Look no further for the best advice on what to do on the Canal Saint-Martin in Paris!
The Canal Saint-Martin is one of my favorite areas of Paris. It is pretty unknown to tourists and Paris novices – I lived here for 6 months for my semester abroad without ever stepping foot near the canal! But, after the day I discovered it when I came back to Paris after graduating, there was no turning back! I had found my new favorite place to hang in the city.
The Canal Saint-Martin is one of a few canals that snake through the upper eastern part of Paris. It is crawling with locals, it has amazing restaurants, bars and cafés, and the scenery is beautiful…but I’ll get into all of this later!
Keep reading for the ultimate guide to your day on the Canal Saint-Martin!
Where to stroll
You should start you day at the beginning of the canal, which is just a stone’s throw away from the Place de la République. The Place de la République is most well known in Paris as a gathering point, a place for protests, and for concerts!
Once you’ve moved on from basking in the wonder that is the Place de la République, find the street Rue du Fauberg du Temple, and walk straight down until you hit the water!
Once you’ve spotted the water, take a left down the street Quai de Valmy. You’ll soon find yourself surrounded by the cutest little shops, restaurants, and of course the canal! On a sunny day, I totally recommend setting up camp beside the water with a good book and a few snacks. When it gets really hot, don’t be afraid to stick your feet in the water as the canal is much cleaner than the Seine River!
Parisians flock to the canal when it gets warm in the city in the summertime. And believe me, it can get hot! The past few summers, temperatures skyrocketed to 95°F. Hellloooo shiny forehead!
Once you’ve read a few chapters in your book, continue to wander down the canal. You’ll probably pass some shops and cafés you’d like to poke your head into – more on the best ones later!
You’ll notice to your left a lovely park – the Jardin Villemin! This is also a great place to hang out with a book, and if you have children, head here for an awesome jungle gym.
Don’t miss the interesting street art along the canal, too. Located at 11 Rue Jean Poulmarch, there are 2 murals worth stopping at for a quick photo op. The murals change fairly regularly, so you never know what you’ll see!
After about 20 minutes of strolling along the canal, you’ll find yourself at an intersection with the metro station Jaurès in the middle. If you’d like to continue to stroll, I say go for it! Here you’ll find another body of water called the Bassin de la Villette. This is another really special part of Paris…maybe I should write a blog about that area too!
Where to eat
Ah, one of our favorite topics here at Sight Seeker’s Delight…FOOD! All of the amazing eats in Paris is definitely something that we all love, and is quite possibly one of the reasons why we live here.
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from in this area…1,2,3, GO!
Hôtel du Nord
The filmmaker Marcel Carné immortalized the Hôtel du Nord by reproducing its facade for his 1938 movie of the same name. Originally built in 1885 as a hotel serving mostly manual laborers, the Hôtel du Nord is now a bar and restaurant with a zinc bar, velvet curtains, low lamplight, and an extensive upstairs library to give the former hotel a distinctly 1930’s charm. The highlights of this place is that you can nurse a drink on the garden patio, play chess, browse the library, or enjoy a fresh and delicious meal prepared with ingredients straight from the ground and conceived by celebrated chef Pascal Brébant. Guaranteed nostalgia. About 40 euros per person.
Address: 102 Quai de Jemmapes
Open: Every day noon-3pm, 8pm-midnight
01 40 40 78 78
This classically Parisian bistro is an excellent place to head to if you’re in the mood for a yummy brunch, or for a great cheese and charcuterie plate. The location is part of what makes it so excellent – it’s located right on the canal and if you’re lucky enough to get some outdoor seating the view will not disappoint!
Address: 36 Rue Beaurepaire, 75010
Open: Monday-Saturday 8am-2am, Sunday 10am-2pm
01 42 41 30 47
Sol Semilla should be your go-to for delicious vegan and vegetarian food. Not only that, all of the products used here are organic, fresh, gluten-free, and everything is handmade! Talk about my dream! I’ve become super conscious recently about where the food I eat comes from. It’s nice and refreshing to find a place in Paris that does the hard work for you!
Address: 23 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 12pm-10:45pm, Monday 12pm-7pm
01 42 01 03 44
Du Pain et des Idées
This bakery is a bit of a local superstar! Opened in 2002 by Christophe Vasseur, the bakery prides itself for its back to basics, 19th century style baking. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right? Du Pain et des Idées also uses all natural, mostly organic ingredients to give you the best of the best in bread and pastries. Their specialty is their chocolate and pistachio rolls, and from experience I can tell you that they are SO good.
Address: 34 Rue Yves Toudic, 75010
Open: Monday-Friday 7am-8pm
01 42 40 44 52
Where to shop
Shopping is just another one of the wonders of the Canal Saint-Martin. There is no shortage of cute boutiques that I’m sure you’ll be itching to check out.
Antoine et Lili
This series of 3 colorfully painted boutiques are pretty much unmissable for their bright colors against Paris’ favorite color, gray. The shop carries women’s clothing and home decor, and most of their pieces are designed and made here in France. That being said, the owners get their inspiration from all over the world! Places like India, Africa and Latin America have inspired their products, and everything inside their boutiques are really unique.
