Exploring African culture in Paris

Direction Senegal, Mali, the Congo… a stroll through the streets, market and cultural spots of the Goutte d'Or!

The Goutte d'Or with its lively, cosmopolitan, and popular streets is an invitation to travel. African culture reveals all its richness here. The colourful market with many flavours, spice shops and street food; trendy ready-to-wear shops and young fashion designers; cinema, theatre, street art and cultural places that play an active part in the life of the neighbourhood ... So many surprises await those tempted to discover the area. This is a walking tour proposed by the association Little Africa.

Little Africa

Little Africa is a cultural agency that helps individuals, associations and businesses connect with the best of African culture in Paris. Publisher of the 1st City Guide - Afrique à Paris  and the first walking tour on the African fashion and history of the Goutte d’Or district, Made in Goutte d’Or. Through publications and aesthetic merchandising, artistic events and travel experiences, Little Africa takes another look at African culture in a Parisian context.

 More info on Little Africa

1 / 25hours

25hours hotel Terminus Nord - REstaurant Neni , Paris

The Hôtel 25Hours Terminus Nord is a new type of urban refuge in the heart of the 10th arrondissement. Its particularity and originality lie in its focus on the cultural diversity of the surrounding area! The establishment offers a modern cosmopolitan setting that celebrates the cultures of the district: Asia, Africa, the East, the Mediterranean ... Guest rooms are conducive to relaxation and wonderfully decorated. They have been designed like mini museums with colourful interiors including the wallpaper, wax duvets, a mask made of recycled objects that remind us of those by Romuald Hazoumé, a Beninese visual artist. On the 1st floor, the Neni restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine that will make you want to return again and again, whether you are staying at the hotel or a non-resident. On the same floor, check out the Sape Bar, a new hotspot in the capital with a warm, friendly, and festive vibe.

Hôtel 25Hours Terminus Nord – 12 boulevard de Denain, Paris 10th

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2 / Louxor

Le Louxor - Palais du cinéma, façade, Paris © Luc Boegly

Now, here is a place with distinctive architecture. Dating from 1919, this former Haussmann-style building, now an art house cinema listed historical monument, has had an interesting history. Built by the architect Henri Zipcy, it resembles an Egyptian building. Incorporated in the design are elements symbolic of Egypt, such as beetles and papyrus. Impossible to pass through Barbès-Rochechouart, on foot and especially on the overhead metro line 2, without taking a look at this remarkable eye-catching building.

The Louxor has had a long history and was once transformed into a disco Today it fulfils its role as a cinema house promoting the ‘7th art’. There are 3 cinema auditoriums, including one in homage to Egyptian director Youssef Chahine. And should a film not be reason enough to go, then maybe knowing that the cinema has a bar and restaurant (open only in the evening) with a terrace overlooking the Goutte d'Or district and offering a breathtaking view of the Sacred Heart, will succeed in tempting you.

Louxor – Palais du cinéma – 170 boulevard de Magenta, Paris 10th

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3 / The Tati brand

Everyone knows the French brand Tati. Renowned for offering the consumer the cheapest prices and for its colourful blue and pink shop front, Tati is also and above all the story of a bag, the ‘Barbès bag’. Made of nylon, with small white, red and blue checks, and now found worldwide, the bag was first marketed in France by the Tati brand situated on Boulevard Barbès. Initially named, the ‘migrant's bag’, it has since been eyed by major fashion brands such as Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga. But one thing is sure, at Tati and shops in the district, it will always be sold at a price that is affordable for everyone.

Tati - 4 boulevard de Rochechouart, Paris 10th

4 / Boulevard Barbès - Tribute to Armand Barbès

Arriving on Boulevard Barbès from the metro exit is to arrive on one of Paris’s most well-known thoroughfares. Teeming with life, the scene is a colourful one with shops, cafes and pedestrians. There are also several surprises including the history of the boulevard’s name of which we know almost nothing and yet…! On the outside walls of the metro (Guy Patin exit), there is a sign dedicated to a man, Armand Barbès, a French politician born in Pointe-à-Pitre who was an opponent of the July monarchy of 1848. It was inaugurated in 2014, by a special committee and the then Minister for French Overseas Territories, George Pau-Langevin.

