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Discover Paris 11th arrondissement: must-see places and activities

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Your local guide to Paris's 11th arrondissement

Welcome to the 11th arrondissement in Paris, an eclectic and dynamic district in the heart of Paris, known for its cultural and historical importance and lively and trendy atmosphere. The 11th district boasts an abundance of culinary delights and exciting nightlife experiences waiting to be savored. And it has become one of the most popular areas in Paris among the expats. Here is Paris Rental’s local guide about what to do in the 11th arrondissement of Paris.

History and culture of the 11th arrondissement

The 11th arrondissement is located on the east side of Paris, on the right bank of the River Seine, bordering the 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 12th arrondissements. 

The 11th arrondissement was established in 1795 during the reorganization of Paris following the French Revolution. In its early years, during the 18th and 19th centuries, the 11th arrondissement was characterized by industrial activity and was home to numerous workshops, factories, and craft businesses.

In the early 20th century, the 11th arrondissement became popular among local artists and intellectuals in Paris who flooded into the area searching for affordable living spaces and studios. This influx of creative talents transformed the 11th arrondissement into a vibrant bohemian neighborhood, with numerous studios and ateliers contributing to the 11th district's artistic activity that is well known now.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the 11th arrondissement played an essential role in the social and cultural movements, and it became a center of activism and counter-culture, with several events and gatherings shaping its identity. 

Rue du Faubourg St-Antoine and Rue de Charenton around 1911

What to visit in the 11th arrondissement of Paris? Top attractions

Though less frequented by tourists, the 11th arrondissement in Paris stands out as dynamic, trendy, and brimming with local charm with a mix of cultural, historical, and attractions. 
What do you see in the 11th arrondissement of Paris? Here are some top tourist attractions and sites in the 11th district:

Place de la Bastille:

Place de la Bastille is a historic square located in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. This historic square is a symbol of the French Revolution. The Place de la Bastille is impressive thanks to exceptional monuments, such as the July Column, which stands at the center of the square, and the Opéra Bastille, a modern opera house inaugurated in 1989. Place de la Bastille has been a site for numerous political demonstrations and public gatherings throughout history, and it continues to be a crucial venue for events, protests, and celebrations.

Le Bataclan:

Le Bataclan is a historic concert venue located in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Le Bataclan, built in 1864, was originally a café-concert (entertainment venue combining music and comedy performances). Over the years, it underwent several transformations and became a renowned music venue, hosting various concerts and symbolizing Parisian nightlife.

Atelier des Lumières:

Atelier des Lumières, translated as the "Workshop of Lights," is a digital art center located in the 11th arrondissement of Paris. It is not a traditional museum but a unique space dedicated to immersive digital art experiences and showcasing the works of renowned artists dynamically and interactively. It uses state-of-the-art projection technology to transform large exhibition spaces into immersive environments where visitors are surrounded by moving images and music.

Atelier des Lumières: 38 Rue Saint-Maur, 75011 Paris

Opéra Bastille:

The Opéra Bastille is a modern opera house near the Place de la Bastille. The Opéra Bastille is one of the principal venues for the Paris Opera, hosting various operas, ballets, and classical music performances throughout the year. The programming includes both classic and contemporary productions.

Place de Nation:

Place de la Nation, with its historical monuments and central location, symbolizes the French Republic and remains an essential site for civic events and commemorations.

The best restaurants in the 11th arrondissement of Paris

The 11th arrondissement of Paris is known for its diverse and dynamic food paradise, offering a wide range of trendy cafés, bars, and restaurants, from bistronomy to gastronomy, international flavors to street food. Here's our food guide to help you explore the gastronomic delights of the 11th arrondissement:

Bistronomy at Septime:

Experience contemporary French cuisine with a twist at "Septime," a Michelin one-star restaurant known for its innovative and seasonal dishes. The restaurant of Septime is in the "World's 50 Best Restaurants 2023". Its carefully crafted menu showcases fresh, high-quality local French ingredients. Keep in mind that you'll need to book precisely three weeks in advance to have a chance of enjoying it.

Bistrot Paul Bert - classic French bistro experience

The Bistrot Paul Bert is one of the best Parisian eating places in Paris, featuring a traditional bistro décor, extensive local wine selection, and delicious French bistro food. The menu showcases a range of signature dishes, such as beef filet with Sarawak pepper and homemade fries, country terrine, bone marrow, carpaccio of veal head, and medium-cooked duck foie gras with green tomato chutney. 

Bistrot Paul Bert: 18 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris

Ober Mamma & East Mamma - Big Mamma's cozy Italian spots in the 11th district

Ober Mamma and East Mamma are two of the famous Big Mamma group's Italian restaurants located in the trendy eastside of Paris at a relatively affordable price. Their menus offer a large selection of Italian wine, freshly made pasta, authentic Neapolitan pizzas, fresh buffalo and stracciatella cheese, and creamy tiramisu.

