Running for 4.5 kilometres, of which two are underground, the Saint-Martin Canal goes through the 10th and 11th arrondissements of Paris, and since 1825 has connected La Villette Lake to the Arsenal Port, which is connected to the Seine. Its shady banks have kept their own distinctive character and are nowadays very popular with people seeking to relax, walk or have a picnic, as well as cyclists and rollerbladers! By the waterside, you'll pass old working class suburbs that have become very hip nowadays, and can admire a lovely series of locks, romantic footbridges, turning bridges and charming squares, which are perfect for a little rest under the chestnut trees.
Setting off from the Jaurès, Gare de l'Est or République Metro stations, you can thus explore a most picturesque district, which in the past inspired Marcel Carné when making his film Hôtel du Nord. Like many other Parisians and tourists before you, you'll be tempted by the pretty, colourful shops and charming, retro bistros along the banks of the canal. And to see things from a different angle, there's nothing quite like a little boat cruise on the peaceful waters of the Saint-Martin Canal!