*BASED ON RTN FLIGHTS IN PEAK PERIOD, EXCL. TAXES AND CHARGES
Boulevard de Magenta. Further north again on the edge of Parc de Villette is the Cité de la Musique (citedelamusique.fr), a stunning, purpose-built complex of concert halls, which is the principal home of l’Orchestre de Paris. It also hosts regular guest appearances by classical music luminaries including Daniel Barenboim, along with contemporary music festivals curated by artists such as Nils Frahm and David Byrne. Not far away is the unmissable Le Centquartre-Paris (104.fr) a huge arts and cultural space set in an industrial building that formerly housed the municipal undertakers. It’s absolutely bursting with life these days, with locals using the dedicated spaces for all kinds of dance practice alongside world-class visual art, theatre and music events. If all of that hasn’t worked up enough of an appetite, you can climb a (man-made) mountain in the Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, Paris’ highest park. Sculpted from a limestone quarry, the park’s swooping landscapes, suspension
bridge and waterfall in a cave makes it feel a little like you’ve wandered onto the set of a Tim Burton film. Heading south from the Park brings you into Belleville proper. Walking along the Rue de Belleville, you can pause and pay your respects to the “Sparrow of Belleville”, Édith Piaf, who was born in the doorway of number 72 on December 19, 1915. Near the end of the street, Rue Denoyez boasts one of the best, constantly changing collections of street art in the city. Take a guided tour (in English) from Street Art Paris (streetartparis.fr). A trip to Belleville wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the bustling street markets on the Boulevard – plunge in, and you could be on a street in North Africa or the Middle East as the vendors holler good-naturedly in several languages, all the while plying you with samples of fresh melon or figs. They’re hard to resist and you’ll find yourself walking away with a bag stuffed full of great fruit‘n’veg for almost nothing.
Opposite page, clockwise from top left, video game designer Lara Williams; apéros at Le Perchoir, a bar atop a sevenstorey office building; Irish poet Ingrid Casey gives a reading at Cabaret Populaire; performance artist Kay Garnellen; every colour under the sun on Rue Denoyez; vegan goodness at Les Bois d’Antoine. Top, a World Cup victory in Le Foot; above, tribute to poet Arthur Rimbaud in Montmartre.
Fly return to PARIS for 9,000 Avios points. Remember, if you don’t have enough points to fly to where you want to go, you can use those that you have and pay the rest in cash.*