The eastern neighborhood of Belleville is quite a ways away from the central tourist trail but makes for a very rewarding visit for Trabblrs looking to experience a different side of town. Long considered a working-class community with few things to offer, the "Beautiful Town" has mainly been known for being the birthplace of Édith Piaf and the setting for the award-winning animated film, The Triplets of Belleville. While Belleville today is still very diverse and blue-collar, it is witnessing a rebirth with tons of culture and entertainment venues. Please click here for our map detailing the suggestions below.
We first suggest Trabblrs visit the Musée Édith Piaf, a small private museum dedicated to the diva that takes up two rooms of a super fan's apartment. The owner, Bernard Marchois, met Piaf when he was young and collected a number of her belongings, including letters, photographs, and even her trademark little black dress. If you or somebody in the Trabblr group knows a bit of French he'd be happy to recount stories from the singer's life.
From here, it's off to Père Lachaise Cemetery, the largest cemetery in the city where everybody rich and famous, or otherwise, has been buried. Collect a map from the conservation office inside the main gate off Boulevard de Ménilmontant to help you find the tombstones of people you've heard of.
Cross the cemetery and make your way up Rue des Rondeux to La Bellevilloise, a modern multipurpose space in an old Parisian cooperative. When you've had your fill of art and food, cross the Parc de Belleville and head over to Rue de Belleville to a quintessential Paris bar, Aux Folies. Small outdoor tables flank the graffitied cobblestone street and with rock bottom prices (beers are €2.50 and cocktails €4.50), it's easy to spend hours here. The terrace is even heated during winter!
Meeting point: Outside Musee Edith Piaf. The closest Metro stops are Ménilmontant on the M2 Line and Rue Saint-Maur on the M3 Line.
Leaders, entry into the museum is by appointment only. Call 33 1 4355 5272 before making the trip to avoid disappointment!