With its footbridges arching gracefully over a canal that feeds into the Seine River, the Canal Saint Martin area offers equal parts greenery, lyricism, and urban grit. Don't miss the Canal Saint-Martin for activities like strolling, picnics, offbeat shopping, and scenic biking.
This unusually relaxed corner of Northeastern Paris is a hotspot for fashion-conscious bohos and parents in search of a little repose. It has also made famous appearances in movies like Amélie and Hôtel du Nord.
Nestled between Montparnasse and Chinatown on the left bank is a hilly, well-hidden quarter whose narrow, winding streets, tiny houses, and art nouveau architecture recall a Paris of another era. La Butte aux Cailles is one of Paris' best-kept secrets, and for good reason. It is one of the only Paris neighborhoods where chain stores have not set up shop and where you can stumble on ivy-covered art deco townhouses. Come explore the Butte aux Cailles for gorgeous ambling, convivial dining and drinking.
Sometimes referred to as “Little Jaffna,” this neighborhood is bursting with activity, culture and color. Here, you’ll not only find shops and restaurants reflecting the prominence of Sri Lankan and South Indian culture; you’ll hear the Tamil language bouncing around you on the streets. Being in La Chapelle feels like getting out of Paris, and you’ll be very glad to have done so once you get to know the city well and are looking for unusual jaunts. Make sure to save time for chai tea, samosas and sari window-shopping.
Tucked in a little-trampled stretch of northeast Paris, the Père-Lachaise/Gambetta neighborhood is protected from the hullabaloo of the city center, but remains in close enough reach of major attractions. In the area loosely defined by the metros Gambetta, Pere Lachaise, Porte de Bagnolet and the Rue de Menilmontant, you’ll find quirky, family-owned cafes and bars, Birkenstock-donning couples pushing strollers, and an authentic residential feel. During the day, the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery is worth a half-day trip, while a smattering of bars and clubs in the surrounding Gambetta and Menilmontant area are packed at night, home to a dynamic independent music scene. If you’re taxed out from power touring, reward yourself with a relaxing stroll or nightset in the Père Lachaise/Gambetta quarter.
Welcome to Belleville – home to one of Paris’s lively Chinatowns, a burgeoning artist quarter and a dizzying array of cultures. Belleville has always been a working class neighborhood, with immigration generating much of the area's zest. What started in the 1920's with Greeks, Jews and Armenians led to waves of North Africans, Sub-Saharan Africans and Chinese immigrants settling here. Cheap rents have also led artists to flow into the area, making it an ideal spot for their ateliers. Belleville may not provide a typical experience of Paris, but its energy and diversity are certainly worth checking out.