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Paris off the beaten path: Monceau and Batignolles

Well, Monceau and Batignolles ARE totally offbeat and non-touristy neighborhoods of Paris. And yet, this Paris walking itinerary starts at one of the most popular landmarks of Paris: The Arc de Triomphe. This landmark qualifies as a starting point for several reasons: first, it’s easy to find, and you probably will head over there anyway, so it’s done. But secondly, the Arc de Triomphe marks one of the most expensive and prestigious areas of Paris. You’ll inevitably notice when crossing the neighborhoods of Monceau and Batignolles, that the city shape changes – the people, the shops and restaurants, and of course also the prices are differing immensely on that 3 km.

Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile

Next to the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe is one of the few landmarks in Paris that you simply can’t oversee – even if you’d try, on one point you’ll stumble upon. The giant arch is standing at the top end of the Champs Élysée on the Place Charles de Gaulle Étoile. It builds an axis with the Grand Arc at La Defense, the Place de la Concorde and, the Tuileries Garden with the Louvre – on purpose, it’s the Historic Axis.

Also read: 35 fascinating Facts about the Arc de Triomphe

The monument got inaugurated in 1836 and honors those who fought and died for France during the French Revolutions and the Napoleonic Wars.

The Arc de Triomphe is an imporant memorial for the French Revolution. It is also starting point of the military parades on the 14th of July - Bastille day
The reliefs that you find on the Arc de Triomphe are memorials of important moments and great battles around the French Revolution and the Napoleonic Era.

Just beneath the Arc lays the vault of an unknown soldier. The eternal flame on the tomb burns in memory of all those unidentified dead. A ceremony is held each year on the 11th of November, on Armistice Day.

you might also like: Paris hidden gems – 75 secret tips

If you want to visit the Arc de Triomphe from close DO NOT cross the roundabout, like ever! If you come by Metro and not from down the Champs Élysée, the passage to the Place Charles de Gaulle is not too easy to find: it’s on the right sidewalk of the Champs Élysée if you walk up to the Arc, on the corner between Champs Élysée and Avenue de Friedland. Most of the time sightseeing busses are stopping just at the entrance – so keep your eyes open for those.

Pro Tip1: Don’t be there too early, it opens only at 10 am

Pro Tip2: Book your tickets online to save time queuing (you can do so for example here)

The Arc de Triomphe stands on the Place Charles de Gaulle. Do not cross the round about to get to the Arch! There is a gangway that leads to it. The entrance is on the right side of the Champs Élysées. The Arch de Triomphe is a good starting point for a off beat and unusual walking tour through Paris hidden Gem Parc Monceau and the Batignolles area. Buy tickets for Arc de Triomphe online to save time
The Arc de Triomphe stands on the Place Charles de Gaulle. Do not cross the roundabout to get to the Arch! There is a gangway that leads to it. The entrance is on the right side of the Champs-Élysées

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral in 12 rue Daru was the first orthodox place of worship in France. It got consecrated in 1861. It’s enclosed by a fence but if the gates are open, take a walk around! To my surprise (maybe just me though) it has little vegetable gardens in the back that are totally cute, but stand pretty much in contrast to the imposing Cathedral.

Fun Fact: Pablo Picasso married his first wife, Olga Khokhlova in the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.

Alexander Nevsky Cathedral near Parc Monceau - take our walking tour and take a selfguided walking tour through an area of Paris that only sees a few tourists
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral near Parc Monceau

La Maison Loo

Adjacent to Parc Monceau you can find one of the most fascinating – and surprising – building of Paris: The Chinese Pagoda of Mr. Ching Tsai Loo.

Mr. Ching Tsai Loo, a collector, and dealer of Chinese and Asian art bought the building in 1925. Formerly a hôtel particulier, the house got transformed into the Pagoda -inside and outside- and served as a gallery of Chinese and Asian antiques and art. Today, La Maison Loo is a location for private and professional events, photo shootings, and conferences.

