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ATTRACTIONTrendy Bobo Neighborhood
RESERVE IN ADVANCENo
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONNone
HIGHLIGHTSFunky boutiques and cafes; pretty iron footbridges
When Napoleon commissioned the Canal Saint-Martin in 1802, it was designed to supply Parisians with fresh water. These days, with gentrification in full swing, it seems this canalside strip of Paris’s purpose is to supply the city’s bobos (bourgeois-bohemians) with the freshest trendy duds and organic eats. Besides taking a lazy poke through the many galleries, boutiques, and cafés lining the canal’s banks, you can also climb up the cute iron footbridges spanning it or even take a touristy barge ride all the way down to the Seine.
GO HERE WITH
Friends - for café and boutique hopping; a date
WHY WE LIKE IT
It’s a fun neighborhood for a low-key afternoon of strolling and shopping. There’s also a pleasingly chilled-out nightlife scene around here (particularly focused at the celeb-beloved Hôtel du Nord) that’s worth checking out if you’re in the neighborhood after dark.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The yucky green canal water and the crummy commentary on some of the canal cruises. (If you sign up for a cruise, make sure it has an English-language option–not all do.)
GOOD TO KNOW
Canal cruises are available from Paris Canal (www.pariscanal.com) and Canauxrama (www.canauxrama.com). One for the film buffs: this is where Audrey Tautou skipped stones in Amélie. Be sure to venture down the side streets–there are plenty of cafés and gardens worth uncovering.
Le Marais (Paris); West Village (New York)
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