Although it is one of the most popular areas in Paris, the Canal Saint-Martin is overflowing with little-known secret parts. This beautiful promenade is located in what was once a popular district. Nowadays, this is one of the trendier areas in Paris.
Here is your personal itinerary to enjoy the tree-lined canal. The walk starts at rue La Fayette. Go down to reach the banks of the canal, and follow it until you reach the Point Éphémère. This old building was once a famous DIY workshop which was then turned into a bustling cultural space with a café, art gallery, exhibitions and a stage for live music. Don’t forget to check out the street art on the walls. Keep walking and head for the bridge on rue Louis-Blanc, and then go up the quai de Valmy. Take a look to your left: on the other side of the water, the historic paper manufacturer ‘Clairefontaine’, which is still running nowadays, is a vestige of the neighbourhood’s industrial and popular history. Go on until you cross the rue des Récollets; this passage is nearly unknown, but boasts a lovely green space, the Jardin Villemin. At the edge of the lock, the trendy area reasserts itself thanks to numerous concept boutiques, restaurants and prized terraces. These gems are on both sides of the two banks as well as in the little peripheral streets all around. Let the crowds guide your steps, and let your curiosity lead the way.You can enjoy new panoramas thanks to the footbridges Richerand, then Bichat, just above the second swing bridge. Keep up the pace and get to the next lock which is shaded by leafy trees and sun-dappled in the summer. Here, the canal disappears underground. Only remains the green of the abundant vegetation bordering the pedestrian esplanade, at the heart of the boulevard Richard Lenoir.