Sights and Strolls in Eastern Paris

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The neighborhoods of Eastern Paris have a lot to offer for locals and visitors seeking to wander off the beaten track.

Whether you’re looking to explore historic streets and colorful neighborhoods, take a stroll in one of the major parks of the area, enjoy a café on a peaceful square, or visit an ancient cemetery: here are some tips to make your time in Eastern Paris memorable.

Please feel free to explore our neighborhood guides:

You may also be interested in these guides:

 

 

 

PARIS 10

 

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Canal Saint-Martin
Waterway

 

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Château d’Eau
Neighborhood

 

Little Jaffna
Neighorbood

 

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Place de la République
Square

 

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Porte Saint-Denis
Historic Building

In the historic Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis. The 25 m (81 ft) high Porte Saint-Denis was the first of four triumphal arches to be built in Paris, with construction starting in 1672.

18 Boulevard Saint-Denis, 75010 Paris

 

Porte Saint-Martin
Historic Building

 

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Rue Saint-Maur
Street

 

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Sainte-Marthe neighborhood
Neighborhood

This quaint neighborhood is a mosaic of peaceful streets adorned with colorful facades, lively cafés and hip boutiques. Locals flock to the little square at the heart of the Sainte-Marthe neighborhood, a haven of peace amidst the hustle and bustle of Belleville and Rue Saint-Maur.

Rue Sainte-Marthe, 75010 Paris

 

 

PARIS 11

 

Boulevard Richard Lenoir
Street

 

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Faubourg Saint-Antoine
Neighborhood

East of the Bastille, the Faubourg Saint-Antoine neighborhood is criss-crossed with narrow pathways, or « passages ». A historic stronghold of Parisian revolutions, the area has long been associated with furniture and decoration crafts, with some of these cobblestone passages still dotted with traditional workshops.

75011/75012 Paris

 

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Place de la Bastille
Square

The July Column rises in the center of the Place de la Bastille, where the royal fortress stood before its storming on July 14, 1789, during the first year of the French Revolution. The monument was actually built on that same site to commemorate France’s second major revolution, the « Trois Glorieuses », which saw the people of Paris overthrowing the Bourbon Restoration in July 1830. You’ve probably heard of it – just think of Delacroix’s iconic ‘Liberty Leading the People’ depicting Marianne, the personification of the French Republic.

Place de la Bastille, 75004/75011/75012 Paris

 

Place de la Nation
Square

 

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Place de la République
Square

 

Rue Oberkampf
Street

 

Rue Saint-Maur
Street

 

 

PARIS 12

 

Bassin de l’Arsenal
Waterway

 

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Bois de Vincennes
Park

 

Coulée Verte
Park

 

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Faubourg Saint-Antoine
Neighborhood

East of the Bastille, the Faubourg Saint-Antoine neighborhood is criss-crossed with narrow pathways, or « passages ». A historic stronghold of Parisian revolutions, the area has long been associated with furniture and decoration crafts, with some of these cobblestone passages still dotted with traditional workshops.

75011/75012 Paris

 

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Parc de Bercy
Park

 

Picpus Cemetery
Cemetery

 

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Place de la Bastille
Square

The July Column rises in the center of the Place de la Bastille, where the royal fortress stood before its storming on July 14, 1789, during the first year of the French Revolution. The monument was actually built on that same site to commemorate France’s second major revolution, the « Trois Glorieuses », which saw the people of Paris overthrowing the Bourbon Restoration in July 1830. You’ve probably heard of it – just think of Delacroix’s iconic ‘Liberty Leading the People’ depicting Marianne, the personification of the French Republic.

Place de la Bastille, 75004/75011/75012 Paris

 

Place de la Nation
Square

 

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Rue Crémieux

Located between the Bastille and the Gare de Lyon station, the pedestrian Rue Crémieux is famed for its colorful facades.

Rue Crémieux, 75012 Paris

 

 

PARIS 19

 

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Bassin de la Villette
Waterway

The Bassin de la Villette seems like a peaceful oasis away from the hectic traffic, a place to relax during a game of pétanque by the water, or sharing a beer with friends on a colorful peniche. The Canal Saint-Martin starts south of the elevated Stalingrad metro station. In the opposite direction, the green lawns and music venues of La Villette are just a short walk along the pleasant Canal de l’Ourcq.

