Hidden gem guide to little-known Paris 19eme

Paris 19eme – I wouldn’t be surprised if you say you have never thought of exploring the 19th arrondissement of Paris. After all, it doesn’t have the top attractions in tourists’ itineraries: no Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Arc de Triomphe or Marais. The fact that it doesn’t have the famous attractions doesn’t mean that it is not worth venturing into. There are lots of things to do and discover like parks (Paris 19eme is home to two of the biggest), trendy and quirky restaurants to suit all tastes, green alleys and two canals to walk along to.

Tourists seldom venture to this traditional working-class neighbourhood in north-east Paris and most guidebooks have also neglected to give this vibrant area the proper mention it deserves. It has the perfect melange of diverse cultures: Chinese, Jew, Arab and African immigrants. People knows of Le Marais as the Jewish quarter but did you know that the biggest orthodox Jewish community is in the 19th arrondissement?.

To explore and discover all the little secrets of the 19th arrondissement with us, keep on reading.

View of Paris 19eme from the hill of Buttes Chaumont

Parc de la Villette

What to do in Paris 19eme, the 19th arrondissement?

La Geode, Parc de la Villette, Paris 19eme

First of all, Parc de la Villette is the biggest park in Paris and offers intensive open spaces, perfect for picnics in summer. Secondly, the park is a cultural space with lots of activities including an open-air cinema (July and August) and music festivals. It is also where you will find The Philharmonie de Paris, the City of Science and Industry, the Cite de la Musique, (a museum dedicated to music), the Zénith de Paris, the Grande Halle de la Villette. 

  • Address: 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris
  • Metro : Porte de Pantin, ligne 5

Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie

It’s the biggest science museum in Europe with a planetarium, an IMAX theatre, aquarium and lots of interactive activities. It’s a heaven for kids who can learn while they play. There are lots of unusual experiences; I spent lots of time there while I was a kid.

  • Address: 30 avenue Corentin Cariou – 75019 Paris
  • Metro: Porte de la Villette

Parc des Buttes Chaumont 

The Parc des Buttes Chaumont is the third largest public park in Paris, yet is barely visits by tourists. Favoured by locals, it is worth visiting. Packed with lots of trees, a great suspended bridge, a Roman-inspired temple, a lake and a secret grotto with a waterfall etc… With 25 hectares, it offers all the space possible for social distancing, picnics and for kids to run around.

  • Address: 1 Rue Botzaris, 75019 Paris
  • Metro: Buttes Chaumont, ligne 7B

Explore the street art along Rue de l’Ourcq & Canal de l’Ourcq

Walls have been covered with amazing murals along the Canal de l’Ourcq and Rue de l’Ourcq. The canal extends all the way to River Marne (near xxx). There are lots of things to do in the area on the bank of the canal. You can have a drink in one of the many restaurants/bars, sit at the water’s edge with a book in hands, admire the street arts or enjoy a boat ride. 

  • Address: Rue de l’Ourcq, 75019 Paris
  • Metro: Ourcq, ligne 5
Bassin de la Villette, Paris 19eme

Bassin de la Villette

This man-made pond is located at the intersections of Canal de l’Ourcq and Canal Saint-Martin. Built in 1802 by Napoleon as part of the canal systems designed to transport goods and people. During the summertime, you will see canal boats, rowers, windsurfers and ducks enjoying the water!

  • Address: Bassin de la Villette, 75019 Paris
  • Metro: Laumière, ligne 5
People enjoying a drink in a peniche, Paris 19eme

Villages feel in the city

On either side of Buttes Chaumont, there are two charming neighbourhood that you need to explore. One one side you have Mouzaïa and on the other Butte Bergeyre. 

