The 19eme arrondissement of Paris is not one of the most popular with visitors, but if you are looking to explore beyond the tourist path, you will want to head to this unique and vibrant area.
Located on the north-eastern edge of Paris, a village called La Villette was known to exist here as early as the 12th century.
This peripheral village was annexed into Paris in 1860, along with several others including Belleville, and portions of the Aubervilliers and Pantin.
Today, the northern part of the 19th arrondissement is next to the Boulevard Peripherique highway, making further extension of Paris almost impossible.
Either way, there is plenty to see and explore in the area, so let’s see what there is to do in the 19th arrondissement, shall we? Allons-y!
What to see
Parc de la Villette and Canal d’Ourcq
Parc de la Villette is a large flat park that surrounds the Canal d’Ourcq in the north of Paris, where there is always something going on. Concerts, picnics, festivals, and river cruises, this is where locals come to spend an afternoon.
In addition, the area is lined with tiny cafés, where you can easily spend a few hours here paddle-boating or playing pétanque.
Buttes Chaumont Park
Nearby is another large park, the Buttes Chaumont, which is a park with more trees and hills in it. It is also home to the classic bar, the original Rosa Bonheur.
Known for its relatively cheap drinks, the guinguette is named after French artist Rosa Bonheur. At one point, this was one of the most popular bars in Paris, however with more locations now open across the city, the bar does not attract as many long lines as it used to.
The bar is inside the park and thus closes down at midnight. It is still very popular, turning into a dance floor at around 10pm and everyone is welcome.
La Cité des sciences et de l’Industrie
Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie is located in Parc de la Villette, and is one of the biggest science museums and planetariums in the world. It was opened in 1986 by former French president Giscard d’Estaing covers a rather large area.
There is a special section dedicated to children, Cité des Enfants, a Library of Science and Industry, a model submarine, planetarium, aquarium and much more more. Visitors should count at least 1/2 day to visit, if not more. You can buy skip-the-line entry tickets here.
In terms of shopping in Paris, there are not many big brands stores or luxury boutiques in the 19th arrondissement. There is however a new mall called Vill’Up located in the heart of the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie in Paris. It has dozens of small shops along with six restaurants, and a large movie theatre.
And if you are looking for outdoor farmers’ markets, one of the most popular markets in the area is the Marché Place de Joinville. The market is held on Thursday and Sunday mornings.
What to eat: Restaurants, Brasseries, and Bistros
There are a lot of different types of restaurants around the 19th but a few local favorites are:
- A l’Endroit – elegant French fare at 9 rue du Tunnel, 75019 Paris
- Cote Canal – On the Bassin de la Villette at 5 Quai de la Seine, 75019 Paris
- L’Iliade – Mediterranean food in Belleville at 59 Rue de Belleville, 75019 Paris
You can find more ideas and ways of spending an evening in Paris here.
Bars and Nightlife
There are several bars and brasseries around Canal d’Ourcq and the Bassin de la Villette and if you go early in the evening, you will also see a lot of locals having an apéro picnic along the quays of canal.
Some of the nearby bars lend pétanque balls so that you can grab a beer while you play.
- BarOurcq (popular friendly petanque bar for locals in the area) – 68 Quai de la Loire, 75019 Paris
- Café Chéri (small bar that turns into a dancefloor) – 44 Boulevard de la Villette, 75019 Paris
You can find more bars and nightlife options around Paris here.
Where to stay: Hotels and other accommodation
While the 19th arrondissement is not the most central, there are several metro stations around the area that make it very convenient to get around.
Prices of hotels in the 19eme arrondissement are also slightly cheaper compared to the central arrondissements and the area around Parc Villette and Buttes Chaumont is very popular with hip locals. Some recommended hotels are:
- €€€ – Hotel Restaurant Au Boeuf Couronné
- €€€€ – The ReMIX Hotel
You can find more accommodation options for the 19th arrondissement here.
If you enjoyed that article, you may like to read more about the nearby 10th, 18th and 20th arrondissements. A bientôt!