If you visit Paris long enough to see diverse parts of the city that are not touristy, you’ll discover that each arrondissement (or neighborhood) has its own unique identity.
While we all have a good mental image of what a Parisian girl looks like, her style can drastically change depending on what part of town she’s from. So, we came up with the idea of bringing you a travel guide to all of Paris’ 20 arrondissements – and what do do in each one if you only had 24 hours. Outfit ideas included.
So we’re kicking-off the series in the 11th arrondissement: it’s home to the WTG offices, and just so happens to be a shopping haven for lovers of artisanal products, full of brilliant cafes and the heart of a strong nightlife scene.
Start the day by getting a hearty breakfast at Cafe Oberkampf, which serves an all-day brunch menu. We recommend the shakshouka with feta that is large enough to fill you up all morning. For something a little sweeter, cross the street to the nearby Chambelland bakery for all manner of gluten-free treats – you might even bump into one of the WTG editors.
Then head down the tree-lined Boulevard Richard-Lenoir for a trip to Welcome Bio Bazar. Following the success of an organic supermarket and diner, the Welcome Bio family opened the Bazar, stocking everything from home décor to stationary.
Continue along the Boulevard and you will see the July Column at the center of Place de la Bastille. It marks the former location of the Bastille Prison, if you go down into the metro you can see a map showing the where original building stood. On the far side of the square is the canal, where you’ll find a bevy of skaters and picnickers during the summer months, and you won’t miss the opera house on the east: the vast rotunda regularly shows full operas and classical concerts. Students often get a great deal on tickets.
Behind the opera, head down rue de Charonne, one of the city’s hidden fashion destinations. Here, you will find a more laid-back style of clothing that truly fits the local style. Drop by an Isabel Marant boutique for a chic, bohemian vibe. Or check out So We Are, a concept store that stocks affordable, trendy brands like Sister Jane.
Take a break from the shopping, rest your feet and fill up your stomach at one of two lunch options: go east at Paris-Hanoi, a celebrated Vietnamese restaurant where everything on the menu is worth a try (we recommend Thit Kho or rice with caramelized pork that will give any good Bò Bun a run for its money), or head to East Mama for impeccable Italian. A go-to favorite during winter is truffle pasta.
Spend a tranquil, but colorful, afternoon at Slow Galerie, a destination dedicated to illustration and graphic art set in a former pharmacy. As well as a monthly rotation of exhibitions of explosive screenprints and engravings, the gallery houses an art store and coffee shop.
Every self-respecting 11th arrondissement-girl’s closet is packed with vintage pieces. That might have something to do with the fact that some of the best thrift stores in town can be found here: head to La Petite Fripe on Avenue de la République for your fill of colorblocked mid-heels.
This part of Paris is known for its ethical and organic stores. Book an appointment at Whole for a craft workshop, or pop in when the showroom is open to the public on a Saturday to browse and learn about locally-sourced wools, organic dyed cotton and linen products.
Start the evening with seafood and wine at Clamato, the brainchild of Bertrand Grébaut and Théo Pourriat of Michelin-starred restaurant Septime. Order small plates of French-style seafood such as steamed mussels or a refreshing ceviche that’s perfect for sharing with friends. It doesn’t take reservations, so arrive early to get a table.
Get a ticket for a concert at the Bataclan, one of the coolest music venues in Paris. Though the iconic Chinoiserie-style building was the location of a major terrorist attack, after just a year it got back on its feet with a strong line-up of musicians playing regular dates. Everyone from Peter Doherty to Sean Paul has been on the bill since it re-opened with a memorial concert to the victims of the November 13th Paris Attacks.
For a post-concert pick-me-up, head to rue Keller and grab a cocktail at the charming Lone Palm. Step through into the ‘50s-style, tiki-themed bar and enjoy the vintage records for a seriously throwback evening.
Take in the City of Light from the trendy rooftop bar, Le Perchoir. Sat atop an exhibition space, it’s not unusual to find yourself at an art show opening before heading upstairs for a glass of wine.
Dance the night away at Nouveau Casino, a club that regularly hosts events for international musicians, from M.I.A. to Diplo. But if you need a little fuel to get you through the rest of the night, head to Café Chabron next door for an omelette before heading back to the dance floor.
Check out our selection of pieces inspired by the 11th arrondissement's bohemian, vintage flare to add to your closet for that local look:
Cover image: Chambelland.com