Quai de la Seine
Every Sunday the city of Paris inhales deeply, taking a short break to live life at a different rhythm as shops close and entire neighborhoods are labeled pedestrian zones. Museums and monuments become a refuge for art lovers and sight-seeing tourists, while many Parisians head for the greener pastures of local parks.
Hôtel du Nord; Le Comptoir Général
The 15th-century canals in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, Canal Saint Martin and Canal de l’Ourcq, are great areas to slowly drift into the relaxing weekend beat. Start your day at the Marché de Joinville, where vendors announce prices for perfect picnic pickings. If the day has promised sunshine, rent an electric boat from Marin d’Eau Douce and head north, swans to port and cormorant starboard as you savor your market fare and take in the display of the local street art scene unfolding in this urban countryside.
Quai de Seine; Le CENTQUATRE
Back on land, take advantage of the area’s pedestrian zone and walk south from the Quai de la Seine to the Quai de Valmy, crossing the awe-inspiring half-moon bridges featured in the movie Amélie. Barges still ply these waters and crowds form to watch the bucolic drama as the locks go into action. By 2pm the area is packed with stroller-pushing parents and shops are allowed to open, including Artazart, one of the world’s best design book shops, the trendy outlet shops on the rue de Marseilles, and the arty cinema store, Potemkine, on rue Beaurepaire.
Artazart; Quai de la Seine, Le CENTQUATRE
If clouds threaten to rain out the day, enjoy your lunch on a park bench in Le CENTQUATRE, safe from the elements. Once the city’s morgue, this industrial space is now a dynamic art-themed community center where the city’s youth come to practice their hip-hop moves. Libraries pop up, vintage shops roll in, and amazing events just seem to happen. After your rainy-day picnic, catch a movie at the MK2 cinema, using the free water taxi to make your way across the canal.
End your afternoon with an apéro at the Hôtel du Nord, the setting of the eponymous 1938 classic film, or grab a bar stool at the Ghetto museum of hip Le Comptoir Général.
Hôtel du N0rd
Marché Joinville – Place de Joinville 75019. Tel: +33 (0)1 43 24 74 39
Marin d’Eau Douce – 37 Quai de la Seine, 75019. Tel: +33 (0)1 42 09 54 10
Artazart – 83 Quai de Valmy, 75010. Tel: +33 (0)1 40 40 24 00
Potemkine – 30 Rue Beaurepaire, 75010. Tel: +33 (0)1 40 18 01 81
Le CENTQUATRE – 5 Rue Curial, 75019. Tel: +33 (0)1 53 35 50 00
Hôtel du Nord – 102 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010. Tel: +33 (0)1 40 40 78 78
Le Comptoir Général – 80 Quai de Jemmapes, 75010. Tel: +33 (0)1 44 88 24 48
Artazart; Canal St-Martin
- Another great place to head on weekends is the Bois de Boulogne, filled with gardens, walking paths, and lakes on Paris’ western side.
- Emma takes a more in-depth look at Le Comptoir General, the Ghetto Museum along Canal St-Martin.
Written by Sylvia Sabes for the HiP Paris Blog. All images by Palmyre Roigt.