Paris street art: fascinating street art in Belleville

Belleville is a neighbourhood in Paris that every street art lover should visit.

This part of Paris is not too far from the city centre, but it’s not frequented by tourists.

It is known as an artistic neighbourhood, with many artists living in the area, and plenty of art on the streets.

Belleville is also known as a very diverse part of Paris, historically home to several waves of immigrants from various places, a bit like Brick Lane in London (which is also a street art hub).

Taking a street art tour in belleville

Paris street art Frida Kahlo

A street art tour is a good reason to visit and discover Belleville.

I joined a group tour with Street Art Tour Paris, because they run art tours and workshops led by artists with insider knowledge of the local scene.

The tour meeting point was easy to find, close to Gambetta Metro station in Belleville, where we met our guide Sig.

It was a small-group walking tour, there were about 10 of us.

That was quite refreshing and more relaxed, compared to tours I took in more touristy parts of Paris like Montmartre, with groups of 20-30 people.

I took the tour on a Sunday, and the streets we walked through were pretty quiet.

Throughout the tour, we saw a huge range of artworks on the streets, both legal and commissioned pieces, and underground street art and graffiti.

In general, you want to keep looking up and around, because there are surprising pieces of art on just about every wall.

Our guide Sig, being an artist himself, had a lot of knowledge, was familiar with many of the artists and could answer any question we asked him.

He explained the techniques used to make some of the pieces, which made us appreciate the art more.

By the end of the tour, you will learn to recognise the style of each street artist effortlessly.

The general tone of the tour was informative but informal. It was more like a friendly chat with an artist, rather than a lecture about dry facts and figures.

If you take the tour and like a particular artist, ask the guide where to see more of their work, who will most likely know where to find more and share a wealth of local knowledge with you.

Check upcoming tour dates here:

A selection of great street art in belleville, paris

Space invaders

Paris street art space invader
A friendly space invader

We started the tour with what is probably the most well-known phenomenon in Parisian urban art: Space Invaders.

You will spot these ceramic tile pixel art installations on walls everywhere in Paris.

Created by an artist who always hides behind a mask, the space invaders project has been running for years.

I’ve spotted these in many other cities as well as Paris.

There’s even an app called Flashinvaders, if you feel like getting addicted to spotting invaders.

Here’s a short movie about the story of the Space Invaders:

Art on retrait street in belleville

We spent quite a bit of time on the street art tour on Retrait street (rue du Retrait), where a local association has been promoting artistic activities for many years.

The street itself and the smaller streets around it are full of artworks to discover, from large, eye-catching murals to small and sometimes hidden paste-ups and stickers.

Our guide told us about the background of the pieces. He had a lot of knowledge to share about the styles, artists, local heritage, the locations chosen for the pieces, their significance for the local community, the history of the neighbourhood and many more bits of information that put everything we saw in context.

Animals seem to star in the Belleville street art scene.

I’m not sure why, but some of the most impressive works we saw, especially around Retrait street, were of animals of all kinds, some big cats in particular.

Remarkable street artists to see in paris

As we continued our walk around main streets and side alleys in Belleville, we saw many more artworks, some were quite striking and other pretty modest.

There were so many different styles and techniques, that it was difficult to choose favourites.

13bis street art in Paris Belleville
Art by 13bis in Belleville

The brilliant works of an artist who calls herself “13bis” certainly stood out. We saw her work in two different locations and I was left intrigued to see more of what she’s created.

A few days later, I saw another piece by her in the centre of Paris and I was happy to be able to recognise her style right away.

Portait series by No Paris Graffiti
Street art by Nô in Belleville

Another notable artist we encountered three times on the tour goes by the name “Nô”.

We saw artworks he made as part of a series of portraits, all with very strong facial expressions.

Some other remarkable artists we saw included Anis, L’Atlas, Nemo, Retro and Mosko, among many others.

Just before the end of the tour, we climbed up to a hilltop viewing point with great views of the city.

Right next to that same viewing point there was an open-air gallery of paste-ups and stickers and some small wall paintings.

At the end of the tour, we also saw one of the legal urban art zones, where anyone can come and create. It’s a street with walls fully covered with layers and layers of paint.

I left the tour full of aesthetic inspiration and eager to see even more street art around Paris.

If you’re planning a trip to Paris, check when the street art tour is available:

Other places to see street art in paris

When you visit Paris, keep looking up, there’s art everywhere.

Here are some other places to find great urban art in Paris:

More guides to Paris

More street art from around the world:

Save this Paris street art article on Pinterest

I was invited as a guest of Street Art Tour Paris on this tour. All opinions are my own.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.