Bassin de la Villette, 75019 Paris

 

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Butte Bergeyre
Neighborhood

Like a charming little village perched atop a hill overlooking the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, the Butte Bergeyre ranks among the few micro-neighborhoods spared by the Parisian traffic. Standing at an altitude of 100 meters (330 feet), this residential – and rather wealthy – neighborhood is lined with many houses and villa, some vines, and a community garden. It also offers some of the best views of Paris’ most famous hill, Montmartre! We can only recommend to enter from the staircase located at 54 Avenue Simon Bolivar, celebrated in a 1950 photograph by Willy Ronis.

Rue Georges Lardennois, 75019 Paris

 

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Le Centquatre
Historic Building

 

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Headquarters of the French Communist Party
Historic Building

Overlooking the Colonel Fabien Square since 1971, the headquarters of the French Communist Party were designed by Brazil’s star architect Oscar Niemeyer. Following WWII, the site was renamed after the first resistant to kill Nazi personnel during the Occupation of France, with the shooting a German soldier at the Barbès metro station on August 21, 1941. Pierre Georges, then aged 22 and a member of the Communist youth section, became a leader of the French Resistance under the pseudonym Colonel Fabien.

2 Place du Colonel Fabien, 75019 Paris

 

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Quartier de la Mouzaïa

Standing on former gypsum quarries, “La Mouzaïa” is undoubtedly one of the most atypical neighborhoods of the French capital! Between the Danube metro station and the Rue de Bellevue, two dozen pedestrian alleyways form a charming maze flanked by former working-class houses and a few workshops. The heart of the neighborhood is at the crossroad of the very “Républicain” triangle shaped by the Rue de l’Égalité, Rue de la Fraternité and Rue de la Liberté.

Rue de la Mouzaïa / Rue de l’Égalité / Rue de la Fraternité / Rue de la Liberté, 75019 Paris

*An article exploring the Mouzaïa neighborhood in details will be published soon… Stay tuned!*

 

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Les Orgues de Flandres
Historic Buildings

Built in 1980 in the north of the 19th arrondissement, the housing project « Les Orgues de Flandre » remains one of the most striking examples of modern architecture in the Parisian landscape.

Allée des Orgues de Flandre, 75019 Paris

 

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Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Park

Built over 150 years ago on the site of a gypsum and limestone quarry to provide greenery to the Parisian working-class, the bucolic Parc des Buttes-Chaumont is one of the largest green spaces in the French capital. Don’t miss its most excentric features, such as the replica of an ancient Roman temple crowning a hill surrounded by water, or a hidden underground waterfall.

Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, 75019 Paris

 

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Parc de la Villette
Park

Built over the legendary slaughterhouse district that smoked out the surrounding neighborhoods of Eastern Paris for nearly a century, the Parc de la Villette is a retrofuturistic area that always manages to surprise. Around the massive Cité des Sciences, the vast green space features a wide range of live music venues – it’s no wonder many Parisians converge from all arrondissements to party there until dawn!

Parc de la Villette, 75019 Paris

 

Rotonde de la Villette
Historic Building

The circular Rotonde de la Villette stands by the banks of the peaceful Bassin de la Villette. Built in 1788, it was one of the gateways to Paris and was therefore meant to collect taxes on products entering the city. With the French revolution soon arriving and abolishing the « octroi » tax, the building only served its original purpose for three years. Today, the Rotonde is home to a fancy food court and surrounded with an outdoor terrace, proving very useful when the sun comes out!

Place de la Bataille de Stalingrad, 75019 Paris

 

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Rue de Belleville
Street

This very unique street at the heart of the Belleville Chinatown offers a great diversity of Asian cuisines and boasts an incredibly rich history, from its enduring status as a nightlife hub to its connexions to the historic struggles of the Parisian working class. Take a stroll from the Belleville metro station to the next stops Pyrénées or Jourdain (or the other way around if you want to avoid the walk uphill) to catch a glimpse of its architectural diversity, vibrant businesses, and general liveliness. At the crossroad with Avenue Simon Bolivar, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Rue de Belleville, 75019/75020 Paris

 

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Saint-Serge Orthodox Church

Hiding between a few blocks at the edge of the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, the Saint-Serge Orthodox Church is one of the best kept secrets of Eastern Paris. With two entrances from Rue de Crimée and Rue Meynadier opened in the daytime, the passages surrounding the wooden church offer a rare glimpse of Parisian urbanism.

