Belleville Paris

Guide to the Belleville Quarter of Paris (Tips from a Local)

Looking for more information on the vibrant Belleville area of Paris? Look no further – our guide is written by a local who lives around the corner from the incredible Belleville district of Paris.

The area of Belleville is a far cry from the touristic, museum quartiers of Paris. Diverse, eclectic and home to the city’s 2nd unofficial China town, Belleville is certainly worth a visit if you want to stray off the well-beaten tourist path. A cacophony of different cultures, Belleville is home to some of the city’s most amazing street art, hip bars and exciting new restaurants showcasing some extremely talented chefs.

So read on if you want to know more about the area, what to do there and where to stay.

Belleville Paris – A Vibrant & Artistic Village

Belleville is located on the right bank of the city, to the north in the capital’s 20th arrondissement. It’s an area that’s mainly tourist free being away from the city centre and the main attractions.

The area is, for me, the real Paris where ‘real’ Parisians live and work. It’s a melting pot of different cultures, classes and international communities. Venture down small side streets and you’ll find street art, speciality coffee shops, Asian markets, Asian restaurants and old French bistros.

Note that you won’t find the traditional Parisian aesthetic here, it’s the modern Paris which is home to migrant families and young exciting artists and musicians.

Things to Do in Belleville

The Belleville area is mainly residential but there are some really interesting things to see and do! From street art to the amazing local parks, there’s some fantastic things to see in this lively and colourful neighbourhood.

Visit the Highest Point in Paris at the Parc de Belleville

One of the most underrated viewpoints in Paris has to be at the top of the Parc de Belleville. It’s not only a great viewpoint, it’s actually the highest ground-level point in Paris at 128.5m above sea level.

parc de belleville Eiffel Tower view

The park itself is mainly located on the side of the hill that leads up to the viewing point at the top. It’s a wonderful secluded park that goes down in steps with walkways covered by foliage and separate grassy areas to explore and relax in.

At the very top is where you’ll find the the viewpoint that has views across the city and to the Eiffel Tower.

parc de belleville

Discover the Petite Ceinture

The Petite Ceinture was an old railway track that was used for moving goods and passengers around until the early 20th century. It was closed in 1936 after the introduction of the Paris metro system and for a long period it was abandoned.

In 1955 the local authorities decided to transform the accessible areas into parks and walkways. A section is accessible in the Belleville area where you can discover

Take a Stroll in the Parc de Buttes-Chaumont

Further up the rue de Belleville just outside of the official quarter, you’ll find a hidden gem of a park. It’s my personal favourite park in the city. It’s a place to escape the hustle and bustle and it’s absolutely beautiful.

The park was built from an old quarry which used to mine the stone (gypsum) that was used to construct Haussmann’s new Paris in the 1800s. The park is one of the largest in Paris and features a lake with a 90 foot rocky central island connected to the nearby hills by two bridges.

buttes Chaumont belleville Paris

It’s a fantastic park to have a picnic in and has some incredible seasonal bars such as the Pavillon Puebla and Rosa Bonheur.

Tip: You can walk up from central Belleville but the road does get quite steep! You can also take the metro Line 11 from Belleville to Pyrénées and then walk about 5 minutes to the park.

Pavillon Puebla bar buttes Chaumont belleville

Street Art Tour of Belleville

There’s some incredible street art in the Belleville area and what would be better to see and learn about it with a local artist?

You can book a local street art tour with GetYourGuide here.

What Else to Do and See

Fan of natural wine? Check out the incredible Cave de Belleville on rue de Belleville. They have a huge selection of natural wine, beer and spirits.

Fancy a great brunch with live jazz? Check out the Jazz Brunch at the Bellevilloise.

Best Restaurants & Bars in Belleville

Belleville is home to some incredible Asian restaurants and quirky, eccentric and cheap bars. Discover my favourite spots below.

belleville Paris restaurants

Lao Siam

Lao Siam is a Belleville institution that’s been serving incredible Thai food for over 30 years. Featured in our Best Thai Restaurants in Paris guide, Lao Siam is a must visit. Featuring a large menu with Thai and Laoation specialities such as lemongrass sausages and Thai sautéd beef with basil. They don’t take reservations so prepare to queue for a while during peak times!

Liquiderie Bar

If you’re looking for a cool, hip bar where locals drink then the Liquiderie Bar is the spot. With an incredible selection of craft beer on tap and small producer natural wines, you’re guaranteed to have some great drinks. They’ve also got a small French tapas menu with olives, rillettes, terrine and oysters. Get there early on weekends if you want a table as it gets very busy!

Aux Folies

Fancy a cheap night out? Aux Folies is a great local bar with very cheap happy hour deals. Pints go for €3.5 and glasses of wine for €3. You’ll find the local student population here in big groups smoking on the terrace. It’s a bit of a dive bar but seriously fun!

Dong Huong

Belleville is home to some incredible Vietnamese restaurants and Dong Huong is one of the best. It’s affordable, quick and very well done. Expect all the classics such as Pho and grilled lemongrass chicken.

dong huong belleville

Where to Stay in Belleville

Belleville is a great area to stay in and is much more affordable than other districts in Paris. It’s also well connected

Babel Belleville

Babel Belleville is a seriously cool boutique hotel in the very heart of the neighbourhood. Located on a really nice side street, there’s lots of local bars and restaurants a stones throw away. The small rooms are designed in a rustic yet very charming old Parisian theme that is very fitting for the area.

babel hotel belleville

Hôtel Scarlett

Another super cool boutique hotel, Hotel Scarlett is situated further up the rue de Belleville towards the Pyrénées metro station. The rooms are stylish, modern and very well appointed with AC and free wifi.

Novotel Belleville

If you want a higher end 4* experience then the Novotel just around the corner from the Belleville metro station is a perfect choice. The rooms are spacious, modern and if you get a balcony room, you’ll be able to see the Eiffel Tower.

novotel belleville

Belleville FAQ

top of Belleville Paris
The top of Belleville, looking down across the city

Is Belleville Safe?

From my own personal experience I would say it is safe. It can get a bit gnarly during the day with street vendors trying to sell you cigarettes, especially on market days.

At night it’s generally very populated with locals going out to drink and eat in restaurants. I would advise that solo female travellers be extra wary of their surroundings and avoid walking too far at night.

Is Belleville Worth Visiting?

Yes! It’s a lively neighbourhood that perfectly encapsulates of the real modern day city of Paris. It’s diverse, lively, youthful and constantly changing. More on the artsy, bohemian side of the city you shouldn’t expect the traditional Paris aesthetic. The buildings aren’t like those off the Champs-Elysées – it’s where real Parisians live and work.

What is Belleville Famous For?

Belleville is famous for being the 2nd (unofficial) China towns of the city. The neighbourhood has a vasty quantity of amazing Asian markets, restaurants, shops and beauty salons. It’s also famous for being the area where Edith Piaf was born. Finally it’s got the highest ground level point in Paris at the Parc de Belleville with stunning views across the city and the Eiffel Tower.

Which Metro Line to Get to Belleville?

The Belleville metro station is on Line 2 and 11 which means you can reach it from the Arc de Triomphe in 20 minutes. You can also take Line 11 from Hotel de Ville and be there in 15 minutes.

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