18th Arrondissement

Once a village of its own on the outskirts of Paris, housing artists like Picasso, Renoir and Van Gogh, Montmartre deserves its famous bucolic reputation. At the top of the hill lies Sacré-Coeur, with inarguably THE best sweeping view of the city. There is a trolley (Le funiculaire de Montmartre) that can smoothly whisk you up (and down) the side of the hill if you’re feeling lazy. Tucked away down the winding streets on the north face of the hill you will find the city’s only active vineyard. As you head towards the upper end of the 18th, You’ll find a treasure trove of spices and flavors, thanks to the immigrant communities residing there. If you’re looking for something a bit more, dare we say it, racy, then the titillating show at the Moulin Rouge (that world-famous cabaret from the late 1800s) will provide you with entertainment. Best to leave Grandma at the hotel for this one! 


Mont­martre used to be a vil­lage out­side of Paris, and being on a hill, it has some of the city’s best views. But joke’s on you if you think you’ll find a soli­tary moment on the steps in front of the Sacré-Cœur Basil­i­ca to soak it in. You might if you wake up ear­ly (or stay out late). But even then, we doubt it. Go around and browse the Place du Tertre (where you’ll have a hard time not get­ting your por­trait done by a beret-clad street artiste). Don’t for­get to explore the back side of the hill, fac­ing north—that’s when you’ll feel as if you’ve gone from tourist-cen­tral to a charm­ing area with one of Paris’ vine­yards. Oth­er high­lights here include Avenue Junot, Rue de l’Abreuvoir, Le Lapin Agile, and La Mai­son Rose. Then, pre­tend you’ve downed some absinthe à la Van Gogh and stum­ble down the cob­ble­stoned streets to where he stayed with his broth­er for a cou­ple of years.

Barbès Rochechouart / La Goutte d’Or

Do you want to see the Paris that keeps it real? This area, bor­der­ing the 19th and 10th arrondisse­ments, will smash any beret-wear­ing, crois­sant-eat­ing clichés of Paris you may have — all in a very good way. Vis­it one of Paris’ largest and most col­or­ful African mar­kets, and don’t for­get to check out Le Loux­or the­ater, built in 1921 with neo-Egypt­ian archi­tec­ture, prefer­ably after snag­ging some North African goodies.

La Chapelle

The La Chapelle quar­ter also bor­ders the 10th and 19th arrondisse­ments. It’s quite mul­ti­cul­tur­al, and towards the end of the 18th and start of the 10th, you’ll find Lit­tle India and a Hin­du Tem­ple. No need to ven­ture towards the north­ern area of the quar­ter as there isn’t much to see or do.