Sometimes I read guides to Paris that claim there’s nothing much to see in the 19th and 20th (except for Père Lachaise) and it drives me absolutely batty. I adore this part of Paris. True, the outer arrondissements are large, so they’re not uniformly lovely and interesting, but that makes stumbling upon beautiful fairytale streets all the more delightful.
Paris is all about new discoveries for me. I lived there for a year before I moved to Lyon and I’ve been back countless times, but I still discover new pockets of the city every time I’m there. I visited all three of these neighborhoods for the first time on my last trip to Paris, and I think they’re some of the most enchanting streets in the whole city.
La Mouzaïa is not far from Parc aux Buttes Chaumont — it’s an old working-class neighborhood that is now terribly charming and artist-chic. I thought it would be one small street, but it’s actually lots of little side streets covered with trellises hiding gated villas. I was confronted by numerous cats who questioned my presence in their oasis (but permitted it for a limited amount of time).
Rue Mouzaïa, 19th arrondissement
La Campagne à Paris
I think La Campagne à Paris may be the most picturesque neighborhood in all of Paris. It’s hidden away up the stairs, and each little house is more Instagrammable than the last. The cat committee was much more welcoming than in Mouzaïa. (Is there some sort of rule that all of these little neighborhoods must have cats?)
Rue Irénée-Blanc & Rue Jules-Siegfried, 20th arrondissement
Metro: Porte de Bagnolet
More about La Campagne à Paris here.
La Butte Bergeyre
We happened on this quiet, ivy-adorned neighborhood purely by chance. I didn’t find out that it had a name until much later when I saw it on Instagram. This quiet neighborhood has a community garden and a view of Sacre Coeur. It’s not far from Parc des Buttes Chaumont — that’s where we were headed when we decided to take a detour up some tall stairs. (Mouzaïa is on the other side of the park.)
Rue Georges Lardennois, 19th arrondissement
Metro: Colonel Fabien
There are so many other beautiful places like this in Paris — I love wandering through the back streets of Montmartre, even it’s a bit of a cliché, and I’m dying to visit Square de Montsouris. I saw it on Instagram (of course I did) and it looks impossibly beautiful. (More on Square de Montsouris from Lil & Destinations and Paris La Douce (in French).)
So tell me — where is your favorite place to wander in Paris?