Paris Travel Planner   Les Halles, Paris, France
For centuries the main wholesale market of Paris, "The Belly of Paris" today includes a shopping center, gardens, and playgrounds, as well as the lovely St-Eustache church. But it's changing.




Note: The Les Halles area is going through major renovations, scheduled for completion in 2015.

Les Halles, on the Right Bank of the Seine near Palais Royale (map), was for centuries the main wholesale market of Paris, where all the food came in. The markets moved outside of the city to Rungis (near Orly Airport) in the late 1960s, and the Les Halles area has tried for decades to redefine itself.

A large underground shopping mall (Forum des Halles) was created, but it never generated the traffic or visibility desired. Small parks and playgrounds made for some attractive space on the surface above, but the area still searched for its identity.

In 2011 the city of Paris began a major project to create what they are calling the new heart of Paris. In 2015 the project is still not completed, but much of the new building complex, including the Métro and RER train stations, is open and in use.

St-Eustache Church, with Halles construction, Paris

Meanwhile, lively restaurant areas near Les Halles and on the Rue Montorgueil thrive, providing visitors easy access to food and relaxation.

When completed, the area will include significant shopping, restaurants, cafés, parks, and other open space. With its central location, Les Halles will once again be a vibrant center of Paris.

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St-Eustache Church

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The plan for Les Halles, Paris

Above, plan showing the proposed Les Halles area when the project is complete. Blue in the background is the Pompidou Center.

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