Guide to the 19th arrondissement of Paris: City life by the water

It’s season 12 of The Earful Tower and we’re visiting each of the 20 Paris arrondissements in reverse order. Here comes the in-depth guide after we spent 24 hours in the 19th arrondissement.

The 19th is another big residential neighbourhood, this time in the north east of Paris. Known to some as the Brooklyn of Paris, it’s not often visited by tourists, but locals flock to the Buttes-Chaumont Park for fresh air and a picnic. Not us.

We almost exclusively focused our time on the wonderful canal running through the heart of the neighbourhood – the Canal de l’Ourcq and the Bassin de la Villette. Here’s what we found, and as usual, 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.

Map created with Wanderlog, a travel planner 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 Cyrille Bruneau who runs the floating library, and a few words from Michael Kennedy who heads the Paname Brewery (more on both these venues below). In the episode we also give our final ranking on the district out of 100.

Video guide to the 19th arrondissement

Our visit in video format! Don’t miss these videos by subscribing on YouTube (you can do it in one click via this link).

The Earful Tower’s Guide to the 19th arrondissement

Where to stay?

Holiday Inn Express Paris – Canal de la Villette. Now there’s nothing too unexpected in a Holiday Inn, but this one is built on the canal. We stayed for the view alone, and it was lovely. Surprisingly big room too! Address: 68 Quai de la Seine, 75019

The best restaurants

La Rotonde Stalingrad: This is a very happening place, both day and night. Great energy, lovely food, and the building itself dates back to the French Revolution when it was a toll gate to the city. I snuck up to those square windows at the top for the view. Address: 6-8 Pl. de la Bataille de Stalingrad, 75019 @larotondestalingrad

Paname Brewing Company: The excellent bar/brewery helmed by Australian Michael Kennendy. In the warmer months you can have a drink on the pontoon out the front, otherwise snag a spot by the windows to truly appreciate the beauty of the canal. Address: 41 bis Quai de la Loire, 75019 @panamebrewingcompany

Best place for a drink

Péniche Antipode – Abricadabra. All aboard for a drink on a barge! Young crowd, cheap beers from plastic cups, and the perfect gimmick for an unusual night out. Address: 55 Quai de la Seine, 75019 @peniche_antipode

Café Mama Kin: Another one for the young (or young at heart!). A real hodgepodge vibe here. African masks on the wall next to used books on everything from Paris to pregnancy. Baba Ganoush and beers, why not! Address: 13 Rue de Thionville, 75019 @cafe.mamakin

Best café

Kaffeebar 19: A stone’s throw from the canal, this place has friendly staff, a cosy interior, and good specialty coffee. Address: 26B Rue de l’Ourcq, 75019 @kaffeebar_19

Le Pavillon des Canaux: This is the bar/restaurant/cafe that’s designed as a house. So you can sit in the bathtub to eat your lunch, or in the bedroom, for example. Just a gimmick, don’t get too excited, but fun all the same. Address: 39 Quai de la Loire, 75019 @lepavillondescanaux

More things to find in the 19th arrondissement

The floating bookshop! The name is the Péniche L’Eau Et Les Rêves (The barge of water and dreams) and it specializes in books about gardening and plants. There’s also a very charming cafe/restauant in the hull. Cyrille, the owner (pictured below), talked a lot more about the boat and the neighbourhood on the podcast. (Many more pictures of this magical place – and a full blog post – here). Address: 9 Quai de l’Oise, 75019 @penichelibrairie

Ride a boat on the canal

Want to see the canal up close and personal? You can rent an electric boat from Marin d’Eau Douce for an hour for €40 and explore it on the water. They’re easy to drive and make for a fun way to see the area. We rented one today and filmed the trip live for Patreon members. Replay available for Patrons here. Address: 37 Quai de la Seine, 75019 Paris 

Philharmonie de Paris: This concert hall was wonderful. Brand new, glistening, shining, resplendent. You can get in for a show as cheaply as for €10 and it’s worth it just to see the design inside. Get a good show, and you’re in for a treat! Address: 221 Av. Jean Jaurès, 75019 @philharmoniedeparis

A wander around the canals

Visit the two big parks

While we didn’t spend too much time in the following places, if you have a nice day you should absolutely check out the district’s two big parks: La Villette (Address: 211 Av. Jean Jaurès) and the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont (Address: 1 Rue Botzaris).

That will do for now! I hope you enjoyed episode two for this season. If you missed our visit to the 20th, click here, otherwise for more Paris tips, check out our guide to the 18th 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, just honest reviews of things to in Paris.

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