Introducing the 3rd Arrondissement of Paris
The 3rd Arrondissement of Paris is one of the most touristy districts of Paris, together with Paris 1 and Paris 4 of course! This district is very appreciated by locals for its central location and quality of life. Paris 3 is also known for its beautiful architecture, beautiful shops, and art galleries.
In the 3rd arrondissement Paris, we can find half of Le Marais (the other half is in Paris 4). Le Marais is neither a district nor a neighborhood, it’s just a historical area of Paris.
Le Marais means “marsh” in French and long, long time ago it was just this, a marshland. Things changed in the 14th century when King Charles V drained the marshlands and included this area inside the new walls that protected the city.
After some security incidents at Ile de la Cité, King Charles V decided to move to Hôtel Saint Paul in Le Marais. This relocation of the Royal Court was followed by all the important people who wanted to stay near the King and they built beautiful private mansions (hôtels particuliers) around the new royal palace. Some of these private mansions host today interesting public or private museums.
Paris 3 is the District of the Knights of Templar
The 3rd Arrondissement of Paris is divided into 4 neighborhoods: Quartier des Arts-et-Métiers, Quartier des Enfants Rouges, Quartier des Archives and Quartier Sainte-Avoye.
Paris 3rd arrondissement is also called the Temple Quarter. The name “Temple” comes from the Knights of Templar, the religious and military order who by the 14th century owned this area.
Many artisans and craftsmen established within the Templars’ walls, where the monarchy had no jurisdiction to collect taxes. Their wealth lasted until 1307 when King Philip IV imprisoned (and burned alive) the last Templars and confiscated their lands.
Today the beautiful Arts et Métiers Museum stands as a silent witness of this arts & crafts past in medieval times. Another remarkable building linked to the Templars in this area is the Carreau du Temple, a covered market occupying the former site of the Templars’ medieval enclosure.
Finally, the third arrondissement of Paris is the home of 3 communities: Auvergne (from the French region of Auvergne), Jewish and Chinese. The Wenzhou Chinese community was the first Chinese community to arrive in Paris as recruited laborers during WWI and they settled in the streets around rue au Mairie. This is a picturesque area that deserves the attention of the most curious wanderers.
Top Sights in Paris 3rd Arrondissement
Wondering what to do in the 3rd Arrondissement? These are the top tourist attractions in Paris 3, they are touristy but beautiful!
1- Picasso Museum – located in Hôtel Salé, a beautiful private mansion of Le Marais, it contains the world’s richest collection of works of the artist and covers all his periods.
2- Musée Carnavalet – The Musée Carnavalet is dedicated to the history of the city of Paris from its origins to our days. The museum occupies two neighboring private mansions linked by a gallery on the first floor. Don’t miss this museum, it is one of the best free museums in Paris!
3- Archives Nationales Paris – The National Archives Museum is located in the Hôtel de Soubise and it displays a permanent exhibition around the most famous documents kept at the National Archives and also temporary exhibitions based on the funds of the National Archives. The gardens around Hôtel de Soubise are free to visit and they are wonderful.
4- Arts et Métiers Museum – The Museum of Arts and Crafts is a science and technology museum of the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts. The collection, made of machines, models, and drawings, was used in the 19th and 20th centuries by the Conservatory to train technicians and engineers.
Unique Things to Do in the 3rd Arrondissement Paris
On our Paris Arrondissement Guides, we like to encourage people to beat the crowds and explore Paris beyond its main sights. Despite being one of the most touristy districts of Paris it is always a pleasure to wander around in this part of Le Marais for a coffee or photography exhibition. We just try to avoid weekends in Paris 3 as much as we can!
Below, the list of unique things to do in the 3rd District of Paris we believe you shouldn’t miss:
5- Early morning tai-chi session – join the local Chinese community at Square du Temple for a bit of Tai-chi, we cannot think about a better way to start your day!
6- Passage de l’Ancre – this charming walkway is a hidden gem only a few locals know!
7- Nicolas Flamel’s house – this is the oldest house in Paris and also the oldest inn in the city. Built in 1407 by Nicolas Flamel, who is said to have discovered the secret of the Philosopher’s Stone, to welcome the poor, the sick, and the homeless. Today the house is occupied by a restaurant.
8- Musée Lapidaire at Square Georges Caïn – located behind the Musée Carnevalet, this beautiful square has an interesting collection of salvaged sections of the old Tuileries Palace (destroyed by a big fire) and other stone curiosities.
