Les Halles, the most central district of Paris, are back after years of decay. A spectacular canopy covers Forum des Halles shopping mall, the largest in town, and the busy Chatelet-Les Halles metro hub. Bars, restaurants and clubs are plenty in the district. The new Pinault Collection and Saint-Eustache church are key attractions of Les Halles district. Shopping in Paris.
Les Halles was Paris' wholesale market from 1183 to 1971, a lively and central district. Les Halles are back with the Forum des Halles shopping mall, Saint-Eustache, the second largest church in Paris, the Rue des Lombards music clubs, the Rue Montorgueil market street and Collection Pinault, displaying contemporary art in the 19th century Bourse du Commerce.
At walking distance of Louvre, Notre-Dame and Centre Pompidou, organized around a pleasant garden, Les Halles are now an icon of parisian life and international tourism.
Located in a pedestrian street, Hôtel Le Relais des Halles Paris is one of the top hotels in Les Halles. 500 m from Centre Pompidou, it offers individually decorated rooms with free Wi-Fi access and an antique-style décor. The air-conditioned rooms and suites feature a wardrobe and a private bathroom with a shower, free toiletries and a hairdryer.
Breakfast is served every morning at Hôtel Le Relais des Halles Paris. Facilities for making tea are provided in each accommodation type.
The 2.5 hectare canopy roof of Les Halles is the spectacular attraction of the renovated Forum des Halles Shopping Mall. By all means, Forum des Halles is the largest central Paris Shopping Mall. Les Halles Shopping Mall has 150 stores including exclusive brands such as L'Exception, Sept-Cinq, What For, Herschel, and the greatest French and international brands such as Nike, Lego, Superdry, Muji, H&M, Zara, San Marina, Celio, Bershka. Visited by 42 million visitors in 2017, it is only surpassed by Les Quatre Temps in La Defense.
Locate Forum des Halles on Paris map.
Paris metro: Chatelet les Halles. Metro and RER lines.
Open Monday to Saturday from 10am to 8pm
Sunday from 11am to 7pm.
One of the most interesting stores of Forum des Halles is dedicated to the Lego brand. Lego celebrates the city and French culture with unique brick creations representing the symbols of the City of Light. It has used bricks to create famous cakes, an iconic dress designer, a painter and, a famous writer and top monuments of the city such as Notre Dame Cathedral. The store is devoted to discovering the Lego world, with games, augmented reality experiences and exclusive product launches.
The Pinault Collection opened in 2021 in Les Halles district. Dating from the 19th century, the Bourse de Commerce is the new 6800 m2 showcase for François Pinault's collection dedicated to art from the 1960s to the present day. 10,000 works by 380 international artists are exhibited in this new setting renovated by Japanese architect Tadao Ando.
The Bourse de commerce, the commodities exchange, was originally used as a place to negotiate the trade of grain and other commodities, and used to provide services to businesses during the latter part of the 20th century. It has its origins in a circular wheat exchange built in 1763–67, with an open-air interior court that was later capped by dome.
The restoration and transformation of the former Bourse de Commerce by Tadao Ando led to the construction of a monumental concrete ring. A cast-in-place structure, as spectacular as it is calm, radical and respectful of the original circular building in the center of which it is inserted,
Locate Pinault Collection on Paris map.
There are 17 restaurants in Les Halles Shopping Mall, including the Champeaux brasserie by Alain Ducasse
The district counts iconic restaurants such as Pied de Cochon, a brasserie open 24/24, the la Poule au pot gastronomic restaurant and Chez Denise (no web site. 5 Rue des Prouvaires, 75001 Paris).
Many restaurants and bars in the area are otherwise not best value for money.
Jazz clubs are plenty in the area, specially Rue des Lombards. Duc des Lombards is the best known and a mythical jazz venue. It has welcomed the greatest artists and young talents. They come to Duc des Lombards to share their music with an informed public and to confront other musicians. A true temple of jazz life, well conceived and organized to transmit the love of music.
Visible from the gardens and the shopping mall, Saint Eustache was the main church of Les Halles market district. Built between 1532 and 1632, it has a Gothic facade and a Renaissance and classical interior. The organ of Saint-Eustache is the largest pipe organ in France. Its resident organist gives a free concert on Sunday afternoons.
In keeping with its tradition of classical music, the church hosts performances all year round. Saint-Eustache is altogether one of the most interesting churches in the city.
Les Halles district was since the Middle Ages living from its wholesale market, the main one in the city of lights.
It all started in 1183. King Philippe Auguste then enlarged the existing marketplace and built a shelter for the many merchants. They came from all over France to sell their wares, including among other items cattle, fish, fruit and vegetables to feed an already very large city for the time.
The circular Corn Exchange was built between 1763 and 1769 at the west end of Les Halles and converted into the still existing Bourse de Commerce in 1889.
In the 1850s, Victor Baltard designed the famous glass and iron buildings, Les Halles, which would last until the 1970s when the wholesale market was transferred to Rungis.
Les Halles de Baltard are still today a much regretted part of the city. One pavillion was saved and now stands in Nogent Sur Marne close to Paris. Information on Pavillon Baltard.