Bastille Paris

Bastille in Paris – A Local’s Guide

Bastille in Paris is an incredible area that’s rich in history yet really vibrant with a youthful, modern side to it making the district remarkably interesting. It might not be the most famous area but it’s really a true authentic Parisian part of the city. Vibrant streets filled with local markets, modern restaurants and super cool bars, it’s a must-visit whilst you’re here.

Our insider guide (written by someone who lives in the city) has an in-depth guide on where to eat, what to see and where to stay in the wonderful Bastille area!

Complete Guide to Bastille in Paris

Bastille is located in the 11th arrondissement, to the east of the Le Marais and to the north of the Latin Quarter.

The area is well known for the infamous medieval prison & Royal fortress (simply called Bastille in French) that was destroyed during the French Revolution. In the English speaking world, Bastille is also synonymous (Bastille Day) with the French National Day (le 14 juillet in French) as it’s the day where the ancient Royal fortress was stormed!

It isn’t just an historical district, it’s a vibrant, dynamic and youthful district full of great bars, restaurants and independent boutiques.

Ideally placed, on the cheaper side and still in the action, for me it’s one of the best places to stay in Paris.

So read on to do discover what to see, where to eat and drink and where to stay in the wonderful Bastille area of Paris.

Bastille neighbourhood Paris

What to See in Bastille Paris

It’s important to note that the Bastille are of Paris is a small neighbourhood and it’s not a museum district. It’s much more of an authentic, where-the-locals-hang-out kind of place where it’s best to walk around, take in the sights and sit in a café to people watch.

That said, there is plenty to see in the area and there are lots of hidden gems. Read on to discover my favourite things to see and do in Bastille.

Place de la Bastille

The Place de la Bastille is the most recognisable area of Bastille. It’s a huge open square which features a 154ft high column in the centre (the July Column). The column is a monument to the French Revolution of 1830 where Charles X was overthrown.

place de la Bastille Paris

The enormous place is where the infamous Bastille Prison once stood. The prison and former Royal fortress was destroyed shortly after it was stormed and seized in 1789. There are no remains of the prison left today.

Around the square you’ll find the Bastille Opéra, the Bastille Market and lots of cafés.

Explore the Port de l’Arsenal

The Port de l’Aresnal is located just behind (to the north) of the Place de la Bastille. The port is located on the site of an old ditch that was used to fill the moat surrounding the Bastille Prison. After the prison’s destruction it was dug out and became a commercial port.

Port d'Arsenal Bastille

The port that’s linked to the Seine is now home to over 150 pleasure boats and is well worth discovering. On the eastern bank you’ll find the Jardin du Port de l’Arsenal which is a small pretty park that’s perfect for a picnic.

jardin d'Arsenal

Take a Bastille Market Tour

One of the best ways to discover neighbourhood’s in any city is to go on a walking tour with a local guide.

marché de Bastille

It’s one of my favourite ways to discover a new city and is a great way to learn more about an area from a different perspective.

If you’re passionate about food and seeing the famous Bastille Market from a local’s perspective then this Bastille Market Tour is a must do!

Discover Rue Crémieux

Just behind the beautiful Gare de Lyon is a rather unknown but very picturesque street that is worth a visit if you’re in the area.

The small street is filled with colorful houses which instantly takes you out of the city with its village-like feel.

It’s actually particularly rare to find a street like this in Paris because the city has very few houses and due to strict city planning laws, very few buildings are colorful!

rue Crémieux

In recent times it has become more and more popular with in-the-know tourists so if you visit, remember to be respectful to the residents who live there!

Visit the Opéra Bastille

The Opéra Bastille is the modern sister to the famous Palais Garnier.

Despite it’s rather bulky and off-modern appearance, it’s actually one of the highest regarded opera halls in France.

Bastille opera Paris

Click here to discover the current program on at the Opéra Bastille.

Check out the Marché d’Aligre

The Marché d’Aligre is one of the best and oldest covered markets in the city. Operating since 1779, it’s incredibly popular with the locals and for me, it’s one of the least touristic markets in the city.

Marché d'Aigre

The main hall is the Halle Beauvau and is host to some incredible cheese, fish, wine and charcuterie market stores.

