From Place To Space: Morning In The 20th Arrondissement In Paris

6 January 2014 1


Hello my dear readers! I am back after a wonderful time in Paris and brought back loads of pictures of the ever inspiring City of Lights. Many of you know that I am a frequent traveler to Paris and no matter how often I travel to Paris I am always enchanted by the fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower, the magic of Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre and the timeless beauty of the Louvre. But I dearly love the areas of Paris that are off the beaten path. The parts of Paris that are actually devoid of tourists and the regular habitat of locals. Like the 20th arrondissement in the east of Paris.

In fact, I have my second home in the 20th arrondissement in Paris which is why I love this quarter in particular. It is comprised of an area called Belleville and Ménilmontant, both of which used to be villages at the eastern outskirts of Paris thus not even belonging to the city itself. Over time as the city grew, this areas have been included in the city borders and made the 20th arrondissement.

The charms of this part of Paris is that you can actually still see that formerly this used to be villages. There are many hidden corners in the 20th arrondissement: Secret passages, cobbled streets, small houses, hidden courtyards, many of the houses there have even got a garden – a real rarity in Paris! I have even discovered a garden with ripe kiwis – probably the only ones in Paris. But this arrondissement has become as urban and cosmopolitan as the rest of the city, too. Big boulevards, great shopping opportunities, a very mixed population and an authenticity that I sometimes miss in those central, touristic areas of Paris. Oh, and one of the greatest French stars was from this very corner of Paris: The one and only Edith Piaf was born in Belleville.

I walked around Belleville and Ménilmontant on a overcast Tuesday morning and took pictures on the way. I walked through many quiet, almost empty alleys and wondered who lived in those small houses facing cobbled streets, having little gardens and courtyards. And yes, I was dreaming how it would be to own such a small house in the big city. Maybe this would be the best combination: A big city life in your own little village atmosphere. Moreover, the 20th arrondissement is trending right now – various corners in Belleville and Ménilmontant have become the new hip neighborhoods with great bars, restaurants, galleries and ateliers. I hope this will inspire you too and if you ever want to visit those corners of Paris, feel free to drop me an email!

Photography by Igor Josifovic, map via Wikipedia, skyline silhouette via In Transition

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  • Reply Yvestown 6 January 2014 at 08:50

    You may call me absolutely bonkers but I really dislike Paris for many reasons. But this post is so lovely and quaint. Love all the pastel pops of colour!! I really have to explore more of the city to give it another chance. Thank you Igor x

    • Reply Igor Josifovic 6 January 2014 at 16:23

      Glad I could help to slightly change your opinion about Paris:-) After all, it is my favorite city!

  • Reply Emel Sevren Pınar 6 January 2014 at 09:43

    Beuatiful photos and inform about Paris city. Thank you so much Igor.

  • Reply 2moiselles 6 January 2014 at 11:00

    Very nice post. Lovely photos. Thank xx

  • Reply Muriel 6 January 2014 at 11:01

    J’aime tes photos, qui font vraiment ressortir à merveille l’ambiance de ce quartier de Paris!

  • Reply aurelia-m 6 January 2014 at 11:02

    J’adore ce reportage. Je ne pensais qu’il pouvait y avoir des coins aussi champêtres à l’intérieur même de paris.
    Have a nice day 🙂

  • Reply CappelloABombetta 6 January 2014 at 11:55

    All amazing!

  • Reply Elodie Love 6 January 2014 at 12:15

    Superbe! Very nice pics my friend. It was great meeting yesterday.

  • Reply Johan 6 January 2014 at 12:17

    Lovely light photos of Paris! I’m a sucker for words like ‘secret’ and ‘hidden’, sparks my rebellious personality 😉 Also thanks for the tips! Would definitely have a look with my next visit!

  • Reply ilaria fatone 6 January 2014 at 12:22

    magnifique ce petit reportage … on s’y croirait presque! welcome back home and see you in Paris end of January 🙂

  • Reply Louise - 30s Magazine 6 January 2014 at 13:15

    Beautiful photos! You transported me to Paris for a moment. There is so much beauty around us, if we could only see it…Thanks to blog posts like this one, we do 🙂

  • Reply Birds Like Cake 6 January 2014 at 13:21

    Wunderschöne Fotos Igor <3 Jetzt vermisse ich Paris wieder noch mehr! Aber dafür gehts bei mir am Donnerstag Richtung Belgrad 🙂

    Liebster Gruss, Sara

    • Reply Igor Josifovic 6 January 2014 at 14:02

      Danke Dir! Vergiss nicht ein paar schöne Fotos zu machen!! Viel Spaß & srecan badnji dan!

  • Reply Filipek 70 6 January 2014 at 13:26

    I love it … in every city of our world there is some kind of such beauty …..question is if you could find it …you did the great job !!!!greetings

  • Reply Stephanie 6 January 2014 at 14:39

    Oh wie schön!!!! Ich war viel viel viel zu lange nicht mehr dort!!!! Danke fürs zeigen!!!! Liebe Grüße

  • Reply Lisa Hjalt 6 January 2014 at 17:33

    I have never been to this part of Paris so thank you for talking a walk with your camera and sharing. I was daydreaming about France today … I was just a bit further south 😉

    I hope the new year is treating you well after a festive NYE in the City of Lights. Happy New Year, again!

  • Reply Robin Horton 6 January 2014 at 18:14

    Oh Igor, this post and your fabulous photos is making my heart ache for Paris! The 20e has gotten so great. When I lived in Paris it was eh. I am hoping to return again this year.

  • Reply julia I mintlametta 6 January 2014 at 22:02

    I find no right words for such beautiful places and pictures. Damn amazing! Share your love for Paris although I just have been there twice… hope to get there soon again… julia

  • Reply Ana Kamin 6 January 2014 at 23:46

    Oh Igor, this pictures are so inviting. This neighborhood looks truly charming. Hope to make it one day to Paris. Don’t say anything… No I haven’t been to Paris. :/

  • Reply Judith 6 January 2014 at 23:57

    Ohhh… ces quartiers parisiens un peu moins connus sont tellement charmants ♥ Merci pour ces belles photos! A très vite… à Paris!!!

  • Reply Indre Z. 7 January 2014 at 05:35

    Oh, so wundervolle Bilder. Ich muss unbedingt mal wieder nach Paris. Hast du vielleicht Tipps, wo man gut & günstig wohnen kann? LG I.

    • Reply Igor Josifovic 7 January 2014 at 12:13

      Hi Indre! Danke für den netten Kommentar! Also ich war jetzt im Januar mal im Hotel Mama Shelter essen – das sieht ziemlich cool aus, auch wenn es ein klein wenig ab vom Schuss ist (ist aber im 20. Arrondissement). Ansonsten empfehle ich airbnb – da gibt es echt sehr nette Angebote zu fairen Preisen.

  • Reply kleine Schwester 7 January 2014 at 06:16

    Mein Gott, die Bilder sind ein Traum. Ich erinnere mich unheimlich gerne an meine Au-Pair Zeit in dieser inspirierenden Stadt. Ich möchte unbedingt bald zurückkehren, und dann ist ein Abstecher in dieses Viertel definitiv auf der Liste. Vielen Dank fürs Zeigen, Igor !

  • Reply susan 7 January 2014 at 13:53

    I have yet to truly wander those streets…great captures of an enchanting area Igor!

  • Reply tina @ colourliving 8 January 2014 at 01:15

    Ah, Paris steals everyone’s heart!
    Of course, had to laugh out loud at Yvonne’s comment:-)

    Beautifully captured! Didn’t know you guys live in the 20th.. definitely one to explore.

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