Top Things to do in the Canal Saint-Martin Neighborhood

The Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood is one of Paris’s trendiest destinations. From strolling along the canal, to admiring centuries-old architecture, to enjoying a meal at a chic cafe, there are plenty of ways to spend a day–or several days–in one of France’s most visited arrondissements. Here are some ideas to inspire you as you plan–or just dream about–an upcoming holiday in Paris:

Enjoy some Fancy Drinks – Like other cities around the world, craft cocktails have officially made their way onto the menus of many upscale French eateries. While visiting Canal Saint-Martin, find a bistro with a cozy seating area and carefully select a cocktail or two that will excite the senses. Ask the server for recommendations based on your favorite drinks back home and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you discover.

Buy an Unexpected–and Practical–Souvenir – No getaway is complete without finding a trinket to take home as a memento. And while many tourists are content with the standard t-shirt or coffee mug, do yourself a favor and find something a little more practical. Visit a few of the eclectic shops here to peruse the home goods. You may just find a set of measuring cups, a serving platter, or a candelabra that will fit in perfectly with your collection at home and will remind you of your Parisian holiday every time you use it.

Espresso Machine / jimmyweee via Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Espresso Machine / jimmyweee / CC BY 2.0 via Flickr

Eat your Fill of Viennoiserie – One could live on bread and pastries alone while on holiday in France. You will come across a variety of baked goods in the viennoiserie family–that’s sort of a puff pastry, if you will–to try during your travels, including croissantspain au chocolatbriochepain aux raisins, and chausson aux pommes, among others. Good luck choosing just one when you stumble upon a charming Parisian bakery.

Splurge on a French-made Accessory – Investing in an overpriced shirt or handbag may be a bit of a stretch, especially when you consider the fact that it could be out of style in just a few months, or at best, a year or two from now. Smaller accessories, on the other hand, are often worth the splurge since you’ll wear them for ages. Check out the shops in the Canal Saint-Martin neighborhood to find a belt, necklace, or tie that catches your attention.

Drink some Coffee – You’ll have your choice of coffee shops from a growing number of options while wandering along the canal and through the surrounding streets. Naturally, these places serve up plenty of great food as well.

Canal Saint-Martin / Mbzt / CC BY-SA 3.0

Canal Saint-Martin / Mbzt / CC BY-SA 3.0

Take a Boat Ride – If you need to give your feet a break, there’s no better way than by hopping on a boat and gliding through the canal. You’ll get to watch the locks in action, go underground, and admire the energy of the area while comfortably seated.

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