Introducing Paris 20
Paris 20 is the last of the Arrondissements of Paris but not the least! Located in the northeast of Paris, between the Portes de Bagnolet and Ménilmontant, the 20th Arrondissement of Paris is not the most touristic district of Paris, but it is a place full of charm.
Created in 1860, Paris 20 was born from the union of the town of Belleville, the village of Charonne, and the hamlet of Ménilmontant. Known for its rural life, the 20th District of Paris has kept over the years a certain ‘country town’ allure, far from the monumental Paris.
Paris 20 is an increasingly trendy arrondissement, popular with young couples and families. Needless to say, it is a lively district with a good cultural and artistic mix with its streets dressed in street art, bustling suburbs, and the Parc de Belleville that overlooks the capital.
Stroll through its small flowery alleys and immerse yourself in a lively environment. Meet your friends over a drink, on the terrace, or in the oh-so typical Parisian bars followed by a soirée in one of the various theaters, concerts, and shows halls. Enjoy being in the district where the cultural life is the richest of the capital.
The 20th Arrondissement is divided into four neighborhoods: Belleville, Saint-Fargeau, Père Lachaise, and Charonne.
The District of Belleville
Today, Belleville is one of the four neighborhoods of Paris 20. Belleville is located on a hill and dominates the city, the place where modern buildings stand next to old houses, around a garden or a few vines.
Current Belleville only represents a small part of the former commune of Belleville, attached to Paris in 1860. This is why Parisians often speak of Belleville by designating the sector which corresponds approximately to the limits of the former municipality, spread between Paris 19 and Paris 20.
Belleville has a working-class past, a cosmopolitan present, a lean towards the city’s center, and a popular vibe. There’s a lively atmosphere here, but not as stressed as in the buzzing areas of Les Halles or République.
Here in Belleville, you can also see another side of Paris: a joyful messy mix of ethnicities. You can eat good French food, but also Moroccan, Ethiopian, Brazilian, Rwandan, and Chilean; take your pick!
On weekends, the little rue Dénsez is very lively with its overflowing café terraces, graffiti artists replaying their colorful frescoes, and artist workshops open to the public for an afternoon. On sunny days, locals like to climb to the top of Belleville Park, followed by a drink at ‘Moncoeur Belleville,’ a bar with a panoramic view of Paris and the Eiffel Tower.
In the evening, on the lower part of the neighborhood, the many bars on the boulevard de Belleville come alive until late: DJ evenings, small concerts, good food with friends … it is hard to get bored in Belleville!
Hotels in Paris 20th Arrondissement
Generally speaking, the hotels in Paris 20 are cheaper than in other parts of the city. Although it is a well-connected area by public transportation, it takes a long time to reach central Paris. Accommodation in Paris 20th Arrondissement is excellent for people traveling on a budget or for more extended stays, so you can also enjoy the district’s local feeling.
As you make your bed, so you lie. Find the right accommodation in Paris 20 – whether it’s a hotel or guesthouse, holiday apartment, or private apartment. We have them all! Book your accommodation by using the map below.
SUGGESTED HOTELS IN PARIS 20TH ARRONDISSEMENT
HOTEL SCARLETT: Paris 20, $$
Get the best of Paris 19 and Paris 20 with Hotel Scarlett! Located between Parc Buttes Chaumont and Parc Belleville, this chic little hotel offers stylish ensuite rooms with comfortable beds in a hype neighborhood with lots of bars and restaurants around.
MAMA SHELTER PARIS EST: Paris 20, $$$
Mama Shelter Paris Est is a stylish hotel with one of the best rooftop bars in Paris and a relaxing atmosphere. The modern rooms come with an ensuite bathroom and all the amenities you are looking for. Upstairs, there’s great French food, pizza, and delicious cocktails waiting for you.
Top Things to Do in the 20th Arrondissement of Paris
Without any further ado, let’s check the most interesting things to do in the 20th Arrondissement of Paris.
1- Père Lachaise Cemetery – With more than three and a half million visitors each year, the Père Lachaise Cemetery is the most visited cemetery in the world! Designed as a cemetery for the promenade, modeled on the English gardens in vogue in the Romantic period, the Père Lachaise contains the graves of many scientists, artists, politicians, and other important people.
2- La Petite Ceinture – Walk on the rails following la Petite Ceinture, Paris’ abandoned railway that circumnavigated the city in the 1900s. The section that crosses the 20th Arrondissement still keeps some train stations, train signs, and other furniture.
3- A Parc with a View – The Parc de Belleville is located on Belleville Hill, which rises to 108 meters. A terrace at the top of the park allows a panoramic view of Paris (Eiffel Tower included). The park is adorned with 1,200 trees and plants. There are also some vines in memory of the cultures and festivals that once took place there.
4- Rue Denoyez – If you like street art, this street always has beautiful graffiti. The City of Paris tirelessly erases them and the graffiti artists tirelessly come back with new ideas!