Open daily (apart from Mondays) from 7:30am to 1:30pm, it’s a heaven for foodies and is a perfect spot to pick-up a souvenir.

Tip: Want to visit more amazing food markets in Paris? Discover our guide to the Best Markets in Paris.

Have a Glass of Wine at Le Baron Rouge

Around the corner from the Marché d’Aligre is one of my favourite wine bars in the city, Le Baron Rouge.

This local wine bar is a must visit if you want to experience the modern Parisian bar experience. It’s hectic yet incredibly fun and their wines are great. You can order a glass, pitcher or bottle of one of around 30 excellent wines.

They even serve oysters in season on Saturdays and Sundays (between September and April).

Walk Along the Coulée Verte

The Coulée Verte is a relatively modern walkway built on a disused, overhead train track. It’s definitely another unknown and quirky feature of the Bastille area and something that’s very much off the tourist track.

coulée verte bastille

Opened in the late 80s, the walkway was designed by Philippe Mathieux and Jacques Vergely as a way to add greenery to the very urban area and add more pedestrian only space.

coulée verte paris walk

It makes for a really interesting walk and is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle from the surrounding streets!

Where to Eat & Drink

The Bastille area is home to some of the city’s best up-and-coming chefs and bartenders. Hip, youthful and extremely diverse, it’s one of best areas for food in the capital. Read on below for


If you’re after traditional French food then the Bistro Paul Bert is a must-visit. It’s probably one of my favourite bistros in the city with an incredible steak au poivre (beef fillet with peppercorn sauce) and a superb soufflé.

In the mood for pizza then just a few minutes walk from the Place de la Bastille is Iovines. Iovines serve up really good Neapolitan style pizzas and they’re one of my favourite pizzas in the city.

Ground Control is also worth a visit if you fancy a modern, food-hall like experience. It’s located about a 20 minute walk from the Place de la Bastille and it features over 20 food stands and multiple bars. Expect lots of great street food, craft beers and some awesome cocktails.

I’d also recommend:

  • Septime: This 1* Michelin Star restaurant is incredible and perfect for a special meal.
  • Street Bangkok: For really well done Thai food in a modern restaurant.
  • Mangez et Cassez-Vous: These guys offer the cheapest burgers in the city – perfect for budget travellers!
  • Bao Express: From the Bao Family team – expect Chinese ‘diner’ classics. Dumplings to fried chicken – it’s all awesome.

Tip: The Bastille area has some great restaurants but if you go slightly further afield, in the 11th arrondissement, you’ll find even more great dining spots. Discover our guide to the Best Restaurants in the 11th Arrondissement in Paris.

Cafés & Bakeries

Many of my favourite cafés and bakeries are in the Bastille area – you’re literally spoiled for choice here!

If you’re after a really good croissant, head over to La Pâtisserie Cyril Lignac which is close to the Bistro Paul Bert.

Just down the road and you’ll find a cracking speciality coffee shop, Nomade Café. This café is laptop friendly (which is a rare find nowadays) and has some great espresso and filter coffee.

Nearby you’ll also find the very good Café Singuliers which offer breakfast, brunch, lunch and even dinner! They have some incredible local, seasonal food coming out of their kitchen and it’s one of my favourite brunch spots in the area.


The Bastille area has some of the best bars in the city! There’s plenty of awesome drinking spots and I’ve written a dedicated article which you’ll find below:

Wanting a cheap night out? Head to the famous Rue de Lappe which is a few minutes walk from the Place de la Bastille. This street is filled with clubs and cheap bars open until late! It’s perfect for students or travellers on a budget.

FAQ: Bastille

How to Get to the Eiffel Tower from Bastille

You can get to the Eiffel Tower easily from Bastille and there’s two options:

  • Bus: The Bus 69 goes directly from the Eiffel Tower to the Place de la Bastille. Get on from Avenue de Suffran on the southern side of the Champs de Mars. It takes around 40 minutes.
  • Metro: Take Line 8 from the Bastille station directly to École Militare station. This takes around 35 minutes.

Is the Bastille Area Safe?

Yes the Bastille area is safe to visit and stay in. Just like some periphery areas of the city, there may be a few sketchy characters around at night but it’s generally very well lit and populated.

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