If you visit Paris long enough to see diverse parts of the city that are not touristy, you’ll discover that each arrondissement (or neighborhood) has its own unique identity. While we all have a good mental image of what a Parisian girl looks like, her style can drastically change depending on what part of town she’s from. So, we came up with the idea of bringing you a travel guide to all of Paris’ 20 arrondissements – and what do do in each one if you only had 24 hours, plus what to wear to blend in like a local.
This instalment will take you up north to the 19th where you will find many of the city's hippest happenings, especially around the Canal de l'Orucq where Paris' cool crowd flock during the summer months. The neighborhood is also home to the Parc des Buttes Chaumont, one of the city's most romantic outdoors spaces. As the former hipster hotspot, the Marais, is becoming more expensive and exclusive, several cafe owners have moved north for the lower prices and younger crowd. One of the charms of this arrondissement is that you can spend a whole day focussing on one activity alone: from taking romantic walks along the waterfront and through the parks, to cafe-hopping from your breakfast expresso through to your evening cocktails and checking out niche art exhibitions. But in the spirit of bringing you the most complete overview of the area, our guide is a mix of everything, because, sadly, you can only do so much in one day.
Start the day by stretching your muscles and clearing your mind at a yoga class at MIRZ. But don't expect a slow, relaxing morning: the studio is a great modern loft-space with a neon sign greeting you at the entrance, giving you some indication of the high-octane environment. You can show off your moves (that you stole from Rhianna) while attending their signature R&B yoga class that is a sure-fire way to get your blood flowing. For a hearty breakfast, go straight to Kaffee Bar 19 for fresh baked goods and expertly brew coffee. Next, take a serene morning stroll around the Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Its beautiful landscape is unique in Paris: comprising a vast lake that serves as a moat to the Temple de la Sibylle, which offers sweeping views of Paris, as well as a secret grotto with its own waterfall. Be on high alert if you're visiting with your significant other, this park has been the backdrop to more than one marriage proposal. During the summer, you'll discover plenty of free activities such as mini concerts and dance classes, making it very easy to spend the rest of the day at the Butte (and if you do decide to, be sure to stop by the famed Rosa Bonheur bar for a glass of rosé).
After taking in a healthy dose of nature, it's time to treat yourself to some art. Head to Le Centquarte-Paris (alias: The 104), an artistic and cultural working space. And, if you're feeling peckish by now, the center has much to offer. If it's a proper, sit-down meal you're after, try the Grand Central Restaurant for reinterpreted French cuisine. For a quick bite, grab a slice of pizza from the food truck in the courtyard and enjoy it in the outdoors on one of the many deckchairs, but if you're just looking for another shot of coffee, check out the Café Caché by the north entrance. The space has a regular rotation of exhibitions, concerts and performances on its schedule to observe, or you can get involved in one of the many art classes that are hosted at the 104 so you can get in touch with your inner Matisse. But the main attraction is the vast, open, public space that dominates the center: here, everyone from singers and dancers to jugglers is free practise their art – and better still, you're welcome to watch! Once you've had your fill, head back up the canal to the largest science museum in Europe: the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie. The museum is situated in the Parc de la Villette, and while you might be absorbed by the exciting experiments going on inside, don't miss your opportunity to check out the IMAX cinema, museum of music (Cité de la Musique) and the iconic Paris philharmonic concert hall, which are all residents of the park as well. And if none of those venues appeal to you, the park itself is the perfect spot for a summer picnic – or even to catch an outdoor screening of a Hollywood classic throughout August.
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Ever thought about eating your dinner in the bathtub? At Le Pavillon des Canaux, you can. Begin your evening at this quirky, doll's house-style cafe-restaurant for unconventional seating and trendy treats. If convention is your thing, then cross the canal and sit down at a proper table for a modern twist on French bistrot dining at Les Bancs Publics. But the true landmark of the canal is the eponymous Bar Orucq, where locals gather to grab a take-out beer and borrow a set of boules to play pétanque on the quay outside. If an inventive menu in a refined setting is more your thing, head to the Paname Brewing Company for some of the best craft beer in town. Once you've selected a drink from the extensive list of home-brewed beverages, take it outside to the floating terrace and take in the view as the sun sets. Continue into the night by heading to La Rotonde at the base of the canal to dance the night away in the circular night club.
Check out our selection of pieces inspired by the 19th arrondissement's fashionable set style to add to your closet for that local look:
Cover image: Lesflaneriesdaurelie.com