Canal Saint-Martin

Address: Quai de Valmy, and Quai de Jemmapes, Paris, 75010, France

- Free


Paris's atmospheric canal is perfect for a lazy stroll.

With its tree-lined quayside and picturesque green metal footbridges, the Canal St-Martin is a favourite spot for a romantic stroll, an evening bar crawl or a walk with the kids, with playgrounds on the way and pauses to watch barges chugging through the locks.There are plenty of good places for a meal or drink, including Hôtel du Nord, Le Valmy and hip Chez Prune bar. Chill out at Point Ephémère quayside music venue, exhibition space, rehearsal studios and café in the old Point B warehouses, or check out the colourful clothes at Antoine & Lili, sophisticated fashion at Sandro and selection of design books at Artazart. The canal was begun by Napoleon in 1802 and completed in 1825 providing a short cut between the meanders of the Seine and it's still used for quite a lot of boat traffic today. On its southern section, between Faubourg-du-Temple and the Bastille, the canal runs underground boulevard Richard-Lenoir but reemerges such of the Bastille at the Port de l'Arsenal boat marina before flowing into the Seine. At the northern end, Stalingrad lock opens into the wider Bassin de la Villette as the canal continues northeastwards through the Parc de la Villette. For a leisurely cruise, Canauxrama ( runs boat trips on the canal between the Port de l'Arsenal and La Villette (around 2hrs30) and Paris Canal ( runs half-day trips on the Seine and Canal St-Martin between Musée d'Orsay and Parc de la Villette.

Value for money

Expert tips

Best on Sunday when the quais are closed to traffic but the shops are still open.

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Couples
  • Families with younger children
  • Travellers with pets
  • Nightlife
  • Relaxation
  • Shopping
  • Chilling out