The 19th arrondissement, in the northern part of the capital, is one of the largest Parisian arrondissements, and has the distinction of being traversed by the Ourcq canal, providing a unique landscape for its residents. With the two largest parks in the city, the 19th is the perfect place for walks and picnics, a moment of relaxation and calm that will be much appreciated during your stay in Paris !
What to do on the 19th arrondissement of Paris ?
To start your tour of the 19th arrondissement, take the metro to the Stalingrad station or Jaures station.
As soon as you get off the metro, you will come face to face with a large building: the rotunda, formerly known as the Saint Martin barrier, is one of the last vestiges of the wall that surrounded Paris from 1788 to 1860, and enabled the collection of taxes on goods entering in the city.
From there, take a walk around the Bassin de la Villette, the largest artificial lake in the city, measuring 800 meters long by 70 meters wide. This basin, originally designed to provide a supply of drinking water to the city of Paris, soon became a place for strolling and relaxing.
As you go along the basin, you may notice many boats moored there. The “Halte de la Villette” is in fact the second largest marina in Paris, along with the Port de l’Arsenal. As you continue on, you will come to the last lift bridge in Paris, commissioned in 1885 and renovated in 2011.
“Le Canal de l’Ourcq”
Walking further, you will arrive at the Ourcq canal, a very nice place where you can enjoy various activities, such as bocce ball, or water sports like kayaking!
The “Quartier d’Amérique”
In an area formerly surrounded by gypsum quarries, the “Mouzaia” is a little piece of the countryside nestled in Paris, often unknown to Parisian themselves. The neighborhood offers a tour through many Parisian cul-de-sacs, featuring pretty houses inhabited in the 19th century by the working-class population on cobblestoned, flowery alleyways. Stroll along these charming little streets and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the neighborhood. We recommend the beautiful Villa des Lilas, which, with its gardens, pavilions, and its alleyway, offers a true moment of escape.
It must still be said, what also makes the charm of the 19th arrondissement, are its two large parks, two real breaths of fresh air in the heart of the city.
The Buttes Chaumont
For a relaxing moment in the 19th arrondissement, Buttes Chaumont park is perfect. Indeed, while enjoying a magnificent view over Paris you can have a picnic or a nap, or have an aperitif at the famous Rosa Bonheur bar. But above all, take the chance to stroll around and discover the wonders that the park has in store: you will find a stream with a waterfall, charming red iron bridges, and a lovely gazebo with a view of Montmartre. It’s so nice that you can stay here well throughout the afternoon, unless it gets too crowded, anyway.
Parc de la Villette
Another emblematic area of the 19th arrondissement, the Parc de la Villette is not just a park for relaxing in. This park has the distinction of being a real cultural and artistic hub of the city. Indeed, here you can find the famous Cité des sciences et de l’Industrie (City of Science and Industry,) a huge complex which includes a large number of infrastructures, exhibitions… all fun and thoughtful, and totally dedicated to science! The city even has a Planetarium, it’s worth the cost to check it out! Here you will also find the Cité de la Musique, which offers music, in conjunction with the Paris Philharmonic, concerts and exhibitions to promote young talents and encourage musical creation.
And don’t forget the outdoor cinema (formerly the Halle aux Bœufs de la Villette–the La Villette Hall of Cattle), the theater, or the Zenith and other cultural venues! It’s a delight for art lovers!
Enjoy the park following the itinerary of your choice!
Where to eat ?
If we go to this restaurant it’s mostly for the setting. Indeed, located in the beautiful Rotunda building, the tastefully decorated restaurant features two terraces, with a lovely view of the Bassin de la Villette. Prices are fair and the atmosphere is friendly.
Le Camarade Boris
This restaurant’s very welcoming service staff will serve you in a warm, original decor: raw wood tables, leather banquettes, old timber beams… Located on the Bassin de la Villette, close to the Canal St-Martin, come enjoy this location, nice for enjoying generous cuisine in a charming atmosphere. Do not miss the Mégacheeseburger, the house specialty.
Another plus: the restaurant has very good musical brunches every Sunday !
Ideally located between Buttes Chaumont and the Ourcq Canal, this charming restaurant, with its decoration worthy of modern Anglo-Saxon bistros, will welcome you warmly, to share world cuisine with you. Here you can enjoy cheeseburgers as well as spring rolls or tiramisu! Very good food and pleasant setting, at reasonable prices, something for all tastes.
For seafood and shellfish lovers, Laumière is THE place to go in the 19th arrondissement. This prestigious establishment offers specialties on a menu that changes daily, with a wine list perfectly paired to the menu. Indulge in the must-try Louis XIV pike quenelles, a delight.
Where to have a drink ?
Le Rosa Bonheur
At the top of the beautiful Buttes Chaumont park, is a little gem where you can have a drink without any fuss: Le Rosa Bonheur. This little tavern is perfect for a drink under the trees with a nice view. The bar offers a wide selection of wines along with tapas, all in an atmosphere that’s a little bobo and very friendly.
Le Rosa Bonheur is quickly becoming one of the hip bars of the 19th, so watch out for the crowds all the, you may need to be prepared to wait !
Also in the relaxation category, Bar Ourcq is another good place in the 19th. Located on the banks of the Ourcq canal, you will have the opportunity to take your glasses (in exchange for a deposit) and you sit on the banks of the Canal to enjoy the area. In addition to traditional beers or wines, the bar offers a wide range of juices and syrups, as well as food. If the weather isn’t to your liking, you can always sit back in the bar, listening to good music, there’s even a mixing table !
La Péniche Antipode
To take full advantage of the setting at the Bassin de la Villette, what better way than to be on the water?
The Antipode barge that resides on the quay of the Seine all year long will let you do that and also offers the distinction of being both a terrace/bar and a beautiful concert venue. The atmosphere is warm, the setting is beautiful and in summer, on the terrace with a glass and toast, you just might forget that you are in Paris. In addition, the room in the basement hosts many concerts, exhibitions and even children’s shows!
To top it all, it’s cheap, so go for it !