24 Hours In Paris: The 18th Arrondissement

Take an in-depth tour of one of the city's coolest quarters.

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 we think the Parisian girl looks like, her style can drastically change depending on what part of town she’s from, and where she likes to hang out. So, we came up with the idea of bringing you a travel guide to all of Paris’ 20 arrondissements – and what to do in each one if you only had 24 hours, plus what to wear to blend in like a local.

In the 2001 French film Amélie, the titular character lives in a charming apartment in the 18th arrondissement of Paris, which really establishes the artsy vibe of the whole neighborhood. There are many ways to take in the area: its diverse community and major tourist attractions offer everything from peaceful and charming backstreets to vibrant cafes and lively nightclubs, making it a must-see for any visit to the city. 


Image: Sailawaypictures.com

One of the best things about the 18th arrondissement is that it's full of stuff to do. From cultural, historic sight-seeing to charming cafes as well as the biggest flea market in the city. Basically, it's very easy to spend your whole day in the neighborhood. Begin with a hearty breakfast that will inspire all your Instagram followers at Hardware Société. While the place has a the atmosphere of a British tearoom (think patterned wallpaper and colorful crockery) this brunch spot serves up an amazing menu from Australia, where brunch culture is strong. Get eggs or French toast and fruit to start the day right and keep you smiling all day long. Then make your way up to one of the city's most famous landmarks, the Sacré-Cœur basilica. Construction began in 1875 on top of the highest hill in town, where you can still enjoy a view of whole city – even the Eiffel Tower on a clear day. Afterwards, walk to the Museum of Montmartre, which is housed in the oldest building of the area and used to be the place where artists came to meet and share their ideas. Auguste Renior painted many masterpieces in the gardens that is also open to the public. You will get to discover the Montmarte of the 19th Century. This is also possibly the most charming museum in the city, too. 


Image: Hello-hello.fr

Who knew there was actually a vineyard in Paris? Visit the Clos Montmarte, the last functioning vineyard in the city, situated on the slope behind the Sacré Cœur. It's owned by the City of Paris and wine from here does not come cheap, but the proceeds go to local charities – so make that two bottles! For lunch, stop off at Abattoir Végétal. It may be a healthy, vegan cafe and restaurant, but don't let the concept put you off because the menu will wow your tastebuds. Their matcha bowls are great for a light lunch but we recommend you try anything that takes your fancy – we love everything here from the food to the decor (because we eat with our eyes, too). Then take an Amélie walking tour by visiting the places seen in the film like Studio 28, a long-standing movie theater that played a significant role in the rise of French New Wave cinema. It has a bar in the courtyard, too, where you can make light conversation with the locals to brush up your French before a screening. The Café des Deux Moulins is one of the most popular places for Amélie fans to stop off for a coffee. Later in the afternoon, head north to the Marché aux Puces de St-Ouen right on the border of the 18th arrodissement: it's claimed to be the largest flea markets in Europe, and you can find almost everything there, from vintage furniture to stylish '50s dresses, beautiful paintings and rare records. It's open on weekends and Mondays.


Image: Lefigaro.fr

For dinner, head to La REcyclerie, a cafe, restaurant and space for promoting sustainable lifestyles. It's reasonably priced and just a few minutes' walk from the flea market. What makes the 18th so special is that you can find a cute wine bar for a romantic date night just as easily as you can head to the boulevard and take in a spectacular cabaret show. We suggest a trip to Place Pigalle to experience the red light district. While it's not as dazzling as the one in Amsterdam, you can still walk along the strip (pun intended) and see the neon lights of many sex shops and posters for erotic shows. One of the most famous institutions in the area is the Moulin Rouge, made famous by the film of the same name. Book a table with dinner to get the full experience but you can also just admire the lit-up windmill from the outside, too. End the night at Le Très Particulier, a speakeasy hidden inside Hôtel Particulier Montmartre. Picture marble floors, covered walls and lush velvet seating. It all goes down at this secret address!

Check out our selection of pieces inspired by the 18th arrondissement's all-singing, all-dancing attitude to add a local look to your closet:
Alberta Ferretti Saturday Jumper - $490
Derek Lam 10 Crosby Pyjama Blouse - $395
Topshop Floral Knot Front Midi Dress - $125
Torrid Crepe Wrap Front Blouse - $39
NA-KD Slanting Hem Highwaist Jeans - $71
Charles & Keith Embellishe Slides - $39
Alexachung Ruffle-trimmed ribbed stretch-knit polo shirt - $460
Elvi Floral Print Ruffle Top Tea Dress - $60
Kimchi Blue Rainbow Striped Sweater Cami - $39
Sole Society Finnigan mixed material crossbody - $50
Eloquii Kady Fit Printed Pant - $90
Kangol Modelaine Beret - $50
Forever 21 Plus Size Crane Kimono - $18
Sonia Rykiel Tie-front striped stretch-cotton jersey top - $360
Altuzarra Kieran point-collar striped silk shirtdress - $1,495
Eloquii Embroidered Skirt Fit and Flare Dress - $130

Cover image: Fraisesucree.com