The Belleville neighbourhood in Paris doesn’t usually make it to the top of tourists’ agendas… There aren’t any world famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower or Notre Dame, and it’s right on the edge of the city, spreading out between the 10th, 11th, 19th and 20th arrondissements.
However if you’re in Paris for more than a few days and the weather’s good, I would definitely recommend taking the metro ride over for a day. It’s a nice break from the beautiful, but slightly stressful Paris atmosphere, and you’ll see a slightly more diverse side of this capital city!
Literally meaning ‘Beautiful Town’ in France, Belleville used to be a working class area, and in the twentieth century became a popular area for immigrants to reside. In particular, many North African and Chinese families settled here and it was often nicknamed Chinatown.
In recent years though, the diverse cultures, interesting architecture, and varied restaurants and cafes, have made Belleville a very popular area for young Parisians to come and escape the tourists.
My memories of Belleville are full of bright colourful streets, cobbled squares full of people sipping beers and chatting, and a lot of chinese supermarkets and restaurants!
It had a very chilled atmosphere, and I really felt like I wasn’t in Paris anymore. Imagine somewhere with the edginess and hipster qualities of Camden or Brixton in London, mixed with the colours and prettiness of Notting Hill.
One of the things Belleville is most known for, is the street art. You’ll find traces of it everywhere and for me it just adds to the anti traditional Paris feel.
In particular, look out for Rue Denoyez – a street completely lined with colourful graffiti.
If you walk uphill towards Parc Buttes Chaumont, you’ll also be treated to some of the best views in Paris.
At one of the highest points, you’ll find amazing sights of the Sacre Coeur and the Eiffel Tower lying in the distance.
This really is such a fantastic, interesting part of Paris and I would completely recommend checking it out. Especially if the weather’s nice and you can just spend half a day strolling round – maybe stopping for a cheeky beer in a little cafe somewhere!
Hope you guys have enjoyed this post and let me know if you’ve ever been or would like to visit Belleville!
I’ll be in New York this weekend so make sure to follow to keep up with my upcoming posts 🙂
Thanks for reading! Joanna xxx