Discover Paris: 15th Arrondissement Guide
Perfect for staying near the Palais de Sports, the 15th arrondissement is the biggest neighbourhood in Paris and has plenty to see and do.
Paris has a reputation for being crowded and touristy (as well as being beautiful and romantic, of course). But in the 15th arrondissement, the largest in the city, there's a calm and welcoming atmosphere. Here, you won’t be pushed off of pavements by tour groups or need to queue for a table at the local cafe. Despite being right next to the Eiffel Tower, the 15th is off the beaten track and offers those who stay there the opportunity to be submerged in genuine Parisian culture. Without further ado, here's Plum Guide's expert 15th arrondissement guide.
Île aux Cygnes
Forget the Jardin du Luxembourg and Jardin des Tuileries. The best place for a civilised walk in Paris is the Île aux Cygnes. A true escape from city life, this park is located on an island in the Seine. Filled with meandering pathways, grassy banks and tree-lined walkways, what really sets it apart is its views of the Paris skyline and a view of the Eiffel Tower that only in-the-know people get to see. This is the perfect spot for an arm-in-arm sunset stroll with your significant other (preferably without the children in tow so you can experience some of that famed French romance).
If you're looking to tick off the tourist to-do list, there's a rather surprising tourist attraction here. As well as being ideal as a place to take an aperitif, Île aux Cygnes has another unique offering - the Statue of Liberty. Well, a replica of the Statue of Liberty, anyway. This smaller version of the New York monument was a reciprocal present from the Americans to the French in 1889. It doesn’t have nearly as many people around it posing for selfies so you’ll be able to get up close and personal with Lady Liberty.
For a quiet yet immaculately located Parisian bolthole, this tasteful apartment is a mere ten minute walk to the Île aux Cygnes and has the added bonus of incredible views of the Iron Lady herself.
One of the more cultural offerings on our 15th arrondissement guide, this is one of the city’s most underrated museums. The former home of French artist and sculptor Antoine Bourdelle, the star student of Rodin, the Musée Bourdelle is found in a quiet corner near the busy Montparnasse area. This transformed mansion will make you daydream about moving to Paris and becoming a starving artist (maybe don’t quit your day job just yet, though).
The Musée Bourdelle pays homage to Bourdelle’s work and how he came by inspiration for his art. Visitors can view his original apartment and the studio where he worked, and his most famous art is on display throughout the museum. If you’re desperate to take in some French culture but don’t want to waste a day in Paris queueing at the Louvre, this is a great alternative - and, dare we add, just as authentically French.
For your own adorable Parisian studio, this flat delivers. Waking up in this compact apartment will inspire you to finally start work on your novel (or sculpture, or libretto) that you’ve been meaning to get to for a while. Bon chance!
Parc André Citroën
The ornate buildings and fripperies of the French capital can be overwhelming at times. When that happens, head to Parc André Citroën. This is a modern park which specialises in contemporary landscape architecture and has a very modern feel - which can be refreshing when everything you’ve seen that day is hundreds of years old.
Parc André Citroën has more than 35 acres of grass for lounging on, greenhouses for strolling through and playgrounds for your little chéries to play on. But its hidden secret is that it also contains the absolute best way to see the city: a hot air balloon. For a mere €12, you can take a ride above the rooftops and enjoy an uninterrupted view of this famous city’s monuments. It’s best to arrive early in the morning for this attraction, as the queues can be lengthy.
If you’re hoping to get up early for that balloon ride, we’d almost advise that you don’t stay in this comfortable pad with its exceptionally cosy and large bed. Maybe just five more minutes of snoozing…
Puces de Vanves
These two huge flea markets are where in-the-know locals go to hunt for hidden treasures - and now you can head there, too. One market is in the North at Porte de Clignancourt, and the other is in the South at Porte de Vanves. Open on the weekends from 7am to 2pm, you can find everything and anything here. Whether you’re searching for French linens to deck out your kitchen, unique vintage clothes to impress your friends or some antique furniture that looks great but is hideously uncomfortable to sit on, you’ll find it here.
We’d advise arriving early for the best bargains. Parisians have sharp elbows when it comes to queuing and you don’t want to miss out on that special item you just have to have because you didn’t wield your baguette with enough ferocity when trying to get to the correct stall.
This pretty-as-a-picture apartment will inspire your vintage hunting with its chic interiors, and the comfy sofa is perfect for relaxing on once you’ve successfully exhausted your credit card.
That's our 15th arrondissement guide complete. If you're inspired to check out more of Paris beyond the tourist trail, why not pay a visit to the 19th arrondissement? A hotbed of arts and culture, this lively district is fast becoming the go-to 'hood. Check out our guide to the 19th arrondissement here – and make sure to book your stay at one of Plum Guide's professionally-vetted rental homes.