If you are looking for the artsy neighborhood of Paris, where hip 30-something Parisians abound, you will want to make your way to the 11eme arrondissement in Paris.
Stretching from Place de la Bastille to portions of the Canal Saint Martin, this is the area that doesn’t necessarily have many museums, but it does have plenty of bars, cafés, and restaurants.
Note, you will run into relatively fewer visiting tourists here. This is where the locals and residents go out, so put on your best Parisian je ne sais quoi and enjoy. So let’s see what there is to do in the 11th arrondissement, shall we? Allons-y!
What to see: Top Attractions
Place de la Bastille
The epicenter of the French Revolution, Place de la Bastille is where the ancient prison called Bastille Saint-Antoine was located before it was destroyed. Looking at the busy roundabout these days, you would never know it was there.
There are no remnants left of the prison today, it was dismantled during the revolution. Some of the stones were used to build to the Pont de la Concorde that leads from the Place de la Concorde, the site of the executions of the French Royals, to the Assemblée Nationale which is France’s House of Representatives.
If you are interested in is era, follow my self-guided walking Revolution tour that begins at the Place de la Bastille.
On the other end of the 11th arrondissement is the Quartier Oberkampf, which is another lively neighborhood with bars and restaurants. This area used to be a relatively poor part of Paris, but these days gentrification in the area means that the young bourgoisie have moved in and transformed the neighborhood.
Jardin du Port d’Arsenal
Jardin du Port d’Arsenal, a lovely park on the banks of the Canal Saint-Martin, just before the Canal connects to the Seine River.
The underground canal meets up with the Seine river, and visitors can take a tour boat all along the canal until it reaches the Seine.
For shopping in Paris and in the 11th arrondissement, there are plenty of charming little boutiques all around the 11th arrondissement. Get your inner flâneur on and walk around Boulevard Voltaire and Rue Faubourg Saint-Antoine and everything in between exploring the shops all around.
Located at Place de la Bastille on the edge of the Marais, this food market may never have existed, had it not been for some clever ingeniosity in the 19th century.
And that is because it was originally the path of the Canal Saint Martin, which today is running underneath it.
The canal was authorized by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 to supply Paris with fresh water and prevent disease. By the time his nephew Emperor Napoleon III came to the throne in the 1850-1860s, his engineer Baron Haussmann had other ideas.
The area was of historical significance, having been the site of the uprising at the prison of Bastille where the French Revolution started, eventually bringing the Bonapartes to power. Haussmann was redesigning Paris, and decided to enclose the portion of the canal right before it feeds into the river Seine.
Today the market at Bastille stands right on top of the enclosed portion of the Canal Saint Martin (which you can visit on a boat tour). The market has a variety of food stalls and is heavily frequented by the locals living in the area. Marché Bastille runs on Thursdays and Sundays between 7am to 1:30pm.
Alternating days with Marché Bastille is the Marché Popincourt at 111 Boulevard Richard-Lenoir in the 11th arrondissement.
Located a few yards away from Place de la République, Marché Popincourt is a traditional farmers’ market selling everything from fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses and flowers.
Other stalls offer souvenirs like perfumed soaps, plants, or jams. It is a lively area, so if you are looking for some hustle and bustle, this is a great place to visit
Marché Popincourt is quite large with over 50 vendors and is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7am to 1pm.
What to eat: Restaurants, Brasseries, and Bistros
The 11th arrondissement is spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants, so it is nearly impossible to narrow it down to just a few. Some local favorites are:
- Botanique Restaurant – French fare at 71 Rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011 Paris.
- Le Chardenoux – Bistro at 1 Rue Jules Vallès, 75011 Paris.
- Les 3 Bornés – traditional French at 71 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris.
You can find more ideas and ways of spending an evening in Paris here.
Bars and Nightlife
There are several bars along Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud in the Oberkampf and Menilmontant parts of the 11th arrondissement so you can always wander into the area and see where you feel inspired.
Another popular area is right next to the Marais, there are plenty of bars and restaurants around Bastille. Rue de Lappe has been taken over by tourists to some extent, but that makes it all the easier to order your drinks in English.
The surrounding streets of Rue de la Roquette and Rue de Charonne have more traditional French bars for an apéro or dinner.
Some local favorites in the 11th arrondissement include:
- Pechoir Menilmontant (rooftop bar) – 14 Rue Crespin du Gast, 75011 Paris
- Le Lèche-Vin (traditional bistro parisian) – 13 Rue Daval, Paris 75011
- Yellow Mad Monkey (bar and nightclub) – 8 Rue de Lappe, 75011 Paris
- L’Alimentation générale (bar with concerts) – 94 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, Paris 75011
- L’UDO (German-inspired, go for some currywurst) – 4 Rue Neuve Popincourt, 75011 Paris
- Le Rhum Marin (Rhum bar) – 92 rue Saint Maur, 75011 Paris
You can find more bars and nightlife options around Paris here.
Where to stay: Hotels and other accommodation
If you are looking for a lively neighborhood where the hipsters and bobos hang out, you can’t go wrong with the 11eme arrondissement in Paris. Some recommended hotels in the area are:
You can find more accommodation options for the 11th arrondissement here.