I may have left Paris just over a month ago now, but that doesn’t stop me thinking about it all the time! Every day I miss the beautiful streets, incredible architecture and museums, and of course, the food. So even though I can no longer really call myself a Parisian, I can still talk, write, and blog about it… right?
I’ll be heading back to France as soon as I’ve got some time (and money), so until then I really want to continue with my Paris travel themed series. Let me know if you enjoy reading them, and hopefully I’ll give you some inspiration if you happen to be planning a trip there yourself!
Canal St. Martin is another slightly off the beaten track part of Paris. It’s not particularly well known with tourists, but locals on the other hand regularly gather here during the summer months to drink wine and while away the afternoon on its banks.
How to find it?
The Canal is quite long, and there are parts of it that are less pretty than others. The closest metro stations to either end are Republique and Stalingrad (with Republique being the slightly nicer end in my view). I suggest just walking along the canal from one of these two stations until you find the busier, leafier areas.
What to do?
The banks of Canal St. Martin are the perfect place to just sit and chill and people watch. Take a book and watch the world go by, or visit with friends/your partner and take a picnic, a bottle of wine, and some plastic cups. There’s usually music playing and a very chilled atmosphere as people drink beer, munch on their baguettes, and generally look very cool. The perfect hipster hangout!
There are tons of restaurants, bars and cafes by the canal and along the little backstreets nearby. I recommend heading to Le Comptoir General at some point; a seriously cool and interesting bar/club with an interior like an abandoned house.
In my view though, the best way to pass the time at Canal St. Martin, is to indulge in some seriously good street food. My favourite place (that I regularly dream about since returning to England) is El Nopel; a tiny hole-in-the-wall Mexican which makes the best spicy chicken burrito I’ve had in a long time.
The Pink Flamingo, Rue Bichat
If you do happen to visit Canal St. Martin, one of the highlights I would recommend you try is to order a pizza from Pink Flamingo; a pizzeria with the coolest (and cleverest use of marketing) concept in the area.
Order a pizza from the restaurant (you’ll find it on Rue Bichat, one street behind the main road; you’ll recognise it by the pink bicycles lined up by the entrance), and ask for it to be delivered… So far so normal, right?
Well this is where it gets interesting…
Instead of waiting and taking the pizza away with you, you’ll be given a pretty pink balloon emblazoned with a black flamingo. You can then head back to the Canal, take your seat somewhere, and get comfortable.
When it’s done, one of the waiters will cycle the pizza over to you – spotting you in the crowd by the pink balloon – hot and ready to be eaten.
I won’t lie to you, it’s not the best pizza I’ve ever eaten in my life! It’s just ok, and it’s got nothing on El Nopal, but I just love the whole experience!
I’m a sucker for these kinds of novelty marketing gags, and we just enjoyed holding the balloon far too much for a bunch of 22 year old girls…
If you’re in Paris during the spring/summer months, and it’s a nice day, I really recommend you take a stroll down to Canal St. Martin. It was one of my favourite places to relax, read, and hang out with friends on a Sunday afternoon.
Have any of you guys visited here before? Would you visit now after this post? And do you have any other recommendations for things to do or see in Paris?
Check back in on Saturday for a new post and don’t forget to check out my recent makeup tutorial 🙂
Thanks for reading! Joanna xxx