Ménilmontant District used to be a part of Belleville before becoming part of Paris itself. Still, the Ménilmontant District did not lose its calm and relaxed atmosphere, nor its countryside vibe. Let us discover together the secrets hidden under its pavements.
What to do in the Ménilmontant District?
Visit the Atelier des Lumières
The Chemin-Vert foundry was opened in 1835. Prosperous for almost a hundred years, its doors closed in 1929. It was then sold to the Martin family – the owner of the property to this day – and the foundry became a machine-tools workshop, up until 2000 when it was emptied and abandoned.
In 2013, Bruno Monnier – who had already carried out the Carrières des Lumières project – discovered this huge empty space at the heart of the Ménilmontant and decided to turn it into a digital art museum, the Atelier des Lumières.
It is now possible to walk through the corridors of the old foundry while admiring the art of Van Gogh – and many more artists – displayed from the ground to the ceiling with projectors.
The Atelier des Lumières almost becomes one with the artworks it displays.
Prices: €14.50 for a full price pass.
Address: 38 rue Saint Maur, 75 011, Paris
– Monday to Thursday from 10am to 6pm
– Nocturnals are on Fridays and Saturdays until 10pm, and Sunday until 7pm
Discover the Maison des Métallos
The building used to be a music factory ; it later became the headquarters of the Fédération Métallurgiste of the CGT (a national trade union) and finally in 2007, the Maison des Métallos*. It comes as no surprise that the organization opens its doors to all sorts of art – questioning society as we know it and taking part in some kind of transition.
Each month a new exhibition takes place inside the walls of the Maison des Métallos (exposition, storytelling, poems about abandoned materials, etc.).
The prices are not set – it is the concept of the “billetterie responsable*”: €3, €6, €9 or more, you pay what you think it is worth every time you come. If you want to participate in the different activities during the month, there is the “forfait coop”: you pay €10 if you just wanted to test it out, €20 if you liked it, €30 if you want to help out the organization.
Address: 94 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris
Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9am to 7pm and Saturday from 2pm to 7pm
Discover the universe of Edith Piaf
The museum is in Rue Crespin du Gast, and it is the apartment in which Edith Piaf used to live when she started her career.
During your tour of the museum you will be able to see the personal belongings of “la Môme”. Photographs, letters, partitions, paintings and even her famous black dress are on display.
The museum was created by Bernard Marchois who wrote many biographies about Edith Piaf. There is also a shop inside the museum where you can buy books and audio media.
Visiting the museum is free, but it must be booked in advance.
N°: +331 43 55 52 72
Address: 5 rue Crespin du Gast – 75011 Paris
What to see in the Ménilmontant District?
Walk through the back-alleys
There is a countryside atmosphere in the streets of the district, turning your trip to the bakery into an opportunity for an adventure.
Walking in the streets of the district, you can discover paved back-alleys housing all kinds of artist workshops, alleys filled with potted plants and even luxurious shared gardens.
Our favourite place to see in the district is La Cité Leroy. Its small, individual gardens were threatened to be destroyed more than once but were always saved by the love of the inhabitants of the building.
This plant-filled dead-end leads up to La Villa de l’Ermitage, which looks timeless.
To discover the multiple personalities of the neighbourhood we would advise you to look at the beautiful itineraries of Un Petit Pois sur Dix*.
Wander in the alleys of the Père Lachaise cemetery
The hundred or so acres of the Père Lachaise cemetery make it the largest in Paris, and it is known and renowned internationally for its funerary art and vegetation.
You can wander in its sacred alleys and visit the graves of Chopin, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde and many others.
Guided tours can be booked on the website of the cemetery.
Observe the street art
How could we discuss the Ménilmontant District and not talk about the street art* covering its walls? It was the cradle of the graffiti movement in the 1980s and it still is a hot spot for urban art.
You can observe the octopus of Kraken, the silhouettes of Némo or the gigantic murals going from Rue des Maronites to Rue du Retrait (it is a true open-air museum).
If you want to learn more, guided tours of the street art in Belleville – Ménilmontant can be booked through Street Art Tour (rated 5/5 on Trip Advisor).
Where to eat in the Ménilmontant District?
Trip Advisor: 4/5
It is in a friendly atmosphere that Lou Pascalou* invites you for a screening-debate, a concert or an exposition – over a drink and a slice of quiche.
Lou Pascalou would roughly translate as “the little Pascale” in Auvergnat and you can feel it in the atmosphere of the bistro. During summer you can sit on the sunny and buzzing terrace.
If you feel like eating something, you can order tapas (€4), boards of cheese and cold cuts, quiches, lasagna, tartines and croques monsieur. Prices range from €7.50 to €14.
As for drinks, different kinds of draught and bottled beers are available, as well as some craft beers. The wine card is well-furnished too.
If you would like to taste the southern sunshine in the heart of Paris, Lou Pascalou is the perfect place.
Address: 14 rue des Panoyaux, 75020, Paris
Opening hours: everyday from 9am to 2am, except from 2pm to 4pm on Mondays.
