Paris - along Canal Saint Martin and Le Marais

JUL 13,2019 - JUL 13,2019 (1 DAYS)

France

1 DAYS

Citywalk

Paris - from Basin de la Vilette to Le Marais:

Start: Jaurès Metro station (line 5).  End: Saint Paul Metro station. Duration: 1 day. Distance: 11-12 km. Weather: the water-ways sights should be appreciated in bright days only. Tip: Avoid the weekend demonstrations...

Main sights: 

Part 1: Bassin de la Villette, Canal Saint-Martin, Place de la République.

Part 2: Place des Vosges, Hôtel de Sully, Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, Lycée Charlemagne, Village Saint-Paul, Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine, Hôtel Carnavalet, Rue des Francs Bourgeois, Hôtel de Lamoignon.

Our daily itinerary: Before we shall walk along Canal Saint-Martin - we shall walk for a short detour, northward, along Bassin de la Vilette. From Metro Jean Jaures Ligne 5, 1 Avenue Jean Jaurès we walk west on Avenue Jean Jaurès toward Quai de la Loire, 35 m. Turn right onto Quai de la Loire, 90 m. to face the Bassin de la Villette. It is the largest artificial lake in Paris. It links the Canal de l'Ourcq to the Canal Saint-Martin. It was filled with water on 2 December 1808. Rectangular, eight hundred metres in length and seventy metres in width. Tt begins, in the north-east at the Rue de Crimée lifting bridge, the last bridge in Paris that can be raised and lowered hydraulically to permit the passage of ship and barge traffic beneath it, and it ends at the south-west end - near the Jaurès Metro station. River cruise boats tie-up d the shores of the basin. A small electric passenger ferry, the Zéro de conduite, is available for transporting people from one side of the basin to the other. At the south-west end of the 800 m. canal (70 m. wide) you can find the  MK2 Quai de Loire (south bank) and MK2 Quai de Seine (north bank) (Prom. Jeanne Moreau) theatre complexes which are the most modern in France. They are linked in the middle of the basin by a footbridge, the Passerelle de la Moselle. Numerous cultural activities (shows, concerts, theatre productions) make this canal basin a festive place, very popular with Parisians. In summer, part of the "Paris Plages" ("Paris Beach") experience, but really nice to visit all year round ! The two banks of the canal basin are turned over to a wide assortment of recreational activities. There are lounging chairs where you can chill and eat your packed lunch. Try to catch a stay in the Holiday Inn Express Canal de La Villette. A quiet and not expensive surprise. Beautiful area to walk by. Crossing by the bridges with the water beneath. Restaurant and bars around.

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Citywalk in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

Citywalk in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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We return to Jaures Metro station and walk back (south) to Canal Saint-Martin. Turn right onto Rue la Fayette, 60 m. Turn left onto Quai de Valmy to start a walk of 1.7 km along Canal Saint-Martin. The Canal Saint-Martin is a 4.6 km long, connecting the Canal de l'Ourcq to the river Seine. The canal is drained and cleaned every 10–15 years, and it is always a source of fascination for Parisians to discover curiosities and even some treasures among the hundreds of tonnes of discarded objects. The canal is a popular destination for locals and tourists. Visitors take cruises on the canal in passenger boats. Others watch the barges and other boats navigate the series of locks and pass under the attractive dark-green, cast-iron footbridges. There are many popular restaurants and bars along the open part of the canal, which is also popular with students.

You can start your walk along the canal at the entrance to the canal from the vast terminal basin (Bassin de la Villette) of the Canal de l'Ourcq which is at a double lock near the Place de Stalingrad. But, we preferred to start a bit further south. We made only the Jaures to Republique section. Republique is an impressive statue and square so you will opt to walk down there. This was a great, slow-paced way to see a different side of Paris. We loved it. It’s was just about a 3 kilometer walk, but it was totally worth the effort. You pass through several locks with the most fabulous foot bridges that arch across the canal. You will pass throught a produce market, around the Republic area, and further down the you will come upon the Bastille Market (open till 14.00). 

