19th Arrondissement

Sitting at the north-easternmost point of Paris, the 19th arrondissement has become an alternate cultural destination with everything from lush parks to music and art venues. Parc des Buttes-Chaumont—where fauxhemians and families go to hang out on a sunny afternoon—is a full-on escape from the city with its large, open grass fields, serious birdwatching (really!) and tall stone water features. If you’re not one for small, underground music venues, Parc de la Villette has multiple large arenas where the biggest bands play and lots of big expos take place (past ones have included David Bowie, Tutankhamun, the history of electronic music and even the Comic Con). Just try not to think about how this area used to house the animal market and slaughterhouse and you’ll be fine.

Buttes Chaumont

Hip­sters and fam­i­lies galore run wild here, so you’ll either feel right at home or want to get the hell out. This area isn’t usu­al­ly on maps of tourists, so if you want to feel like a true Parisian, head here. If you’ve watched Lupin, don’t miss the Tem­ple de la Sibylle where you can gaze upon the mere mor­tals as you con­duct your secret “ren­dez-vous”.

Place Sainte-Marthe / Combat

Place Sainte-Marthe is tech­ni­cal­ly on the bor­der of the 19th, in the 10th, but vibe-wise it belongs to the Com­bat area of the 19th. If you want to check out the last ves­tiges of what used to be a work­ing class neigh­bor­hood before it becomes gen­tri­fied, then this is your cue to vis­it this ‘hood. Most prob­a­bly, though, you’re already too late, as streets are lined with bou­tiques, restau­rants, and artists’ work­shops. Word of warn­ing: many run bizarre, irreg­u­lar open­ing hours based on what­ev­er floats the owner’s boat.

Canal de L’Ourcq / La Villette

This is where the « mag­ic » hap­pens in the 19th, thanks to the hip-and-hap­pen­ing cool kids that come here to par­ty…or to see a sci­ence muse­um with a bling-bling sil­ver dome—whichever’s your jam. By the Canal de l’Our­cq you’ll find bars and restau­rants per­fect for hav­ing your apéro next to the water­front. There’s an epic bike path that goes all the way to Parc de la Vil­lette, so try your hand rent­ing a bike from Vélib’ (Paris’ bike shar­ing scheme), which will give you a thor­ough work­out, thanks to its weight, lack of sus­pen­sion, and unoiled gears.