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Things to Do in Le Marais Paris


2021 France Travel Update


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06/17/21

Le Marais is one of the historic neighborhoods of Paris, located on the Seine’s right bank. It occupies part of the current third and fourth Arrondissements of Paris.

Le Marais is one of the highlights of any trip to Paris. Here, you will find the finest architecture, interesting museums, pretty secluded gardens, cheap and hip bars, pretty cafes, great food, and amazing fashion stores.

This beautiful neighborhood is also home to different communities, like the Jewish community, the Chinese community, and the LBGTQ+ community. With such an interesting blend, it is hard to be bored in Paris Le Marais!

Gay District Paris

Le Marais is the perfect neighborhood in Paris for flâner, wandering aimlessly around the city to experience it. Check out this list of le Marais, Paris, with our favorite places to see and things to do.

Le Marais means ‘marsh’ in French, and in medieval times it was just this, a marshland. Things changed in the 14th century when King Charles V drained the marshlands, included this area inside the new walls that protected the city, and built a new Royal Palace where he and his court settled. Soon, nobles and wealthy men moved to Le Marais to be close to the king, and they built beautiful Renaissance mansions that we can still see today.

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Where to Stay in Le Marais Paris

Le Marais is one of the favorite areas to stay for people visiting Paris: it is central, lively, and with a wide choice of boutique hotels, furnished apartments, and trendy bars and restaurants.

Here’s the list of best hotels in the Marais with something for every traveler. The map below shows all the accommodation in Le Marais, hotels, and furnished apartments.

Best Things to Do in Le Marais

Find the top things to do in Le Marais Paris, with something for every kind of traveler.

Hotel de Ville

Hôtel de Ville-Paris

The Hôtel de Ville has been the seat of the Paris Council since 1357. This is the political center in Paris but also home to many cultural and festive events.

This imposing Neo-Renaissance construction was built in the 19th century to replace the former Hôtel de Ville burnt down during the Paris Commune in 1871. The Function Room was created as a replica of the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles.

Musée Carnavalet

Musée Carnevalet - Paris

The Carnavalet Museum is a must of any first trip to Paris. Nestled in two beautiful private mansions of the 16th and 17th centuries, this beautiful museum is dedicated to Paris’s history, from its origins to the present day.

After many years of renovation works, Musée Carnavalet is back to Paris’ cultural program, and you cannot miss it!

Address: 23 rue de Sévigné, Paris 3

Place des Vosges

Place des Vosges - Paris

Place des Vosges is one of the royal squares in Paris. It is also the oldest (1605) and the most elegant square in Paris.

A perfect square 140 m x 140 m, Place des Vosges embodied the first European program of royal city planning. Made of 36 identical elegant buildings connected by a continuous arcade with cafes and shops, only the Pavillon du Roi (Saint-Antoine side) and the Pavillon de la Reine (opposite) are different. Le Pavillon de la Reine is today one of the best hotels in Le Marais and we always recommend it.

Place des Vosges is an exclusive place to live, but it is also a place for a stroll or to meet some friends. You can also enjoy a Parisian picnic in the shade of the trees in the landscaped garden.

Village Saint Paul

Village Saint Paul - Le Marais

These hidden squares between rue Saint-Antoine and the Seine River are forming a little village of antique dealers in the heart of Le Marais.

Here, the atmosphere is totally different, and you have more than 80 designers, antique dealers, and gallerists offering original, quality shopping for the home.

Tour Saint-Jacques

Built in flamboyant Gothic style, the Tour Saint-Jacques is the only remaining vestige of the Eglise Saint-Jacques-de-la-Boucherie destroyed in 1797. This church was one of the pilgrims’ meeting points along the Via Toronensis (or Tours route) to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

On the northwest corner, a statue of Saint Jacques le Majeur dominates the tower while the sculpted symbols of the four evangelists (the lion, bull, eagle, and man) appear on the corners. The rest of the decoration is completed with some gargoyles and statues of saints.

The access to the top (54 m) is via a narrow staircase of 300 steps. After the effort, you will be rewarded with one of the best views of Paris.

Address: Square de Saint-Jacques

Rue des Barres

Le Marais - Paris

This lovely street located between St Gervais-et-Saint-Protais Church and the tiny Square Couperin is one of the oldest streets in Le Marais Paris.

The name of rue des Barres is already mentioned in 1152, and it refers either to the 11th-century wall barriers or the barriers located near the Seine River.  

Rue des Barres is really beautiful. There’s the church, which dates back to the 7th century, and some of the few half-timbered houses in Paris. The restaurant l’Ebouillanté has a pretty terrace perfect for a coffee or a quick lunch in the sun.

Musée des Arts et Métiers

Arts et Metiers Museum - Paris
Arts et Metiers Museum – Paris

The Museum of Arts and Crafts is a science and technology museum of the National Conservatory of Arts and Crafts.

