Canal Saint-Martin, a man-made canal in the heart of the 10e arrondissement, is a great place for a classic Parisian stroll. Fans of the film Amélie may remember it as the place where she went to skip rocks. For me, it was a lovely, quiet slice of Paris life.
I’m told it’s a busy sunny day destination in the spring and summer, but it was nice and quiet on the Thursday morning I visited. Though it’s a relatively short walk, there is plenty to capture the attention. Quais along the side provide sweeping views of the surrounding neighbourhoods, while a series of footbridges let you criss-cross the canal until you find a nice place to sit and take in the day.
The walk along the canal has endless possibility for romance. Like other bridges in Paris and around the world (including one of my favourites in Seville), a few padlocks of love have found their way to the footbridges on the canal.
A different way to see the canal and spend €16 is to take a 2.5-hour canal cruise. For bystanders like me who saved their €16 for baguettes and macarons, I got to see the locks in action and the swinging bridge on Rue Dieu. Science!
A pleasant surprise along the way was the eye-catching Antoine et Lili shop, with clothing, decor, and a broad range of fun gift items, including the Mexican lottery game I picked for a few euros. You cannot miss their brightly painted storefronts, on Quai de Valmy along the canal.
It would be easy to skip over the canal in favour of standing in line to visit a better-known tourist attraction, but why miss out on a relaxing opportunity to take in a sunny day, and quite possibly, pass for a Parisian?
Antoine et Lili
95, quai de Valmy (plus other locations)