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Canal Saint-Martin
Vacation Travel Guide

Cycle or stroll along the banks of this enchanting network of waterways, which weave through some of Paris’ charming bohemian neighborhoods. 

The leafy banks of Canal Saint-Martin are a pleasant setting for an afternoon walk. Enjoy the artsy laid-back ambiance of the area, browse quirky wares in local boutiques and have a drink or two in pleasant waterside cafés and bars.

Construction began on the 2.8-mile (4.5-kilometer) canal in 1802, under orders from Napoleon I. The canal, connecting the Canal de l’Ourcq to the Seine, opened 23 years later. It was used to help supply the growing population of Paris with fresh drinking water. In the 1970s, city authorities considered building a highway over it, but the plans were abandoned and the canal was saved.

Head to Bassin de la Villette for a canal barge cruise along the tree-lined waterways. Rent a bike at one of the city’s Vélib’ bike stations or go for a stroll along the banks, beginning at Quai de Valmy. Watch the barges navigate beneath a series of bridges and through 19th-century locks as you amble along. If you need a rest, stop at one of the neighborhood bistros or cozy bars and cafés that are dotted along the canal banks.

For shopping, take a short detour onto Rue Beaurepaire and Rue de Lancry, both branching off Quai de Valmy. These streets are packed with interesting boutiques and quirky stores.

Farther north along the canal, look for the Pont de Crimée, a distinctive hydraulic drawbridge that dates from 1885. Once you’ve passed this, you’re in Parc de la Villette, Paris’ third-largest park. Lounge on its expansive lawns or check out the cutting-edge exhibits at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie, one of the largest science museums in Europe. This park is also home to the Cité de la Musique, a museum devoted to musical instruments.

To get to Canal Saint-Martin, take the metro to the République stop. Most boat cruises depart from the Bassin de la Villette, near the Stalingrad metro stop. On Sundays, the streets of Quai de Valmy and Quai de Jemmapes, which run parallel to the water, are closed to car traffic.

Top things to do in Canal Saint-Martin

Top Hotels Close to Canal Saint-Martin

Generator Paris
Generator Paris
9-11 Place du Colonel Fabien, Paris, Paris
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $55 per night from Dec 21 to Dec 22

Located in Paris City Center, this hostel is within a 15-minute walk of Canal Saint-Martin and Parc des Buttes Chaumont. Grands Boulevards and Place de la Republique ...

3.8/5Good! (985 reviews)

"Great facilities for a hostel felt like a normal hotel"…"

Reviewed on Jun 4, 2020

Generator Paris
The Element Hotel
The Element Hotel
3 out of 5
3 Rue d'Aix, Paris, Paris
The price is $75 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7

Located in Paris City Center, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Canal Saint-Martin, Grands Boulevards, and Place de la Republique. Les Halles and Centre ...

3.4/5Good! (914 reviews)

"Great location, friendly staff, nice hotel but was very hot in the room I was in could not get aircon working properly."…"

Reviewed on Feb 22, 2020

The Element Hotel
House / Loft Canal St Martin
House / Loft Canal St Martin
Paris, Ile-de-France
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Located in Paris City Center, this family-friendly Paris vacation home is within a 15-minute walk of Canal Saint-Martin, Grands Boulevards, and Place de la Republique. ...

House / Loft Canal St Martin
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Canal Saint-Martin Flight + Hotel Deals

Buddha-Bar Hotel Paris
Juliana Paris
Paris Marriott Opera Ambassador
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Best Lodging Options Near Canal Saint-Martin

Generator Paris
Generator Paris
9-11 Place du Colonel Fabien, Paris, Paris
The price is $55 per night from Dec 21 to Dec 22
Generator Paris
The Element Hotel
The Element Hotel
3 out of 5
3 Rue d'Aix, Paris, Paris
The price is $75 per night from Dec 6 to Dec 7
The Element Hotel
House / Loft Canal St Martin
House / Loft Canal St Martin
Paris, Ile-de-France
House / Loft Canal St Martin
Hotel Paris Louis Blanc
Hotel Paris Louis Blanc
3 out of 5
232 Rue Du Faubourg Saint Martin, Paris, Paris
The price is $58 per night from Dec 11 to Dec 12
Hotel Paris Louis Blanc
Bright Modern Studio - 8 Mins to Canal St Martin
Bright Modern Studio - 8 Mins to Canal St Martin
210 Rue Saint-Maur, Paris, France, Paris, Ile-de-France
Bright Modern Studio - 8 Mins to Canal St Martin
La Planque Hôtel
La Planque Hôtel
3 out of 5
3 Rue Arthur Groussier, Paris, Paris
The price is $117 per night from Jan 4 to Jan 5
La Planque Hôtel
Cozy and Design Studio Canal St Martin
Cozy and Design Studio Canal St Martin
Paris, Ile-de-France
Cozy and Design Studio Canal St Martin
Citadines Bastille Marais Paris
Citadines Bastille Marais Paris
3 out of 5
37 Boulevard Richard Lenoir, Paris, Paris
The price is $121 per night from Jan 2 to Jan 3
Citadines Bastille Marais Paris
Typical Parisian Apartment Near "Le Palais des Glaces"
Typical Parisian Apartment Near "Le Palais des Glaces"
Paris, Ile-de-France
Typical Parisian Apartment Near "Le Palais des Glaces"
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.