Welcome to the latest trend-setting neighbourhood in Paris, Canal Saint-Martin. Not everyone makes this neighbourhood a priority on their Paris to-do list but as you will see they are surely missing out! If you're looking for an edgier more eclectic side to Paris, a place to find some wicked street art, or a place to scope the latest street style then this is your jam. On a sunny day, join the locals for drinks along the canal and soak in the relaxed yet vibrant atmosphere. This is a full day guide broken up into morning and afternoon segments. Some of the stops in this guide aren't technically in Canal Saint-Martin but they mix in nicely with the neighbourhood and make for the most interesting tour of the area! The best day to do this guide is Thursday as everything will be open! Check the hours shown below in advance if you plan on going another day.
* This is an interactive Google map. Click each icon A-J for location title. Click the icon in the top left corner for full list of stops. Follow the blue walking path for the most interesting route. *If you're having trouble viewing this map please click here.
A. Marché Richard Lenoir
Address: Find it set up in the middle of the boulevard between Bréguet-Sabin and Bastille Metro stations.
Hours: Thursday 7am - 2:30pm. Sunday 7am - 3pm.
Start your morning off like a local and check out this bustling open air street market! Here you'll find piles of colourful fruits and vegetables and fresh flowers stacked a mile high! It's really the kind of market that dreams are made of. Not just savoury delights, you can also find things like wool scarves and soaps made with the lavender of Provence. Sunday is especially busy at the market because regular grocery stores are closed. Be sure to join in on this weekly ritual and get a true sense of French cuisine.
B. Slow Gallery
Address: 5 Rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud, 75011 Paris.
Hours: (M-F) 11:30AM-7:30PM. (S) 12PM-7:30PM. (Su) Closed.
Slow Gallery really catches your attention with it's captivating mix of graphic art. Artists from around the world are featured in the gallery, all with a unique twist on a similar illustrative style. If you're looking for a unique piece of art to take home this would be a fantastic souvenir. I think this style of art adds a needed quirky touch to any collection.
C. Place de la République
Address: A large square located on the border between the 3rd, 10th, and 11th arrondissements (See map).
Continue your walk through Place de la République where you will see a great monument. This beautiful structure was dedicated to the Third Republic and was designed by the Morice brothers in 1879. In 2011, the city of Paris renovated the space to add a large public space for pedestrians and cyclists. Now a major gathering place, everyone from protestors, to skateboarders, to shoppers can be found milling about the place.
Most recently, millions of people gathered here to express solidarity with the victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack. Remnants of that rally can still be seen on the statue...a symbol of the freedom that the French people hold near and dear.
D. Du Pain et des Idées
Address: 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010 Paris.
Hours: Monday to Friday 6:45AM to 8PM. Sat-Sun Closed.
Du Pain et des Idées is my all time favourite bakery in Paris...and I've been to a lot....what can I say? I enjoy a good croissant! The classic and beautiful atmosphere is almost as pleasant as the smell of wafting bread you'll encounter when you step in the door. Top that with a mix of 'can't-go-wrong' offerings and a healthy dose of friendly service and you will find yourself going out of your way to be here. My personal favourites though are the lemon-nougat escargot (no snails are a part of this pastry, It's more of a swirled bread like a cinnamon bun) and the pain des amis....best bread I have ever tasted.
E. La Trésorerie
Address: 11 Rue du Château d'Eau, 75010 Paris.
Hours: Monday to Saturday 11:00AM - 7:30PM. Closed Sunday.
This store is a Scandinavian design dream. It stocks good quality and functional products for the home that also happen to be environmentally friendly! A simple yet beautiful design is carried throughout the store that is set up in a market style. Cafe Smorgas is joined to the store and offers a grand assortment of open faced sandwiches (Called Smorgas in Sweden...hence the name) and the best coffee in the city from Belleville Brûlerie.
F. NordKraft Concept Store
Address: 20 Rue Lucien Sampaix, 75010 Paris.
