The 20th arrondissement of Paris lies to the east of the centre and represents an old working-class area now in rapid transformation. The main drawing card here for tourists is the Père-Lachaise Cemetery, though, for travellers who are interested in music and culture, this relatively gritty area is probably going to be one of your main night-crawling areas.
There are nightclubs and cafés specializing in everything from punk-rock to world music both in the Bagnolet neighbourhood south of the cemetery and in the Ménilmontant neighbourhood north of the cemetery. Hopping from one show to the other, you'll find lots of little cafés to have a beer priced at less than nightclub rates, or a pick-me-up coffee.
Two main Metro stations on line 3: Gambetta and Père Lachaise.
A more lively entrance, though far from the famous Pere Lachaise cemetery is through the Alexandre Dumas station on Line 2.
Bus no. 76 connects Rue de Bagnolet to the heart of Paris including Bastille and the Louvre.
Cimetière du Père Lachaise (Père-Lachaise Cemetery), main entrance: boulevard de Ménilmontant (Métro: Père-Lachaise), . open 16 March-5 November: Mo-Fr 8 am - 6 pm, Sa 8.30 am - 6 pm, Sunday & holidays 9 am - 6 pm; 5 November-15 March: Mo-Fr 8 am - 5.30 pm, Sa 8.30 am - 5.30 pm, Sunday & holidays 9 am - 5.30 pm. Probably the most visited graveyard in any Western city, the vast Père-Lachaise features literally thousands of often elaborately-decorated graves separated by narrow lanes and avenues. The roll-call of famous burials includes: Chopin, Champollion, Sarah Bernhardt, Edith Piaf, Oscar Wilde, Delacroix, Bizet, Proust, Balzac, Colette, Molière and Jim Morrison of The Doors. Guided tours in English are offered. Free to visit. Guided english tours with Paris By Foot, €15.
Lou Pascalou, 14 rue des Panoyaux, ☎ +33 (0)1 4636 7810. Well hidden but worth seeking out, this unassuming restaurant serves happily inexpensive good food.
Aux Becs Fins, 44 boulevard de Menilmontant, ☎ 01 47 97 51 52. Good, serious food for those that are looking for a meal with substance. With dishes like stuffed cabbage and calf's head, it's a guarantee that you will leave full to the brim, but satisfied.
Le Lion Indomptable, 86 rue Réunion, . A small place that serves excellent Cameroonian and Senegalese food. The chef/waiter is a character and will keep you entertained. About €15 for dinner.
Flèche d'Or, 102 bis rue de Bagnolet (Métro: Porte de Bangnolet), . An old train station which has been transformed into a hip, popular night club.
La Miroiterie, 88 rue Ménilmontant (Métro: Ménilmontant), . A squat that offers interesting concerts and exhibitions. There is also a free shop, where you can both take and bring second-hand clothes, books, toys, and more.
Les Trois Arts, 21, rue des Rigoles (Métro: Jourdain), ☎ +33 1 43 49 36 27, . 5pm-3am daily. This little corner bar which feels like it's been there for at least a century hosts ethic, folk and jazz music most nights in the basement.
La Maroquinerie, 23, Rue Boyer (Métro), ☎ +33 1 40 33 35 05, . It's a bar/café/restaurant upstairs and a music club (mostly indi rock) downstairs. As of this writing the Maroquinerie is one of the most happening indi venues in Paris (along with the Fleche d'Or).
La Belle Villoise, 19,21 rue Boyer, ☎ +33 146360707, . An underground, and thus hipper alternative to La Maroquinerie next door.
Gambetta, 104 rue de Bagnolet (Métro: Alexandre-Dumas or Gambetta), ☎ +33 1 43 70 52 01. All things Jamaican: reggae, dub, jazz, etc.
Goguette, 73 rue du Bagnolet (Métro: Alexandre-Dumas), ☎ +33 1 46 59 00 96, . A mainly Latino-American club which also hosts the up-and-coming of chanson français (French song).
Jawad K-Fé, 114 rue de Bagnolet (Métro: Alexandre-Dumas or Gambetta), ☎ +33 43 67 73 35. World music
Le Lion Indomptable, 86 rue de la Réunion (Métro: Alexandre-Dumas), ☎ +33 1 44 93 04 09. This Camarouni restaurant hosts touring acts from Africa, and local African artists.
Hôtel Ermitage, 42, Bis rue de l'Ermitage. A small but intimate hotel that showcases some great views from its rooms.
Mama Shelter on 109, Rue de Bagnolet (http://www.mamashelter.com/) is a designer hotel with very comfortable rooms and wi-fi in all rooms.
The 20th arrondissement has changed a lot since the early 2000s. While some areas remain shiftly underprivileged and not always very welcoming, most parts of the 20th are quiet, socially mixed neighbourhood with many families.
General large city appropriate safety precautions are advised, especially if visiting late in the night.
Map of the 20th Arrondissement
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