Take a walk through Chatelet-Les Halles
Have you ever heard about the neighborhood of Chatelet-Les Halles in Paris? It is found right in the centre of the city. In this article, I will be sharing with you the main highlights of the area! While in Paris, you should definitely take a walk through Chatelet-Les Halles, since it is one of the locals favorite areas. They come regularly to the area for many reasons, such as shopping, medical consultations, grocery shopping, hanging in bars and cafés with friends, and so on!
It is quite an expensive neighborhood but I consider it to be where the true Parisian spirit lays. It is not very touristy and there are plenty of places to visit if you want to truly experience the Parisian lifestyle!
If you’re interested in this area, read on and find out more about Chatelet-Les Halles and all its highlights!
Start at Rue Réaumur
For all the architecture enthusiasts, I recommend you to start your walk through Chatelet-Les Halles at Rue Réaumur. This street is the symbol of the changes the city of Paris went through. It kind of is a showcase of the nineteenth century innovations. The Rue Réaumur was built during two different periods, so you will notice two architecture styles rather different. One part of the street is pure haussmanian, while the other part is post-haussmanian with round shapes and turrets.
In 1897, the city of Paris launched a façade competition. The purpose was to promote the variety of buildings styles. Many architects presented unique projects, such as gigantic windows on the façades, detailed decorations of gratings.
Located at 124 rue Réaumur, you will find an even more revolutionary building. The influences of Gustave Eiffel for this project are clear. It was built in 1904 and it was the first building which façade was all-metal. This reminds the Art Nouveau style. If you’re interested in architecture or simply enjoy looking at beautiful buildings, you will love the Rue Réaumur!
Walk down the Rue Montorgueil
The Rue Montorgueil is very popular among the locals. If you love food and want to try the best traditional French specialties, the rue Montorgueil is the place you need to go to. If you’re curious and believe you can learn a lot about a country’s culture through its food, you have to go to this street!
When a Parisian looks for a tasty cheese or an excellent wine, he goes to Rue Montorgueil. And I believe that if the locals buy their products in a certain place, I think you should trust them and do the same! Plus, it is only a few minutes away from the Louvre Museum! However, it is indeed impossible for every English speaker to pronounce the name of this street, so please, do write it down.
Visit the Église Saint Eustache
It is one of the biggest churches of Paris! The Saint Eustache Church‘s construction began in 1532 and ended in 1633. Its style is late Gothic architecture, just like Notre Dame, but also has some Renaissance details. You will find this church right at the end of Rue Montorgueil.
I love this church, it gives a special touch to the neighborhood of Chatelet-Les Halles. And I also love the fact that whenever I enter the church, I feel so at peace. Outside there’s the crowd and the noise, but once you get inside it is all so quiet and peaceful! You will also notice all the Renaissance details that makes it even more unique and one of my favorite Paris churches!
Don’t miss the Marché Saint-Eustache
On Sundays, from 7 am to 3 pm, a market takes place at Rue Montmartre. Then, also on Thurdays, from noon to 8.30 pm! If you’re in the area during these days, don’t miss the Marché Saint-Eustache! The merchants sell all kinds of stuff; from fresh food to furniture and clothing!
Go shopping at Forum des Halles
The Forum des Halles used to be a fresh food market until it turned into a shopping mall! You would think that there’s nothing special about a mall, and I could say that you’re right. But I consider the Forum des Halles to be kind of a big deal in the neighborhood of Chatelet-Les Halles. All the Parisians know this mall and shop there. Plus, some of the most used metro lines go through the Halles metro station, so you will eventually go to the Forum des Halles for some reason.
You will find regular stores, such as H&M, Zara, Mango, Gap, and many more! But you will also get to know other stores like Maisons du Monde, which is a furnite and home decoration store! Everything they sell is so original and cute! You might find a funny alternative for a Paris souvenir! The Forum des Halles is very popular. Many locals come to the neighborhood just to go to this mall.
I recommend you to read this article, because the history of Les Halles is pretty interesting!
Walk the Rue Saint Denis
Close to the Forum des Halles, you will find the Rue Saint Denis. It is one of the oldest streets of Paris. The Kings and Queens used to make their entrance to Paris by this street. All the streets had to be decorated and covered with silk cloth in their path.
Nowadays, the Rue Saint Denis is mostly known for its sex shops. In the part of this street that goes from Boulevard de Bonne Nouvelle to the Rue Etienne Marcel, you will see many sex shops and a few prostitutes. Then, in the part that goes from Rue Etienne Marcel to Rue de Rivoli, you will find a few cafés and vintage stores. This street is not as noble as it used to be, but it’s very fun to walk this street! The vintage stores are definitely worth it!
Reach Rue de Rivoli
At the end of the Rue Saint Denis, you will be at Rue de Rivoli. This street is three kilometers long! It starts at Rue de Sévigné and ends at Place de la Concorde. If you love Haussmann architecture, you will thoroughly enjoy this street. Lined with galleries and famous brands, it is one of the most famous Parisian streets!
Now that you’ve learned a little more about this popular neighborhood, all you have to do is take a walk through Chatelet-Les Halles! This area covers two Paris arrondissements, which are the first and the second! You can imagine that there are a lot more to discover and explore! I recommend you to join our Paris hidden gems tour. You will be guided by a local guide through most places the “tourists” miss while in Paris, and we get to visit a part of the area of Chatelet-Les Halles! I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Don’t hesitate to contact us, if you need further information about anything! See you soon in Paris!