93 Rue de Crimée, 75019 Paris

 

La Villette Cemetery
Cemetery

46 Rue d’Hautpoul, 75019 Paris
+33 (0)1 42 08 05 45

 

 

PARIS 20

 

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Belleville Cemetery
Cemetery

 

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La Campagne à Paris
Neighborhood

Along with the Butte Bergeyre and the Mouzaïa, the Campagne à Paris (“Countryside in Paris”) is one of the most charming residential neighborhoods east of the city. Built between 1911 and 1928, its hundred or so pavilions were originally meant to house working-class Parsians at a moderate cost. It has since become much more bourgeois, as evidenced by the recent move of former President François Hollande to the neighborhood! A few steps away from the Porte de Bagnolet, the aptly-named Campagne à Paris boasts quiet cobbled streets and flowered flights of steps, which are sure to please any Parisian missing the outdoors.

Rue Irénée Blanc / Rue Jules Siegfried / rue Paul Strauss, 75020 Paris

 

Charonne
Neighborhood

 

Charonne Cemetery
Cemetery

 

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Parc & Belvédère de Belleville
Park

At the heart of the neighborhood, the Parc de Belleville offers wonderful views of the Parisian cityscape and green lawns to relax in the summertime. Atop the hillside park stands the Belvédère, a popular hanging spot for locals where community events are held regularly.

27 Rue Piat, 75020 Paris

 

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Père-Lachaise Cemetery
Cemetery

Spreading its peaceful isles in the heart of Eastern Paris, the Père Lachaise cemetery is a history-filled oasis of greenery. The mostfamous – and most visited – in the world, the maze of graves and monuments holds countless of Paris’ memories. Many come here to pay tribute to some of the great artists buried here, including Édith Piaf and Jim Morrison.

Cimetière du Père Lachaise, 75020 Paris

 

Place Gambetta
Square

 

Place Henri Krasucki
Square

A maze of narrow streets lead to this charming roundabout, where Bellevillois gather to meet at one of the cafés surrounding the square. Don’t forget to check out the corner bakery, registered as a historic building thanks to its ancient tile decoration. The surrounding Rue des Envierges, Rue de la Mare, and Rue des Cascades are all very popular among Parisian street artists.

Place Henri Krasucki, 75020 Paris

 

 

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Rue de Belleville
Street

This very unique street at the heart of the Belleville Chinatown offers a great diversity of Asian cuisines and boasts an incredibly rich history, from its enduring status as a nightlife hub to its connexions to the historic struggles of the Parisian working class. Take a stroll from the Belleville metro station to the next stops Pyrénées or Jourdain (or the other way around if you want to avoid the walk uphill) to catch a glimpse of its architectural diversity, vibrant businesses, and general liveliness. At the crossroad with Avenue Simon Bolivar, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

Rue de Belleville, 75019/75020 Paris

 

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Rue Denoyez
Street

This cobbled little street running parallel to the Boulevard de Belleville used to be an iconic spot for Parisian street artists. The former artist cooperatives are currently being turned into social housing, with trendy cafés and boutiques opening all around. Street art enthusiasts are advised to explore further north, towards the heights of the Parc de Belleville.

Rue Denoyez, 75020 Paris

 

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Rue des Vignoles
Street

More than a dozen passages and dead-ends flanked by former working-class buildings lead to this charming street, boasting a unique village atmosphere – its name recalls the winegrowing past of the old village of Charonne. With the Rue des Haies nearby, the neighborhood is a surprising maze, yet remains particularly pleasant to explore. Notice the sometimes odd names of these passages, such as the trinity of Passage Dieu, Impasse Satan, and Impasse Saint-Pierre.

Rue des Vignoles / Passages attenants, 75020 Paris

 

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Article © S.T.
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