Mouzaïa is a lovely and unusual quartier of Paris, perched on a hill and filled with narrow passageways, cute little houses, and lots of small gardens. The other little gem is Butte Bergeyre. Putting aside the long flight of stairs you need to climb to reach the highest point of Butte Bergeyre, the panorama offered at the end of the climb is simply magnificent. It offers a breathtaking view of another ‘butte’: the Butte Montmartre.
Just like Buttes Chaumont, the area around the two neighbourhoods was the site of gypsum mines. Mouzaïa was created to accommodate the workers working these quarries. After the gypsum was mined out, the ground was too weak to support heavy buildings therefore it was agreed that houses were to be no more than 2 stories.

Where to eat in Paris 19eme?

Le Pavillion des Canaux

Le Pavillon des Canaux - brunch in a bathtub
@jenn.elle

One of the most unusual and quirky restaurants in Paris, Le Pavillon des Canaux is ideal for a weekend brunch or an evening drink. What makes this cafe unusual is the vintage home decor. With the mantra “feel like at home”, they have decorated each room like the rooms of an actual house (e.g. bathroom, kitchen, bedroom etc). You can eat in each room in the “house”. Whether you would like to have your coffee outside on the terrace, on the sofa, on the bed or in the bathtub… It’s up to you!

  • Address: 39 Quai de la Loire, 75019 Paris
  • Metro: Laumière, line 5

Kaffee bar 19

This cute canal-side cafe is located near the Parc de la Villette. It’s a lovely place to stop by for a good and tasty coffee or a refreshing drink. If you’re looking for healthy food options in the 19eme arrondissement of Paris, Kaffeebar 19 menu is a great option with vegetarian options and lots of freshly made cakes. During the summer months, you can even grab a drink and pastry and sit by the water’s edge. 

  • Address: 26B Rue de l’Ourcq, 75019 Paris
  • Metro: Crimée, line 7

Bar Ourcq

This bar is hard to miss not only because of its light blue facade but because of the crowd gathering in front of it on sunny days. It reminds me of the pubs in London with people gathering on the pavements. This bar offer a good selection of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks. If you pay a deposit of 1€, you will be able to take your glass by the canal and people watch.

  • Address: 68 Quai de la Loire, 75019 Paris
  • Metro: Laumière, line 5

Le Rosa Bonheur

Nestled close to the main entrance of Parc des Buttes Chaumont is Rosa Bonheur, a casual bar and restaurant, known as guinguette. There you can grab a drink and some snacks and sit in the large terrace. During the summer period, they offer yummy gelato. The ambience is very Parisian.

  • Address: 2 Avenue de la Cascade, 75019 Paris
  • Metro : Botzaris, line 7B

Péniche Antipode 

Paris 19eme is full of quirky things to do. While exploring the Bassin de la Villette, why not have a drink on a typical French péniche? The boat is a great place to have drinks if you are in the 19th arrondissement. You will have a similar experience as around the Seine but without the crowds and the expensive price tag.

  • Address: 55 Quai de la Seine, 75019 Paris
  • Metro: Riquet, ligne 7

La Petite Halle

Located in the heart of Parc de la Villette, La Petite Halle is a nice cafe/restaurant offering delicious Italian and Mediterranean food. It looks like a greenhouse with a big garden. There are also live music events.  

  • Address: 211 Avenue Jean Jaurès, 75019 Paris
  • Metro : Porte de Pantin, line 5

Have you been to Paris 19eme? If not, I hope this has inspired you to visit the 19th arrondissement of Paris. While there you can also explore the Belleville neighbourhood in the 20th arrondissement.

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Hi there! I'm Mayi. Welcome to my blog SecretMoona! I hope to share with you the hidden secret of places I visit.

11 thoughts on “Hidden gem guide to little-known Paris 19eme

    1. Thanks Jan. It’s sometimes good to venture away from tourist attractions to explore a city from a local’s viewpoint.

  1. I love Paris. But yet I still need to go back and explore. Great post. The Le Pavillion des Canaux looks very interesting 😊 Thanks for sharing

  2. I have only been to Paris once. Clearly 3 days were not enough to fully appreciate this lovely city. Looking forward to exploring your suggestions on my next trip!

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