Our tour continues this week with a look at the most densely populated neighbourhood in Paris: the 11e arrondissement. With approximately 150,000 inhabitants in under four square kilometres, the 11e is a true locals paradise, filled with countless restaurants, boulangeries, bars, vintage shops, and markets. From its shopping to its nightlife, the 11e has built a reputation over the years as being one of the trendiest neighbourhoods in Paris. So let’s dive in. And first up, a little history.
The Place of Places
The 11e may not house many museums or national monuments, but it does contain several important Places, all of which have their place in the history of Paris. In the northwest there is Place de la Republique, whose towering statue of Marianne, the personification of the French Republique, makes this square a popular gathering point for protests, demonstrations, and strikes. In the south we have Place de la Bastille and the location of the former Bastille prison, the storming of which kicked off the French Revolution in 1789. And in the east we have Place de la Nation, home to some of the busiest guillotines during the revolution and another impressive statue of Marianne. The history these three Places have witnessed over the centuries could fill countless books.
The 11e is home to several bustling markets where the locals go to shop, including the Marché Popincourt, Marché Père-Lachaise, Marché Charonne, and Marché Belleville. But the most famous market in the 11e (and one of the biggest in Paris) is the Marché Bastille. This market is open on Thursdays and Sundays, and is home to hundreds of stalls selling a wide variety of products. And if you can’t find what you’re looking for in the markets of the 11e, head to the trendy Village Popincourt, where 90 independent shops, restaurants, and artisans operate together with a focus on vintage, second hand, and eco-friendly fashion. It’s a beautiful community that gives the 11e its name.
Where the Locals go at Night
The 11e is packed with trendy (and delicious) restaurants and bars, so you will always be spoilt for choice when it comes to a night out in this neighbourhood. The most famous area for nightlife is Rue Oberkampf, a narrow street that comes alive at night when Parisians flock to its many cafes, bistros, and clubs. But it’s not the only one. There’s also Rue de la Roquette, Rue de Charonne, and Rue de Lappe. Overall, the 11e is a veritable treasure trove of narrow streets and passageways, all of which give the district a distinctly bohemian vibe at night. If you want to party with the locals, head to the 11e.
The Green Goose – One of my favourite pubs in Paris, mostly because it serves the best breakfast sandwich in the city. Easily my go-to brunch spot.
Cour Damoye – A beautiful, pedestrian-only passageway that was made for Instagram.
Église Saint-Ambroise – A soaring 19th century church located in the heart of the 11e.
Le Perchoir – A hidden away rooftop bar that boasts spectacular views of the city.
Louloute – A lively bar, restaurant, and performance space that is open late and hosts incredible live music most nights.
Want to read more about the arrondissements of Paris? Click HERE.
Laura Moore is a professional storyteller who loves history and the many stories that make Paris one of the most fascinating cities in the world. Join one of her signature tours to learn the story of a city.