9- The Defender of Time – you can see this giant (and eternally damaged) mechanical work of art in the form of a clock at Quartier de l’Horloge.
10- Musée de la Poupée – travel back in time to your childhood by visiting this charming dolls museum. The museum also has a hospital for broken dolls.
11- Listen to the Afghan crickets’ singing at Arts et Metiers metro station – the metro’s temperature (27° to 34° at rush hour) is perfect for these clandestine crickets coming straight from Afghanistan and they sing well!
Best Restaurants in 3rd Arrondissement Paris
Foodies in Paris will love colorful Marché des Enfants Rouges, the oldest market in Paris, with interesting proposals of cheap eats to eat on-site.
Asian food lovers will have a blast at rue au Mairie (the oldest Chinatown in Paris) and surrounding streets. The Chinese restaurants (there are also some Vietnamese restaurants) are cheap, good, and always full.
Don’t you know where to find the best restaurants 3rd Arrondissement has to offer? Here, some of our favorite restaurants in Paris 3 proposing good French cuisine:
» Bistrot Instinct – 19, rue de Picardie 75003 Paris. This small bistro with contemporary decoration proposes French cuisine with a seasonal menu, always with fresh produce. The cuisine is delicate, savory, beautifully presented, and always with the perfect cooking.
» Le Petit Commines – 16, rue de Commines 75003 Paris. Enjoy a typical bistro experience through a menu with Parisian accents and only fresh, homemade products. The same goes for the wine carte, based on independent winegrowers’ wine chosen carefully by the chef.
» Café des Musées – 49 rue de Turenne 75003 Paris. Located in the heart of Paris Le Marais, this is a traditional bistro with a warm and friendly atmosphere and authentic decoration. The menu offers a good choice of Parisian bistro specialties, with well-prepared dishes and fresh produce. The menu changes every day depending on the season and on what the owners find in the market so it is always a different, and savory experience.
» Crêperie Suzette – 24 rue des Francs Bourgeois 75003 Paris. This is a cool place to eat your favorite crêpes, with kind and welcoming staff, excellent service, and a good quality-price ratio. The crêpes and galettes are always delicious.
Where to Stay in Le Marais, Paris 3
Hotels in 3rd arrondissement Paris tend to be more expensive than in other areas so it is tough to find quality budget hotels (less than 100€ /night) in this district of Paris.
Booking.com is the best site for booking hotels in Paris. They have good rates and a huge selection of hotels of all kinds plus it is possible to cancel for free if in the end, you cannot make it to Paris.Booking.com
LE PAVILLON DE LA REINE & SPA, Paris 3, $$$$
Le Pavillon de la Reine is a luxury hotel & spa located at Place des Vosges in the Marais. The rooms are individually decorated and very spacious. Facilities include a spa, fitness center, and hammam. Its beautiful secluded garden is perfect to end your day with a drink.
HOTEL DU PETIT MOULIN, Paris 3, $$$
Located at the heart of Marais and entirely designed by Christian Lacroix, this hotel offers the best combination history + design. Guests can use complimentary bicycles and enjoy free access to the spa at Hotel Pavillon de la Reine, a 10-min walk away.
HOTEL DE ROUBAIX Paris 3, $$
This is a great little hotel with a lovely (and eclectic) decoration and unique ambiance. Its location, close to Musée des Arts et Métiers, is very good. Nice staff, delicious breakfast, and a cool vibe in the common areas.
SHORT TERM RENTALS IN PARIS 3
Hotels are still the most popular option to rest your head at the end of the day but if you dream of living the Paris lifestyle, then an apartment is the best way to get a feel for the local atmosphere. Enjoy Paris in the comfort of your own Paris furnished apartment, regardless of the length of your stay.
Paris Third Arrondissement Directory
Picasso Museum: 5 rue de Thorigny, 75003 Paris
Musée Carnavalet: 16 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris
Archives Nationales Museum: 60 rue des Francs Bourgeois, 75003 Paris
Arts et Métiers Museum: 60 rue Réaumur, 75003 Paris
Passage de l’Ancre: passage de l’Ancre, 75003 Paris
The Defender of Time: 19 rue Brantôme, 75003 Paris
Musée Lapidaire at Square Georges Caïn: square Georges Caïn, 75003 Paris
Nicolas Flamel’s house: 51 rue de Montmorency, 75003 Paris
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