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Belleville: A different secret side of Paris

When visiting Paris what first comes to mind are the inescapable sites: the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre and Sacré-Cœur, Champs-Elysées, the Latin Quartier… But there is also the connoisseurs’ Paris, rare and hidden neighborhoods which are well worth the detour. Belleville is clearly one of these places.

You will be surprised: a corner of Paris with a village pace, a world-renowned cemetery, a museum available for private booking… Let hiphophostels take you on a discovery tour to of the treasures of the north-east Paris, between the 11th and the 20th arrondissements, far from the busy tourist districts. Here are the sights not to be missed: All aboard!

The country-side at Paris

The campagne à Paris, is a small district of little houses and narrow streets perched atop the heights of Porte de Bagnolet. We might wonder if we are not in some provincial town instead of Paris, and yet we are close to Belleville. This is one of the most expensive neighborhoods of Paris, and for a reason: no cars, cobblestoned streets, small houses with gardens and extraordinarily calm for Paris.

Campagne a Paris
© Jean-François Gornet

The Père-Lachaise Cemetery

Around the world everyone knows that Jim Morrison is buried in Paris. The Père-Lachaise cemetery is also one of the most visited cemeteries in the world: every year millions of visitors come to stroll through this peaceful labyrinth of tombstones to make a pilgrimage to visits the greatest poets or meditate at the gravesites of famous men from Molière to Oscar Wilde.

Cimetière du Père-Lachaise
© Paris Tourist Office – Photographe : Amélie Dupont

Parc de Belleville

This park offers a welcome breath of fresh air in the city, between the park of Buttes Chaumont and the Père-Lachaise cemetery. 45,000 square meters for a pleasurable run or where children can play to their hearts content.

47, rue des Couronnes, 75020 Paris

Parc de Belleville
© Paris Tourist Office – Photographe : Amélie Dupont

The Edith Piaf Museum

And what if you could book a museum just for you?

This micro–museum is in fact the apartment where the famous singer lived in the neighborhood where this petite woman was born and raised.  Just the first few strains of one of her oft-repeated songs are enough to transport anyone to Paris… Objects belonging to the artist like her emblematic little black dress are exposed here. The museum is free, open on week-ends as well by reservation during the week.

5, rue Crespin du Gast, 75020 Paris

Musee Edith Piaf

A fun place to stay in Belleville?

Why not book your stay off the beaten path? The best picks from the hiphophostels network in Belleville:

Le Loft,  70, rue Julien Lacroix, 75020 Paris

Pop art design, choice of room sizes from private to quadruple rooms and a common kitchen: Le Loft has the charm characterized by the hiphophostels establishments.  This authentic hostel is situated in the trendy and ethnic neighborhood of Belleville, near restaurants, cafés, boutiques and night-clubs.

What’s more, Belleville is well linked to the central points of Paris like Place de la République, Gare du Nord, the Saint-Martin canal, Châtelet or Beaubourg, for example. Belleville is a pleasant quartier to use as a starting point for discovering the capital from a calmer, quieter base.

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