The 19th arrondissement of Paris might not be the French capital’s most well known area, but it might just be its greenest. It contains two of the city’s largest parks as well as a myriad of culture just waiting for you to soak it up. Add to that museums and charmingly cute houses and you’ll start to wonder why the 19th isn’t more famous. We know you can keep the secret of how great it is so it doesn't get overrun with selfie-seekers. Here are Plum Guide's picks of the top things to do in the 19th Arrondissement.
Parc des Buttes Chaumont
So big that it sprawls across both the 19th and 20th arrondissements, you’d barely believe now that Buttes-Chaumont Park was a former limestone quarry. Parisians have been enjoying the wide open spaces and greenery here since the 19th century.
Located on a hilltop in the Belleville neighbourhood, there are incredible views to be found here, and it’s much less likely to be mobbed with tourists desperate for that Parisian rooftop shot.
There’s lots to explore in Parc des Buttes Chaumont. A suspension bridge, caves, waterfalls and even fine dining restaurant Pavillon du Lac are within the park grounds. Let the kids run off some steam and grab a glass of delicious French wine from The Rosa Bonheur, a traditional French tavern at the park’s summit.
For an apartment which also has beautiful views, this time over a quaint French courtyard filled with greenery, this luxury pad is the place for you. The hip decor will make you feel even cooler than you already are (although we both know your cool factor could do with a boost).
La Cité des Sciences et de L'Industrie
Nerds, this one’s for you. Found in the Parc de la Villette, the Museum of Science and Industry offers a fascinating look into the latest development in science and technology. The museum is well-curated, benefiting from both permanent and temporary exhibits. A highlight is the look into how the human brain processes information, explored through the world of microscopics.
For those who might need some incentive to learn (kids and artsy types, we’re looking at you), there are games based on genuine laboratory experiments, as well as a planetarium for when you just want to kick back and look at the stars.
If you’re hoping to keep the scientific debates going over dinner, this impressive property nearby has a huge dining table perfect for lobbing theories across – with enough space for someone to sulk at the end when you disprove their idea. There are also very comfortable sofas for when you inevitably overdo it slightly on the after-dinner cognac and need a quick nap.
La Mouzaïa neighborhood
This neighbourhood is one of the city’s best-kept secrets, and strolling around it is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in the 19th arrondissement. Once the site of gypsum mines, the land here was left pockmarked with tunnels and holes, so the ground wouldn’t support the weight of large buildings. To combat the problem, lots of adorably small houses were built. It's definitely one place to find the French capital's finest vacation rentals.
Now, you can take a relaxed walk through the narrow passageways in La Mouzaïa. Free of cars, the area has a leisurely feel to it - you’ll definitely get inspired to move here and pursue those artistic dreams you’ve always had (but perhaps don’t quit your day job until you get home, just to be sure). The low rise houses are charming, and make sure you pop into a local bar for either a croissant or a glass of champagne, depending on the time of day (although never let us tell you that you can’t have champagne for breakfast - dream big, baby).
For your very own cute house to stay in, this property is filled with inspiring artworks complemented by a lovely sun trap garden. Who knows, you may even end staying for longer than you’d planned.
This is one of the most interesting buildings in Paris, and that’s saying something. Getting the measure of La Géode is without a doubt one of the top things to do in the 19th arrondissement.
Resembling an enormous mirror ball, the sphere that makes up the building is covered with more than six thousand triangles of stainless steel which reflect the surroundings. Inside is a perfectly crafted cinema surrounded by perforated aluminium panels. An impressive 80 feet wide, the cinema screen is tilted 30 degrees, giving the 400 audience members the feeling that they are completely immersed in the film. They show a wide selection of films; just make sure to book in advance and get there early to take in the majesty of the building.
Now you know the best things to do in the 19th arrondissement, why not explore more of Paris' neighbourhoods? On top of being experts in luxury rental homes, we at Plum Guide have put together guides to all of the best districts and things to do in Paris. Discover the 15th arrondissement or enjoy our selection of Paris' best romantic breaks.