Perfectly positioned within the city’s 1st arrondissement and within easy reach of many of our Paris holiday apartments, the Forum des Halles effortlessly combines a refreshing garden, an underground shopping mall and one of the world’s largest subway stations, making it an attraction not to be missed whilst visiting this truly remarkable city. Nestled between an array of Paris’ famous sights, such as the Louvre and the George Pompidou Centre, is an area known as Les Halles which was once the home of the city’s most popular marketplace. Dating back over several centuries, the market was where locals would come together to eat, drink and buy their fresh produce. Due to its popularity, the marketplace became far too busy and overcrowded for its location and was therefore moved to another Parisian neighbourhood in the 1960s, leaving an unwanted ‘hole’ in Les Halles. Several years later, in 1979, the city decided to fill the hole with the Forum des Halles, which even to this day, is continually improving to keep up with the demands of society.
At street level, the Forum des Halles, features a delightful public park which is adorned with beautiful gardens, fascinating sculptures, an elegant fountain and numerous walkways. It is here that you can also enjoy a relaxing picnic upon a sunny afternoon, should you wish to take a break from dining out. During the summer months, entertaining street performers often gather here, providing fun and laughter to passers-by. A peaceful pavilion, which offers striking views of the stunning Saint Eustache Church nearby, also creates the model setting for a quiet rest, much appreciated after an action packed day. Below the park, underneath the busy Parisian streets, is the gigantic mall complex of the Forum. Exuding an energetic atmosphere, the mall is filled with a collection of superb facilities, such as fabulous shops and numerous cafes, bars and restaurants. Most of the well-known high street retailerscan be found within the shopping centre, selling everything from designer clothing to home furnishings. The complex also boasts an impressive cinema, as well as a swimming pool and gymnasium for those who wish to take a break away from shopping and exploring the sights.
Beneath the shopping mall, deep underground, is one of the largest subway stations in the world. Named Chatelet Les Halles, the vibrant train station is frequented by a staggering 750,000 passengers every single day and provides a range of excellent public transport links, such as rail and metro services, throughout the rest of Paris and beyond. With several of the city’s main transport lines intersecting here, at peak times an unbelievable 120 trains pass through the station in just one hour, resulting in a lively buzz of activity.
The shopping centre within the Forum des Halles is open from Monday to Saturday, whilst the entertainment complex is open every day. More information relating to opening times can be found on the forum’s official website www.forumdeshalles.com