Saint-Denis, located in the northern suburbs of Paris, France, is a vibrant city with a rich historical and cultural heritage. Known for its iconic basilica and its association with French royalty, Saint-Denis offers visitors a variety of attractions and experiences. Here are some of the best places to visit and things to do in Saint-Denis:
1. Basilique Saint-Denis (Saint-Denis Basilica)
The Basilique Saint-Denis is the final resting place of many French kings and queens, including Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. This magnificent Gothic masterpiece is considered the birthplace of French Gothic architecture. Visitors can explore the stunning stained glass windows, intricate sculptures, and the royal tombs, taking a journey through French history.
2. Musée d’Art et d’Histoire de Saint-Denis (Museum of Art and History)
This museum offers a fascinating collection of artifacts, artwork, and historical objects that highlight the heritage and culture of Saint-Denis. From archaeological finds to medieval sculptures, the museum provides insights into the city’s past and its significance.
3. Marché de Saint-Denis (Saint-Denis Market)
Immerse yourself in the local culture by visiting the vibrant Saint-Denis Market. Here, you’ll find a wide range of fresh produce, delicious food stalls, and various goods. Take the opportunity to try some traditional French cuisine and engage with the friendly locals.
4. Parc de la Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor Park)
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and relax in the peaceful surroundings of the Parc de la Légion d’Honneur. This beautifully landscaped park features serene gardens, ponds, and walking paths. It’s a perfect place for a leisurely stroll, a picnic, or simply enjoying nature.
5. Centre de la Danse du Galion (Galion Dance Center)
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If you’re a dance enthusiast or interested in performing arts, the Galion Dance Center is worth a visit. It hosts various dance classes, workshops, and performances, showcasing a diverse range of styles. You might even have the opportunity to watch a rehearsal or take part in a dance workshop.
6. Maison d’éducation de la Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor School)
The Maison d’éducation de la Légion d’Honneur is a prestigious school for girls and is housed in an impressive building with stunning architecture. Although access to the school itself might be restricted, taking a stroll around the grounds and admiring the beautiful exterior is a worthwhile experience.
7. Shopping and Dining
Saint-Denis offers a mix of modern shopping centers and local markets. Rue de la République is a popular street for shopping, featuring a variety of stores and boutiques. When it comes to dining, you’ll find a range of options, from charming cafes to traditional French restaurants, where you can savor delicious cuisine.
8. La Cité du Cinéma (Cinema City)
Film enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to La Cité du Cinéma, a state-of-the-art film studio complex founded by renowned French filmmaker Luc Besson. Take a guided tour to explore the film sets, sound stages, and learn about the movie-making process. You might even get a chance to witness a film production in action.
9. Parc de la Légion d’Honneur (Legion of Honor Park)
Adjacent to the Legion of Honor School, this park offers not only beautiful green spaces but also a remarkable rose garden. With its well-manicured flowerbeds, the rose garden is a sight to behold, particularly during the blooming season when it bursts with vibrant colors and fragrances.
10. Le Théâtre Gérard Philipe (Gérard Philipe Theatre)
If you have a love for the performing arts, catch a show at Le Théâtre Gérard Philipe. This theater hosts a diverse range of performances, including plays, dance shows, and concerts, featuring both local and international talent.
11. Balade du Canal Saint-Denis (Saint-Denis Canal Walk)
Embark on a leisurely walk along the picturesque Canal Saint-Denis. This waterway offers a tranquil escape from the urban environment and provides a unique perspective on the city. You can enjoy a relaxing stroll along the towpath, observe the boats passing through the locks, or simply sit and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
12. Street Art
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Saint-Denis is known for its vibrant street art scene. Take a walk around the city and discover the colorful murals and graffiti adorning the walls. Rue Gabriel Péri and the surrounding area are particularly rich in street art, showcasing a mix of styles and artistic expressions.
13. Les Puces de Saint-Ouen (Flea Market of Saint-Ouen)
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Just a short distance from Saint-Denis, you’ll find Les Puces de Saint-Ouen, one of the largest flea markets in the world. Explore the numerous stalls and shops selling antiques, vintage clothing, furniture, and a wide array of curiosities. It’s a treasure trove for collectors and those seeking unique finds.
14. La Villette
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Located nearby in the 19th arrondissement of Paris, La Villette is a cultural and recreational complex that offers a multitude of attractions. Visit the Cité des Sciences et de l’Industrie (Science and Industry Museum), catch a concert or performance at the Philharmonie de Paris, or enjoy a relaxing walk in the Parc de la Villette.
15. La Piscine des Amiraux (The Admirals’ Pool)
If you’re looking for a refreshing activity, head to La Piscine des Amiraux. This public swimming pool offers both indoor and outdoor pools, making it a great place to relax, swim, or soak up the sun during the warmer months.
16. Maison des Arts et de la Culture de Saint-Denis (House of Arts and Culture)
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This cultural center hosts a variety of exhibitions, performances, and events throughout the year. Check their schedule to see if there are any concerts, theater productions, or art exhibitions taking place during your visit.
17. Le Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace (Air and Space Museum)
Located in nearby Le Bourget, the Musée de l’Air et de l’Espace is a must-visit for aviation enthusiasts. Discover a vast collection of aircraft, including historic planes, helicopters, and even space artifacts. The museum also offers interactive exhibits and simulators for an immersive experience.
18. Canal Saint-Martin
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Just a short distance from Saint-Denis, the picturesque Canal Saint-Martin in Paris is worth a visit. Take a leisurely stroll along the canal, enjoy a picnic on its banks, or even take a boat ride to experience the charm of this tranquil waterway.
19. Parc de la Courneuve (Courneuve Park)
If you’re in the mood for outdoor activities, head to Parc de la Courneuve. This large park offers plenty of green spaces, walking trails, and recreational facilities. You can go for a jog, have a picnic, rent a bike, or simply relax in nature.
Places and Things To Do