Trip Advisor: 4/5
You may already know it as a concert venue, but did you know that it is also a restaurant?
La Maroquinerie* welcomes you every concert night in case you would like to eat something before or after. The service is quick so that you won’t miss the show.
On the menu are vegetarian lasagna, burgers, beef tartares, roasted scorpion fish and capons. You can also share different kinds of boards and plates.
Prices range from €15 to €20, so you don’t need to eat quickly before going to a concert any more.
Address: 23 rue Boyer, 75020, Paris
Opening hours: every concert night from 6:30pm to 11pm
Trip Advisor: 4/5
Naples in Paris, you have heard it before? Well this time, it is true.
Brick walls, long wooden tables and a wood-fired oven made to order for one of the best pizzaiolo chefs in the world: that is the recipe of Popine*, the new restaurant of Gennaro Nasti.
On the menu of the pizzeria? Fresh and quality ingredients, a dough left to rise for 40 hours to ensure its softness and a savoir-faire that will take you right to Italy.
Prices ranges from €12 to €20.
Your taste buds will thank you, whether you go for the classic Quattro Fromaggi (buffalo ricotta, gorgonzola, provola [smoked cheese], Parmigiano Reggiano, basil, Muraglia virgin olive oil) or the creative Vesuviana (yellow and red “pacchetelle del piennolo del Vesuvio” tomatoes, oregano, basil, fior di latte, Muraglia virgin olive oil).
Address: 108 boulevard de Ménilmontant, 75020, Paris
– Monday to Thursday from 12am to 3pm and 7pm to 11pm
– Friday from 12am to 3pm and 7pm to midnight
– Saturday from noon to midnight
– Sunday from noon to 11pm
Where to sleep in the Ménilmontant District?
Aparthotel Adagio Access Paris Philippe Auguste
Trip Advisor: 3.5/5
The Aparthotel Adagio Access Paris Philippe Auguste is located at a short walking distance from the Père Lachaise cemetery which allows you to remain independent during your stay in the Ménilmontant.
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the property. There is a kitchen fitted with a microwave, a stove-top and coffee machine in each unit. During your stay you will be able to enjoy the terrace of the building.
Private parking is also available – but subject to availability.
Prices start at €94 for one night.
Address: 12 Avenue Pierre Bayle, 75020, Paris
Trip Advisor: 5/5
At the heart of the 11th District, between “Oberkampf” and “Parmentier” métro stations, used to be an old fabric factory: thus the name Hôtel Fabric.
You have access to an inside gym and a hammam.
The rooms, decorated in a modern fashion, are all equipped with a satellite TV, a mini bar and a beautiful bathroom.
Breakfast is served in the dining room – where you can also have a drink with friends during the day and in the evening.
Prices start at €175 for one night.
Address: 31 rue de la Folie Méricourt, 75011, Paris
Hôtel de la Mare
Trip Advisor: 4.5/5
Located at a short walking distance from the Belleville park, the Hôtel de la Mare will allow you to rest at the heart of the 20th District after a long day of visiting.
The studios are equipped with a small kitchen, and quality facilities (fridge, microwave oven, electric kettle, kitchen utensils). They also have private bathrooms (bathtub or shower, with complementary toiletries).
The Hotel de la Mare also offers rooms on the first floor with a shared bathroom.
Prices start at €70 for one night.
Address: 20 rue de la Mare, 75020, Paris
Mercure Paris Bastille Marais
Trip Advisor: 4/5
The Mercure Paris Bastille Marais hotel welcomes you near the Voltaire métro station. Its four stars are proof of its quality services.
It is only at a short distance from the Père Lachaise cemetery (less than ~10 minutes) and the Voltaire métro station, which enables you to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the Ménilmontant while having access to the rest of Paris.
It offers soundproofed, modern rooms with a private bathroom, free Wi-Fi access and tea- and coffee- making facilities.
The spacious guest rooms at the Mercure Paris Bastille Marais have a contemporary Baroque period decor. They are each equipped with a flat-screen satellite TV and air conditioning, while Privilege Rooms also have a Nespresso machine, free soft drinks, iPod docking stations and slippers.
All bathrooms include a hair-dryer and free toiletries. Mercure Paris Bastille Marais provides a buffet breakfast or a continental breakfast in the rooms. There is a 24-hour reception.
Prices start at €85 for one night.
Address: 53 Rue Richard Lenoir, 75011, Paris
Grand Hotel Français
Trip Advisor: 4.5/5
The Grand Hotel Français is halfway between Place de la Nation and the Père Lachaise cemetery.
The rooms and suites are comfortable, modern and decorated in an elegant fashion.
Breakfast is served as a buffet every morning.
An excursion office can help you out with your itineraries during your stay.
Prices start at €95 for one night.
Address: 223 Boulevard Voltaire, 75011, Paris
*the website is not yet available in English
Mona knows Paris like the back of her hand. Its bars, its restaurants and above all, its hotels, whether you want to sleep, eat, party or just take a walk in Paris, Mona knows them (nearly) all. Follow her lead, she will gladly give you all her good tips!