Just to the north of the Parc de Légion d’Honneur you’ll find the Saint Denis Basilica, an imposing gothic church which has served as the burial place for French royalty for centuries (including Louis XVI and Marie Antoninette). Legend has it the martyred saint was beheaded in Paris, picked up his toppled head and walked the 10km or so to the suburb which eventually took his name.
Open daily from 10am to 5.15pm. English language tours are available if booked in advance, but otherwise a quiet stroll around its impressive confines is worthwhile anyway.
There is also the Musée d’art et d’Histoire (22 bis rue Gabriel Péri) with a collection of local industrial and medieval archaeology, and visiting exhibitions, open 10am to 5.30pm Monday, Wendesday and Friday. It’s open late on Thursdays (8pm) and open on weekend afternoons from 2pm to 6.30pm.
With a young population, both students and a cosmopolitan mix of nationalities, the area is a hotspot of urban culture - known for its hip-hop festivals, parcours and street art. It’s also home to the Cité de Cinéma, film studios founded by Luc Besson.
For more on tourism in Saint Denis, visit www.tourisme-plainecommune-paris.com