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Tips for a day in Paris by train

Visit the 10th and 19th arrondissement.

Paris offers so much more than the well-known tourist attractions. Beyond the shadow of the Eiffel Tower and the bustle around the Louvre, you will find yourself in the Paris of the locals. Travel with the Eurostar from Amsterdam Central to Gare du Nord in 3.18 hours and we will guide you through the more unfamiliar 10th and 19th arrondissements.
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The sights

Relax along the Canal Saint-Martin

Kick off your adventure in Paris with a walk along the Canal Saint-Martin. This lesser-known canal is a favourite spot among Parisians. On sunny days, they like to sit on the cosy banks to enjoy a coffee or drink.

Admire authentic bridges, locks, street art and quaint cafés while strolling along the east (Quai de Jemmapes) or west (Quai de Valmy) side of the canal. Eventually, you will arrive at Bassin de la Villette. Here you will find restaurants, cafés, cinemas, theatres and, in summer, even an urban beach.

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Visit an exhibition or the garden of mirrors

Parc de la Villette is also worth a visit. Up until 1974, this 55-hectare site was used by slaughterhouses. Much has changed since then. Now you will find vast lawns, perfect for picnics and relaxation. The old cattle market hall was transformed into an exhibition hall and music temple. Le Hall des Chansons deserves a special mention, it’s an intimate concert hall on the grounds dedicated to French song.

The park has 12 themed gardens, each with its own unique character. These include a dragon garden with a huge slide in the shape of a dragon, a bamboo garden and a garden of mirrors. Most popular among families is Le Jardin des Dunes et les Vents. Here, children can play on swings, slides, tunnels and other playground equipment.

Explore Paris' most romantic park

From Bassin de la Villette, you can walk in about 15 minutes to Parc des Buttes Chaumont, one of the city's more special parks. This nearly 25-hectare park features caves, (suspension) bridges, mountain meadows, streams and even a waterfall. Here, you really get the feeling that you have left Paris behind.

The 'Temple de la Sibylle', located on a rocky island in the large central pond, offers spectacular views of the Sacré-Coeur and the north side of Paris. And with some 5.5 kilometres of hiking trails and a variety of trees and plants, this park is also a treat for nature lovers.

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Food and drink

Taste traditional craftsmanship

Du Pain et des Idées is a bakery that values tradition and craftsmanship. Housed in a beautiful building from 1870, you can enjoy delicious bread and viennoiserie here. These are sweet, luxurious breads traditionally eaten at breakfast or with coffee. Be sure not to miss their speciality 'Escargot chocolat Pistache': spiral-shaped puff pastry filled with a pistachio cream filling and chocolate. Address: 34 Rue Yves Toudic

Have brunch (or cocktails) in an old warehouse

Whether you fancy a cocktail with friends or a Sunday brunch with family, Le Comptoir Général is the place to be. This 650-square-metre former warehouse has been transformed into a shabby-chic hotspot, complete with exotic plants and vintage furniture. Here, you will enjoy dishes centred on the sea: ceviche of parrotfish, marinated octopus and bluefin tuna. All products are fresh and come from sustainable fisheries and small producers. Address: 84 Quai de Jemmapes

If it is too busy at Le Comptoire, walk a few streets away for the culinary delights of the stylish restaurant AMA. Address: 49 Rue de Faubourg du Temple en 2 Rue Bichat

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Enjoy French cuisine by the water

At La Marine, on the banks of the Canal Saint Martin, the floral façade will immediately cheer you up. Inside, a stylish interior awaits you with mirrors in antique frames. You will enjoy authentic French cuisine here, where dishes like foie gras de canard, onion soup and perfectly prepared tartare de bœuf take centre stage. With friendly service and a menu du jour (starter and main course or main and dessert), you can eat well for a reasonable price. Whether you want a quick lunch or a relaxed dinner, La Marine is the place to be and enjoy French cuisine. Address: 55 bis Quai de Valmy

Drink te perfect cup of coffee

At Ten Belles, a small café near the Canal Saint Martin, they know how to make a perfect cup of coffee. As well as coffee, you can also find sweet treats here. All homemade and freshly prepared at sister location Ten Belles Bread in the 11th arrondissement. Take a seat at one of the small tables next to the bar, outside on a stool, or upstairs in the mezzanine and enjoy the bustle around you.

Come on a weekday afternoon to avoid the crowds, or have a coffee-to-go and leisurely stroll along the canal. Address: 10 Rue de la Grange aux Belles

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Art and culture

Come to life in a morgue

On the edge of the 19th arrondissement, you will find Centquatre-Paris. This was once home to a funeral parlour. The building has been transformed into an impressive cultural centre with an events calendar bursting with workshops, performances and concerts. The main focus here is on cross-pollination between different creative disciplines. While dancers, acrobats and actors perform their skills there, you can go for lunch at restaurant Grand Central, vintage shopping at Emmaüs or the finer French literature at bookshop Kiblind. Address 104: 5 Rue Curial

Visit a hidden Russian gem

In the Buttes-Chaumont district lies one of Paris' best-kept secrets: the Église Saint-Serge de Radonège. Hidden behind the mundane facades of Rue de Crimée, an iron gate reveals the way to this Russian Orthodox church with an impressive wooden facade and colourful porch. Sunday, the day of the Office, is the best day to visit this church. At other times, you can enter only if you find someone to let you in. Address: 93 Rue de Crimée

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Discover Paris' biggest music venue

If you are at Parc de la Villette, take a walk over to the Philharmonie de Paris. With 2,400 seats, this futuristic concert hall is not only the largest music venue in Paris, but you will also find the Musée de la Musique with a collection of more than 8,000 instruments and artefacts. The aluminium façade of 340,000 bird motifs makes the Philharmonie de Paris look like shiny fish scales from a distance. The music on offer here is hugely varied: from classical music to world and contemporary music. So, there is something for everyone.
Address: 221 Avenue Jean-Jaurès

Tips cheap train tickets for a day in Paris

Do you want to and can you book far in advance? Choose a Non-flex ticket for the lowest fare. If you want more flexibility, choose another rate.

General tips for getting the cheapest tickets
  • Book as early as possibly to have the most chance of getting the cheapest tickets
  • Tickets for Eurostar and TGV can be booked 122 days in advance
  • For a weekend getaway, travel Sat-Sun-Mon instead of Fri-Sat-Sun.
  • Book online to avoid booking fee

Tips to get the best rates

Book from a station nearest to you. Will you depart from, for example, Schagen or Zwolle? Then buy a ticket from your boarding station and you will pay € 44 for a one-way trip.
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