Canal de l’Ourcq and around: Wide-open spaces

Art and natural beauty are to be found aplenty in northeastern Paris. The area offers a host of outdoor pleasures.

A waterside stroll, a game of boules on the Seine quays, coffee on a terrace, a walk through Parc de La Villette: the area around the Canal de l’Ourcq offers many outdoor pleasures. Art, natural beauty and little-known sights are to be found in northeastern Paris, in the 19th and 20th arrondissements.

Art

Eastern Paris is alive with creative energy. The Canal de l’Ourcq has been turned into an open-air museum with an art event called De l’Art à l’Ourcq, on until 31 December 2015. Some 30 artists have created their own art on street furniture on the banks of the canal, along the 10-km stretch from Stalingrad to Aulnay-sous-Bois. Then there’s the talked-about art venue Centquatre, based in what used to be the municipal funeral parlour – but the free contemporary art exhibitions it hosts these days are revitalizing!

Further south, in the 20th arrondisement, Belleville is also popular with artists, and the quarter is home to many art galleries. There’s the Galerie Lacroix, which specializes in street art, but also up-and-coming gallery 22,48 m², as well as names that will ring a bell with contemporary art lovers: Balice Hertling and Samy Abraham, for example.

Nature

Philharmonie de Paris, extérieur, Paris © Atelier Jean Nouvel

The biggest green space in the French capital, Parc de La Villette is popular with picnickers, joggers and cyclists, but it also has an event-packed programme all year round at its various cultural attractions. These include the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie, a huge science museum, and the Géode, the only IMAX cinema in Paris (la Géode closes its doors for two years from November 30, 2018, for renovation work). Music lovers will find much to love at Parc de la Villette, which has music venues to suit all tastes, from the recently opened Philharmonie de Paris to the Cabaret Sauvage, the Trabendo and the Zénith.

Cafés and bars

Cafés line either bank of the Canal de l’Ourcq, and the choice is up to you: a betting shop-and-bar atmosphere at Bastringue, a relaxed, boules-playing crowd at BarOurcq, a cosmopolitan vibe at Belushi’s Canal in the St Christopher’s Inn youth hostel, a typically Parisian ambience at the MK2 Café on Quai de Seine and Quai de Loire and a countryside feel at the Pavillon des Canaux.

Food shopping

The Canal de l’Ourcq has a food market of a special kind: the Marché sur l’eau. Products are brought here by river, travelling from producers in the Meaux region straight to your shopping basket. Little wonder the market is popular with Paris locavores. It is held from Tuesday to Saturday on Place de la Rotonde (metro: Stalingrad). Come and stock up on fruit and veg grown within a 100-km radius of Paris. Fine food enthusiasts in the area go shopping at Au Temps gourmet, an all-organic deli and wine cellar stocking a handpicked selection of products.

Pavillon des canaux © DR
Au temps gourmet © Au temps gourmet

Restaurants

If you get to the canal on the overhead metro line 2, you can’t miss La Rotonde. Now transformed into a bar and restaurant, this historic building on Place Stalingrad has become a popular meeting spot for Parisians in the space of a few short months, for an evening’s partying or just to have a drink. If you prefer small, cozy spaces, the Café Caché at the Centquatre (metro station Riquet, behind the canal) is for you: it serves inventive dishes in a convivial indoor garden setting. The other dining option at the Centquatre is the Grand Central, located in an industrial loft. It serves brasserie food to be washed down with a good selection of craft beers, most of them served on draught.

La Rotonde © Fotolia
Café Caché © DR

Ackermann Andrea Member

Guided tours

Walking tours, guided bus tours, visit of Paris's unmissable museums and monuments, phone : +33(6) 80 85 68 32 Explore the......

Background Paris Member

Guided tours
Book

Background is an alternative tourism project which proposes a discovery of Paris through the angle of Hip Hop......

Cité des sciences et de l'industrie Member

Museum
30 avenue Corentin Cariou, Paris, 75019
Book

At the heart of the largest landscaped park in Paris, there is an original and spectacular place. You just have to step foot......

Rallyes tuk-tuk (by Marcopolette) Member

Incentive activities | Guided tours
  • Bastille

The « Rallyes Tuk-Tuk » by Marcopolette : a fun new way to discover Paris ! The players are divided in teams of 6 people. Each......

Orchestre de Paris Member

Concert hall
191 boulevard Sérurier, Paris, 75935
Book

The Orchestre de Paris, the Philharmonie de Paris’ main resident ensemble, will be celebrating its 50th anniversary over the......

Philharmonie de Paris Member

Concert hall
221 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, 75019
Book

The Philharmonie de Paris is the new musical heart of the capital. The new building was designed by architect Jean Nouvel. Beside......

Cité de la musique - Philharmonie de Paris Member

Museum
221 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, 75019

A venue truly devoted to music, Cité de la Musique, situated in the south of the Parc de la Villette near the Conservatoire de......

iFLY Paris Member

Incentive activities
  • La Villette

iFLY Paris : delivering the dream of flying Discover alone, with friends, colleagues, family, unique sensations with the indoor......

Le cabaret sauvage

Concert hall
Parc de la Villette - 211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, 75019

The Cabaret Sauvage was created by Méziane Azaïche, and opened in December 1997 in the Parc de la Villette. Red velvet and wood,......

Canal de l'Ourcq

Street, area of interest
Bassin de la Villette, Paris, 75019

The Canal de l’Ourcq is part of the Parisian canal network. Drawing its source from the Ourcq, the canal joins the La Villette......

Le Centquatre

Exhibition and Trade Show venue
5 rue Curial, Paris, 75019

The CENTQUATRE is a new Paris city council artistic establishment and a unique place devoted to production and innovation.......

Zénith Paris - La Villette

Concert hall
211 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, 75019

Situated in the park of La Villette, the Zénith de Paris is one of the biggest concert halls in Paris. With a surface area of......

MK2 Quai de Seine

Cinema
14 quai de la Seine, Paris, 75019

The MK2 Quai de Seine cinema offers 6 screens equipped with the latest cinema technologies, a cafe and a shop that sells DVDs and......

Le Trabendo

Concert hall
Parc de la Villette - 221 avenue Jean Jaurès, Paris, 75019

Topped by one of the famous red follies of Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi, Le Trabendo is a beautiful Parisian concert hall,......

Marché sur l'eau

Food markets
Terrasse de la Rotonde de la Villette, Paris, 75019

This unique market offers eco-consicious citizens the fruit and veg products of Seine-et-Marne which are transported on a barge......

Le Pavillon des Canaux

Restaurant original for its venue or entertainment
39 quai de la Loire, Paris, 75019

This lodge is a coffee shop, a shared work space and a place for debates all at the same time. The cafe/restaurant offers......

La Géode

Cinema
26 avenue Corentin Cariou, Paris, 75019

Located in the heart of the Parc de la Villette, the Géode is an exceptional cinema for so many reasons: the giant steel globe,......

Book your activity
Book your hotel