperback to art books.

a tout lire paris 20

Atelier Beau travail

67 Rue de la Mare, 75020 Paris

Belleville is a place where artist studios flourish. Cosmopolitan and lively, the district attracts a plethora of designers looking for inspiration. The Atelier Beau Travail, located on the heights, is shared by four very talented young designers : Delphine Dunoyer (bags and accessories), Céline Saby (lamps screen-printed with original patterns), Rachel Péloquin and Hélène Georget (scarves and clothing with graphic prints).

atelier beau travail

Vintage 77

77 Rue de Ménilmontant, 75020 Paris

Very nice store with branded vintage pieces but also new collections. A large choice of fashion clothes, accessories, glasses, bags, jewellery, gloves, hats, shoes … and an always smiling welcome from the owner !

vintage 77

Where to go out in Paris' 20th arrondissement ?

Aux Folies

8 rue de Belleville 75020 PARIS

Victim of its success, it’s always busy! Great little bar to go for a coffee or for drinks in the evening, reasonably priced. Waiters are very attentive and friendly. With a nice atmosphere and a great seating outside, it’s worth a visit.. if you can find a table.

aux folies

Mama Shelter

109 rue de Bagnolet 75020 PARIS

In the historic Saint Blaise neighbourhood, Mama Shelter welcomes you with a stylish interior. You can take a break on sunny days on the beautiful rooftop and enjoy a meal or sip on a drink while you let your eyes wander over a panoramic view of the city. It’s also a hotel with rooms that are not too big but very functional and modern.

mama shelter

La Maroquinerie

23 rue Boyer 75020 PARIS

Located on an easy walk from the Gambetta metro stop, la Maroquinerie is a small venue with a pleasant outdoor courtyard dining café. The stage area in the basement is small and intimate (with a capacity of 200 approx). With food served late and a friendly staff, it’s a little musical goldmine.

maroquinerie paris 20

La Bellevilloise

19-21 rue Boyer 75020 PARIS

Bar, restaurant, club, and exhibition space, this building once housed Paris’ first workers’ co-operative. Film and music festivals take place on the top level, while downstairs, the club and concert venue feature new bands and an ’80s night.

belleviloise paris

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