24 Hours In Paris: The 20th Arrondissement

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

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. 

Paris always has some tricks up its sleeves when it comes to hidden gems waiting to be discovered: the 20th arrondissement might not initially appear on your agenda when you visit the City of Light, but this north-eastern district offers some of the best views of the Paris skyline, and is home to the city's contemporary, bohemian art scene. Though it may lack major attractions, you're bound to get up close and personal with famous writers and artists.


Image: Fashionfortravel.com

With the weather on your side, start the day at Le Parc de Belleville, a public park at the top of the hill with unrivaled panoramic views of the city taking in everything from the Eiffel Tower to the Sacré-Cœur Basilica. The park itself is less crowded than many others in the city, and one of the best places to enjoy good views. It opened in 1988 with an impressive, winding landscape that is perfect for a morning wander. Take your time walking through the covered paths and past the water fountain to the top, where Moncœur Belleville is located. Here, you can take in a late breakfast or brunch with a view – and a jazz accompaniment if you're lucky. Afterwards, get a good dose of the alternative art scene: the Belleville neighborhood is known for its diverse creative culture, in particular its emerging street art scene. Head to Rue Denoyez, which has become something of a public canvas for graffiti artists and painters from all over – plus, it's the perfect spot for an Instagram photo-op. Next, make your way towards Rue de Belleville, where you will experience the vibrant and lively scene of the second-largest Chinatown in Paris. At the foot of the hill, turn east on the Boulevard de Belleville, towards this arrondissement's most famous landmark. 


Image: Leblogdelamechante.fr

The idea of visiting a graveyard may sound a bit strange, however, Père Lachaise cemetery is largest in the city, and offers a glimpse into the cultural history of France. Established in 1804, Père Lachaise now spans across 110 acres. Spend some time strolling around the well-organized pathways as you enjoy a surprisingly peaceful afternoon paying homage to the famous residents including Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Jim Morison and Molière. Before heading to your next stop, make a detour for lunch at Les Pères Populaires. This classic bistro serves great food in a casual setting: think miss-matched, vintage furniture. The lunch set starts at €13 or you can grab freshly made sandwich and chill on the couch. Once you're re-energized, head north to the Marché aux Puces de Montreuil: open only on Mondays and weekends, this flea market is great for vintage finds. 


Image: courtesy of Thus Noumong

The nightlife in the 20th arrondissement is everything you would expect from a creative district as vibrant and diverse as this one. Begin the evening at Le Grand Bain, where you will find affordable, flavorful bites to enjoy with wine by glass or bottle. For a more substantial meal, make your way to La Cantine de Belleville, which has set dinner menu at great place with cool, industrial-chic vibes. Afterwards, get some punchy cocktails at La Commune, a sister bar of one of Paris' top spots, Le Syndicat Cocktail Club. The menu is full of creative recipes inspired by different flavors around the world. You can even order shakers to share, that come in a big silver bowl, perfect for a #NightOut post. As for a bustling outdoor terrace for summer, Café Aux Folies is a local favorite where you can enjoy drinks with great music and French flare – and, once you're in the area, La Bellevilloise is not to be missed. As Paris' first worker's co-op, it was established in 1877 and has stood the test of time, re-opening its doors in 2005 as a cultural hotspot for concerts, club nights, exhibitions and a full restaurant. 

Shop our selection inspired by the artsy locals of Belleville here: 
Topshop Metallic Foil Print Shacket - $95
Karmacoma Moon-printed Jersey Dress - $100
FRS Paisley Contrast Scarf - $22
H&M+ Cotton Shirt - $30
& Other Stories Shortsleeve Landscape Blouse - $85
Torrid Embroidered Chiffon Inset Georgette Blouse - $39
FRS Off The Shoulder Jumpsuit - $84
Eloquii Tassel Front Maxi Dress - $150
Urban Outfitters Crushed Velvet Kimono - $79
H&M Uni Jacket 3 - $50
Mango Linen Pocket Skirt - $99
Missguided Blue Open Side Wide Leg Jeans - $54
Forever 21 Plus Size Gingham Flounce Top - $35
Ghospell Draped Satin Wrap Dress - $80
Cover image: via Pinterest