Paris, 18th arrondissement.

Metro Station Barbès-Rochechouart is named after two Parisian boulevards. (See this Instagram post to see how to pronounce this and where the name came from.)

Many visitors do not venture into this neighborhood, passing only briefly in the Metro on their way to Montmartre.

This is working class, multi-ethnic Paris at its most authentic, not the postcard-perfect city peddled by the Office du Tourisme, social media and Netflix TV series.

Between Montmartre, Pigalle and la Goutte-d’Or, this corner of the French capital is loud, crowded, surprising, colorful and a bit daunting.

The entire world seems to meet here.

Gentrification used to struggle more around Barbès than in other neighborhoods, but these days it’s making a dent in these parts too.

After seven decades, Tati, the giant department store across the street, is now closed soon to be replaced by offices, condos and retail businesses.

Behold the New Paris.

From the window of a fun yet elegant neo-brasserie, a vantage point. Diners distractedly look down at a slice of Parisian streetscape and the old Metro station whose name continues to challenge many foreigners.

Bienvenue à Paris.

Véronique - France with Véro
Véronique of France with Véro

Véronique of France with Véro

Vero shares her homeland weekly on social media with virtual tours, photo essays, live events and other publications at France with Vero. Learn more.

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  1. Richard on November 26, 2023 at 11:46 am

    Always an interesting place.

    I remember years ago wandering around the station (I’m a bit of a history buff and it’s the place where the first German was killed in act of Resistance by the French during the Second World War) and seeing all sorts of ‘tax free’ goods for sale.

    These quickly and quietly disappeared when a police car cruised by…

    • Véro on November 26, 2023 at 1:41 pm

      It’s a very lively neighorhood, no doubt 😉

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