A wave of gentrification has been sweeping through Paris for some time, especially the 10th, 11th and 20th districts, bringing the charm of a once working class culture into 21st century trends. Here’s our round-up of some little-known quirky places you should visit – restaurants, bars, theatres, hotels and music halls – before prices are swept beyond recognition.
The Best Western Saint Martin Bastille is a 3-star artsy hotel located in the 11th district of Paris – between the Bastille, the Saint-Martin canal, the Place des Vosges and the Marais. It’s perfect for hip, young people seeking a short break. The hotel is very up-to-date and willing to promote urban art; one thing you should check out is their ‘Street Art’ rooms (which is everywhere in this area of Paris). The rooms are unique in that they’re a gateway to art and creativity, with the owners working hard to ‘thrill your pupils, open your eyes on a new aesthetic universe’, a challenge they take up with enthusiasm. One hundred euros split between two people will easily get you a fabulously street art designed, spacious double room to share for the night, pretty much on par with the price of many Parisian hostels.
An incredibly quirky bar set in the 11th district of Paris, with reasonable drink prices and great musical ambiance. The interior design is multicoloured and oddly mis-matched, making for a unique photo opportunity.With invigorating alcoholic cocktails that start at just €6, creamy hot chocolate at €3.50, and espresso at an incredible €1, price-wise you can’t complain.Expect to find strange objects hanging from the walls like handbags, chandeliers and huge ornate mirrors, as well as enormous theatrical-like furniture to sink into as you sip your drink.
Become a Culture Tripper!
Sign up to our newsletter to save up to 800$ on our unique trips.
This little-known theatre sells tickets for immaculately designed theatre shows starting at just €12. Of course, you’ll also find ticket prices of theirs that go up to €60, but with a stage-set that looks as though it’s walked straight out of a film, paying €12 is a bargain.Their current masterpiece showing is Moliere’s Tartuffe (he’s the French equivalent of Shakespeare). With lavish costumes, pristine make-up and elaborate settings, it feels like you’ve taken a trip to BBC Four’s Versailles TV series in terms of attention to visual detail.There’s a brilliant deal going at the moment where people aged under 26 can grab a ticket for €10 – make sure to bring photo ID to be eligible.
Bob’s offers a delightful detox through fresh juices, honest-priced veggie sandwiches served on homemade bagels, and delicious soups and salads. It has one of the most varied vegan options in the city, with dishes from €5.50 to €6.50, and desserts from €2 to €3.50.
Le Palais des Glaces theatre is a salle de spectacle with a typically Parisienne charm, built in 1876 on Rue du Faubourg-du-Temple in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. It attracts an eager crowd – especially to its feel-good comedy plays, like Les Colocataires, the hilarious current improv piece about four clashing personalities all sharing an apartment. The show starts September 21 and runs until December 30, 2017. Prices rest cheap – for the moment – with an on-site promotional price of €13 for an evening of endless laughter.
At the foot of Montmarte, only a stone’s throw away from the world famous Moulin Rouge cabaret, the Chat Noir hotel is the perfect base from which to discover Paris. It’s a must-see – slightly more expensive than the other hotels – but with a rich history behind its name. Le Chat Noir originally opened on November 18, 1881 at 84 Boulevard de Rochechouart by the impresario Rodolphe Salis, and is thought to be the first ever modern cabaret.It’s surrounded by a whole host of shops in the rue Lepic and cafés (now famous from Amélie Poulain’s film), in the shadow of the iconic Sacré-Cœur. The district – that was once a real working class neighborhood, attracting artists with its dirt-cheap rent – is now bursting with trendy bustle and excitement, offering an array of theatres and live music events.
La Fine Mousse’s artisan beer is plentiful and varied, with more than twenty tastes lovingly selected by the craft beer expert owner, and the food is fabulous with a few unexpected twists. They even have atelier workshops once a month where amateurs de vin et gastronomie can learn about their chosen delights, and at a reasonable price granted the artisan quality.
La Belleviloise theatre is the hidden gem of the 20th arrondissement; a fabulous arts and cultural centre for exhibitions, film screenings, concerts & events, with a bright, ambiently lit cafe. Set-up near the Menilmontant metro, again, it’s nestled in a corner of Paris that’s quickly rising to become more hip and modern.One of their leading pieces currently showing, La Cantatrice chauve, impresses with an entertaining and accessible insight into abstract theatre.
In the 11th district, Nouveau Casino is a buzzing concert venue and nightclub with a particular passion for underground music. You’ll hear booming tracks from its large sound system played by an exciting DJ line-up – past bookings have included Diplo and M.I.A. – taking you right through to 6am in a cool decor for €8. Make sure to book in advance.
This Art Déco-style music hall lays claim to some famous names having graced its stage – but before they became well-known. Lady Gaga ranks among these figures, and has since paved the path for a stream of artists (both up-and-coming but also established) to show their eagerness to perform at this prestigious, albeit-little known, music hall.You can expect to find a range of music from pop-rock, slam, chanson française to jazz and even heavy metal. The venue takes between 600 and 800 people, making for an atmospheric experience. Nested in the increasingly trendy Canal St-Martin area, its off-the-radar spot is what keeps the prices low for now.
Hotel des Pyrénées is a cheap and fabulously located hotel in Paris’s 20th district, just 400 metres from the charming Parc des Buttes Chaumont. The location is a great choice for travellers interested in monuments, museums and city walks – slightly out of the tourist-trap – and for anyone set on visiting the famous Père-Lachaise Cemetery located 1.5 km away. Canal Saint-Martin is a 15-minute walk from the hotel making for a calm exploratory stroll, and rooms are clean and well-sized by Paris standards.
Whether its craft beer or homemade lemonade you’d like to try, or rather dip into a selection of French cheese with a glass of Bordeaux in the cosy chimney lounge, this hostel and bar really is the place to drop by. While the general surroundings might seem a little run-down at first glance – stepping off the metro to dusty graffiti makes for a curious clash with the metro station name ‘Belleville’ (beautiful city) – you’ll be welcomed by cheap prices and a friendly space to chill on their hidden rooftop. There are live music events and always plenty of young foreign traveller bustle, proving that this is worth a visit.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips,Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.