The 20th arrondissement Paris, le vingtième, is a vibrant and diverse neighbourhood located on the eastern side of the city. While it may not have the glitz and glamour of some of the more well-known arrondissements, the 20th has its own unique charm and character and is perfect for exploring.
The area is home is known for its diverse population, bohemian spirit, and vibrant street art. This diversity is reflected in the eclectic range of shops, restaurants, and cafés that line the streets. From Chinatown and the bustling markets of the Belleville area to the tranquil parks, the 20th arrondissement offers visitors a chance to experience a different side of Paris.
Here are some of my favourite things to do and discoveries in the 20th arrondissement Paris.
19 Things To Do In The 20th Arrondissement
1. Find Famous Tombs At Père Lachaise Cemetery
One of the most famous landmarks in the 20th arrondissement Paris is Père-Lachaise Cemetery, the largest cemetery in Paris. Not only does it house the graves of some of the greatest artists, writers, and musicians that ever lived, but it is also a beautiful and peaceful place. Some of the notable graves that you can visit include Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison, Marcel Proust, and Frédéric Chopin. You can take a guided tour of the cemetery to learn about its rich history.
Read More | I lived near Pere Lachaise for several months and explored frequently. Here is my guide to Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Location: 16 rue du Repos, 75020 Paris
Métro: Père Lachaise, Gambetta
2. Absorb The Monument Aux Morts (1914 to 1918)
Just outside Père Lachaise Cemetery is the extensive Monument to the Dead, honouring the sacrifice made by 94 684 Parisians in the First World War. The dedication stretches 280 m (918 feet) and is 1.3 m (4 feet) high. it stops you in your tracks when you realize the enormity of the loss and that every one of those names represents a human life. Listed by year (1914 to 1918) and in alphabetical order, the monument was inaugurated on November 11, 2018.
Note: There is a different Monument Aux Morts on rue du Repos in Père Lachaise Cemetery.
Location: Bd de Ménilontant, 75020 Paris
Métro: Pere Lachaise
3. Discover Street Art In The 20th Arrondissement
The 20th arrondissement Paris is known for its vibrant street art scene. Rue du Retrait, one of my favourites, is filled with an ever-changing display of art. The pieces reflect a diverse range of styles and messages, with themes ranging from social justice to pop culture. It’s also worth having a peek at Rue Denoyez, another hotbed of street art that graffiti artists love to tag.
The best way to really explore and understand the street art culture in the 20th arrondissement Paris is to take a walking tour. Read my Walking Tours article to see the terrific Street Art tour I took.
4. Gaze Out Across Paris From Parc de Belleville
Parc de Belleville is a beautiful green oasis located in the 20th arrondissement Paris. Built on a former gypsum quarry like Parc des Buttes Chaumont in Paris’s 19th arrondissement in the 1980s, it is Paris’s highest park. Stand at the top and enjoy panoramic views over the rooftops of Paris straight to the Eiffel Tower! Parc de Belleville, with its colourful flower gardens, covers more than 11 acres (4 hectares). Wander through the park, have a picnic on a grassy incline, cool off by Paris’s longest-running waterfall fountain, and search for the small vineyard!
Métro: Pyrénées, Couronnes
5. Sit On The Terrace At Moncoeur Belleville
A trendy French bistro that just happens to be right by the viewpoint at Parc de Belleville. Pull up a chair on the outdoor terrace at Moncoeur Belleville and take in the Eiffel Tower. Does the Quartier de Belleville get any better than this? It’s a great place for lunch or an apéro. Will you catch the sunset from here?
Location: 1 rue des Envierges, 75020 Paris
Métro: Pyrénées Metro Station
6. Soak Up The Country In Paris
It’s no wonder that this little neighbourhood is affectionately named La Campagne à Paris – the Country in Paris. Scoot up one of the staircases to access this hilltop neighbourhood and presto – it’s as though you’ve been transported elsewhere in France. Wrought-iron gates, colourful shutters, massive rose bushes and gorgeous brick houses line the streets. Find a different staircase and descend partway peering into hidden gardens. It’s a delightful, upscale enclave à Paris. Use rue Irénée Blanc as a starting point.
Location: rue Irénée Blanc, 75020 Paris
Métro: Porte de Bagnolet
7. Find Edith Piaf In The 20th Arrondissement Paris
Edith Piaf (1915-1963) began her life in the 20th arrondissement Paris. One of France’s most beloved artists, her timeless melodies are still played in bars, cabarets, and on the radio. One lazy Sunday afternoon a car passed me by blaring “Je ne regrette rien.” Two young men sang at the top of their voices. To me, this was living proof that Edith Piaf lives on in the hearts of the French, at any age.
