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Quaint Neighborhoods That Define Parisian Life

Quaint Neighborhoods in Paris

Parisians live well, as the adage le savoir vivre perfectly captures. This must be one of the reasons the city receives quite a high volume of tourists every year. Popular destinations can jade you, especially when bumping upon fellow travelers is inevitable. So how can you experience the authentic and peaceful Paris, the Parisian way? Get inspiration from this guide to Paris neighborhoods and seek out the quaint neighborhoods in Paris that define the locals’ way of living. 

South Pigalle: The Place for Bourgeois Bohemians

Quaint Neighborhoods in Paris

Photo by Vincent Ramundo via Trover.com

South Pigalle, formerly nicknamed La Nouvelle-Athènes for its architecture, recently gained a new moniker: SoPi, the place where the bourgeois bohemians frequent. Rue des Martyrs is one of the mood setters of this neighborhood. Row after row of shops, restaurants, and cafés make this place a haven for local businessmen, fashionistas, and moneyed bohos.

After stuffing yourself with Parisian treats, take a moment to walk down a cobblestone lane and enjoy some art at Le Musée de la Vie Romantique found at 16 rue Chaptal. If you want more food for the soul, experience Musée Gustave Moreau, located at 14 rue de La Rochefoucauld.

Oberkampf District: From Gritty to Trendy

Revivals and redemptions are big themes in Paris, and you can experience them in many neighborhoods. New things and new places show up almost every month. That’s the story of Oberkampf, the once-gritty neighborhood. Now it has redeemed itself and become a popular destination for young Parisians on the lookout for a fun and energetic night.

In addition to being a place for YOLOs, Oberkampf also houses a considerable number of art galleries, cafés, and restaurants. Every winter, the Paris Winter Circus (Cirque d’Hiver de Paris), one of the famous outfits in the city, livens up the season with traditional circus shows. 

Le Haut Marais: Hot and In Demand

You can’t go to Paris without people watching. There are many places to do this, but the hottest and the most sought-after right now is Le Haut Marais, the place where Parisians celebrities live. Despite being the home of many famous people, the neighborhood maintains a low-key and charming village character, which attracts many creative expats. This neighborhood is home to burgeoning population of foreigners who fell in love with the city. The top three groups are Italians, Americans, and English.

To relax and people watch, head to Temple Square, a landscaped garden that features a lawn, a pool, and a waterfall. Or drink your coffee alfresco or dine in restaurants with artistic terraces.

Rue Saint-Maur: Where Street Art Thrives

The 2-kilometer-long Rue Saint-Maur is an ideal place for art lovers and pedestrians. Keep your eyes off the street and look up or to the side. Your chances of seeing intriguing murals or vibrant street art are high. It is easy to find the works of Kashink, a notable Parisian street artist who has been dubbed the city’s Frida Kahlo. You can also find Shepard Fairey’s black-and-white portraits along the way.

Parisians know how to live a good life. And perhaps travelers come to this city to seek inspiration for doing the same.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at backpackingwithabook@gmail.com. For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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