Located right in the very heart of Paris in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements, the Marais is one of Paris’s most historic neighbourhoods. This now highly diverse and trendy neighbourhood, was once the home of Paris’s elite aristocracy. Today this Parisian gem is popular with the LGBT community and the international crowds. Here you will discover beautiful mansions, colourful market places, and iconic landmarks known to all around the world. From shopping… to amazing dining.. to word class nightlife. The Marais truly does have something for everyone.
Are you planning a trip to Paris and wanting to check out the Marais but aren’t sure exactly what there is to do there. Look no further. We here at ParisByM have taken the time to compile a list of all our favourite things that are to be found here.
1. Visit An Art Gallery/Museum
Paris’s cultural heart is teaming with fantastic art galleries and museums… many of which are far less touristy than the Louvre and, as a result, have far shorter lines. One of this district’s more fascinating museums is The Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme (The Jewish Art And History Museum). It is fitting that this museum should exist within the Marais as it was once the epicenter for Jewish life here in Paris.
We cannot in good conscious fail to recommend what is perhaps one of the most famous museums in all of Paris. Laying just outside of the Marais’s core is Centre Pompidou. Housing the largest collection of modern art in Europe… it is simply not to be missed. The building’s highly modern design and size makes it absolutely impossible to not notice.
The Musée Picasso is a great place to experience the great masterpiece’s of this world renowned artist. Featuring approximately 5,000 pieces of his own work and of his private collection as well. As with Paris’s many other great museums… lines are bound to be long so be sure to arrive early!
For more information on great museums and galleries in the Marais click here.
As with the entirety of Paris, you will never have to walk far in the Marais to find the next bakery, café or restaurant. The area’s dining options here are as quaint as they are delicious. We here at ParisByM have a few recommendations of our own. You won’t be able to resist the smells of freshly baked bread after a long morning strolling around the city. Grab a baguette and some cheese and head on over to the historic Place Des Vosges for a quick afternoon picnic. Or head on over to a charming French bistro if you are looking for more of a sit down type of dinner. For anyone looking to splurge on a traditional French meal, head on over to L’Ambassade d’Auvergne where you will enjoy a dining experience you won’t soon forget.
3. Go Shopping
The Marais is known in Paris as a truly magnificent shopping area. Not only is there a wide selection of retailers to choose from, but the Marais is thankfully spared from the crowds of tourists that dominate other popular shopping districts such as the Champs Élysées. The Rue de Temple and Rue des Archives are two great streets for shopping in the Marais. Here you can window shop through all of the area’s trendy boutique stores or head on over to the nearby and popular home décor shop called Fleux.
If you are looking to shop in one of Paris’s largest department stores, the BHV is just right across the street from the Hôtel De Ville. Here you can find a wide array of designer brands and all of the latest in fashion trends.
The Marais is home to a number of highly famous monuments and landmarks. Most notably, Hôtel de Ville (residency of Paris’s mayor) and Hôtel de Sully are massive mansions and palaces right in the heart of the Marais. These beautiful buildings are impossible to miss and make for a terrific photo opportunity. Situated in a quaint garden… Tour St. Jacques, once the starting point to the pilgrimage to St. Jacques de Compostella in Spain, is a beautiful example of gothic architecture. This massive structure towers over the surrounding buildings within the Marais and its splendour will leave you speechless.
One of our absolute favourite landmarks in the Marais, however, is without a doubt the Place de Vosges. After a long day of shopping, sipping coffee, and exploring… we recommend heading to this beautiful park and enjoying a picnic in this garden courtyard nestled between aristocratic housing… housing that was once the home of Victor Hugo!
The Marais is a popular nightlife district here in Paris. The party is at its best on Friday and Saturday nights but, during the summer months, you will find that there is quite the scene any night of the week. While the area hosts bars and clubs that cater to everyone, there is a particularly large LGBT nightlife scene in the Marais. Here you will find popular gay bars and clubs like Raidd, Open Cafe, and Cox Bar. For a night of drinking with friends, dancing, and revelry… the Marais is a must for anyone looking to let loose and party!