Here is where to find the “Little Sparrow” with her unique, raspy voice in Paris 20
The Statue In Place Edith Piaf
Stand in Place Edith Piaf and gaze at the bronze statue of the renowned French singer. A woman with eyes closed reaches with outstretched hands to the heavens. Piaf’s blurry-looking statue caused a stir when it was unveiled. Artist Lisbeth Delisle had not created a statue of Édith Piaf as most Parisians wanted it to look. Nonetheless, the statue pays tribute to Edith Piaf’s unforgettable legacy.
Bar Edith Piaf
Admire Edith Piaf’s statue and then stop at the tiny bar named after her. Raise a glass to this legendary French singer. Hum one of her famous tunes while there!
The Birth Place of Edith Piaf
Was Edith Piaf really born at 72 rue de Belleville in the doorway? Or was it under a streetlight? Find the plaque above the door marking this special occasion when the iconic French singer was born.
8. Sing Along At Le Vieux Belleville
I came across Le Vieux Belleville by chance and have returned several times since. Get ready to sing the French classics in the 20th arrondissement Paris! Lots of Edith Piaf, George Brassens, and Charles Trenet. Depending on the evening there is either a small band or a singer with an accordion belting out the tunes! Order a glass of wine or a meal, and with lyrics in hand, join in the fun!
Musical Evenings: Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Reserve in advance.
Location: 12 rue des Envierges, 75020 Paris
Métro: Pyrénées, Couronnes
9. The Colourful Wallace Fountains
The Wallace Fountains are an iconic symbol of the city’s commitment to public art and clean drinking water. In the late 19th century, these fountains were commissioned by Sir Richard Wallace, a wealthy British philanthropist, who wanted to provide free, clean drinking water to the people of Paris.
Today, the fountains are beloved by Parisians and tourists alike, not only for their practical purpose (fill up your water bottle) but for their beauty and historical significance.
Most of the Wallace Fountains in Paris are green but in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, two fountains add a vibrant pop of colour. Find the blue Wallace Fountain on rue des Envierges by Parc de Belleville. Find the red Wallace Fountain by the Mairie of the 20e Arrondissement.
10. Visit Église de Saint-Germain de Charonne
It’s perched on a hill with its red door and a tower that dates from the 13th century. Upon sight, charming Église Saint-Germain de Charonne evokes that unique village feeling in the big city of Paris. Friendly locals are gathered in the parish cemetery. Cats are curled up in the sun. The church bells toll. Clearly, Église Saint-Germain de Charonne is still the heart of the ancient village of Charonne.
The historical monument is one of only two churches in the city, the other being Saint-Pierre de Montmartre, which has its own parish cemetery.
Stroll down cobbled rue Saint-Blaise with its cafés and street art but be sure to turn around and notice that the Église and her tower are watching over you.
Location: 4 Place Saint-Blaise, 75020 Paris
Métro: Porte de Bagnolet, Gambetta
11. Sunday Brunch At La Bellevilloise
La Bellevilloise is rather legendary in the 20th arrondissement Paris. It’s a restaurant and a bar that hosts musical evenings, concerts, and exhibitions. Don’t miss the rooftop terrace nor the famous Sunday jazz brunch hosted under the olive trees and the glass roof.
La Bellevilloise has a rich history as one of the first workers’ unions that started in 1877. Take note of the communist hammer and sickle above the door. There’s always a story in Paris!
Location: 19 – 21 rue Boyer, 20éme, Paris
Métro: Menilmontant, Gambette, Pyrénées
12. See A Concert At La Maroquinerie
I was booking tickets to see Nick Mulvey in Paris and stumbled across La Maroquinerie next door to La Bellevilloise in the 20th arrondissement Paris. An old leather factory turned into a restaurant and concert hall, it attracts a solid crowd for a concert! Leave time before the concert starts to have a bite at the restaurant and then descend the stairs to the concert venue. Spectators stand for the entire show! Quelle ambiance!
Location: 23 rue Boyer, 20éme, Paris
Métro: Menilmontant, Gambette, Pyrénées
13. Discover Historical Figures
It was by chance. I was practising how to flâner in the 20th arrondissement Paris. And there they were. Two lined faces that held stories to be uncovered. Geneviève de Gaulle-Anthonioz and Germaine Tillion.
What I discovered was that these two women were part of the French Resistance during WW II. On May 27, 2015, the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the camps these two brave women entered the Panthéon.
They are two of only 6 women honoured with a place in the Panthéon crypt.
Location: rue de Tourtille, 75020 Paris
14. Explore The Petite Ceinture
La Petite Ceinture is a former railway line that used to encircle Paris. Disused in 1934, the railway line became a haven for plant and animal species in Paris.
