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Rachel Moyer / © Culture Trip
Rachel Moyer / © Culture Trip
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The Top 10 Things To See And Do In Bastille, Paris

Picture of Madeleine Bazil
Updated: 20 March 2018
From the French revolution to the 1848 uprising immortalized in Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, the Bastille area is steeped in political history. Beyond this, however, Bastille also offers restaurants, bars, markets, and a youthful spirit. We pick the top 10 things to do in this Paris neighborhood.
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Bastille Station | © Culture Trip

Learn about history at Place de la Bastille

Place de la Bastille is the former location of the notorious prison which was famously stormed and destroyed in the French Revolution, and today the outline of the prison is marked out on the pavement. Also in the Place is the Colonne de Juillet, a monument in honor of the July Revolution of 1830. Head over to the entrance to rue de Charenton to see the location of the 1848 barricade.

Place de la Bastille, Paris, France

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Place de Bastille | © Culture Trip

Grocery-shop in style

On Thursday and Sunday mornings, stroll over to Boulevard Richard Lenoir for a look at the market wares, which range from vegetables and fruit to seafood and meat to chunks of glorious French cheeses. Not an early riser? The market at the Place d’Aligre is open on Tuesday and Sunday at mornings and evenings and sells all sorts of specialty items and high-quality foodstuffs.

Marché Bastille, Boulevard Richard Lenoir, 75011 Paris, France, +33 1 43 24 74 39

Marche couvert Beauvau (marché d’Aligre), Place d’Aligre, 75012 Paris, France, +33 1 45 11 71 11

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A flowershop in Bastille | © Culture Trip

Watch artists at work at the Viaduc des Arts

A converted viaduct, which formerly carried the railways of the Paris-Bastille to Vincennes train line, the Viaduc des Arts now features a ‘Promenade Plantée,’ or elevated walking path full of greenery along the lines of New York City’s Highline, as well as the addition of several art galleries and cafés with a glass wall.

Viaduc des Arts, 10 Cour du Marché Saint-Antoine, Paris, France, +33 1 44 75 80 66

Viaduc des Arts | © besopha/WikiCommons
Viaduc des Arts | © besopha/WikiCommons

Grab a drink at a factory turned bar

Bastille is known for its nightlife, and one of the more intriguing hotspots is L’Entre Potes, a funky bar housed in a former upholstery factory. With decor including a basement decorated with old Métro panels and mosaic, a vintage Ripolin paint sign, and assorted factory tools, this fun-loving bar is full of character.

L’Entre Potes, 14 Rue de Charonne, Paris, France, +33 1 48 06 57 04

Listen to jazz at L’Atelier Charonne

Jazzmanouche, or gypsy jazz, is the name of the game at this relatively new music club. Book a table in advance at L’ Atelier Charonne online to avoid stress, and enjoy some French cuisine as you feast your ears on excellent music; or show up after dinner for a drink and some music.

L’Atelier Charonne, 21 Rue de Charonne, Paris, France, +33 1 40 21 83 35

Shop like a Parisian

French designer Isabel Marant’s clothing encapsulates the essence of Parisian style; effortlessly casual yet impeccably pulled-together. Stop into her Rue de Charonne boutique to check out her fashionable takes on bohemian styles.

Isabel Marant, 16 Rue de Charonne, Paris, France, +33 1 49 29 71 55

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A traditional parisian road | © Culture Trip

Snack on chocolate at La Manufacture de Chocolat

Anyone who has ordered a dessert at one of celebrity chef Alain Ducasse’s restaurants has tasted chocolate from this factory, the chef’s own chocolate production center, which is the first place in Paris to produce ‘bean-to-bar’ chocolate. Pop in for a pick-me-up truffle, praline, or one of no less than 44 flavors of chocolate bars.

Le Chocolat Alain Ducasse, 40 Rue de la Roquette, Paris, France, +33 1 48 05 82 86

Take in some opera at the Opéra Bastille

The main opera hall of Paris, this phenomenal 3400-seat space also frequently hosts classical music concerts and ballets. Check the website two weeks in advance to grab tickets early before they go on offer by phone or box office, or play it spontaneous and snag a standing-room ticket from the box office 90 minutes before the show starts.

Opéra Bastille, Place de la Bastille, Paris, France, +33 892 89 90 90

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Opera Bastille | © Culture Trip

Learn about immigration at Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration

This museum documents immigration to France, covering ethnic groups including the Vietnamese, Russians, Jewish, and the Portuguese, and comprises a permanent multimedia collection as well as a gallery of artifacts and items donated by the public.

Cité nationale de l’histoire de l’immigration, 293 Avenue Daumesnil, Paris, France, +33 1 53 59 58 60

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Rachel Moyer / | © Culture Trip

See some species at the Parc Zoologique de Paris

Recently reopened after several years of renovations, this world-class zoo places much importance on conservation and offers camouflaged vantage points from which to view the animals. All ages will enjoy a day in the sunshine viewing everything from giraffes to jaguars to lemurs to anacondas.

Parc Zoologique de Paris, Route de la Ceinture du Lac, Paris, France, +33 811 22 41 22

Parc Zoologique de Paris | © Parc Zoologique de Paris/WikiCommons
Parc Zoologique de Paris | © Parc Zoologique de Paris/WikiCommons