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Live like a local in Paris

Discover four must-visit Parisian neighborhoods

Pedestrian Walk Down to Subway

While Paris is synonymous with glamour and luxury, you shouldn’t forget that it was once a city of great contrasts and tension between the aristocracy and the working classes. Even though gentrification spread across most of the capital, some neighborhoods still retain the distinctive character of la classe ouvrière—offering a great opportunity to discover a lesser-known and more authentic Paris. We’ve pinpointed four arrondissements to get you started.  

Cutting edge cuisine and cocktail hour in Popincourt

Brunch in Paris

Nearest Metro station: Voltaire

The north-eastern district is continuously known for its decent selection of well-priced brasseries and wine bars, and generations of diners have enjoyed classic French cooking along the network of quiet street.

In the past decade, economical real estate allowed a new wave of young chefs and entrepreneurs to move in. Now the area is a testing ground for creative cooks who are shaping the future of Paris’ food culture. Shunning the fussy service, florid interiors, and rigid à la carte menus that once defined French dining, the area’s neo-bistros are concentrating on stripped back dishes, unusual wine lists, and a more laid-back approach to eating out. None more so than Septime (80 rue de Charonne)—an ultra-cool bistro run by Bertrand Grébaut that helped kick-start the revolution with its fresh, playful take on the nation’s famed cuisine.

Art and sunsets in Canal Saint-Martin

Picnic in Paris Park

Nearest Metro stations: République, Jacques Bonsergent, or Goncourt

Coveted by artists, students, and young families, this 10th arrondissement is a creative district where cafes and quirky boutiques flank the water. In spring and summer, the canal becomes a popular place for sunset drinks, weekend picnics, and lazy evenings with a glass or two of rosé. We recommend picnicking on bread, cheese, and wine from Du Pain et des Idées, La Fromagerie Goncourt, and La Cave du Daron,

You may recognize the photogenic canal from numerous movies, including Amélie, and you can take in its quiet and artsy ambience as you stroll alongside the water. You’ll spot some interesting street art along the canal and in the neighboring streets and, on Sundays, several streets are reserved for pedestrians and cyclists, making the area popular for Sunday brunch at one of the many corner bistros, followed by a digestif, and a gentle walk.  

Green spaces and musical history in Village de Charonne  

Person sitting on fountain

Nearest Metro station: Porte de Bagnolet

Rarely mentioned in tourist guides, ‘the countryside in Paris’, as locals call this charming part of the 20th arrondissement, offers a different, bucolic side of city life. The quaint and peaceful area features small cottages and artists’ workshops huddled along cobblestone streets.  

The 12th-century Saint-Germain de Charonne church sits on a plateau above what was once the village’s main street, rue Saint-Blaise. The Saint-Jean-Bosco church is Paris’ most-preserved art deco monument, and a memorial to French singer Édith Piaf stands on the appropriately named Place Édith Piaf. Nearby Père Lachaise Cemetery is the final resting place of Piaf, as well as French novelist Honoré de Balzac, Oscar Wilde, and The Doors’ Jim Morrison.  

Markets and boutique shopping in Batignolles

Pedestrian Walking Down Paris Street

Nearest Metro station: Pont Cardinet

Nestled in a quiet residential area, Batignolles is off-radar for many visitors, offering a village-like atmosphere with quirky shops, quaint bistros, and the greenery of the Square des Batignolles. The 17th arrondissement grew into a hip destination thanks to cool restaurants, bars, and creative concept stores. The Saturday Batignolles farmer’s market is popular among Parisians, selling only organic produce sourced directly from suppliers.  

Place du Docteur Félix Lobligeois serves as the main square, with its fountain and restaurant terraces in the shade of lime trees. Equally charming and picturesque, the nearby Cité des Fleurs is a small pedestrian street lined with cute colored villas fronted by little courtyard gardens. The Batignolles also offers an array of restaurants that follow the ‘bistronomy’ philosophy (a combination of bistro and gastronomy, serving fine food at affordable prices).


The information provided herein is sponsored by Diners Club International®. It is intended for informational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Content on this website may contain information from third parties and/or links to third-party websites. Diners Club International bears no responsibility for the accuracy, legality or content of this information.