From Metro Jean Jaures Ligne 5, with your face to the south-west, turn left toward Avenue Jean Jaurès, 100 m. Turn right onto Avenue Jean Jaurès, 50 m. Turn left onto Boulevard de la Villette, 140 m. and, finally, you connect with canal Saint-Martin, on your right, turn right onto Quai de Jemmapes and walk along the canal (on your right) (north-west).

Canal Saint-Martin continues south-west towards the river Seine, the canal is bordered by the Quai de Valmy on the north-west bank and the Quai de Jemmapes on the south-east, passing through three double staircase locks before disappearing under the three successive voûtes (tunnels) – du Temple, Richard-Lenoir and Bastille – to emerge in the Port de l'Arsenal, the principal port for boats visiting and residing near the Place de Bastille.

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One of 3 locks and Passerelle des Douanes:

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On the right side: Quai de Jemmapes. On the left side: Quai de Valmy.

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The next bridge is in square Frédérick-Lemaître. This square is dedicated to a French actor and is situated by the Canal Saint-Martin where you can get a great view of one of the locks and footbridges before the canal goes back underground, yet within this small tranquil garden area with its park benches, you can also discover a bust statue of Frederic Lemaitre who used to perform at theatres located close by:

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View of the Canal Saint-Martin by Alfred Sisley, Orsay Museum, 1870:Citywalk in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

In this point starts Boulevard Jules Ferry and the canal is drained. No more water. We left the Canal Saint-Martin and walked south-west to Squae of the Republic. Head southwest on Rue du Faubourg du Temple toward Rue de Malte, 110 m. Turn right to stay on Rue du Faubourg du Temple, 5 m. Turn left to stay on Rue du Faubourg du Temple, 120 m. and you see, on your right, the Place de la République. The "Monument à la République" is a monumental statue rising in the centre of the square, pointing upwards to overlook recent violent demonstrations.... The square is the ideal venue for night owls attending countless entertainment venues nearby such as bars, concert halls, nightclubs and theatres. During the last year it became a frequent battlefield between the police and the yellow vests (gilets jaunes) protests. The most severe event took place  In April 2019: Yellow Vests demonstrators clashed with authorities in the square in their 23rd week of protests and dissatisfaction over President Macron's government, the weekend following the Notre-Dame de Paris fire. The Place de la République's renovation was completed in 2013. Its traffic areas have been significantly reduced to allow more space for walkers. Without the political events around - the square became a good and popular site for quiet meetings: armchairs, chairs and tables are placed throughout the square. With new developments, the Place regained its popular, friendly and festive character.

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From the famous square we continued walking south (approx. 1.1 km.) until our lunch stop. WE HEADED SOUTH-EAST and turned right onto Boulevard du Temple, 400 m. We continued onto Boulevard des Filles du Calvaire, 270 m and continued, in the same direction, onto Boulevard Beaumarchais, 250 m. Here, we stopped at Café Pola, 77 Boulevard Beaumarchais for our modest lunch. From Café Pola turn left onto Rue des Tournelles, 350 m. Turn right onto Rue du Pas de la Mule, 55 m. Here, you can observe the famous arcades of Place des Vosges.

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Turn left onto Place des Vosges, 65 m. Additional 55 m. to the right - and you are in the Place des Vosges

Go to Tip 2 below:

Citywalk

Tip 2: From Place des Vosges to the Saint Paul Church:

Tip 2 Main Sights: Place des Vosges, Hôtel de Sully, Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis, Lycée Charlemagne, Village Saint-Paul, Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine, Hôtel Carnavalet, Rue des Francs Bourgeois, Hôtel de Lamoignon.

Place des Vosges was originally called place Royale. The square was renamed after the French Revolution in tribute to the north-east region of Vosges, bordering Germany and Luxembourg, which was the first to pay taxes imposed by the new, revolutionary government. The composition of the Place des Vosges shows the classic French style and is a unique example of seventeenth century architecture. The history of the Place des Vosges goes back to 1604 when King Henry IV built a Royal pavilion at the southern end of the square. The building was designed by Baptiste du Cerceau. The King ordered all 35 other buildings bordering the square to follow the same design. The result, an early example of urban planning, is a symmetrical square surrounded by buildings with red brick and white stone facades, steep slate roofs and dorm windows, Place des Vosgesall constructed over arcades. The square was officially inaugurated in 1612 as the 'Place Royale'. At that time merely a lawn, it was a favorite place for duels. In 1639 Richelieu had an equestrian statue of King Louis XIII erected at the center of the square. It was destroyed during the French Revolution but a new statue of King Louis XIII was installed in 1825. It was replaced by an octagonal fountain. It took until the early nineteenth century for the royal equestrian statues as well as that of Louis XIII, destroyed during the Revolution, to once again be rebuilt.