In 2007, parts of La Petite Ceinture started opening up to pedestrians. What you’ll find on La Petite Ceinture in the 20th arrondissement Paris are railway tracks, biodiversity, street art, locals hanging out with a beer in hand, and kids kicking around a soccer ball. Very local. Very authentic.
Find out where you can explore La Petite Ceinture in Paris.
Location: 11 rue de la Mare, or 79 rue de Ménilmontant, 75020 Paris
15. Saunter Along Villa de l’Ermitage
The 20th arrondissement Paris is full of surprises. Villa de l’Ermitage is another charming, quiet street where you don’t feel as though you are in a cosmopolitan city. The soundscape of Paris fades away as you waltz down the cobbled laneway past gardens overflowing with seasonal blooms and unique artistic touches. Do you see the cheetah in the tree? What about the octopus who’s keeping his eye on you?
Location in the Vingtième (20th): Villa de l’Ermitage
16. Enjoy Jardin Naturel Pierre Emmanuel
One of only two natural gardens in Paris, the Jardin Naturel Pierre Emmanuel is a charming green space filled with indigenous plants. Wander along the pathway, read the signs describing the flora and fauna, and take a minute to sit on the bench and appreciate Paris in its wildest natural form!
Tucked up against the wall of Père Lachaise Cemetery, plan to stroll through Jardin Naturel Pierre Emmanuel after exploring the cemetery.
If you are heading to Montmartre, keep your eyes open for Paris’s other natural garden, le Jardin Saint-Vincent.
Location: 120 rue de la Réunion, 75020 Paris
Métro: Alexandre Dumas
17. Dilly Dally In Passage des Soupirs
I love finding tranquil, leafy passages in Paris. Wander along and you realize that Paris is full of dreamy, quiet spots. Passage de Soupirs is one of those narrow laneways that sparks the imagination. The residents have a communal garden, a tiny patch of urban paradise called Le Jardin des Soupirs. Winding path, tropical plants, tables and chairs for a picnic. Are we still in Paris?
18. Wander Through Passage Plantin
One of the narrowest streets in Paris, Passage Plantin is a delightful cobbled laneway tucked away in the 20th arrondissement of Paris. It’s secret Paris at its best, especially when you are the only one there!
Location: From Parc de Belleville follow rue du Transvaal, and turn right at the Octopus street art!
19. Find Entrepreneurial Spirit
I love the entrepreneurial spirit of the 20th arrondissement. One of the best things is strolling down a street and finding a unique upstart. Les Bières de Belleville is just that. An artisanal brewery in the heart of Belleville. Huge beer tanks line the small space and the beer on offer is listed on the hanging chalkboard. Craft beer at its best!
Hours: Thursday, Friday, Saturday 16:30h to 20h
Location: 9 rue Jean-Baptiste Dumay, 75020 Paris
Where To Eat In The 20th Arrondissement Paris
Here are some of the best places to eat in the 20th arrondissement of Paris:
Le Barbouquin – Café, Bar, Brunch, Restaurant, 1 rue Denoyez, 75020 Paris
Le Baratin – French bistro, 3 rue Jouye-Rouve, 75020 Paris
Come a Casa – Italian, 74 Boulevard de Menilmontant, 75020 Paris
Le Grand Bain– French, Great Tapas, 14 rue Denoyez, 75020 Paris
Moncoeur Belleville – trendy bistro, 1 rue des Envierges, 75020 Paris
Les Mondes Bohème – Laid back French Restaurant, 31 reu des Vignoles, 75020 Paris
Cantine Primeur – Vegan Restaurant , 4 rue Lemon, 75020 Paris
Pizzeria Tripletta – 88 Boulevard de Belleville,75020 Paris
God Bless Broccoli – Pizza, 54 rue Piat, 75020 Paris
FAQ: 20th Arrondissement Of Paris
Where is the 20th arrondissement Paris?
The 20th arrondissement Paris is located on the right bank in Paris. It is in northeast Paris between Porte de Bagnolet and Porte de Ménilmontant.
What other arrondissements is the 20th arrondissement Paris close to?
The 20th arrondissement Paris: Conclusion
The 20th arrondissement Paris is definitely off the beaten path in the French capital. Whether you’re looking for hidden gems or simply want to soak in the local culture, there’s always something to see and do in this vibrant neighbourhood. So on your next trip to Paris, don’t forget to explore the 20th arrondissement to experience the city from a different perspective.
I hope this complete guide to the 20th arrondissement Paris helps you discover truly off-the-beaten-path Paris.
Until next time,