Canal de Saint-Martin and Parc des Buttes Chaumont

Second day of the tour in Paris! So we followed the recommendations of our host again, and went to Canal de Saint-Martin and Parc des Buttes Chaumont. We were already a bit tired because of the long walks in Versailles, so today we decided to work in the blog in the morning and only left the house at about 1 PM.

First stop:

By metro from Malakoff to Stalingrad it is about 45 min to 1 hour (you have to cross the town, since Malakoff is in the South and the channels are on the northeast part of Paris). So from Stalingrad we followed to the Canal de Saint-Martin or Channel of Saint-Martin – the channel is a 4,5 Km long artificial waterway built in 1802 to supply Paris with fresh water and goods carried by boat. Along the channel there are locks and road bridges (hydraulic) that able the boats to go all the was from Place de Stalingrad to Port de l’Arsenal.

You can catch the boat to go trough all the bridges – there are two companies (Canauxrama 18 euros and Paris Canal 20 euros) that do usually a morning and an afternoon trip (2h30h) or you can rent a boat to yourselves at Marin de Eau Douce if you are with a bigger group (see the prices on the link).

We decided to do it on foot, so we could see the street art, the cafés, the shops, the boat restaurants and the life of the city. It took us about one hour to do it from Stalingrad to Parc de la Villette an it was nice to have lunch just sitting in the channel border.

When you follow the channel you end up in l’Ourcq channel and at its side Parc de la Villette, which represents one of the biggest parks of the city. It is bustling with children in the park, beautiful architecture, modern art sculptures and… a real submarine (L’Argonaute) that you can visit inside … and the impressive Géode (a geodesic dome, that has a 180º cinema inside – adult tickets around 12 euros) … and just behind it the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (which has a science playground and learning center for kids from 5-12 years inside). You can easily spend a day here just going trough all the attractions or just strolling or hiring a bike to go trough the park and the channels.

After relaxing for a little bit, we decided to continue the journey to Parc des Buttes Chaumont. It is a 30 minute walk from Parc de la Villette. This park was built 150 years ago, at the time of the l’Exposition universelle and it was and old quarry. The most famous feature of the park is the Temple de la Sibylle, perched at the top of a cliff fifty metres above the waters of the artificial lake. You can go up there and see sights of the whole northeast part of Paris, including Montmartre and the Basilique of Sacré Coeur.

So today we only spent on the metro trip – 2,90 euros each – and the lunch. It was a 10 Km walk but as we stopped several times in the parks along the way, it did’t felt like a long ride. Tomorrow – Bastille!