Canal Saint-Martin

Canal Saint-Martin featuring a river or creek

Canal Saint-Martin

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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 Hotels Close to Canal Saint-Martin

Libertel Canal Saint Martin
Libertel Canal Saint Martin
3 out of 5
5 Avenue Secretan, Paris, Paris, 75019
The price is $78 per night from May 29 to May 30
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Paris. Enjoy free WiFi, a 24-hour front desk, and daily housekeeping. Our guests praise the comfy rooms and the ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (952 reviews)
"This an affordable hotel in a little known area of Paris. But it is conveniently located near the station Jaures that serves two major lines. Rooms are a bit small but clean and quiet. The staff is friendly. The area around the hotel is worth exploring as you will get a feeling of a less touristy ..."

Reviewed on May 4, 2022

Libertel Canal Saint Martin
OKKO Hotels Paris Gare de l'Est
OKKO Hotels Paris Gare de l'Est
4 out of 5
30 A rue d'Alsace, Paris, 75010
The price is $149 per night from May 29 to May 30
Stay at this 4-star spa hotel in Paris. Enjoy free WiFi, a full-service spa, and breakfast. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff in our reviews. ...
4.6/5 Wonderful! (1,083 reviews)
"More than expected given the area. Best Choice if your trains are gare nord or gare l’est."

Reviewed on May 9, 2022

OKKO Hotels Paris Gare de l'Est
ibis Paris La Villette Cité des Sciences 19ème
ibis Paris La Villette Cité des Sciences 19ème
3 out of 5
31-35 Quai De L Oise, Paris, Paris, 75019
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Paris. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the property ...
3.7/5 Good! (665 reviews)
"They took our money, then didn't answer the phone or emails."

Reviewed on Jul 14, 2020

ibis Paris La Villette Cité des Sciences 19ème
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.

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Best Lodging Options Near Canal Saint-Martin

Libertel Canal Saint Martin
Libertel Canal Saint Martin
3 out of 5
5 Avenue Secretan, Paris, Paris, 75019
The price is $78 per night from May 29 to May 30
Libertel Canal Saint Martin
OKKO Hotels Paris Gare de l'Est
OKKO Hotels Paris Gare de l'Est
4 out of 5
30 A rue d'Alsace, Paris, 75010
The price is $149 per night from May 29 to May 30
OKKO Hotels Paris Gare de l'Est
ibis Paris La Villette Cité des Sciences 19ème
ibis Paris La Villette Cité des Sciences 19ème
3 out of 5
31-35 Quai De L Oise, Paris, Paris, 75019
ibis Paris La Villette Cité des Sciences 19ème
Campanile La Villette
Campanile La Villette
3 out of 5
147 - 151 Avenue De Flandre, Paris, Paris, 75019
The price is $82 per night from May 29 to May 30
Campanile La Villette
St Christopher's Inns The Canal Hostel
St Christopher's Inns The Canal Hostel
159 rue de Crimee, Paris, Paris, 75019
The price is $110 per night from Jun 8 to Jun 9
St Christopher's Inns The Canal Hostel
Pleasant and bright apartment in a quiet area of Paris
Pleasant and bright apartment in a quiet area of Paris
Paris, Ile-de-France
Pleasant and bright apartment in a quiet area of Paris
IN THE HEART OF THE CITY PARIS (19th district)
IN THE HEART OF THE CITY PARIS (19th district)
Paris, Île-de-France
IN THE HEART OF THE CITY PARIS (19th district)
Appart'City Paris La Villette
Appart'City Paris La Villette
2 out of 5
157 Avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, Paris, 75019
The price is $84 per night from May 29 to May 30
Appart'City Paris La Villette
Charmant Studio avec Parking#Paris 19
Charmant Studio avec Parking#Paris 19
Paris, Ile-de-France
Charmant Studio avec Parking#Paris 19
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.