Canal Saint Martin has been on our Paris bucket list for some time already. Recently my Parisian colleague confirmed that this gentrifying, 19th century waterway is a great summer hangout.
Namely, in recent years, this shabby-chic area in northeastern Paris started drawing trendy crowds. Iron-footbridges, cosy restaurants, cute shops, and interesting architecture make for a picturesque district in 10th and 19 arrondissements. Once a working class neighborhood, the area is quickly changing into a picturesque and trendy neighborhood as young Parisians move in because of cheaper rents.
On Sundays and public holidays, the quays along the canal are closed off to traffic. We went there on a weekend of August 15th, which is a long weekend in France, and we had the canal to ourselves. Many cafes, boutiques and stores were closed; nevertheless, we loved experiencing empty Paris. However, rumor has it that on a warm spring or summer evening Canal Saint Martin buzzes with locals who bring their own booze and sit somewhere along the canal. Just along the canal, Bassin de la Villette buzzed with summer outdoor activities. Have a look at the video below.