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Place des Vosges has nine pavilions on each side, 36 in total. But, mainly, it is structured around two pavilions, that of the Queen at the north part of the square:

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The Royal pavilion at the center of the southern side, the so-called King's pavilion, was built on top of a gateway. Before the seventeenth century, another prominent building occupied the northern end of the square: the 'Hôtel de Tournelles'. This grand building was constructed in 1388 and served as a residence for the Royal family until 1559, when King Henry II was severely wounded during a tournament held at the site. He died ten days later in the Hôtel de Tournelles. His wife, Catherine de Medicis, had the building demolished and Statue of King Louis XIII at the Place des Vosges in Paris moved to the Louvre: Citywalk in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip

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They are not open to the public. In 1800 Napoleon changed the name of the square from 'Place Royale' to 'Place des Vosges' to show his gratitude towards the Vosges department, the first department in France to pay taxes. Place des Vosges, ParisIt was again renamed Place Royale in 1815, only to be changed yet again into 'Place des Vosges' in 1870.

The eastern wing of Place des Vosges:

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Visitors stroll under the arches or along the paths of the central garden, taking time to admire the beautiful facades of red brick. Shops, open on Sundays contribute to the liveliness of the spot. Take a stroll under the high-ceilinged vaulted galleries to window-shop, enjoy a meal out on one of the terraces, or search for the perfect painting to hang in your living room. When it's warm out, we recommend sprawling out on the grass or a bench to tuck into some scrumptious local street food.

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The vaulted galleries that gracefully protect the ground floors of the square's opulent mansions from rain and bad weather are occupied by high-end boutiques and numerous art galleries. The Art Symbol Gallery, specialized in modern and abstract art, is one well-known and respected gallery on the square, located at #21 Place des Vosges.

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A couple of doors down at #23, the Modus Gallery features the work of contemporary artists from around the globe.

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Maison de Victor Hugo: Many famous Frenchmen lived here at this square, among them Richelieu and Victor Hugo. Cardinal Richelieu, who became prime minister of France in 1624 lived at nr 21 from 1615 to 1627. Victor Hugo, author of 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' lived on the second floor of house nr 6, the 'Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée', from 1832 to 1848. The house, now called 'Maison de Victor Hugo' is turned into a museum. You can visit the rooms where Victor Hugo wrotePlace des Vosges most of 'Les Misérables'. On display are souvenirs, drawings and books, all in chronological order, from his childhood to his exile between 1852 and 1870. It is free and open daily from 9.00 to 18.00 every day except Monday. Temporarily closed from Summer 2019.

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Our next destination is Hotel de Sully - 210 m. from the Place des Vosges. Place des Vosges. Head southwest from the square and slight right toward Rue Saint-Antoine, 80 m. Turn right toward Rue Saint-Antoine, 10 m. Turn left toward Rue Saint-Antoine, 105 m. Hôtel de Sully is in 62 Rue Saint-Antoine.

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The Hôtel de Sully is the seat of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux and is not open to visitors. It is possible to cross the "cour" and the garden in opening from 9.00 to 19.00. Built from 1625, this townhouse was a development commissioned by King Henry IV of France and overseen by Maximilien de Béthune, Duke of Sully (1559-1641). The Duke bought the residence in 1634. It stayed in the Sully family until the mid-18th century. Madame de Sévigné and Voltaire both stayed there. Now it is a public building. It was bought by the French state and its restoration, which started in the 1950s. The building has been used as the headquarters of the Centre des Monuments Nationaux since 1967. The information centre is situated in the Cour d'honneur. The bookshop is accessible to all. In the grand lower hall you can admire the painted beamed ceiling. The garden, which was originally planted with a formal "embroidery" effect, gives access to the Place des Vosges. It is not open to the public but you can cross the courtyard and garden during opening hours to access the Place des Vosges:

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From Hôtel de Sully, 62 Rue Saint-Antoine we head northwest on Rue Saint-Antoine toward Rue de Turenne, 130 m. Slight left to stay on Rue Saint-Antoine, 30 m. The Paroisse Saint-Paul Saint-Louis, 99 Rue St. Antoine is on the left. Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis is a church on rue Saint-Antoine in the Marais quarter of Paris. The present building was constructed from 1627 to 1641 by the Jesuit architects Étienne Martellange and François Derand, on the orders of Louis XIII of France. It gives its name to Place Saint-Paul and its nearest Metro station, Saint-Paul.  Commissioned by Louis XIII and completed by 1641, the Church is one of the oldest examples of Jesuit architecture in Paris. The Cardinal Richelieu gave the church's first mass in 1641. The Jesuit style features classical elements such as Corinthian pillars and heavy ornamentation. The present building was constructed from 1627 to 1641 by the Jesuit architects Étienne Martellange and François Derand, on the orders of Louis XIII of France. It gives its name to Place Saint-Paul and its nearest Metro station, Saint-Paul. The church was pillaged and damaged during the 1789 French Revolution. St.-Paul-Saint-Louis briefly served as a "Temple of Reason" under the Revolutionary government, which banned traditional religion. Though many artifacts were stolen from the church during the Revolution, some important works were spared. The most impressive is Delacroix' Christ in the Garden of Olives (1827), which can be seen near the entrance.

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The church was inspired by the baroque-style Gesu Church in Rome. The church features a 195-foot dome. It is best appreciated from the interior because the columns of the three-tiered church facade hide the dome.


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Next door to the church is the Lycée Charlemagne, 14 rue Charlemagne also founded by the Jesuits. Constructed many centuries before it became a lycée, the building originally served as the home of the Order of the Jesuits. The lycée itself was founded by Napoléon Bonaparte and celebrated its bicentennial in 2004. The lycée is directly connected to the Collège Charlemagne (formerly known as le petit lycée) which is located directly across from it, on the Rue Charlemagne.

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In front of the school - Fontaine du Lycée Charlemagne:

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From Lycée Charlemagne, 14 Rue Charlemagne - head east on Rue Charlemagne toward Rue des Jardins Saint-Paul, 60 m. Turn right onto Rue des Jardins Saint-Paul. On the east side of Rue des Jardins Saint-Paul, there are several covered passageways. Go ahead and walk through one of them. The covered passageways will bring you into a series of quiet, interconnected courtyards known as the Saint-Paul Village. Find the passage, walk EAST and turn LEFT (Bien Fait).  Art galleries, fine antiques, food shops, and artisan boutiques selling unique home decorations can be found here. Weekend yard sales are frequent. Take some time to explore.

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The Village St-Paul assembled, in the past, more than 80 designers, antique dealers and galleries. In a maze of cobbled courtyards, a place for original, quality shopping for the home: furniture,art and decoration. Nowadays, it is gloomy. Most of stores are closed.

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Return (walk north-east) from the inner courts of Le Village Saint-Paul to Rue Saint-Paul. Head northeast BACK toward Rue Charlemagne, 25 m. Turn right onto Rue Charlemagne, 25 m. Turn left onto Rue Saint-Paul, 100 m. Turn left BACK onto Rue Saint-Antoine, 30 m. Turn right onto Rue Caron, 55 m. Turn left onto Rue d'Ormesson, 10 m. Turn right onto Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine, 20 m. Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine The Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine is an example of how quaint and village-like the Marais can be, though, during weekends and high tourist season, this is not always the case. This is a favorite spot for playing kids. Built in the 13th century, in honor of Saint Catherine. The buildings surrounding the square are recent, in Parisian terms anyway: they date to the 18th century. The square was made pedestrian-only last century:

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Head northeast on Place du Marché Sainte-Catherine toward Rue Caron
20 m. Turn left onto Rue Caron, 25 m. Turn left onto Rue de Jarente, 60 m. Turn right onto Rue de Sévigné, 120 m. At the corner of Rue de Sévigné and Rue des Francs Bourgeois is the Hôtel Carnavalet, built in 1548. Today it houses the Museum of the History of Paris, also known as the Musée Carnavalet. This is one of Paris's many free museums, and the permanent collection is memorable. On the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois side, you can peer through the decorated iron gates into the Carnavalet's lavish formal gardens. The Hôtel Carnavalet is one of the rare examples of Renaissance architecture in Paris, alongside the Louvre’s square courtyard. Built from 1548 to 1560 for Jacques des Ligneris, president of the Parliament of Paris, it is one of the oldest hotels in Le Marais. In 1578 the hotel received its current name, stemming from a distortion of the name of its following owner, Madame de Kernevenoy of Brittany. Beginning his work in 1655, the famous architect François Mansart completed the hotel, raising the height of the entrance from the street for the new owner, Claude Boislève. Sculptures by Gérard van Obstal, depicting the figures of the virtues and the four elements, adorned the added floors along the sides and on the façade, in harmony with the four seasons at the back of the courtyard. This is how it looked when Madame de Sévigné resided there as a tenant from 1677 to 1696. In 1866, the City of Paris bought back the hotel in order to transform it into a museum celebrating the capital’s history. Baron Haussman hired Victor Parmentier, a young architect, to oversee the restoration and conversion works. This is Parmentier’s only known work. The main building was returned to its original form through restoration of the high sloping roof, window mullions and large fireplaces. The modifications made to the side wings by Mansart were preserved, while their gambrel roofs were replaced with flat roofs. The fires during the 1871 Paris Commune destroyed the collections intended for the museum: thus the museum did not open its doors until 1880. Meanwhile, from 1872 onwards, part of the space was used for the historical library. The historical library was a new institution developed to replace the library of the Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall), which had disappeared in the flames. On the Rue des Francs-Bourgeois side, you can peer through the decorated iron gates into the Carnavalet's lavish formal gardens.

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The Carnavalet Museum is dedicated to the history of Paris and its inhabitants and has collections illustrating the evolution of the city from prehistory through to the present day. A vast array of works of art, relics and models are displayed in 100 or so rooms, showing the capital at various periods in history and evoking intellectual and everyday life. Magnificent restored historical scenery creates an evocative setting for a stroll through the centuries in an enriching, delightful visitor experience. Closed for renovations.

Turn left onto Rue des Francs Bourgeois and walk along this road 300 m. with your face to the north-west. Once a street where artisan weavers worked, Rue des Francs-Bourgeois is still a major center of fashion and design. It is one of the Marais area's most popular shopping districts, and most of the shops are open on Sundays, including some of Paris's top perfume shops such as Citywalk in , France, visiting things to do in France, Travel Blog, Share my Trip .

It also houses some impressive but often overlooked, Renaissance-era buildings. Take some time to browse some of the unique fashion and jewelry boutiques here and to admire the historic residences. It was named after the destitute occupants of the "almshouses" that were built here and who were freed from having to pay taxes. Just across from the Hôtel Carnavalet on Francs-Bourgeois is the Hôtel d'Angoulême Lamoignon or Hôtel de Lamoignon. It is the best preserved house from the late 16th century in Paris. Since 1969 it has been the home of the Bibliothèque Historique de la Ville de Paris. Built in the late 16th century by Diane of France, daughter of Henri II. You can visit the courtyard by turning left on Rue Pavée.

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At #29 bis and #31 is the Hôtel d'Albret. It was built in the 16th century and renovated in the 17th century. Today it houses administrative offices for the Cultural Affairs department of Paris.

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From these splendid mansions in Rue Rue des Francs Bourgeois - we head to the Saint-Paul Metro station our end stop in this itinerary. Head southwest on Rue des Hospitalières Saint-Gervais toward Rue du Marché des Blancs Manteaux, 80 m. Turn left onto Rue des Rosiers, 220 m. Rue des Rosiers is the main thoroughfare of the Marais' historic Jewish quarter. Walking down this street and seeing the facades scrawled in Hebrew and French, many of them dating to the early 20th century, you can sense the rich history here. This is the artery of nightlife in the area. Lots of charming, quirky bars and restaurants can be found here. Try the Falafel in the Jewish quarter - although there are quite many stores with this wonderful food in Le Marais:

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Turn right onto Rue Pavée, 120 m. Turn left onto Rue de Rivoli. The Saint-Paul Metro station is on the right.

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