Butte Bergeyre is one of those areas in Paris that the decades have passed by. Secret, secluded, and off the beaten path, even many Parisians themselves don’t know about its’ existence. Here’s your insider’s guide on how to visit this secret micro-arrondissement in the 19th-arrondissement of Paris…
Why you must visit Butte Bergeyre, the most secret of the Parisian villages
Perched on a little hill, 100m up, to the West of Buttes Chaumont, this micro-arrondissement in the 19e has all the charm of Parisian life without the people. If you’re looking for a place with peace and quiet, then this is it. All in all, there are only around 1200 residents, making this the kind of place that retains its village vibe in the heart of a modern metropolis.
Named after Robert Bergeyre, a 19th-century French rugby player who died in 1914, the mount offers amazing views over the city AND one of the last remaining vineyards in the city of lights. It’s the perfect place to get a little bit lost on a lazy afternoon and forget that you’re in one of the busiest capital cities in the world…
This micro-arrondissement is only accessible via three staircases and one winding road (no wonder it’s so hard to find!) Ivy clad houses line the narrow cobblestoned streets, and with few cars, everything comes together to create the perfect atmosphere of a bygone era. But with such limited access, it shouldn’t be at all surprising that it feels like time has stood still here for the past couple of decades.
Does Butte Bergeyre offer the best view in Paris?
A couple of months ago, I wrote about the best panoramic views of Paris. However, all of these were in tourist hot spots! Although tourist hot spots can be great- there’s a reason they’re so popular- there’s nothing quite like tracking down local hang out spots. And only now am I stumbling upon hidden treasures that the city has to offer; for example, the Petite Ceinture, and the sinking house of Montmartre.
It’s not often that you find yourself lost, wandering up a flight of stairs and then stumbling upon one of Paris’ last best kept secret views. Or maybe it is… it is Paris, after all! The best thing about the city of lights is that like every Parisian before you, every time you make a discovery, you feel like you’re the first person in decades to have done so. Maybe that’s what draws people back so much and why Paris is always a good idea.
It’s not hard to see why this micro-arrondissement has such a high proportion of architects, designers, and artists in residence. The neighbourhood is quiet, the views are unrivalled and it’s very close to one of the most beautiful parks in the city- Buttes Chaumont!
A brief history of Butte Bergeyre
A century ago, Butte Bergeyre was very much like the Butte of Montmartre. It was covered in windmills, farmland and abundant with vineyards. Today, both locations each have just one vineyard remaining. Butte Bergeyre lost much of its green space when the nearby Parc of Buttes Chaumont was created.
The green space in the micro arrondissement was developed to accommodate the masses of people in the rapidly growing population of Paris. Although a stadium was created in the arrondissement at the turn of the 20th century, it was gone by the early 1930s, again to accommodate the rapidly growing population.
While Montmartre adapted with the times and attracted the flocks of tourists that you can see if you visit today (perhaps due to its’ close proximity to the rest of the city), Butte Bergeyre has remained trapped in a time capsule. This little-known district is the perfect place to wander around and feel the magic of Paris… For more micro-arrondissements like this, check out my guide to the secret villages of Paris.
How to visit Butte Bergeyre
The nearest metro is Bolivar (line 7b), though a meander through Butte Bergeyre can easily be combined with a trip to Parc des Buttes Chaumont, a sprawling green space that comprises of many a folly, grotto, and even a secret waterfall. Elsewhere in the 19th arrondissement, you’ll soon discover that Eglise Saint-Serge (address 93 Rue de Crimée, 75019 Paris, France) is one of Paris’ best-kept secrets.
Butte Bergeyre itself can be accessed on foot via one of two staircases; Rue Manin, Avenue Simon-Bolivar. Just be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes! This area of the city is full of ups and downs and many a cobbled lane. For more insider info, check out my very best Paris travel tips!