Guide to the 20th arrondissement of Paris: Where Bohemia meets the world

Here we are: Season 12 of The Earful Tower, with The Paris Countdown. You’ll be hearing an in-depth guide to the Paris arrondissements after we’ve spent 24 hours in each of them. 

We’re starting at the 20th district, a huge residential neighbourhood in the east of Paris, mostly known to tourists for the famed Pere Lachaise cemetery. Our visit had a strong focus on the legendary French singer Edith Piaf, who was born and buried in this district.

A big thank you to the Patreon supporters, without whom we wouldn’t be making this season. Join them here.

The interactive map

First, here’s an interactive map of everything we are about to recommend, to help you find it all easily.

Trip map courtesy of Wanderlog, a trip planner app on iOS and Android

The Earful Tower podcast episode

Here’s the podcast episode, featuring me and my wife Lina discussing our findings. There’s also an interview with the Edith Piaf cover singer, Gosia, who performed at Le Vieux Belleville restaurant (more on that below). In the episode we also give our final ranking on the district out of 100.

Video guide to the 20th arrondissement

Here is our visit in video format, so you can feel like you’re there too! We’ll be making one of these every week, so be sure to subscribe on YouTube (you can do it in one click via this link).

The Earful Tower’s guide to the 20th arrondissement

Where to stay?

Babel Belleville: A nice little hotel in the corner of Belleville. Brand new, quite funky, in the coolest part of the district. Address: Rue Lemon, 75020 @babel.belleville

The best restaurants

Le Vieux Belleville for the Edith Piaf singalong, though remember this is only on Tuesday nights. Other nights have other themes. Address: 12 Rue des Envierges, 75020 @levieuxbelleville

Peppe Pizzeria for the best Pizza in Europe, according to a ranking by Italian website 50 Top Pizza. Address: 2 Pl. Saint-Blaise, 75020

Best place for a drink

Aux Folies: The coolest bar in the neighbourhood, grab a drink and be merry with the locals. Address: 8 Rue de Belleville, 75020 Paris @auxfoliesbelleville

The best cafe

The Dancing Goat: A brand new spot and by far the hippest in the hood, with friendly staff and a beautiful interior. Address: 117 Av. Gambetta, 75020 @thedancinggoatparis

More things to find in the 20th arrondissement

La Campagne à Paris: This is the countryside of Paris, but would surely be best visited in spring or summer. Don’t make the trek unless you’re nearby, great for a charming “village in Paris” photo. Address: 210 Rue des Pyrénées, 75020

Père Lachaise Cemetery: The most beautiful cemetery in the world and the final resting place of Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, and more. Address: 16 Rue du Repos, 75020

Edith Piaf’s birthplace: Find Edith’s first apartment, though there’s no museum inside, just a sign on the wall. Address: 72 Rue de Belleville, 75020

Best food markets at Marché de Belleville at Boulevard de Belleville, on Tuesdays and Fridays.

Street Art: There’s street art all over the place, keep looking up, backwards, over your shoulder, and even at your feet! The most concentrated collection is a bunch of murals along Rue du Retrait. The picture below is from rue de Belleville.

That will do for now! I hope you enjoyed episode one for this new season and if you enjoyed this guide, why not check out our guide to the 19th arrondissement?

Wanna support this work? Buy one of our books below, or even better, become a Patreon member and unlock loads of bonuses on the way. This entire season is brought to you by these Patrons, there’s no other sponsors, no adverts, and we’re accepting no freebies 🙂

8 thoughts on “Guide to the 20th arrondissement of Paris: Where Bohemia meets the world

  1. Hi Oliver,
    Loved the podcast of the 20th Arr. this morning while at the gym — on the elliptical.
    Re: the podcast notes: I’m pretty sure you got the address wrong for La Campagnie à Paris.

    Since next week it is the 19th, a similar neighborhood more than worth walking is the Mozaïa — with the Rue de la Liberté, Rue de l’Équalité, and the Rue de la Fraternité, and all the “Villa” lanes which run off these. Pure charm, more than worth the time it takes to walk.

  2. A very good episode kicking off what promises to be a great season! The photos really add to the show.

  3. Great episode. After finding Edith Piaf’s grave at Pete Lachaise we also found Henri Salvador close by. Another great singer whose music we love to listen to.

  4. We’re planning a trip to Paris and I just found your podcast! I LOVE all of this content! Thank you, thank you!!!

  5. I just wanted to thank you for the Edith Piaf Singing Tip. My daughter (16) and I just returned from a fabulous night. All the people at our row of tables discovered the place on your podcast, German, US , and us from Switzerland. The place was packed and the owner said he could have sat many more tonight. I am sure it was because of you. It wasn’t cringy at all – even my daughter said so. We all had a rip roaring time. Not easy to please a teenager! Thanks again!

  6. Street art fans should know about Rue Denoyez, an alley in Bellville where they freely allow the walls to be sprayed. It is dense with both skilled muralism and graffiti tagging chaos. There are some interesting murals up around the Belvédère de Belleville too, with a sweeping view of the city below.

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