My last visit to Paris was as a young twenty-something. Still a student, not a lot of money, and eager to travel outside of my own country. Years later, I was again in Paris. I had tickets for a comedy show and planned to arrive a day early, so that I could explore more of the city. I have already seen the well-known highlights Sacre Coeur, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Palace, and Notre Dame. This second time around in Paris, I wanted to discover another side of the city and decided to take a stroll from Belleville to Le Marais. In this blog post, I will show you what my day looked like.
Street art in Belleville
My hotel was located in Belleville. Contrary to what the name suggests (Belleville means beautiful city), this is actually one of the more rugged working-class neighborhoods of Paris. So, why go to Belleville? It’s a creative neighborhood with a lot of street art and graffiti, and that happens to be something I like. Artists began moving here in the 1980s and mingled with the local residents with roots in Algeria, Vietnam, and China. A multicultural area with art as one of the outlets. The go-to street for street art in Belleville is Rue Denoyez. This area has a bit of a Berlin vibe. Expect to see a lot of graffiti, tags, and stencil art, with in between better works. Another place for street art is Parc de Belleville.
Brunch at Wild & The Moon
After the morning walk in Belleville, it was time for food. I love acai and smoothie bowls, and Wild & The Moon does them exceptionally well. This health food chain has multiple outlets in Paris. None in Belleville though, but there are several in neighboring La République. I do have to say that the prices at Wild & The Moon are a bit high, but the portions are generous. How to get here: take metro line 11 from Belleville to République and then walk for 5 minutes.
Exploring more street art in La République
With our bellies satisfied, we headed out to see more street art. Because Belleville isn’t the only place where you can find interesting works; there is much more to see in the city center. When I’m traveling, I like to use the Street Art Cities app (no advertising, just a fan) for street art maps. It’s super handy for finding nearby murals. In La République, I’d recommend checking out Hommage à Hyuro on Rue Desargues 7.
Strolling along Canal Saint Martin
From La République, we unexpectedly ended up at Canal Saint Martin. Quite a lovely place for a walk along the water. Our route along Canal Saint Martin took us to the mural by the French artist Vinnie (on the corner of Quai de Valmy). She is known for her paintings of women with cheerful, bubble-filled hair. In the street behind the mural (Rue des Vinaigriers), you’ll also find some great lunch spots. We had a delicious meal at BANOI Vinaigriers.
Afternoon stroll in Le Marais
From Belleville and La République, we slowly made our way into the more classy part of Paris: Le Marais. Take metro line 11 from République to Rambuteau and wander around the neighborhood. Beautiful places to visit in Le Marais include Rue Vieille-du-Temple, Rue du Roi de Sicile, Jardin des Rosiers Joseph Migneret, and Place des Vosges. The latter is a perfect spot to relax on the courtyard grass for a bit. For a quick energizer, I recommend getting a coffee at Yellow Tucan. It’s a small place but offers great coffee and the people are lovely.
Recommended: breakfast at VG Patisserie
Here’s a tip for the next morning. The best breakfast I had in Paris was at VG Pâtisserie. It’s a vegan pastry shop where you can get your typical croissants, coffee pastries, and pain du chocolat but their main selling point is the pastries. Order a croissant, a pastry, and a coffee, and enjoy them out on the terrace. The nearest metro stop is Voltaire, served by Metro Line 9.
Where to stay in Paris?
I stayed at Hotel Scarlett in Belleville, a good hotel with small but lovely rooms. It is good to know that Belleville is located on a hill, which means walking up and down every day. If you prefer to stay closer to the city center, I suggest taking a look at La Planque Hotel or Le Citizen Hotel. Both are located near Canal Saint Martin and have received high ratings, around 8.5.
This blog post shows my walking route in Paris, from Belleville to Le Marais. Of course, there is so much more to do and see in Paris. However, I enjoyed my time very much and that is the most important thing.
This blog post contains affiliate links. If you book something through these links, I earn a small commission without you paying extra for it. You can read more about it in my disclaimer.