Did you know?: Did you know that wine was produced at the Goutte d'Or? The district takes its name from the golden-coloured wine produced here up until the 18th century. Today, at 28 Rue de la Goutte d'Or, an elixir is produced that has the same colour, but this is a beer not a wine, and is produced by the Goutte d’Or beer company.

Boulevard Barbès, Paris 18th

5 / Coffee roaster rue des Poissonniers

The Rue des Poissonniers is probably one of the longest in the Goutte d'Or district. It is a lively street, especially with the many tradespeople including fishmongers who tout their produce to passers-by. A fine coincidence! At first it is difficult to see this small coffee and roasting shop at number 14. Instead, just follow the wonderful aroma of coffee!

Brûlerie Barbès - 14 rue des Poissonniers, Paris 18th

6 / Rue Myrha

This street could easily be nicknamed the mini Champs-Elysées of the Goutte d'Or district. Brands and fashion labels here dress international celebrities such as Beyoncé or Laetitia Casta. The designers are young, creative and committed to better ways of promoting textile materials from the African continent at a just price. These fashion labels are also nourished by the character of the neighbourhood and its culture - a source of great inspiration for their designs.

7 / Rue des Gardes

Named ‘Rue de la Mode’ (‘fashion street’), this street benefited from a redevelopment programme in the city of Paris some fifteen years ago. The idea was to create spaces that would enable young fashion and textile designers to get started and foster an interest in the fashion trade. The street has a bootmaker, a leather goods maker, a textile designer and a factory - the Fabrique de la Goutte d'or. Designers like Sakina M'sa and Xuly Bet also opened businesses on the street and are now known internationally.

Rue des Gardes, Paris 18th

8 / Square Léon

This small public garden, once a quarry used for the construction of Sacré Cœur, is a little oasis in the neighbourhood. Here you will find yourself among local residents: young people play football or basketball; other locals stroll in the sun in the summer or play draughts - the most popular entertainment in the park!

Square Léon – 20 rue des Gardes, Paris 18th

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9 / ICI – time for tea

Looking for somewhere tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the neighbourhood? Visit the Institut des Cultures d’Islam on Rue Léon. This institution, located in the heart of the Goutte d'Or, is devoted to the creation and dissemination of contemporary cultures linked to the Muslim world. It is a place where art and music converse, and where there is a focus on meetings and cooking. On the subject of cooking, this is the place to come to for lunch and taste the best couscous in the neighbourhood or simply to drink Moroccan-style tea.

Institut des Cultures d’Islam – 19 rue Léon, Paris 18th

 More info on Institut des Cultures d’Islam

10 / Rue Doudeauville – Wax

After Rue de la Mode, here we are in Rue du Wax!  This Indonesian-inspired fabric, which enriched Dutch merchants, is on all the shelves of the shops in the Goutte d'Or district. Although now part of the cultural identity of sub-Saharan Africa, the fabric is particularly associated with its appropriation and use during the colonial period. It is one of the little treasures that people come to the Goutte d'Or in search of, and one of the best places to source it is on Rue Doudeauville, where wax shops sport colourful facades decorated with murals and handmade drawings. This artistic technique is emblematic of local shops in West and Central Africa.

Rue Doudeauville, Paris 18th

11 /  Dejean market

The Dejean market is a lively permanent market in the street of the same name.

People rub shoulders to find the best prices for fruit, vegetables, spices and fish. An authentic experience!

Marché Dejean - Rue Dejean, Paris 18th

12 / Métro Château Rouge - Barthelemy Toguo

Since 17 October 2017, a ceramic fresco has covered the walls of the Château-Rouge metro station. It is by the contemporary artist of Cameroonian origin Barthélémy Toguo who, through this manifesto, has entered the city’s archives. The work, entitled ‘Celebrations’, is 3 m high and 10 m long, and was created at the Musée de Sèvres. The fresco is a celebration of the neighbourhood where the artist lived, and it symbolizes vegetation and the birth of a new world.

Station de métro Château-Rouge, Paris 18th

13 / Barbès Comedy

‘Once upon a time' there was Barbès and its cultural diversity. In addition to the fabrics, spices, crisscrossing little streets and unique atmosphere, the district now has a new venue devoted to stand-up comedy, the idea of comedian Shirley Souagnon. A rich programme tailored to fit the identity of the district. High spirits guaranteed!

Barbès Comedy Club – 39 rue Léon, Paris 18th