East Mamma: 133 Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, 75011 Paris

Le Chalet Savoyard

In a warm and cozy setting in the heart of the 11th arrondissement of Paris, this charming restaurant is the perfect place for lovers of authentic Savoyard cuisine. It offers Savoyard specialties such as cheese fondues, raclettes, tartiflettes, pierrades, and more.

Le Chateaubriand:

Le Chateaubriand, this Michelin-recommend restaurant, offers a unique dining experience with a daily changing menu. It can be a great option if you're looking for an affordable tasting menu experience in Paris (currently at €65 for lunch and €95 for dinner). The decor has retained its 1930s feel, with a neo-retro mix of zinc, slate, high ceilings, and narrow tables.

Mangez et cassez-vous - Paris's cheap burger!

"Mangez et Cassez-vous!" is one of the hottest burger restaurants in Paris, offering the city's cheapest and most delicious burgers. The burgers are at 3,60€, the homemade fries are around 1,40€ to 2,90€, and finally, the dessert such as chocolate lava cake is at 1,50€.

Shopping and local artisan goods in Paris 11th district

The 11th arrondissement of Paris is known for its eclectic and lively character, offering a mix of traditional charm and contemporary flair. When it comes to shopping and exploring local artisan goods in the 11th district, there are several areas and options to consider:

Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine: a shopping street where you can find everything you want

Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine is one of the best shopping streets in Paris's 11th arrondissement, where you can find a bit of everything. Stroll along the street to encounter diverse fashion boutiques, from well-established international brands and independent designer boutiques to thrift stores. The charm of Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine extends beyond fashion, as it is renowned for its furniture and home decor establishments. Explore numerous shops offering modern, traditional, and vintage designs. Additionally, the street boasts an array of bookshops, shoe stores, and fabric shops, providing a multifaceted shopping experience for those exploring its lively and diverse offerings.

Lively Street Markets - Marché de Bastille & Bastille Market:

If you are looking for local artisan goods as souvenirs and to experience the authentic French taste, the Bastille Market is the right place to go. The Marché de Bastille is situated along Boulevard Richard Lenoir in the 11th arrondissement, near the Place de la Bastille. It is one of Paris's most prominent food markets, offering fresh local produce, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, seafood, pastry, bread, and flowers. The Bastille market is a culinary haven with a wide selection of quality artisanal and gourmet products. Alongside fresh produce and groceries, you can also find many street food stalls and vendors offering ready-to-eat items, such as fresh oysters paired with bio-French wine, rotisserie chicken, pastries, Lebanese treats, couscous, etc. 

Marché Bastille : 2018 Bd Richard-Lenoir, 75011 Paris

Le Village Popincourt (rue Popincourt) - Best Vintage shopping in Paris:

Located in the 11th arrondissement, just a few steps from Rue Oberkampf and Place de la République, the village of Popincourt (village de Popincourt) is a charming neighborhood ideal for weekend strolls and vintage shopping.

Le Village Popincourt is a new hot spot for second-hand and vintage food shopping in Paris! This 100% eco-responsible fashion spot brings together beautiful, eco-friendly stalls and thrift stores where you can find ultra-stylish fashion items, vintage luxuries, children's items, and home decor at affordable prices.

The Ultimate Guide to the Nightlife and entertainment in Paris 11th arrondissement

The 11th arrondissement of Paris is known for its vibrant and diverse nightlife scene, offering a mix of trendy bars, live music venues, and lively clubs. Here are some highlights of nightlife and entertainment in the 11th arrondissement:

Bastille area - The essence of Paris nightlife:

The Bastille neighborhood is a hub for nightlife. Streets around Place de la Bastille, such as Rue de Lappe and Rue de la Roquette, offer plenty of bars, nightclubs, and music venues with varying atmospheres.

Rue Oberkampf - the Coolest nightlife spots young Parisians love

Rue Oberkampf is one of the most popular night outing areas among the young and trendy Parisian groups, gathering an array of bars, clubs, and hip restaurants with different themes, music genres, and tastes. Where to Go:

Café Charbon:

A spacious, vintage-style hipster café & lively late-night bar.

Café Charbon: 109 Rue Oberkampf, 75011 Paris

Au Chat Noir:

A cozy traditional street-corner Parisian bar with underground space for concerts, where you can relax and share wine or cocktails with friends.

Rue Saint-Maur - the trendiest food & bars street in Paris only locals know

Rue Saint-Maur is a lively street lined with charming cafés and trendy restaurants, offering a variety of culinary delights. Whether you're in the mood for a leisurely coffee, brunch, a quick snack, cozy bars, trendy cocktail bars, refined wine bars, vegan restaurants, pizzerias, traditional French bistros, contemporary French fine dining, or international flavors such as Moroccan cuisine, Spanish tapas, the street provides a range of options to satisfy your taste buds.