The Maison Loo - Paris only Pagoda - take our free walking tour through Paris and discover a off beat Paris that only few tourist see
The Maison Loo – Paris only Pagoda

Parc Monceau

What are the odds! Parc Monceau fits just perfectly into the Parisian cityscape! It’s of course not a fluke: Parc Monceau was the first public park created by Baron Haussmann, the guy who was responsible for the urban transformation of Paris in the 2nd half of the 19th century.

The park has a lot of unusual features: Corinthian pillars, an Egyptian pyramid, a bridge inspired by Venice, and quite a few statues. Today the park comes with playgrounds and a merry-go-round and also (unusual for Paris!) – free Wifi!

The area between the Arc de Triomphe and the Parc Monceau is quite rich – it’s an upper-class expat district and the location of embassies of many nations. If the city shape of the area is not enough of an indicator for the presentable per capita income, visit Park Monceau in the morning. You’ll notice quickly that having a personal trainer is kinda the basic equipment for people from the close by neighborhood 🙂

Parc Monceau in Paris - one of the nicest Parks and one of the richest
Parc Monceau
imagine you’d live there… There are plenty of really nice houses all around Parc Monceau in Paris

Rue de Lévis

After your little tour through Parc Monceau, leave the garden through the main entrance and head direction north-east. Continue on Rue Georges Berger until you reach Rue de Lévis on your left.

You left the expensive part of town and entered a more village-like area of Paris. Rue de Lévis is a pedestrian market street with delis, fruit and vegetable stores, butchers, bakeries, and a few clothes stores. Good for you (unless you are very rich): the stores around Rue de Lévis are more affordable than the shops we’ve seen so far. Etam vs. Givenchy.

Rue de Lévis - pedestrian street with great delis, cafés and stores - one of the highlights of our walking tour through the 17th arrondissement
Rue de Lévis – pedestrian street with great delis, cafés and stores
Is it time for dinner, yet?

The area between Rue de Lévis and Batignolles is an excellent place to have lunch. The (admittedly) labyrinth-like streets of Batignolles are full of little restaurants that – far from the touristic Paris – are mainly frequented by locals – almost an insurance of quality.

Les Poulettes Batignolles upper range Bistro gastronomic French restaurant in a welcoming and warm setting – and an interesting wine carte

Le Tourbillonthis bistro is very popular amongst locals. The menu is traditional and seasonal, the prices reasonable – it’s not a budget option though

Strobi modern french cuisine at a reasonable price – and some delicious desserts!

Do you need more ideas? Restaurants that aren’t french or something vegetarian? Check out our post about the best vegetarian restaurants in Paris!

Parc de Batignolles

Not too far from the Rue de Lévis lays the Parc de Batignolles. It’s roughly a 10 to 15 minutes walk and one of the entrances of the Parc de Batignolles is situated just after the quite impressive railways leading to St.Lazare. However, the park itself is an English style garden with merry-go-rounds, a duck pond, a little waterfall, and a colorful composition of flowers of all kids.

Parc Batignolles - an english garden in Paris - in one of the nicest areas - with plenty of bars, restaurants and little shops and boutiques
Parc Batignolles – an English garden in Paris
Square de Batignolles - walking tour through Pars
Square de Batignolles

When leaving the Parc de Batignolles by the main entrance, you’ll notice immediately the nicest feature of the Batignolles area: little restaurants, boutiques, and cafés. It’s a neighborhood for residents and one of the few places in Paris, where you won’t meet many tourists – if any!

If you up for food markets, there is a nice covered food hall close to the Metro station Brochant.

So, you walked quite a bit by now but if you are up for more, Montmartre is just a stone’s throw away!! Check out our full Montmartre guide to know more!

Did you like this guide?  Don’t miss our full list of neighborhood guides!


If you have any questions about Paris or need some advice and how to plan your trip, don’t hesitate to reach out!  I created a Facebook group for this matter and I am available to help you out! Click here to join the private Salut from Paris Facebook group!


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