Has anyone visited the canal saint martin in Paris? I believe it is in the 10th. There were some scenes showing it in the movie Amélie, and it seems like a pleasant spot for a picnic. Any comments good or bad? This is our second visit to Paris and we've previously seen all the major sights-- we're looking for things a bit off the beaten path. Thanks in advance!
I walked along the canal once as far as the Perepherique and thought it was quite pleasant (until the very end--a bit gritty, but still interesting). The area closer to Bastile had little parks with men playing boules, something I had never seen in Paris before.
I imagine you could find your own discoveries walking almost anywhere in Paris.
We had read about this area in France Today and so went for a walk there on one of our Paris trips. It's become a "hip" place for Parisians to live and has a lot of urban charm. Had a great encounter in a McDonalds (free bathrooms!) with a French boy practicing his English. Other great places to wander: Parc Monceau; St Denis to see the basilica, Place Bercy is a very pleasant walk with interesting urban redevelopment; Butte de Chaumont is a huge park with a lot of activity. We always pull out a map of Paris, look for a neighborhood or public park that we haven't seen before, hop on the metro and voila, an adventure. It's great to be in a neighborhood where tourists seldom go, find a great cafe for lunch, window shop and get the feel of how exciting Paris is for those that live there. After all the "sights" have been seen, the best sight is Paris itself. You can also take the RER to the suburbs and see how those who can't afford Paris live. Bon voyage! John
I have heard about the Canal St. Martin area for quite a while and have always wanted to check it out, haven't been able to get to it yet after 4 trips to Paris -- hopefully on the next trip this year. I've seen all the major sites at least once and now want to check out some of the lest touristy, more normal areas. I am also interested in the Place Bercy. It it worth going there?
I love to wander around and shop.
Place Bercy is a renovated area. There are wonderful public gardens, a hortocultural area, and a number of shops/restaurants created out of wine storage areas. I hear that most of them are open on Sunday (unusual in Paris) but I was there during the week. Another part of the treat is that the metro line that takes you there in the new automated line. Sit up front if you can so you can see into the tunnel. We found it a great place to wander and explore.
We took the afternoon canal trip on the S Martin last September and thought it was wonderful. We passed many areas that looked like they'd be interesting to explore on foot;one of the highlightrs of our trip.
We visited Paris this past May (2007) and walked along the canal. It could have been very scenic except for the fact that it was filled with tents, etc. for the homeless. While I am sympathetic for the homeless, several badgered us for money or just used foul language. Needless to say, we decided not to eat there even though a place was recommended (Chez Prune) in several guidebooks.
I took the boat on the canal saint martin last summer and loved it. It's a lovely area and certainly off the tourist route.
Fort Collins, CO