If you are looking for a nice place to spend your hot summer days in Paris, I have a right spot for you – The Canal de l’Ourcq. Located in the northeast part of Paris, this place is perfect for all art, nature and water sports lovers. The Centquatre – 104, a cultural center opened in the former municipal undertaker site, is situated just a few steps from the Canal, same as The Philharmonie de Paris, a new Parisian musical center designed by a famous French architect Jean Nouvel. The Canal de l’Ourcq is also a Parisian hotspot during the summer. Here, you can enjoy swimming in huge Paris Plages pools. And if you are hungry, you can get some fresh food at the Marché sur l’eau, a unique market where vegetables and fruits are transported directly from the producers on a boat via the Canal de l’Ourcq.
The Canal de l’Ourcq is a part of the 130 km long Parisian canal network, along with the Canal Saint-Denis, the Bassin de la Villette, and the Canal Saint-Martin. The construction of the Canal de l’Ourcq was ordered by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802, intended originally to supply the capital with fresh water but also with food and building materials. Today, this Canal is primarily used for a navigation, and its surroundings are converted into a green space perfect for leisure activities such as cycling and hiking. This place is also full of bars, restaurants and you can even watch a movie in a cinema. On the Canal de l’Ourcq you will find many houseboats (péniche), where you can have a drink, a lunch or a dinner or even enjoy a concert or a show.
Every summer, the banks of the Seine and the La Villette Canal Basin are turning into seaside resorts. From July to September no need to go to the sea. The beach comes to Paris. Created in 2002, the Paris Plages is a place to relax during the hot summer days. Here, you can enjoy a lying on deckchairs under a parasol and next to the palm trees. You can attend many cultural and sports activities, rent a little electrical boat and enjoy many other activities for children and adults, including canoeing, zip-line descents, and science workshops. And you can even swim. There are three swimming pools on the Canal de l’Ourcq, and the City of Paris Major assures that water of the Canal is perfectly clean.
“Marché sur l’eau” is a unique Parisian market, where you can get seasonal vegetables and fruits directly from the producers in the area around Paris, transported on a boat via the Canal de l’Ourcq. Opened in 2012, this market is all about respect for the environment, people and products. And there is no better way to finish your visit to the Canal de l’Ourcq, then to make a picnic with your family and friends with fresh and delicious food.
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