A very lively pedestrian area in the 1st arrondissement of Paris, the Les Halles district is named after the old Halles Baltard, the market hall which used to stand on the site and was described by Émile Zola as the "Belly of Paris". This building was deemed obsolete in the 70s and made way for the Forum des Halles, a big shopping centre at the heart of the capital. Entirely renovated in the 2010s, the latter now boasts a remarkable architectural feature, the Canopy, an immense glass and steel structure with plant-like curves… A temple of fashion, this complex contains many shops as well as a library, conservatory, hip hop centre, swimming pool, cinema, cafes and restaurants. To get there by public transport, you go via the world's biggest underground station, the Châtelet - Les Halles Metro and RER station.
In the Les Halles district, you can also stroll along the pedestrian streets of Rue Montorgueil, Tiquetonne and Quincampoix, which are lovely places for a walk and have a number of shops. On your walk, you can also see the magnificent Gothic Church of St Eustace, the Bourse de Commerce with its cupola on top, and the Renaissance-style Innocents fountain. A beautiful park of around 4 hectares provides a wonderful backdrop for the Church of St Eustace: the Nelson Mandela Garden, which opened in 2013, offers tired walkers and shoppers a much-appreciated place to relax!