3 Favourite Places to Stay near Canal Saint Martin
Newbies to Paris will hear about the Canal Saint Martin in passing. They’ll nod and pretend they know exactly where the speaker is referring to, blissfully unaware of what the structure truly embodies.
The Canal Saint Martin is a 4.6 km long canal that stretches from the Canal d’Ourcq in the north all the way down to the Seine River in the south. It was part of a design commissioned by Napoleon I as part of his plan to bring in ample fresh water to the city.
More interestingly than this boring construction history, the canal is drained every ten or so years by the city of Paris. It is always an event amongst locals to see what turns up at the bottom of the structure once the water is gone. In past there have been many a bicycle, the odd motorcycle and even a gun.
The rest of the year the Canal is open to the public and a stroll along the banks is utterly pleasant. There is also a barge that takes people on trips along the canal throughout the day.
Since the Canal Saint Martin runs through a few Parisian arrondissements it is a preferable attraction to stay near to when in Paris. If you can’t be on the Seine, then the Canal Saint Martin is a close enough second.
Along the river there are a few great places to stay. Here are three of the best!
1. Le Citizen Hotel near Canal Saint Martin
96 Quai de Jemmapes
Le Citizen Hotel has the upper hand when it comes to being near the Canal Saint Martin; it couldn’t be more near if it tried.
With the canal at its feet, the Citizen Hotel is a tiny gem offering 12 rooms to guests with beautiful views of the water. You’ll watch the many free guided walking tours go past right from your window.
The hotel is right on the corner where the canal meets the Square des Récollets. There is a park here with ample green space to waste the days away.
Upon arriving at this little hotel you’ll be given an iPad. The device is preloaded with music, movies, maps and information regarding tourist attractions in the area. Its a great gesture on part of Le Citizen, ensuring that their guests are never without both entertainment and direction.
You’ll also be treated to a complimentary breakfast each morning served up with a variety of crepes and fruits.
The rooms at Le Citizen are modern and quirky. They feature light wood finishes and interesting art. If you need to be near the Canal Saint Martin, this is the hotel you want to be at.
2. Hotel Garden near Canal Saint Martin
35 Rue Yves Toudic
Not quite on the heels of the canal the way the previous hotel was, but close enough; the Hotel Garden is directly across the bridge from the Citizen Hotel.
For somewhat affordable accommodation in a great location in the 10th arrondissement, the Hotel Garden is not a bad second choice if out beloved Le Citizen Hotel happens to have sold out their twelve rooms.
The exterior of the Garden Hotel will have swooning. Cream colored walls with a blooming pink flower box on each window pane. It’s a picture perfect setting and one you won’t mind living in during your time in Paris.
Every morning at the Garden Hotel breakfast is prepared. Guests have the option of dining in the designated dining area or enjoying their breakfast on the outside terrace provided that the weather is good.
Just next door to the Garden Hotel is the Alhambra Theatre. This is a popular music hall that features a number of performances per week; definitely worth checking out since you’ll be staying so close by.
Along with the music hall, this area around the canal comes alive at night. There are restaurants and bars on every corner and people stroll the banks of the canal until all hours of the morning.
3. La Planque Hotel near Canal Saint Martin
3 Rue Arthur Groussier
Back to the left bank of the Canal Saint Martin we go for our last hotel in this lineup. La Planque Hotel is slightly further from the canal, three or so blocks further inland. An interesting neighborhood to explore by foot if you’ve yet to do so (Read more about Discover walking tours).
Right opposite the entrance of the hotel is the Piscine Catherine Lagatu. For a few euros entry you can start your day with a swim each morning.
The hotel itself has the coziest vibe out of the lot. Inside the space is filled with homestyle memorabilia and collectables that feel like your aunt’s holiday home you knew in your childhood.
The rooms are colorfully quirky without being kitsch. Tasteful would be the best way to describe La Planque Hotel.
If you prefer to eat out, there is a wonderful Cambodian restaurant on the same road as La Planque. You’ll find Le Petit Cambodge if you walk out of the hotel and head south toward the canal. Well priced Cambodin food available for lunch and dinner.
Overall, the Canal Saint Martin is a beautiful attraction to stay near to if you want the advantage of the water without the crowding that comes with the Seine.
The central districts are tourist hubs, and sometimes it’s nice to stay a bit further out where you aren’t constantly in the thick of it all.
Much to see around the Canal Saint Martin, I hope you’ll join me on a walking tour while in town!