As soon as the sun comes out in Paris, we all tend to rush to go to the same places and the canal Saint Martin is one of these places. But why, what is there to do ?
The magic of the place :
First of all, we like to go to the canal Saint Martin for the place itself.
This 4,5 km long canal links up the bassin of la Villette to the Seine. Its banks are very appreciated by strollers and picknickers. Considering the fact that we don’t have the sea in Paris (Paris with the sea would basically be paradise on earth) we console ourselves with what we have which means the Seine and the canals. This is of course not the only reason why so many people like to come to the canal Saint Martin, the locks and the swing bridges makes it atypical and romantic and you can even go on touristic cruises on the canal.
It used to be a working-class neighbourhood but it became a cool and trendy place that managed to keep its authenticity and romanticism.
There are so many good spots in this area but I will focus on 3 I especially like.
Green Factory :
Let’s start with this shop that takes you into a green dreamlike word : Green Factory. You can discover mini-gardens under glass domes. This is the best option for urban citizens missing nature.
Green Factory – 17 rue Lucien Sampaix – 75010 PARIS
You probably already know Holybelly because it already has a proven reputation, you just need to look at the queue to realize it! It’s a coffee shop held by an Australian couple. The interior is trendy and cosy : exposed beams, brick wall, old floor tiles, formica chairs… It actually looks like a lot of coffee shops you can find in Paris but thankfully there is more to Holybelly than its interior, the food and the coffee are really good!
Holybelly – 19 rue Lucien Sampaix – 75010 PARIS
Le Comptoir Général :
This is the spot you don’t want to miss! Le Comptoir Général is very difficult to discribe because it is one of these alternative places you rarely see in Paris. It’s a bar (not just a bar, it’s much more than that) fitted in an old stable of 600 m2. This place could also be described as a museum dedicated to ghetto art that promotes misunderstood, marginalized and exotic cultures from all around the world and especially of the African continent. Afraican influcences are therefore very strong so you can see a lot of curiosities from Africa stacked in every corner, a thrift shop, a record store, a garden center… Le Comptoir Général donates the proceeds to finance its artistic and solidary projects. This outstanding place passes on strong values and makes us travel, I just love it!
Le Comptoir Général – 80 quai de Jemmapes – 75010 PARIS
And so many more:
I really like this cute jewelry shop (I’m sorry I don’t remember the name).
Nordkraft, the perfect address for Danish design.
Nordkraft – 20 rue Lucien Sampaix – 75010 PARIS
Artazart Design Bookstore is a bookstore specialized in graphic design.
Arthazart Design Bookstore – 83 quai de Valmy – 75010 PARIS
Babel, a cool concept store.
Babel – 55 quai de Valmy – 75010 PARIS
La Passerelle is another cool concept store and inside you can even find a tea room where you can enjoy a good coffee, organic tea, hot chocolate and soft drinks in a welcoming and vintage place.
La Passerelle – 48 bis Quai de Jemmapes – 75010 PARIS
Let’s finish with this wonderful decoration (sorry this time again I don’t remember the name).
Please don’t miss also the beautiful and delicious boulangerie Du pain et des idées (34 rue Yves-Toudic) and these addresses I’ve already talked to you about like Le Petit Cambodge for the best bobuns in Paris, The Sunken Chip for fish & chips lovers and the amazing decoration shop Colonel.
As you understood, there are so many reasons to go stroll along the Canal Saint Martin. Maybe you will come this weekend? :)