Handy guide for discovering the 11th arrondissement of Paris: tips and local recommendations

Best times to visit Paris 11th district:

Spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November) are generally the best times to visit Paris, including the 11th arrondissement. Temperatures are pleasant, and the city is often less crowded than in summer. Local events and festivals can also liven up these seasons.

Tips for getting around the 11th district

1) Metro in Paris 11th:

The 11th arrondissement of Paris is well-connected by the Paris Métro (subway) system with lines 1, 3, 8, 9, and 11, making it easy to navigate the city and explore the surrounding areas.

2) Vélib' :

Consider using the Vélib self-service bicycle rental service for a more eco-friendly option. It's a great way to discover the area at your own pace.

3) Walking :

The 11th arrondissement is excellent for strolling. Explore the lively streets, discover hidden passageways, and enjoy the many boutiques, cafés, and bakeries.

What are the best neighborhoods to live in Paris’ 11th arrondissement?

Oberkampf neighborhood:

The Oberkampf neighborhood is popular among young professionals and artists. It's known for its vibrant nightlife, trendy restaurants, bars, concert halls, and nightclubs, particularly along the lively Rue Oberkampf, rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, and Rue Parmentier. Not to be missed: the legendary Nouveau Casino concert hall and the fantastic rooftop bar of Perchoir Ménilmontant, offering magnificent panoramic views over Paris. The Oberkampf neighborhood is also home to a variety of original passages, such as Cité du Figuier, Cité Griset, Cité de l'Industrie and Cité Durmar. 

Bastille neighborhood:

The Bastille neighborhood is a fantastic choice for those seeking a vibrant and well-connected living experience in Paris. The Bastille neighborhood is known for its exciting nightlife, with many bars and clubs catering to various tastes. Proximity to the lively Bastille market ensures access to fresh produce and local delights. Additionally, the Bastille area boasts a diverse selection of restaurants, bakeries, cafés, and shops, providing a lively and convenient life. With metro lines 1, 5, and 11, living in the Bastille neighborhood offers handy transportation access.

République neighborhood:

The République neighborhood is a popular and dynamic area with many amenities. The République area is a bustling hub with many restaurants and bars, making it an ideal choice for those who want to enjoy a vibrant social life in Paris. For theater and cinema lovers, the République area is well-known for its wealth of theaters in the neighborhood, especially on Boulevard Saint-Martin. With easy access to public transportation, including multiple metro lines 3, 5, 8, 9, and 11, living in the République neighborhood allows you to commute within Paris easily. 

Saint-Ambroise neighborhood:

The Saint-Ambroise neighborhood, tucked away from the bustling crowds, offers a more tranquil and residential atmosphere than other parts of the 11th arrondissement. Saint-Ambroise is a neighborhood cherished by locals, providing a genuine Parisian experience. The lively Saint-Ambroise district is famous for the Atelier des Lumières, a digital art center housed in a former steel foundry. Built during the Second Empire and featuring imposing twin towers, the Saint-Ambroise church is a hidden gem surrounded by many charming little streets. Besides, You will find a wide selection of trendy restaurants and bars on Rue Saint-Maur and various vintage clothes shops on Rue Popincourt, offering a unique life experience.

Folie-Méricourt neighborhood

Nestled near the Canal Saint-Martin, the Folie-Méricourt neighborhood exudes a laid-back and charming ambiance. Folie-Méricourt is a bustling neighborhood named after the Cirque d'Hiver, a magnificent circus and theater built in 1852. Strolling in the Folie-Méricourt neighborhood, you will find many trendy late-night bars along rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud and rue Oberkampf, including the famous Café Charbon. Around the Belleville metro station, there are affordable fashion boutiques, authentic Asian restaurants, and groceries. The streets between the Goncourt and Oberkampf metro stations are home to popular neo-bistros offering innovative contemporary French cuisine.

Is the 11th arrondissement of Paris a safe place to live?

Regarding the safety of the 11th arrondissement of Paris, the 11th district is a relatively safe and secure area to live and rent an apartment in Paris. The number of burglaries and similar crimes has fallen for several years in Paris' 11th arrondissement. Also, as we all know, neighborhoods with a higher proportion of commercial use, including restaurants, bars, and shops, like the 11th arrondissement, are less likely to be affected by crimes of this kind. 

However, like any urban area, you must be aware of your surroundings and take typical safety precautions.

What's the best thing about the 11th arrondissement in Paris?

Paris' 11th arrondissement is a dynamic blend of culture, history, and gastronomy. From the lively Bastille neighborhood to the historic significance of Place de la République, the 11th district of Paris offers an authentic Parisian life experience. Local markets like Aligre Market and Marché Richard Lenoir/Bastille Market showcase vibrant Parisian life. With diverse cuisine and a thriving arts scene, the 11th arrondissement is a must-visit gem in the heart of Paris. 

Do not hesitate to contact Paris Rental if you want to rent a furnished apartment in the 11th arrondissement of Paris

Editor: Siyi CHEN

Credit Photo@Grant Van Cleemput