What to See and Do in the 20th Arrondissement of Paris?
The 20th arrondissement is as close to ‘real’ Paris as you can get, stretching from Belleville in the north over to the eastern Porte de Vincennes. Because it’s slightly further away from the city center, it’s less known by the tourist crowd, but that doesn’t mean you should give it a miss!
75020, or “le vingtième” is a patchwork of gritty, working-class neighborhoods mixed with artsy, bohemian districts. Lower rent makes it a popular place for students to live, and this also explains why more and more young professionals are snapping up property in the area. The district is well served by public transport, with metros, buses and a tram line, and can be a good place to find a hotel if you’re looking for a good deal but don’t want to be too far from the center of town. It is also buzzing with places to explore!
The most famous cemetery in the world can be found in the vingtième arrondissement. It might sound creepy, but it’s a truly beautiful place where you feel a million miles away from the city and there are some incredible tombstones to discover. Pay your respects to celebrities such as Jim Morrison, Balzac, Chopin, Edith Piaf, Proust and Oscar Wilde to name just a handful. Go early to fully appreciate the tranquility and calming atmosphere. Entry is free, but we recommend buying a map at a news stand or nearby store. Get off at metro Gambetta for a downhill walk through the cemetery, or Père Lachaise metro for an uphill one!
Parc de Belleville & Chinatown
The district of Belleville straddles the north-western tip of the 20th arrondissement. Its park sits on a steep hill and offers spectacular views over Paris. With thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers, as well as Paris’ longest fountain, this is a great place to have a picnic or to take the kids to on a sunny afternoon. In the evening, watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle from across the other side of the city and go down the hill to explore Belleville’s bustling Chinatown, the second largest in Paris. For the park, get off at Pyrenées metro, walk down the hill and turn left.
Belleville and its neighbor Menilmontant have replaced Montmartre as Paris’ arty districts. Just walking around these areas is an education on street art and, if you’re lucky, your visit will coincide with “portes ouvertes”, an event where artists open up their studios for free and you are allowed to wander round and see their work and ongoing projects – often in their actual homes!
Those looking for a night out in the City of Light should definitely not miss out on a visit to the 20th, one of the best districts in Paris for a party! La Bellevilloise is a fantastic cafe/bar/cultural venue that hosts concerts and many other events. The space is contemporary, with a light airy atmosphere and olive trees dappling the outside space. Their jazz brunch is also a popular event. Other great places for a night out are the Studio de l’Ermitage (jazz and world music), Flêche d’Or (live bands) and La Maroquinerie (pop and indie rock).
See more of Paris by night on a night-time bicycle tour!
[maxbutton id=”1″ url=”https://www.fattiretours.com/paris/tours/paris-night-bike-tour” text=”Book a Paris Night Bike Tour!” ]