The “Arrondissement de Ménilmontant,” the 20th arrondissement, is located on the right bank of the River Seine. It is known for its diverse demographics, including large immigrant populations (primarily from North and West Africa). The Père Lachaise Cemetery (were many famous French and international figures are buried) is also located in the 20th arrondissement.
Metro stops: Some commonly used metro stops in the 20th arrondissement are Belleville, Père Lachaise, Gambetta, Jordain and Ménilmontant.
What to do in Paris’s 20th Arrondissement
Père Lachaise Cemetery is the most popular tourist attraction in the 20th arrondissement. Additionally, this area provides plenty of opportunities to “live like a Parisian” in neighborhood bars and cafés, and experience the best of North and West African cultures.
Cimetière du Père Lachaise
The entrance to Cimetière du Père Lachaise (Père-Lachaise Cemetery) is located on boulevard de Ménilmontant. One of the most famous graveyards in the world, the large and winding Père-Lachaise is the final resting place of many celebrities (cultural, artistic and political figures), such as Chopin, Champollion, Sarah Bernhardt, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Delacroix, Bizet, Proust, Balzac, Colette, Molière and Jim Morrison. Even the tombs of the lesser-known individuals buried here are fascinating because of their ornamentation and symbolism.
Parc de Belleville
The lush and lovely Parc de Belleville is located between Parc des Buttes-Chaumont and Père-Lachaise Cemetery. This is a great place to unwind and get some fresh air before ducking into a local bar or café.
If you’d like an authentic Parisian experience, head to the local favorite Lou Pascalou (14 rue des Panoyaux; Métro: Menilmontant) for some hearty eats at very reasonable prices. You can also get authentic West African food in the 20th arrondissement. Le Lion Indomptable (86 rue Réunion; Metro: Gambetta) is a cozy spot that serves delicious Cameroonian and Senegalese food. If you’re in the mood to spend the evening in a quaint corner bar sipping wine and listening to live music, Les Trois Arts, (21 rue des Rigoles; Métro: Jourdain) is your place. Aux Folies Belleville (8 rue de Belleville, Métro: Belleville) is an artsy North African café with a relaxed atmosphere and great people-watching.
Where to shop in the 20th Arrondissement
Admittedly, not many people flock to the 20th arrondissement to go shopping. However, thanks to the diversity of the area, there are some unique places to spend your Euros.
Montreuil Flea Market
Hop on the metro and go digging for treasures at one of Paris’s best flea markets, the Montreuil Flea Market (located between the 20th arrondissement and the Parisian suburb of Montreuil). Here you can find everything from antique doorknobs to vintage suits.
Avenue de la Porte de Montreuil
Métro: Porte de Montreuil
Le Marché de Belleville
Le Marché de Belleville is a North African market. It’s the perfect place to pick up some exotic spices to use while cooking dinner or a unique souvenir or gift for someone back home.
rue de Belleville
Metro: Belleville or Pyrénées
Pâtisserie de l’Église
While in the 20th arrondissement, you must visit one of Paris’s most famous pastry shops, Laurent Demoncy’s Pâtisserie de l’Église. If you’re not sure what to try, get Le Triollo, a mountainous pastry made of almond crème, pistachio, figs and mulberries.
10 rue du Jourdain
Written by Jen Westmoreland Bouchard for EuropeUpClose.com