Walk the walk - Montmartre to Belleville

Montmartre to Belleville on Foot 4

As we’ve always been telling friends and visitors to Paris, the City of Light is small and compact and most sites can be explored on foot if one plans the itinerary well.

If one is coming from Montmartre to Belleville, the way out is all downhill but obviously the return, after a day’s walk, would call for the use of the metro or the bus. But if you are sporty and fit, as some of our guests have been, you can do the city on foot on the way out and back.

The other day, we wanted to go for a chinese meal in Belleville and chose to go on foot. Admittedly, the walking route is not as pretty-pretty but it does provide glimpses of real lives in Paris. We took the route via Barbes and on to Blvd. de la Vilette.

Here are some notable sites you can look out for:

"Gare du Nord"

See busy Gare du Nord from another angle

"Exterior of metro station La Chapelle"

In the Barbes area, if you open your eyes, there are some sights to enjoy. Here, the exterior of metro station La Chapelle nearby

"Under the bridge of metro station Col. Fabian"

A glimpse of real life in Paris, a tent community of homeless people set up under the metro tracks of Col. Fabien.

"France's Communist Party HQ"

Top tourist attraction of the 19th Paris - HQ of the French Communist Party by Oscar Niemeyer, who says "It is not the right angle that attracts me, nor the straight line, hard and inflexible, created by man. What attracts me is the free and sensual curve — the curve that I find in the mountains of my country, in the sinuous course of its rivers, in the body of the beloved woman.”

"Edith Piaf's birthplace - gutters of Belleville"

It was supposed to be in the gutters in front of this building that Edith Piaf was born.

"Top entrance into Belleville Garden"

Going back from the Piaf gutter, we turned left at the first corner that led us to the entrance to the Belleville garden from the top.

"Belleville Garden grounds"

The Belleville garden grounds. If you squint, you could just about see a shadow of Paris' most famous landmark at the top right of the photo

"Stairway in garden of Belleville"

We're getting an appetite and want to head back to Belleville Chinatown, so we take the stairway down for the exit from the garden.

"An empty bench in the garden of Belleville"

Nope, can't dilly dally around, although there's an inviting empty bench there. We're hungry.

"Tulips in the Belleville Garden"

Last shot with my camera whose battery died on me. Seems like it was hungry too and hurrying us to a Chinese restaurant for lunch. Which means, no photos of our Chinese feast. ;-P

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4 thoughts on “Montmartre to Belleville on Foot

  1. Reply [email protected] Mar 30,2011 4:41 pm

    great pix, makes u want to go for a walk!

  2. Reply Cathy Sweeney Mar 30,2011 8:08 pm

    What an interesting, real-life route. Especially impressed with Oscar Niemeyer’s romantic quote and the site of Edith Piaf’s birth. So, did you enjoy your lunch?

    • Reply filmbuff Apr 1,2011 4:36 pm

      After that long walk, yes, the meal was very welcome. On the way home, we took the metro tho 😉

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