Belleville in Paris isn’t just renowned for its art; it offers spectacular views of Paris from numerous hills. Beyond that, it harbors markets you can’t miss and a community of cool individuals worth getting to know.
What makes Belleville marvelous is its proximity to other breathtaking neighborhoods. You can even walk to Montmartre and the Sacré-Cœur from here. How great is that?
Situated on the north side facing the airport, getting from Paris airport to the city center is convenient—whether you opt for a taxi or ride-sharing service, it takes about 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic. Alternatively, you can use public transport to Gare du Nord, then switch to Metro Line 2, taking roughly 50-60 minutes to reach Belleville.
Discover Street Art on Rue Denoyez
One word: graffiti. Rue Denoyez is recognized as one of the legitimate graffiti alleys. Though small, it’s brimming with graffiti and quirky installations—ceramics, photos, action figures, and more.
Street art is not limited to Rue Denoyez; it permeates Belleville. Even delivery vans, planters, trash bins, and mailboxes are adorned with graffiti. Artists have truly transformed this place into a colorful wonderland.
Enjoy Scenic Views at Buttes Chaumont Park
Paris boasts numerous viewpoints and hills for your admiration. Buttes Chaumont is a bit special to me—it’s close to my home during my Belleville stay. You won’t encounter many tourists here, and certainly not the typical queues around the Eiffel Tower.
Head to Buttes Chaumont and immerse yourself in greenery. Did you know that looking at greenery can be soothing to the eyes? So, when the city’s sights and sounds make your head spin, gazing at green leaves helps you recharge.
This park is, in fact, Paris’s fifth-largest. Ideal for running, strolling, and picnicking, it features a small lake and a charming waterfall. You can reach Buttes Chaumont by taking the green metro line.
Visit Belleville Market on Boulevard de Belleville
If your Belleville visit falls between 7 am and 2:30 pm on a Tuesday or Friday, don’t miss Le Marche Belleville. This open-air market showcases fruits, vegetables, and fascinating displays of Asian, African, and Middle Eastern goods and specialties.
Delicious, spicy spices, vibrant fabrics, intriguing home décor—the market has it all.
Shop for International Delicacies on Rue de Belleville
Rue de Belleville is the main artery, evident from the bustling traffic. It’s a long grocery street catering to a global clientele.
Certainly, there are French delicacies like baguettes, chocolates, and wine. But you’ll also find restaurants offering Chinese, Middle Eastern, Mexican, and more. Belleville is, in fact, Paris’s second Chinatown, emerging in the 1980s.
Find Antique Goods on Rue de La Villette
If you’re on the lookout for quirky or locally-loved items, head to Rue de La Villette. Explore its antique and concept stores, seek out something peculiar yet undeniably cool. Check out the grocery stores that offer many health food options too.
Dine at Belleville Park
Lunchtime! Head to the mountaintop restaurant La Mer a Boire in Belleville Park. Trust me, the delectable lunch and the magnificent panoramic view of Paris are worth a little hike.
In summer, Belleville Park comes alive with families picnicking, couples dancing salsa, and outdoor concerts. You might even stumble upon local crafts and jewelry being sold.
Visit Edith Piaf’s Birthplace
Legend has it that Edith Piaf was born at 72 Rue de Belleville, a modest house with a plaque above the door today. It reads, “Edith Piaf—Born Here.” In French, it further states, “Her voice will continue to move the world.” Edith Piaf was the iconic singer of “La Vie en Rose.”
Stroll Through Père Lachaise Cemetery
Is there a cemetery shining with the brilliance of celebrities? In Belleville, there certainly is. The 44-hectare Père Lachaise Cemetery attracts many visitors and fans paying their respects. Numerous graves feature interesting sculptures and installations.
Hundreds of French renowned musicians, artists, scholars, poets, painters, politicians, and more rest here. Don’t miss the graves of Edith Piaf, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, and Chopin.