Fed up with the same tourist areas then get the metro out to Belleville. Just north east at the junction of 4 arrondissements, this area is probably destined to be gentrified. It has that bohemian feel that will inevitably give way to posher tenants in years to come. The developers are moving in.the area around the tube does feel down at heel, clearly Chinese prevail, but this soon gives way to a mix of Jewish, halal butchers, odds and sods shops and an organic supermarket as you walk up the hill towards Pyrenees, the next villages stop. There is a small community park at the top which has great views out over Paris. It's not sacre coeur, but it does have the crowds. A walk around the corner from here reveals a number of cafe/ bars with clearly young professional types that have discovered this area to live in. The main drag is busy, on the Sunday we went, was a flee market was in full swing down a side street,genuine tat that you would never want to buy, but curious to see! The area has an edgy feel about, not threatening, though. In about 30 mins you can walk back down into Paris, the Marais area. Worth the effort if you want a different experience to tourist Paris.
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