Bastille is a diverse neighbourhood in Paris that played a significant part in the French Revolution. These days, it’s a popular and bustling district that caters to art, history, and food enthusiasts. Local food markets, speakeasy cocktail bars, lush greenery, and urban architecture are sprawled across the area.

Due to Bastille's proximity to other districts, its attractions are highly accessible on foot. You can walk around its streets and narrow passageways to find all kinds of hidden gems, from small private galleries and grungy record stores to quirky boutiques. Public transport is available within the neighbourhood. Whether by bus or train, you can go in and out of Bastille with ease.

Bastille in Paris - one of the highlights of 11 Most Popular Neighbourhoods in Paris (Read all about Paris here)

What are the highlights of Bastille?

A day in Bastille should always include a trip to Place de Bastille. This open-air square was built on top of a former state prison, royal fortress, and armoury, which symbolised royal tyranny. A crowd of Parisians stormed its walls on 14th July 1789 and eventually destroyed the structure, igniting the French Revolution. The foundations of the former prison are marked below ground, on the platform of the Paris Metro Line 5.

Another iconic attraction in the area is Opera Bastille, which you can reach on foot from the square. Built in 1875, it’s been a stunning venue for grand operas for over a century. If you have the time and the budget, you should get some tickets and watch a performance.

However, if you’re just in the area to sightsee, you should head off to Coulee Verte Rene-Dumont. This elevated promenade is built above an obsolete railway line, stretching from Bastille to Bois de Vincennes. Its lush and leafy passageways offer cover from the heat of the day.

Where to eat and drink in Bastille?

Bastille's food scene is impressively diverse and thriving. The Marce Bastille and Marche Popincourt are open-air markets that serve a good range of local treats and international cuisines.

Septime is a famous restaurant in the area, situated in a former mechanic’s shop. Getting a table isn’t easy because of its popularity. If you do manage to get in, you can enjoy a menu packed with free-range meats and fresh vegetables.

If you’re looking to cap off the night with a refreshing drink, head off to Dersou. This Asian-inspired venue has seasonal and 5-course tasting menus, with each course paired with a complimentary cocktail.

Moonshiner is a hidden speakeasy-inspired bar in Paris. You can find the entrance behind Pizzeria Da Vito's freezer. It offers upbeat jazz music, quiet corners, and a wide range of beers, whiskies, and cocktails.

How to get to Bastille in Paris?

The Paris Metro Line 9 runs from Place de la Republique to Place de la Nation, which makes it easy for you to get in and out of the Bastille district. It’ll take you to iconic landmarks like the Champs-Elysees and Galeries Lafayette. Other Metro lines that stop in the area are 2, 3, 5, and 8.

There are a few bus lines that will take you around and out of Bastille. Line 96 runs from Oberkampf and Marais to Saint-Germain-des Pres.

Since Bastille is bordered by the 3rd, 4th, 10th, and 12th arrondissements, you can reach other popular attractions on foot. The 4th, 11th, and 12th arrondissements even overlap in Bastille Square, so you can stand in 3 parts of Paris at once.

Bastille in Paris

Geri Mileva | Contributing Writer