Barges navigate Canal St Martin’s series of locks and road bridges that connect Canal de l'Ourcq to the River Seine. The best way to get around the arrondissement is simply to stroll along the water's edge. The streets lining the canal become car-free on Saturday afternoons, and all day on Sundays, and the area has become the epicenter of a Parisian cycling and roller-blading boom.
In the historic Place de la République in the far south of the arrondissement, there is another concentration of atmospheric wine bars, restaurants and cafés. The restaurants and bars that run along the canal have benefited from the booming nightlife scene in the neighboring 11th arrondissement.
The area is also the location for two of the city’s great train stations: Gare du Nord and Gare de l'Est, which also makes it popular with business travelers. Passage Brady is a covered arcade between rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis and rue du Faubourg-Saint-Martin that is full of Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi restaurants, while Rue de Marseille is sometimes called "le Petit Bombay". The area has a number of fashionable clothing boutiques and a slightly bohemian edge.