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday 11:30AM - 7:30PM. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
Keeping with a theme of sorts, we have another Scandinavian concept store to stop by. This one is specifically dedicated to all aspects of Danish design and lifestyle. This includes everything from fashion to bikes....and the Danes sure do like their bikes! I happen to be a big fan of Danish design and really enjoyed browsing through both their website and store for inspiration.
Address: 19 Rue Lucien Sampaix 75010 Paris.
Hours: Weekdays 9AM to 6PM, kitchen closes at 3PM.
Weekends 10AM to 6PM, kitchen closes at 4PM.
Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
It's time for a coffee break and let's make it a really great one! Holybelly prides itself on good food, good coffee, and good service in a consistent fashion. Mix all of that with an amazing atmosphere and you'll understand why there is often a line up out the door. The interiors here are trendy without trying too hard. It's the typical modern French aesthetic....naturally cool. The passion of the owners really comes through at this place....it's somewhere you wish you had in your neighbourhood.
H. Antoine & Lili
Address: 95 Quai de Valmy 75010 Paris.
Hours: Tuesday to Friday 11AM - 8PM. Saturday 10AM - 8PM. Sunday, Monday 11AM - 7PM.
Three colourful stores have become icons in the Canal Saint Martin neighbourhood and they're all part of the same brand....Antoine & Lili! One is a women's clothing store, one a children's store, and one a store for the home. If you couldn't tell from the pictures, bright colours are their thing...in a major way. These stores are so much fun you can get lost in them for a while. I thoroughly enjoyed the kids store and I don't even have kids! Never have I wanted to binge purchase tiny slippers for no one in particular more. The home store has the funkiest and most colourful selection of products out there and will be sure to leave you inspired.
I. Artazart Design Bookstore
Address: 83 Quai de Valmy, 75010 Paris.
Hours: Monday to Friday 10:30AM - 7:30PM. (Sa)11AM - 7:30PM. (Su) 1PM - 7:30PM.
Artazart is packed with the most extensive collection of Art and Design books I have ever laid eyes on! Don't be surprised if you find yourself lost in the sea of colourful covers drawing you in with their interesting niche topics. The books are organized into sections like photography and architecture...find your passion and get inspired!
J. The Sunken Chip
Address: 39 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010 Paris.
Hours: (M) Closed (T- F) 12:00PM - 2:30PM and 7:30PM - 10:30PM. (S - Su) 12:00PM - 3:30PM and 7:30PM - 10:30PM.
Last stop of the morning tour...lunch! Check in to this British outpost and grab a delectable basket of fish and chips! If it's a sunny day, do as the Parisians and take yours to go! Wander over to the nearby canal and sit along the edge, beer in hand...yes you can do that in Europe! Horah! If it's less than spectacular outside, slide into one of the cafeteria style tables and get cozy. The design in here is simple and effective with a neon 'take away' sign catching your attention amongst the glossy white subway tile. The menu here is small and focused with high quality ingredients making the difference. Insider tip: Shell out the 50 cents for the homemade tartar sauce.
* This is an interactive Google map. Click each icon A-I for location title. Click the icon in the top left corner for full list of stops. Follow the blue walking path for the most interesting route. *If you're having trouble viewing this map please click here.
A. Liberté Pâtisserie Boulangerie
Address: 39 Rue des Vinaigriers 75010 Paris.
Hours: (M-F) 7:30AM - 8:15PM. (S) 6:30AM - 8:15PM (Su) Closed.
When in France you don't miss an opportunity to have dessert. Might as well make it one from the esteemed, Benoît Castel. The tarte au citron tastes as good as it looks. Any designer would also stop dead in their tracks to see this much white marble on one countertop! The space is the perfect mix of industrial modern and old world French bakery. If I had a bakery.....
B-C. Père Lachaise Cemetery
Address: 16 Rue du Repos, 75020 Paris.
