While the name Pigalle might not necessarily ring a bell, I’m sure you’ve all heard of Moulin Rouge and Sacré Cœur. However, these are just two of the many places you need to visit when you’re in this vibrant neighbourhood in Paris.
Sitting across both the 9th and the 18th arrondissement, Pigalle is best known for its vibrant nightlife. Perhaps not too dissimilar to Amsterdam’s red-light district, Pigalle is so much more than that. It is exciting, fun, but most importantly, upcoming! See below for our recommendations on how to maximise your time in this unique neighbourhood in Paris.
Where to stay in Pigalle
To start off with, why not stay in the hotel that is named after the neighbourhood? Le Pigalle is situated in the most prime location and perfect for international travellers. Just 12 minutes on the metro, you’ll arrive at Le Pigalle from Gare du Nord, where Eurostar and Thalys get in. With a vintage touch and a rustic design, you’ll soon be calling this hotel your home for the next couple of days. The rooms are well equipped with a strong Parisian identity, some even with a balcony for you to live your Parisian dream.
I have never thought about owning a turntable until I put a vinyl record on one evening while relaxing in the room. The hotel is constantly collaborating with photographers and other talented individuals to offer its guests a unique experience. Even if you’re not staying at the hotel, I’d highly recommend you to pop in Le Pigalle for a drink or two! The cocktail menu and wine list are just as eclectic as the hotel itself! Book your stay here!
Where to eat – breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Pastries are a must when you’re in Paris and whilst you can get buttery croissants and freshly baked baguettes, you need to go to Babka Zana for some next-level pastries. Their babka rolls are freshly made every day, from the classic cinnamon flavour to a more exotic pistachio and orange blossom. Get there early as they sell out very quickly!
Fancy a sit-down meal? Head to Le Dépanneur Terrasse for a relaxed brunch with friends. The atmosphere is great and the food there are generously portioned. Try their calamari and take a sip of their freshly pressed juice while people watching on the terrace on a summer day.
If you’re feeling fancy and craving Italian, look no further than IL CUOCO GALANTE, a beautiful restaurant founded by a couple-duo who are passionate about Italian gastronomy. They make their pasta on-site, so you can be sure about the freshness of their dishes. Only opened this year, the restaurant has already made it to the Michelin guide. Can’t say we’re surprised after trying their squid and their panna cotta!
When in Pigalle, one must visit IZA, a Japanese restaurant, cocktail bar and lounge. Unlike most bars where only basic bar snacks are served, you must go to IZA with an empty stomach because the food there is absolutely fantastic! Definitely try their Baos and Yakitoris! As for their cocktails, I could drink them all night! We’ve tried most of what they’ve got and we struggle to pick a favourite! One tip: try not to go there with baggage (literally and metaphorically speaking!) as you will want to be able to dance freely when the DJ starts to pump up the jam!
What to see in Pigalle
Besides the aforementioned landmarks, there are many spots in Pigalle that are worth visiting. This includes La Musée de la Vie Romantique, a beautiful museum dedicated to the Romantic Era and the Wall of Love, which showcases the three words, 8 letters in 250 languages. They call Paris the City of Love for a reason! Steering away from romance, you can learn about the life and appreciate the art of the artist in the Musée Gustave Moreau. If you’re into Surrealism, head to Dalí Paris to admire the Spanish painters’ artwork. You’ll also find Place du Tertre, one of my favourite squares in Paris to walk around, filled with cafés and artists trying to paint you a portrait!
Now that European countries are steadily re-opening their boarders and France is on the green list for the Netherlands. In essence, why not book a trip to Paris and experience Pigalle for yourself!