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There are many great Paris Walks, but you really need to pay attention along the way. Strolling through the city's streets lets you soak up the Parisian ambiance like a native.

What: Promenade Plantée
Where:
12th arrondissement; Metro: Bastille
Website: http://en.parisinfo.com/museum-monuments/1382/promenade-plantee?1

Hopefully, when the Highline in New York is done, it will look like this! This former train viaduct, built in 1859 to carry a commuter train line, has been transformed into a delightful pedestrian walkway. The path, about 3 miles long, is planted with all types of flora -- rosebushes, climbing plants, Lime and Hazel trees -- and, as you stroll along, you can see right into apartment windows, courtyards, and over the rooftops of Paris. The elevated walkway connects with trails and bike paths that lead straight into the Bois de Vincennes. But, you don't have to go all the way to the end: At various points along the path, there are stairways leading down to Avenue Daumesnil, paralleling the Promenade Plantée.

What: Viaduc des Arts
Where:
12th arrondissement; Metro: Bastille
Website: www.viaducdesarts.fr/index.php?lang=en

Once you reach the sidewalk, you can head right into a shopping stroll because the beautiful vaulted spaces underneath the viaduct archways have been transformed into galleries, ateliers and shops. Everything from designer furniture, to handmade jewelry, to tapestry and puppetry is showcased in this unique setting. Some 50 different artisans, working in a variety of materials and styles, have made the Viaduc des Arts a lively shopping or browsing experience with craft demonstrations and special exhibitions. You can also have coffee or a bite to eat. If the consumerism gets too much for you, head back up to the Promenade Plantée.

What: La Rue Mouffetard
Where:
5th arrondissement; Metro: Censier-Daubenton or Maubert-Mutualité

Yes, I know, it's gotten very touristy, but it's still a great street with a lot of history and character and attention must be paid. Rue Mouffetard runs down the hill Sainte-Geneviève from Rue Thouin (near the Panthéon) to the Église Saint-Médard at the intersection of Rue Monge. It is said to be one of the oldest Parisian thoroughfares, dating back to Roman times. It is as picturesque as ever with many little restaurants, old-established merchants, famous taverns, butcher shops, and cheese vendors along with some new, trendy boutiques. The open-air market in the church square sells an assortment of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as charcuterie and cheeses. It's very lively on a Sunday morning when you're out for your stroll.

What: Canal Saint-Martin
Where:
10th arrondissement; Metro: Republique
Website: www.paris.fr/portail/deplacements/Portal.lut?page_id=8625

Strolling along the Canal Saint-Martin, which runs from the Place de la Republique to the Place de la Bastille de Stalingrad, is a very pleasant experience. The canal was constructed in the early 1800s to ease barge traffic on the Seine and bring drinking water into Paris. Today, it's just a lovely place to hang out. On Sundays, the Quai de Valmy and Quai de Jemmapes, streets paralleling the canal, lined with Chestnut and Plane trees, are open only to pedestrian and bike traffic. There's still some commercial barge traffic on the canal, but your best bet is a canal cruise with Canauxrama (www.canauxrama.com) or Paris-Canal (www.pariscanal.com).

What: Port de Plaisance de Paris-Arsenal
Where:
12th arrondissement, Metro: Bastille

Once an old navy harbor, located on the former moat of the Bastille, the Port de l'Arsenal is now a nice mooring for pleasure boats, yachts, and houseboats. The port connects the Seine with the Canal Saint-Martin that leads to the La Villette Canal Basin (this is the route the canal cruises take). It's nice to stroll along the banks, admiring the boats and the Sunday sailors.

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