The Canal Saint-Martin is the body of water that connects the river Seine and the bigger Canal de l’Ourq. If you look at a map, you will see that it only runs for a little while, and that it doesn’t look at all connected to the river Seine… but there is an explanation for that: between the metro stations Bastille and République, it runs underground!
It was Napoleon who ordered the construction of the canal in 1802, so the area would be supplied with water, thus stopping the advance of the diseases that were hitting Paris at the time, cholera and dysentery. It was inaugurated in 1825. Nowadays, it is considered to be historical monument: It was declared as such in 1993. 3
The Canal Saint-Martin is located in the 10th and 11th arrondissements of Paris, but it works as a relaxing area from many inhabitants of Paris, even those who live in other parts of the city: Even if the place receives more tourists nowadays, it still seems a place far away from the city centre, and many Parisians choose it as a destination for an afternoon of shopping and cafés.
This location has quite a famous neighbour, even if fictional: Amélie Poulain! Film director Jean-Pierre Jeunet contributed lots to the fame of the Canal Saint-Martin with this film. Do you remember that famous scene in which Amélie is making stones jump by throwing them to the waters of a canal? That’s right, it is Canal Saint-Martin!
From one of our apartments near Canal Saint-Martin, you will have plenty of transportation options even if you’re not right in the city centre
. There are plenty of buses, bur perhaps the easiest option is the metro: Paris has a great metro system that arrives pretty much to every corner of the city, so it will be easy for you to grab a map and trace your personalised route. If you stay in the surroundings of Canal Saint-Martin, you will have access to the Line 2 of the metro in the stations Colonel Fabien and Stalingrad, where you will be able to take also lines 5 and 7. With Line 7, you will soon be in landmarks such as the Opera
, the Louvre Museum
or Notre Dame
, and line 5 can take you to Place de la Républice or Bastille. Line 2 stays further from the river Seine, but it can take you to the Moulin Rouge and Montmartre and to the Arc de Triomphe
. So, as you can see, in Canal Saint-Martin you can be far away from the tourist crowds and the noise and enjoy the quiet, but also be very well connected to the main attractions of the city of Paris!
A good option to truly enjoy the nature and the atmosphere of the area is booking a cruise of the Canal Saint-Martin, which includes explanations on the history of this part of Paris as well as on the secrets hidden in this beautiful canal.
Besides, Canal Saint-Martin is a great place to stay if you’re travelling with your children. The nice atmosphere will make them feel at home, and whenever they’re tired of walking around sightseeing, you will find many little parks and green areas where they can play and enjoy themselves. And you will be able to do so as well: Canal Saint-Martin is an area full of locals where to breathe and take a long, paused, walk: You will see some locals fishing as you cross the metal bridges of the canal, and will admire the many colours of the little shops side by side of the canal.
The area around the Canal Saint-Martin is very relaxing, and the atmosphere is completely local. This is why you will be able to enjoy the food in many nice restaurants and bistros, and why you probably won’t suffer the prices as much as in the city centre. You can have a wonderful breakfast at Ten Belles or Holybelly, which will leave all bellies satisfied no matter they prefer to start their day with sweet or savoury foods. Wonderful dinner options include Le Cambodge, which offers great Vietnamese food, or le Philou, a cute little bistro.
And if you don’t like any of this options, you can also grab some sandwiches to go and enjoy them with your family or friends in the Jardins de Villemin, a very nice park right next to the canal.
Around the apartments near Canal Saint-Martin, you will also have nice places to have a drink around. It is a residential area, but there are many places where to have fun and that keep that warm local atmosphere that reigns in the neighbourhood. A couple of nice options are Le Cinquante, a nice neighbourhood-like café, and The Cork and Cavan, a great Irish pub where you will be able to enjoy a fresh beer or wine, together with some food. Besides, there are many little pubs and bars in the area – you just need to grab a jacket and go out: A great way to finish your day in Paris and Canal Saint-Martin! The place is especially nice during the summer, so those are great options even if you’re staying in another part of the city.