Address: 95 Quai de Valmy, 75010
Open: Monday-Friday 10:30am-7:30pm, Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11am-7pm
01 40 37 41 55
Philippe le Libraire
This bookstore is a small shop nestled on one of the side streets that jut off of the canal. It seems to be bursting at the seams with books, comics, and other random treasures…aka a book lover like me’s paradise! Get ready to do some digging, because it is definitely not very organized in the shop, but that is all apart of it’s charm. You can absolutely find some really unique souvenir ideas here…just make sure you left enough room in your suitcase!
Address: 32 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010
Open: Monday, Wednesday-Friday 11am-7pm, Saturday 11am-7:30pm, Sunday 2pm-6pm
01 40 38 11 39
Make My Lemonade
Make My Lemonade is another really great women’s clothing store near the Canal Saint-Martin. What makes this boutique unique? They also sell patterns and fabrics to make your own clothing. I may be a writer now, but I actually studied Fashion for my undergraduate degree. I’ll always have a soft spot for la mode, and I love taking a peek in this shop to see what they have! Don’t worry, if you’re not that skilled with a needle and thread, they have plenty of ready-to-wear options too. Bonus? They also have a café!
Address: 61 Quai de Valmy, 75010
Open: Tuesday-Saturday 11am-8pm, Sunday 11am-7pm
09 67 42 23 97
I couldn’t forget all of my male readers out there! Balibaris is a chain of Men’s clothing stores, with shops all over France, and over 15 boutiques in Paris. I love all of their stores, for their minimalistic designs and high quality materials. Check them out if you’re looking to add a little bit of class to your wardrobe.
Address: 4 Rue de Marseille, 75010
Open: Monday-Thursday 10:30am-7:30pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-8pm, Sunday 11am-7:30pm
01 42 41 52 44
Where to drink
It wouldn’t be a day at the Canal Saint-Martin if you didn’t enjoy a few drinks! I’m talking wine, coffee, tea, or cocktails people, so if you like to stay away from alcohol…that’s okay too!
Le Comptoir Général
This bar is definitely a unique place to stop and enjoy a cocktail. Located in a refurbished barn (you read that right!) Le Comptoir Général is arguably the coolest bar near the canal. You’ll miss it if you aren’t looking for it, as it is quite hidden behind a giant metal door. Follow the path to the entrance and prepared to be wowed by their set up.
At night this is definitely a place for adults, but during the day there are workshops, brunches, and activities for kids too.
Address: 80 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010
Open: Monday-Thursday 6pm-2am, Friday 4pm-2am, Saturday 2pm-2am, Sunday 11am-1am
01 44 88 24 48
Ten Belles is a teeny tiny café located right on the Canal Saint-Martin. The place may be small, but their coffee is seriously some of the best I’ve had in Paris! The servers speak English, their pastries and cookies are yummy, and they also have iced coffee in the summertime !! If you know how rare this is in Paris…you’re as excited as I am.
Address: 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles, 75010
Open: Monday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-6pm
09 83 08 86 69
Café Craft is another excellent place to drink a good coffee, and is also the place to go if you have to squeeze in a little work-time when you’re in Paris. The city has totally embraced the coworking space culture that seems to be popping up all over the world, and Café Craft is a great example of that.
Even if you don’t have to get any work done, the WiFi is great, the coffee is hot, and the pastries are delicious, too.
Address: 24 Rue des Vinaigriers, 75010
Open: Monday-Friday 9am-7pm, Saturday-Sunday 10am-7pm
01 40 35 90 77
I’m bringing you guys back to another bar to round out my list! The Point Éphémère is a trendy spot to soak up the sun on their rooftop deck, or listen to some live music. There are also art expositions and the design of the building is really cool as well.
Get ready to feast your eyes upon all of the graffiti (it’s supposed to be there, I promise!), and the beautiful view of the canal.
Address: 200 Quai de Valmy, 75010
Open: Monday-Thursday 12:30pm-2am, Friday-Saturday 12:30pm-3am, Sunday 12:30pm-12am
01 40 34 02 48
Well, that’s it for me Sight Seeker’s, my guide to your perfect day on the Canal Saint-Martin! I hope I’ve inspired you all to head to this area of Paris – you won’t regret it.
As a special thanks for reading this article, when you book your next tour with us, use the discount code CANAL, and enjoy 5 euros off per person on your Sight Seeker’s Delight walking tour!
Did I miss something? Have you ever been to the places I’ve mentioned? Let me know in the comments below! We love hearing from you 🙂
2 thoughts on “The Ultimate Guide to Your Day on the Canal Saint-Martin”
Jours de Fêtes needs to be on your radar I’ve been going there each time I visit Paris since 2014. Delicious Spanish tapas and friendly service. 72 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010 Paris, France
Thanks so much for the recommendation Heather! 🙂