What comes to your mind when you hear the word "Paris"? Probably images of grand boulevards, leafy parks, River Seine with its bridges, stylish Parisians sipping down their Cafe Latte. Or perhaps famous landmarks: The Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, Le Louvre, Arc de Triomphe... The list of goes on and on.
All this is very true and certainly part of the essential Paris experience. However, Paris is a multifaceted city and if you have the time, you could be pleasantly surprised by spending some of it in one of the more seldom visited quarters.
Enter Belleville – a dizzying array of cultures, a refuge for artists, "alternative folks" and dreamers. It also has a plentitude of small and affordable ethnic restaurants, bars and cafes. Belleville with its smaller and somewhat shabby streets seems to have the old Paris charm that has unfortunately been polished away to some extent from more popular (read: more touristy) city quarters like Montmartre or Pigalle.
Wall art highlighting Belleville's ethnic diversity.
Les Folies, a popular place for locals to waste an afternoon sipping
down inexpensive beer (by Paris standards, anyway).
Belleville also has an energetic China Town.
"Beware of Words". Everything is not what it seems however...
Why are these workers not moving?
Because they're dummies! They sure got us on this one...
Impressive wall painting.
Jimi Hendrix is still popular here.
Pink flamingo behind a heap of rubbish ... Nice!
Belleville has lots of ethnic restaurants, like
this sandwich and falafel restaurant.
Or maybe you fancy Spanish food?
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