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Belleville - Ménilmontant

This popular and cosmopolitan area welcomes a dynamic art scene, and a tremendous nightlife.


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Belleville - Ménilmontant

Welcome in the working-class and multicultural areas known as Belleville and Ménilmontant. Their bustling avenues contrast with pockets of tranquillity like the Belleville Park and the Jourdain village. From the hills of Ménilmontant to the cosmopolitan streets of Belleville, get lost from art centres to alleyways in bloom, not to forget tremendous bars.

Père Lachaise

Swinging "Ménilmuche"

"Ménilmuche" is a popular Parisian slang word for "Ménilmontant", which means a sloping area.  Start with the Père Lachaise Cemetery. This quiet necropolis is home to numerous celebrities: look for some infamous ones - Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison - or for various legendary French writers - from Marcel Proust to Pierre Bourdieu. The grave of the founder of spiritualism, Allan Kardec, is very easy to recognize: it's always covered with flowers.

After the father (Père), check the mother (Mère)! The Mère Lachaise restaurant offers huge salads with cheese and delicious chocolate cakes a few steps away from the cemetery (78 boulevard de Ménilmontant). It welcomes small photo exhibitions in the inside, but on a sunny day, the patrons enjoy its fantastic terrace.

A bit further North on the same boulevard, the Soleil café offers one of the biggest pavement areas you can imagine: locals and tourists drink Pastis (try one, it's so French!) or a mint tea elbow to elbow.

Numerous other watery holes have invaded the area over the last ten years. To go on with the bar crawling, check Lou Pascalou (14, rue des Panoyaux) which organizes talks, exhibitions and concerts, and for a crazier atmosphere, don't miss La Féline, right at the corner on rue Victor Letalle.

For a more cultural outlook of the area, visit the Noyaux workshops (43, rue des Panoyaux): they gather painters, sculptors, engravers and photographers. The workshops are open to the public every year in October. The Monte-en-l'Air Bookshop (at n°6 of the same street) is open all year round and offers a fantastic selection of underground art books, and very nice exhibitions.

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