Once a working-class neighborhood, Belleville is home to North Africans, Greeks, Armenians, Ashkenazi Jews, and one of the city’s Chinatowns. It is also known for being the haven of musicians and artists. Belleville will not appeal to travelers who are used to the sophistication and elegance of the city. It has a bohemian vibe to it and it is where yuppie hipsters congregate. Its uniqueness and eccentricity have been showcased in a number of films including the Bourne Identity, the Red Balloon, Monsieur Ibrahim, Polisse, and Madame Rosa. Nestled between the canal and The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Belleville is about 5 kilometers from the heart of Paris.
If you haven’t fallen in love with Paris yet, a visit to Belleville will push you to the brink. You can spend days enjoying the neighborhood and revel in its diversity. It features a number of ateliers displaying paintings and artwork from struggling artists. Your dining options include a number of Vietnamese, Chinese, Jewish-Tunisian, and Arab restaurants. If you would like to take a quite stroll after a hearty meal, you can check out the Parc des Buttes Chaumont or Parc de Belleville. Do not forget to visit check out Chez Robert Smith which showcases fashion and jewelry created by young artists, and vintage items ranging from plates, toys, and furniture. The neighborhood is a bargain hunter’s paradise! At the end of the day, you can people watch while sipping coffee at Cafe Cherie, or have a few drinks at Aux Folies.
There is a world beyond the city center of Paris. Be adventurous, and visit Belleville. Consult your travel agent for more details.