5- La Campagne à Paris – One of the most coveted neighborhoods in Paris, ‘the countryside in Paris’ is a maze of picture-perfect cobbled streets and pretty houses with flowery front gardens. This former gypsum quarry and later man-made hill (filled in with the rubble from all the demolitions carried out by Haussmann) consists of 92 homes erected between 1907-1928. At that time, they were offered to low-level civil servants and bank clerks, who had modest but steady incomes to pay the loans.
6- Edith Piaf and Belleville – Belleville is also the birthplace of Edith Piaf. According to legend, it was on the sidewalk of 72 rue de Belleville, under a lamppost, that Édith Piaf was born on December 19, 1915. In fact, it was at Tenon Hospital (4 rue de la Chine, Paris 20) where the baby Piaf uttered her first cry. In 2003, on the occasion of the commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the singer’s disappearance, a bronze statue of Edith was inaugurated on Place Edith Piaf, just a few steps from the Tenon Hospital.
Edith Piaf rests forever at 16 rue du Repos at Père Lachaise Cemetery. Her grave has the last verse of ‘Hymn to Love’ engraved, a song written by Edith Piaf for the boxer and love of her life Marcel Cerdan: ‘God unites those who love each other.’
7- Le Jardin Naturel – This is an area of 6,300m² where the ecosystem takes care of itself. No exotic flowers or perfectly cut parterres, but poppies, butterflies, a damp meadow, a dry and stony lawn, a wood, a pond. In short, everything you could expect to find in the region of Île-de-France.
8- La Bellevilloise – La Bellevilloise is one of the most iconic places of Paris 20. Housed in the former people’s house, the first historical cooperative founded in 1877, La Bellevilloise is today a place of brewing, meetings, and exchange for all kinds of public. With more than 2,000m² spread over four floors, it hosts concerts, shows, exhibitions, café debates, screenings, cine-mix, cine-concerts, parades, and a café-restaurant.
9- Charonne – This neighborhood still keeps its village atmosphere of the 1860s, when it was annexed to Paris. Don’t miss the 12th-century St. Germain-de-Charonne Church and adjoining cemetery, rue Saint Blaise (the backbone of Charonne village), and Place des Grès (the village’s beating heart).
10- Pavillon de l’Ermitage – Built in 1734, this pavilion is the last vestige of the Château de Bagnolet that once belonged to the Duchess of Orleans. In 1769, the property was parceled out, deforested, and subdivided, and this small pavilion became the home of the Baron de Batz-Lomagne in 1787. During the Revolution, the pavilion served as a refuge for conspirators who tried unsuccessfully to save King Louis XVI on the day of his execution and tried to help Queen Marie-Antoinette escape from the Temple prison.
20th Arrondissement Restaurants
The 20th District of Paris is well known for its culinary diversity, from chic bistros to Chinese restaurants. There are no Michelin-starred restaurants here, but delicious meals are always guaranteed. And if you are visiting Paris 20 during the afternoon, the oriental pastries are to die for!
Don’t you know where to eat in the 20th Arrondissement of Paris? Here, some restaurants in Paris 20 offering good French cuisine. And ‘not expensive’ in Paris does not necessarily mean ‘not good’ 😉
» Maison One More – 50 Rue Piat, 75020 Paris. This is one of the best food addresses in the district, located not far from Parc Belleville. The decoration and atmosphere are very cozy, and the menu is always adapted to vegetarians. Expect delicious French food & cocktails, with original flavors and excellent service. Your only regret is not being able to taste everything!
» Les Canailles Ménilmontant – 15 Rue des Panoyaux, 75020 Paris. This little restaurant in the heart of the Ménilmontant neighborhood pays homage to the Parisian bistro tradition, with a warm atmosphere and some of the French classics (fish, beef, lamb, and vegetarian options) on the menu, always with seasonal proposals. For dessert, don’t miss the oh-so Parisian baba au rhum with lime whipped cream.
» Les Polissons – 1 Avenue Gambetta, 75020 Paris. This small bistro with an outdoor terrace has a good location in Gambetta, near the Père Lachaise Cemetery. It offers simple but delicious French food (fish, meat, bistro burger, salads…) served by a friendly staff. Expect a good value for money for a meal without fuss.
20th Arrondissement Paris Directory
Père Lachaise Cemetery: 16 rue du Repos, 75020 Paris
La Petite Ceinture: rue Florian, 75020 Paris
Parc de Belleville: 47 rue des Couronnes, 75020 Paris
Rue Denoyez: rue Denoyez, 75020 Paris
La Campagne à Paris: 210 rue des Pyrénées, 75020 Paris
Le Jardin Naturel: 120 rue de la Réunion, 75020 Paris
La Bellevilloise: 19-20 rue Boyer, 75020 Paris
Eglise Saint-Germain-de-Charonne: 4 Place Saint-Blaise, 75020 Paris
Pavillon de l’Ermitage: 148 rue de Bagnolet, 75020 Paris