Parc André Citroën
10% of all Parisians live in the 15th arrondissement, making it the most populous arrondissement in the city, with more citizens than the city of Bordeaux. They come because it’s easy, with spacious boulevards and lovely buildings. They stay because it is a vibrant neighborhood away from the hustle and bustle of all the tourist sights, with great restaurants, excellent public transportation, and plenty of entertainment.
La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix
The rue du Commerce is an inviting neighborhood street with plenty of cafés, lots of boutiques, and a picture-perfect church at the end, ensuring excellent shopping is added to the list of why the locals love the area so much. One of the city’s best flea markets, the Porte de Vanves market, sets up stalls every Saturday and Sunday, selling a great variety of quality goods without the intense crowds and vast distances at the more famous Saint-Ouen market. An even smaller, more specialized shopping option is the Georges-Brassens Park Antique Book Market, also held every weekend and offering framable treasures like the cover of a 1970s ELLE issue, or precious books with even dearer bindings.
While all the trendy foodies head to the Right Bank, the youngest chefs are drawn to the 15th for the affordable rents and a dense, local population. Afaria and La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix are two remarkable addresses specializing in the kind of south-western cuisine that attracts serious eaters, often including rugby players and politicians.
Neige d’été is the new country-chic endeavor of Japanese chef Hideki Nishi, formerly of the George V, and La Véraison its slightly more upscale neighbor. Parisians cross the city for meals at Jadis, where the staff makes a point of speaking French only, in an attempt to keep things authentic.
For home cooks, there is an excellent market street at the corner of the rue Lecourbe and the rue Cambronne, with a local honey shop and the famous Androuet cheese shop sharing the sidewalk with a fish monger, butcher, and several produce stands. An expansive outdoor market also sets up shop under the elevated metro line at la Motte-Picquet every Wednesday and Sunday.
Looking for a little adventure? The hot air balloon ride at the André Citroën Park offers an unparalleled bird’s eye view of Paris for just 12 euros. The park itself is incidentally also a great green space to explore, with 35 acres that include two greenhouses and an entire bouquet of color-themed gardens. The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Aquaboulevard, the large water park (which also boasts a movie theater) where we have run into American film stars escaping the summer heat with their children.
More sedate activities include a visit of the Musée Bourdelle, featuring the monumental sculptures of the Art Deco master. This excellent museum with a relaxing garden is set to reopen in February 2015, after six months of renovations. The Musée de la Poste also features surprisingly good shows of remarkable art. If it happens to the be the right time of year, it would be a shame to miss the city’s most important annual convention, the Salon de l’Agriculture, where visitors can get surprisingly up close and personal with French cows, as well as taste the meats and cheeses they produce.
In the evening, join the locals for a film at the independent movie theater Cinéma Chaplin Saint Lambert, which plays American films in English with subtitles. End your visit at the Ciel de Paris bar in the Montparnasse tower, toasting your visit to the City of Light with all of Paris at your feet.
Ciel de Paris
Afaria – 15 Rue Desnouettes, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 48 42 95 90
Cantine du Troquet Dupleix – 53 Boulevard de Grenelle, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 75 98 00
Neige d’été – 12 Rue De L’Amiral Roussin, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 73 66 66
Restaurant La Véraison – 64 Rue de la Croix Nivert, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 32 39 39
Bistrot Jadis – 208 Rue de la Croix Nivert, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 57 73 20
Ballon de Paris – Parc André Citroën, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 44 26 20 00
Aquaboulevard – 4 Rue Louis Armand, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 40 60 10 00
Musée Bourdelle – 16-18 Rue Antoine Bourdelle, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 49 54 73 73
Musée de la Poste – 34 boulevard de Vaugirard, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 79 24 24
Cinéma Chaplin Saint Lambert – 6 Rue Péclet, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 50 23 32
Ciel de Paris – Tour Maine Montparnasse 56e étage, 33 Avenue du Maine, 75015 Paris. Tel: +33 (0)1 40 64 77 64
The 15th arrondissement
- Sylvia also explores Paris’ chic 16th arrondissement for HiP Paris Blog.
- If you like Cinéma Chaplin Saint Lambert you’ll love these Parisian movie houses and cinemas.