And if you're only visiting as a tourist, be sure to check out the excellent chateau (see below).
Photo: JH Mora/WikiCommons
Location: North east of Paris
Connection: Metro Line 5
This north eastern suburb seems to be getting renovations and new projects on every corner.
A great example of this is the BETC advertising agency, pictured below.
The company, which Forbes magazine called it the “Ad agency of the future” took over a derelict post-industrialisation building in the area, which was best known previously for its criminality than its architectural heritage.
It now has up to 1,000 people working in the building.
Other grand-scale projects set out in Pantin’s local newspaper Canal include a new school, total renovation of Diderot Park, an “eco-quarter” of green spaces, housing and economic developments and a futuristic library.
While Paris’s suburbs have a reputation for being unsafe, Pantin is prioritising the security of its residents, investing €1.8 million into the local police force and €300,000 into video surveillance.
And don’t miss the National Dance Centre on the Ourcq Canal – which is designed to showcase brightness and space, the building itself is worth a visit for its modern architecture, even if you’re not planning on seeing a performance.
Location: North of Paris
Connection: Metro Line 13
You might also see Clichy written as Clichy-La-Garenne, literally, “Clichy-the-rabbit-warren”, a name that dates back to the Middle-Ages.
Right at the border of Paris, this suburb is just a short ride, or walk, away from the winding, cobbled streets of Montmartre and you can get to the heart of Paris in under 30 minutes by Metro.
Some of France’s best known brands BIC, Etam and L’Oréal have made their home in Clichy, so the area brings in plenty of workers and is far from sleepy.
Don’t miss the Pavillon Vendôme art centre (pictured below) and its wild flower garden.
Location: South west of Paris
Connection: Metro Line 12
Between 2006 and 2010, Issy was the fourth most popular destination for Parisians opting to move to the suburbs, with 5,300 people choosing to set up home in the suburb (nearby Boulogne-Billancourt was number one).
It's included in the route for the new Grand Paris Metro lines, so transport links are only going to get better.
Just over the Seine River from well-to-do Boulogne-Billancourt, Issy-les-Moulineaux may not have the same prestigious history, but has drawn in a cosmopolitan population.
A key draw, not only for Parisians but for people all over the world, is the wealth of big media and tech companies like Canal+, Microsoft and France24, causing the area to be dubbed “medialand”.
And largely thanks to these big companies, unemployment in Issy-les-Moulineaux is only 6.38 percent, compared to the national rate of 9.7 percent.
Location: South west of Paris
Connection: Metro line 9
Sèvres is a quiet suburb but offers plenty of options if you’re into sports and outdoor activities.
Keen cyclists, runners or hikers would be at home in this leafy suburb as it's almost entirely bordered by forests or water.
The porcelain factory (pictured below) is one of the biggest in Europe, and you can learn about its history in Sèvres’ porcelain museum.
By Oliver Gee/Rose Trigg