Posted by: kathandroger | December 14, 2012

19e arrondissement

We had our second trip of the year to Paris last weekend…and stayed in the same area/frequented the same cafe as last time. We’ve fallen in love with the 19e!

arrondissements-paris-19[1]

It is not really on the tourist trail, even if it is right next to the 18e and the tourist metropolis of Montmartre, Sacre Coeur etc., and it is probably the fact that it is not touristy that gives it its appeal. The 19e used to be the abattoir and meat market quarter of Paris, thanks to good communications provided by canals and rail. In fact the canal side (Quai de la Seine) has been redeveloped over recent times with new cafes, restaurants and canal barges, the latter providing the venue for live music, dancing and theatre. The quarter is also home to 2 out of the 3 largest parks in Paris; the Parc de la Villette which is the location of a huge science park, and the Parc de Chaumont, a beautiful if somewhat hilly park with spectacular views over Paris.

 

What I like best about the place is that it is a real, living part of Paris. In fact it is the 4th most populous arrondissement and has the fastest population growth. The paths along the canal are full of runners, walkers, dog walkers and cyclists; the cafes are buzzing with locals right through the day and you are just a short hop from the centre of Paris.

Canal_de_l_Ourcq

One highlight of our weekend was an evening of gypsy jazz on a barge. The threesome was from Brussels and led by a blind violinist called Tcha Limberger who was quite simply incredible. He spoke and sang in 12 languages (including gypsy dialects) and played the violin like a dream. His fellow musicians were similarly stunning, particularly the big double bassist from Budapest! It was quite an alternative, Bohemian world and seemed a million miles (not just an hour and a bit on the train) from St Remy sur Creuse!


Responses

  1. Paris se découvre pas à pas…

  2. We always stay in the 19e too. We’ve been staying at the same hotel for 10 years and still find something new in the area every time. This time, on our return from Australia last week, it was a cheese shop we’ve never noticed before. A walk around the Parc du Buttes-Chaumont in the winter sun was my jetlag cure. Have you been to the Cité de la Musique, up near the Parc de Villettes? If you are musical or just love musical istruments as objet d’art it is well worth it. Also worth going over into Belleville in the 20e, for all your Asian cooking supplies (remembering not to get too carried away as you have to lug them home on the train). We recommend les Arts et Sciences Réunis for a bon rapport prix/qualité evening meal — and if you are lucky they will invite you in to look at the compagnons museum of chef d’oeuvres (last year’s chef d’oeuvres always on display in the restaurant).

    • Thanks for the suggestions – we’ll be back next year, so will definitely be having a look at the Cite de la Musique – and a great tip re Belleville for asian supplies…something we miss a lot!


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