The canal Saint-Martin links the Bassin de la Villette to the upstream end of the Seine, it comprises locks and swing bridges. It is open to traffic 363 days a year, mostly passenger boats and individual pleasure craft.
Added to its romantic footbridges and mysterious vaulted tunnels, the poetic atmosphere of its banks lined with century-old chestnut and plane trees makes the Canal Saint-Martin one of the key romantic spots in Paris.
On Sundays the two streets along the canal, Quai de Valmy and Quai de Jemappes are reserved for pedestrians and cyclists - perfect for renting a bike and seeing the city from a fresh angle.When the sun comes out young couples lay down on the bank to take a nap or families have a nice picnic. Cafés and quirky boutiques flank the water and iron footbridges. Another possibility is to take a tour of the canal by boat. Canauxrama offers a romantic visit of 2 1/2 h. Visitors of all ages should find something to love alongside the Canal Saint-Martin.
Hôtel du Nord a film made in 1938 by Marcel Carné became a cultfilm and shows very good the atmosphere of le canal. We saw it yesterday and intend to take stroll along the canal at night next time we take a weekend in our furnished apartment Montmartre Studio-Loft. The Hôtel became nowadays a cosy restaurant called Hôtel du Nord,102, quai de Jemmappes, 75010 Paris, tel. 01 40 40 78 78, of course. If you take M° Republique or M° Jacques Bonsergent you will come in the middle of the atmosphere.