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Châtelet, Les Halles & Surroundings


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Châtelet, Les Halles & More | Paris

Published by Oat Sitalasai — 4 years ago

After writing so many posts about food I'm currently experiencing difficulty in writing an introduction, for yet another adventure here in Paris! Just to jump straight to the destination, we will be discovering one of the most central locations here in the city, called Châtelet. This area is literally the place for people of all ages. I will be sharing with you guys all the awesome things you could look forward to doing here in this area.

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

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Before all, how to get here. The easiest way is to hop on the metro and get off at Châtelet or Les Halles. These two stations are basically side by side and are loosely connected. Châtelet is a bigger metro station as it's one of bigger hubs for transfers in the city. For easier understanding of the connections to and from this station, check out my little bullet points below.

Châtelet - Metros & RER trains

Right, so now that you're at the station, feel free to get out from literally any of their exits. Since this is a massive station, you will have so many different exits to get off from. Should you arrive on line 1, which is the yellow one, you will most likely get off from exits 1 or 11. in that case, let's start our adventure from these very doors!

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

Steps away from these exits, you will be greeted with a shopping street. Just to name a few, you will have H&M, Sephora, Quicksilver, Pimkie, Bershka, GAP, Orange, Swatch, Claire's, NAF NAF, Aldo, C&A, Celio, Forever 21, Jack Wolfskin and Intersport, all within a two-minute walking distance, wow! If you happen to be hungry or a massive fan or McDonald's, then there's one just in front of C&A on the other side of the street.

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

From this point onwards, I would highly recommend that you walk in to the heart of the area, which is the Les Halles area. If you're on the McDonald's side, look for Rue des Déschargeurs which should be a small street sandwiched between C&A and H&M. From here, just continue through smaller streets until you're through into an open space with a monument, just like the photo below! This very spot is called Fontaine des Innocents, which i assume that the english translation is very close to that of the original french name.

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

You could just grab your lunch and hang out around here on a nice day, like many locals do! Just within this square, you have McDonald's (yes, again) in front of you, as well as Pomme de Pain, Pizza Hut, Quick (which offers burgers similar to McDonald's) are all just neighbouring it. If you're more into that typical french experience for tourists, then continue to walk along the current construction site, Rue Pierre Lescot. The two restaurants that look quite decent along this street are Au Père Tranquille and Le Bon Pêcheur and by quite decent, i'm just speaking based on my personal assumption of such, since they always tend to be busy.

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

The thing is there are so many places to eat around here that it's so difficult to pick one from the whole lot. I think that KFC deserves a mention here since they're so hard to find here in Paris. The truth is, there are far more less KFC's than McDonald's around here in Paris. So for those that enjoy fried chicken and other items from KFC, there's one just along the same street as McDonald's, on Rue Berger. Otherwise, if you want to eat where the teens and younger adults eat (the rest of them that are not in KFC, McDonald's or Quick), then head over to Pita Kebab on Rue Saint-Denis, just right before one of the two Starbucks in the area. Here, you can get most of the items from a regular Parisien kebab place, but more. More as in more variety, which refers to paninis, crêpes (savoury and sweet with nutella), sandwiches. More, also refers to more value for your money. A simple kebab with chicken and fries and your choice of sauce is only 5€. If the sauce that you choose happens not to be your cup of tea, or maybe it was the best choice you've ever made here in Paris, the best part is that you can always ask for more. I was hesitant to ask for more of the favourite sauce algérienne at first, but after you see countless locals do it, you might as well jump on the same train, right? You could either choose to dine in or take away, and if you're interested, their smoking area is just outside.

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

As I mentioned way above, you really have loads of shopping options here. Other than the common brands and names that you could also find along the Champs-Élysées or the Saint Germain des Prés area, you will find many more individual shops around here. Most of the shops in this sense around here are well-known for the street wear style. So if you're from Australia and you're into Culture kKings or the shoe store Hype, then you would enjoy being around here. They have bigger shops like Foot Locker and Size? to name a few.

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

The individual shops will sell pretty much the same items, like jackets, hoodies, t-shirts, sneakers and shoes. I managed to snap a quick photo of the shop to show you guys just what you could expect around here. I must admit that some of the shops look dodgy and may not look like the real legit deals, but the prices for the shoes are certainly the same as what you would pay in the official stores. So what's the difference between these shops and walking into Foot Locker? I honestly have no idea. You may want to try to see if you could bargain the prices off with the vendors, since there may be a possibility to do that.

