Ah, le dixième. One of my favorite Parisian neighborhoods (after my beloved Montmartre, of course), you’ll often find me there on a given weekend. It’s one of the least “touristy” areas in the city — I lived in Paris for a full six months as a student back in 2012 and never even knew it existed — and I love spending time in these small pockets of unspoiled places in Paris. Well, maybe not completely unspoiled but you get the idea.
And while I’d love to keep the 10th arrondissement all to myself, I’m no gatekeeper. For those of you coming to Paris to visit, or maybe Paris residents who, like me in 2012, never ventured up to the tenth, here are some spots to add to your to-see lists.
The Gare du Nord and Gare de l’Est aren’t necessarily “sights to see,” but they are in the 10th arrondissement and you’ll likely need to access them at some point if you plan on doing some traveling.
Both are known as being on the “sketchy” side but I have never personally had any issues there. Pay attention and keep your belongings close and you shouldn’t have a problem. Gare du Nord will get you to places in northern Europe (as well as merry old England) and Gare de L’Est will get you to places in eastern Europe (and beyond), respectfully.
Le Canal Saint Martin
If you have spent time in the 10th arrondissement, I’m willing to bet it was along the Canal Saint Martin. This little waterway that flows from Bastille all the way up to La Villette in the 19th arrondissement has often been a sanctuary for me, particularly on those sweltering August nights, as the leaves begin to fall in autumn, and even during a drizzle in the colder months.
When the weather cooperates, there are plenty of places to sit down next to the canal with a good book. If you don’t feel the need to be directly on the canal, there’s a lovely park called the Jardin Villemin with lots of grass to sit on.
My yoga studio is along the canal (Jivamukti Yoga Paris if you’re interested), and I will often make the 40-minute walk from my place in the 18th arrondissement to get there.
The bar Le Comptoir Général is a vibe and is my go-to when I want to impress friends in town visiting. Chez Prune is a bit more on the casual side (and more authentically French, in my opinion), and I’ve shared many a glass of wine/charcuterie board there over the years. Ten Belles for coffee, always, and Maria Belza for tapas. Trust me.
For those who love a good story, the Canal was also where Earful Tower host Oliver Gee heard the story that led to his first children’s book, Kylie the Crocodile in Paris. It makes a fun gift for kids who might be interested in the City of Light.
Le Marché Saint-Quentin
There are a myriad of marchés (markets) to be found in Paris — some are static, like the rue Mouffetard or le marché des Enfants-Rouges, while others set up shop just a few times a week.
Like le marché des Enfants-Rouges, le marché Saint-Quentin is a covered market. It’s one of the largest and oldest markets of its kind in the city (first built in 1835, destroyed in 1852, and rebuilt in 1866), and is home to produce sellers, butchers, florists, fishmongers, cheesemongers…there are even places to buy beer and wine.
While this isn’t my favorite marché in the city (I have a penchant for rue Mouffetard myself), it’s worth a visit if you get there early enough to beat the crowds. Doors open at 8am every day.
Cour des Petites Écuries
The 10th arrondissement is not short on nightlife. I like places that are cool and cozy with a big enough terrasse to fit me and all of my friends. I first started hanging out on the cour des Petites Écuries because a friend of mine worked at a small bar there. That was about five years ago and I often find myself returning on a Thursday or Friday evening.
The street is tiny, only about 850 feet long. Nestled along the cobblestones are about a dozen cafés, bars, and restaurants to discover. And, if you venture off the street you’ll find dozens more. It’s a good option if you like to bar-hop and wander. Most places are very affordable if you’re on a budget.
Like most Parisian neighborhoods, the 10th arrondissement is also a wonderful place for a stroll. Use the places I mentioned above as a jumping-off point and then explore on your own. You just may get lost for a few hours, but that’s never a bad thing in Paris.
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