Housed in the Abbaye de Saint-Martin-des-Champs (11th century), the Musée des Arts et Métiers has an interesting collection of machines, models, and drawings used in the 19th and 20th centuries by the Conservatory to train technicians and engineers.

Here, you can admire two of the Statue of Liberty in Paris and other interesting artifacts like the quirky Avion nº3 by Clément Ader.

Address: 60 rue Reaumur, Paris 3

Rue des Archives

streets of Le Marais

Rue des Archives, located between the Seine River and rue Bretagne, is one of the most important streets in Le Marais. It represents the layout of 5 medieval streets, merged into today’s Rue des Archives.

A walk through this street, with beautiful private mansions, is like a step back in time. On number 58, you can see and the medieval door and two beautiful turrets of the Hôtel Clisson. On 22-26 of this street, there’s the Billette Church, whose cloister, in a flamboyant style, is the only cloister from medieval times that remains in Paris.

On the street’s lower part, there’s the epicenter of gay life in Paris, with the bar Cox (a real institution of homosexual emancipation in Paris) and other establishments around.

Square du Temple

This beautiful English-style garden is built on the site of the commandry of the Knights of the Order of the Temple in the 13th century. This square became the scene of bloody repressions when the Templars were considered heretics by the King of France.

From here, you can see the Carreau du Temple, a beautiful glass and metal structure that was a former cloth market and today hosts interesting exhibitions and events. There’s also the Mairie (city hall) of the 3rd Arrondissement of Paris, a magnificent 19th-century building.

THE LAST REMAINS OF THE TEMPLE. Perhaps, you will notice some strange blue lines on the street and sidewalk, just in front of the Mairie. In fact, this is the exact layout of the site of the old Temple keep, which was the last home of King Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, imprisoned for several years before their transfer to the Conciergerie a few weeks before their execution. The dungeon of the Temple was at the time the only medieval vestige of the Temple, and it was completely razed in 1810 by order of Napoleon to avoid any memory or place of worship dedicated to the Monarchy.

Rue des Rosiers and the Pletzl

Rue des Rosiers - Paris

Rue des Rosiers is the beating heart of one of the oldest Jewish communities in Paris. This picturesque street is home to a synagogue with a beautiful Art Nouveau façade, specialized Jewish bookstores, and shops selling typical Jewish food and sweets.

Here, you can also eat the best falafels in Paris (L’As du Falafel but also Le Roi du Falafel). At number 10, there’s a beautiful secluded garden (Jardin des Rosiers) where you can eat your takeaway falafel.

The Marché des Enfants Rouges

The Marché des Enfants Rouges is Paris’ oldest food market, created in 1615. Its name comes from the Hospice des Enfants Rouges located nearby. The orphaned children were all dressed in red, a symbol of Christian charity.

This colorful market is a beautiful place to explore and buy fresh produce. There’s also the possibility to eat on-site all kinds of cuisines in a canteen-type atmosphere. The market also opens on Sunday, from 8.30 am to 2 pm.

Address: rue de Bretagne – rue Charlot

Hotel de Soubisse – Archives Nationales

The Hôtel de Soubise is one of the most beautiful private mansions in Paris from the 18th century, with reception rooms decorated by Germain Boffrand and paintings by Boucher, Van Loo, Trémolière. This spectacular hôtel particulier or private mansion is the result of the merging of two oldest private mansions: Hôtel de Clisson (14th century) and Hôtel de Guise.

The Hôtel de Soubise is the seat of the National Archives and the Armoire de Fer (the Iron Cabinet), containing some of the most important historical documents in France.

The Hôtel de Soubise is surrounded by a beautiful garden that we invite you to explore.

Address: 60 rue des Francs-Bourgeois

Place Sainte Cathérine

This lovely square is one of the hidden gems in Paris. Place Sainte Cathérine owes its name to a market set up in 1784 on the site of the former priory of Sainte Catherine du Val des Escoliers (13th century).

Far from the city’s hustle and bustle, Place Ste Catherine is calm and very picturesque, and it has some benches in the shade and pretty cafes perfect for a break during your wanderings around Le Marais. There are also some bistros, and they are great and inexpensive places to taste the Paris food.

Centre Georges Pompidou (Beaubourg)

Centre Poñpidou Paris 4

Designed by the famous architects Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, the Centre Pompidou is home to the National Museum of Modern Art, with important collections from the 20th and 21st centuries. This museum also covers contemporary art, and it usually proposes interesting temporary exhibitions.

Before visiting the museum don’t miss the Stravinsky fountain and the street performances in Place Beaubourg.

Address: 19 rue Beaubourg, Paris 4

Le Marais Restaurants

Don’t you know where to eat in Le Marais Paris? Here, some of our favorite restaurants in Le Marais (Paris 3 and Paris 4) proposing good French cuisine:

Best Restaurants in Paris
Restaurants in Paris 4

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