Take a break from Paris’ heavier, more significant art of the Louvre and other famous museums by checking out a more modern side of the city’s art scene—the street art of the Belleville neighborhood. With an urban-art-loving guide, walk the tourist-friendly yet un-touristy streets to see murals and other art on the sides of buildings.
This is an especially great tour for kids and teenagers who may be tired of the museums, as the colorful art that decorates these streets shows you a different piece of the city. Learn about how French singer Edith Piaf grew up in this neighborhood, and how in the 1980s, many Parisian musicians and artists moved here for the lower rents. This turned the neighborhood into an artist enclave, as industrial buildings were converted into studios and Belleville became the heart of Paris’ urban art movement.
Learn about the artists and see their work, such as Jérome Ménager’s wall fresco and the mosaic tiles by the artist known as Space Invader. Think about the differences in the works, from beautiful to funny to political. This is a leisurely paced walk, and you may just spot artists at work in front of your eyes. Each tour is different, as the canvas is ever-changing, and you are encouraged to express how you feel about the pieces, whether they’re truly art or a form of destruction—it’s your opinion.