Affectionately known as “the belly of Paris,” Les Halles was once the sight of Paris’s bustling central food market, where vendors sold fresh meats, fish, and vegetables. A focal point of Paris since the 11th century, the food stalls were dismantled in 1971 to make room for the new Forum des Halles shopping center and metro station.
With an abundance of cafés, restaurants, specialty food shops, and kitchen supply stores, Les Halles remains a destination for food lovers. Take a guided food tour of Les Halles and immerse yourself in French food and wine culture. Stroll through the vibrant pedestrian area of Rue Montorgueil and discover some of Paris’ best patisseries and boulangeries. The Les Halles neighborhood is also home to the Centre Pompidou, which houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Les Halles is located in the 2nd arrondissement, walking distance from the Louvre.
- Les Halles is a must-see for foodies and wine enthusiasts.
- Rue Montorgueil is pedestrian-friendly and wheelchair accessible.
- The Centre Pompidou is a must-see for any first time visitors to Paris.
How to Get There
Les Halles is located in in Paris’ 2nd arrondissement, within walking distance of the Louvre. Les Halles is easily reached via public transportation from nearly anywhere in the city. The Châtelet-Les Halles station serves several regional city and metro lines, and is considered the biggest underground station in the world.
When to Get There
Les Halles is a lively destination at all hours of the day. During the summer months, start your day early to avoid large crowds. Les Halles is known for some of the best jazz bars and nightclubs in the city making it a great place to explore in the evening as well.
Visiting the Centre Pompidou
Located between the Les Halles neighborhood and the Marais, the Centre Pompidou’s fascinating industrial facade is a work of modern art in itself. The center is home to the Musée National d’Art Moderne, which houses one of the world’s most impressive collections of modern art, including pieces by Picasso, Matisse, Léger, and others. Centre Pompidou is a popular sight, so book tickets and tours in advance to save time in lines.