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

Another thing is that this is also an area that you could get souvenirs if you're feeling touristic. You should be able to find shops with souvenirs like magnets, photos, post cards, mugs, jackets and all those regular items. I am unsure about the prices in this area if you were to compare it with the Montmartre or Quartier Latin areas, but if you're around and can't be bothered to go elsewhere, there are a few options here for you.

Chatelet, Les Halles, More Paris

For another dimension of shopping, you may be interested to find out that there is a shopping centre just right below the construction! I actually discovered this by mistake as I needed to go to a sports store in the area, and Google Maps led me to the site of the construction. My first thought was that maps may be correct but not updated since there's surely nothing open due to the work that's taking place. So after circling around the site I decided to give up and head down to the metro station Les Halles. It was like meant to be as the entrance to the underground metro actually showed me the shopping mall, just right below the work site! So what's there to see here?

The underground shopping complex hiding in this area is called Le Forum des Halles. It is probably the best hidden mall in the city (literally) with countless shops, restaurants and services. Some of the brand names that you could find through the different levels here include but not limited to Zara, H&M, Desigual, Mango, New Look, Esprit, Petit Bateau, Go Sport, Quicksilver, Muji, fnac (electronics), Micromania (video games) and Agatha. As for the places you could sit down and have a bite, they've got Brioche Dorée, Jeff de Bruges, The Waffle Factory, Starbucks and Pomme de Pain. It should be clear at this point that this is the best treasure of hidden Parisian malls! And just for all H&M lovers out there, this underground paradise has three stores dedicated for everyone from men to ladies to kids to future Mamas!

Oh, did I mention that there's also a cinema? The cinema is nothing short of spectacular either as it's one of the most well-known and most talked about in the city. At school, our teacher actually recommends this cinema over other options in the city, so that must really say something about it. The UGC Ciné Cité cinema shows many English films and all the current big names like Birdman, American Sniper, Kingsman, and of course, Fifty Shades of Grey. If you're a student, you will also be entitled to a student's rate with the presentation of your valid student id.

Believe it or not, we're not done with this area just yet! If you just stroll around the neighbouring we are in, you will find all sorts of stores other than clothes, souvenirs, and cafes. There is an interesting antique store just at the corner before you cross over the main road called Canal 6. They've got all things antique from sets of tables and chairs to glass to clothes to cupboards and tea cups. This may be a stop worth making for those that just recently moved to paris and would like to get new additions to turn your place into a home!

From here, you will be crossing over to the famous Centre de Pompidou, which is an attraction worth visiting on its own. Even if you would not like to enter, you will be able to enjoy its architectural design from the outside. What you see on its top floors is the library, open to everyone! I often use this place to work since it's free to enter and there's a decent internet connection. There are loads of people using the facilities here, usually young adults, but also people from all sorts. The ground floor and nearby have art expositions as well as theatres that go by different entrance fees. The center is open everyday with the only usual exception on Tuesdays. For more information, be sure to check out their website just at the end of this post.

I think it's fair to say that after all of this, you may want to head off somewhere else, to see something different. Well, you're just in luck as there are several nearby metro stations other than Châtelet and Les Halles for you to use. If you ended your walk around the Centre de Pompidou area, you will have metro station Rambuteau just two minutes away. From this station, you will be traveling on line 11, which will take you out towards Bellville or back towards Châtelet. Otherwise, station Hôtel de Ville is just a straight walk from the center as well.

But it can also be nice to discover a bit more on foot. From Châtelet, if you choose to walk towards the west, you will be going into the Concorde, Madeleine and the Champs-Élysées area. There are obviously more things to see and do other than shopping, as you will be passing the famous Musée du Louvre, Palais Royal, Jardin des Tuileries, Place de la Concorde, Place Vendôme and, of course, the world renowned Arc de Triomphe. So these are all the awesome places if you choose to go westward from our starting point, but what does the east have for us? Well, if you take the east bound direction, you will pass Hôtel de Ville, Église Saint-Gervais, Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, Saint Paul, Le Marais and finally, Bastille. Now you could clearly understand why i said that Châtelet is the center of centers, as you could really plan the rest of your trip from here.

A few useful links:

If you like the content of this post, or just want to check out some pictures that i take on my adventure, feel free to like and/or follow me on instagram at oat93, cheers!

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