Hours: November to mid-March (M-F) 8:00AM- 5:30PM (S) 8:30AM - 5:30PM (Su and Holidays) 9:00AM - 5:30PM.
Mid-March to October (M-F) 8:00AM - 6:00PM (S) 8:30AM - 6:00PM (Su and Holidays) 9:00AM - 6:00PM.
Père Lachaise is the largest and most famous cemetery in Paris. Many notable persons were buried here including Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde, Édith Piaf, and Chopin. Some of the tombs here are quite elaborate and the extensive gardens and stone passageways make for an interesting walk. It's certainly the perfect setting in which to film a Halloween movie...you won't catch me here after dark! To get here walk to Jacques Bonsergent metro station and take it to the Père Lachaise stop. Entry here is free!
D-E. Hôpital Saint-Louis
Address: 40 Rue Bichat 75010 Paris.
Hours: Monday to Friday 9:00AM-6:00PM. Open some weekends but often closed Saturday and Sunday.
Take the train from Père Lachaise station to Goncourt station and continue the walk to the courtyard garden of the Hôpital Saint-Louis. This hospital was built in 1607 by Henry IV and there is a beautiful square that is worth taking a quick stroll through. The square is accessed through the door at the front gates on the street address above OR if that's closed you can walk around to the main entrance at the side of the hospital complex. This is still a functioning hospital specializing in dermatology, hematology, and oncology. Modern wings and research centres have been added to the historical centre over hundreds of years of operation.
F. Ten Belles
Address: 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010 Paris.
Hours: (M-F) 8:00AM - 6:00PM. (S-Su) 9:00AM - 7:00PM.
If you're interested in another coffee break, then Ten Belles is one of the best cups in Paris. In fact, Thomas Lehoux, the owner of Ten Belles, also started Belleville Brûlerie which roasts and supplies beans to many of the other good quality cafes in Paris. Thomas was a catalyst for the 'good coffee in Paris movement' and I'm sure glad he made it happen before I got here! Not just amazing coffee, Ten Belles has incredible vibes, a marvelous little garden patio, and some pretty inventive flat packing stools (shown here). I love to sit up in the loft and watch the buzz below.
G. Le Comptoir Général
Address: 80 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris.
Hours: Daily from 11AM - 2AM.
Don't expect a street sign at this self proclaimed temple dedicated to exoticism. You have to follow an unmarked passage to find it but once you do you'll be highly intrigued by this eclectic space. Once inside you'll find magnificent open beamed ceilings crawling with vines, a cafe that uses rainwater and fair trade African beans, and Le Marche Noir, a thirft shop and street styling agency upstairs. You'll find a restaurant with a street style inspired menu, Le Tiki Bar and even a hair salon! There's quite a lot to be explored here so take your time and soak in some of the magic!
H. Le Petit Cambodge
Address: 20 Rue Alibert, 75010 Paris.
Hours: Daily from 12PM - 11PM
Stop in to this bustling Cambodian restaurant for dinner and get cozy with the locals! The simple industrial style interiors are perfect for this busy restaurant where you will sit at shared tables in tight proximity with your neighbour....all a part of the charm! Try the Bobun or the beef a la citronelle and if you're a hot sauce lover be sure to try their homeade blend. This place is casual and fun just like the neighbourhood. Insider tip: To order, write down what you want on the slips of paper provided and flag down a waiter to pick it up. When you're finished you get up and pay at the counter
I. Chez Prune
Address: 36 Rue Beaurepaire, 75010 Paris.
Hours: Monday to Saturday 8AM - 2AM. Sunday 10AM - 2AM.
After dinner stroll on over to Chez Prune, a popular wine bar right along the canal. Try your best to score a spot on the terrace, a great place to people watch and soak in the neighbourhood vibes. I hope you saved room for a cheese plate to go with your wine....when in France you always save room for cheese! If you do get a spot outside, take a peek at the vintage bistro style interiors inside; mismatched and full of personality!
I sincerely hope you enjoyed a designer day in Canal Saint-Martin!