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What to see in Le Marais?

Le Marais is one of the most emblematic neighborhoods of Paris and is located in the 3rd and the 4th districts. This is a place full of history which is divided in several parts with, in each one, different atmospheres. We no longer count what you could do in this quarter !

A little bit of history

Shopping on Sunday in Paris, Off-Beaten Paths Paris, le marais

Credit: wikipedia

Le Marais is located over an old wide swampy area, hence its name (« Marais » means  « Marsh »). It was built in the Middle Ages, housing historical buildings such as the wall of Philippe Auguste, and religious buildings built around it, such as Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis Parish. In the 17th century, King Henri IV built the present Place des Vosges (formerly Place Royale), a perfect place for walks. Later, in the 19th century and even earlier, Ashkenazi jews persecuted in Eastern Europe settled in the neighborhood. Today, the Jewish quarter is a legacy.

Le Marais has become, today, a district both historical and trendy. This neighborhood is also known for being gay-friendly.

How to experience it?

le marais

Philippe Auguste’s wall is located not far from the Saint-Paul gardens, and was built in the 12th century by this King of France who reigned at the same time. It is the oldest wall in Paris, and it served to delimit the boundary between Paris and the exterior.

You can also find the Hotel de Sens, which is a 15th century historical hotel which houses now a library, and which has its own gardens, the Jardins de l’Hôtel de Sens, in which you can enjoy the sun during the beautiful days.

Picasso Museum, Paris Museums, le marais

Wikipedia

This area is not only full of history but also of arts. The Picasso Museum (Musée Picasso), inaugurated in 1985, exhibits the documents and works of the artist, as well as the House of Victor Hugo (Maison de Victor Hugo), located on the Place des Vosges (built by King Henri IV), where he lived from 1832 to 1848. You will also be able to visit a jewish art gallery, the Art 25, as well as the Museum of Art and History of Judaism (Musée d’Art et d’Histoire du Judaïsme).
The Carnavalet Museum (Musée Carnavalet), which traces the history of Paris, is also located in the district, where you can learn more about the history of Le Marais (check more information here).

Self-Guided walking tour, le marais

Le Marais includes a jewish quarter called Pletzl (Pletzl means “small place” in Yiddish), which begins in the rue des Rosiers, this cobbled street where you can taste delicious falafels at l’As du Falafel (pay attention to the length of the queuel because they are victim of their success!) or at Mi-Va-Mi. You can also find synagogues or kosher shops in this historical place, inhabited by the jewish community since the Middle Ages.

le marais

Flickr

The Holocaust Museum (Mémorial de la Shoah), not far away from the emblematic Pltetzl, is a must-see and is one of the most emotional places in the neighborhood. There are permanent exhibitions, with documents from the Second World War, including the Holocaust, during which the Jews of France and Europe were deported. There is a crypt containing the victims’ ashes, pictures, the names of the deportees, the names of the Justes (those who hid the Jews). As well as a bookstore that offers more than 3000 references on this topic.

Le Marais is probably the most gay-friendly neighborhood in the capital, where you can find many gay bars. You can also find thrift stores, such as Kilo Shop, one of the thrift shops in Paris where you can make really good deals.

Enjoy your walk in Le Marais !

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The Marais

Marais

Photo Credit: ParisByM

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

Marais

Photo Credit: Pixabairis

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.

2. Eat!

Marais

Photo Credit: ParisByM

Marais

Photo Credit: ParisByM

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

Marais

Photo Credit: FLLL wikipedia

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.

4. Sightsee

Marais

Photo Credit: ParisByM

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!

5. Nightlife

Marais

Photo Credit: Pixabay/ Kaicho20

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!

 

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Beaubourg – Centre Pompidou

 

 

Beaubourg

Beaubourg – Centre Pompidou

The area of Beaubourg is one of the most diverse districts in Paris and that makes it really unique. Located at the junction of several Parisian areas, Les Halles and Le Marais. the pleasant atmosphere it offers is appreciated both by tourists and French people along, as culture, art and leisure dominate this Parisian scenery.

Why should you go there?

Beaubourg

Streets of Beaubourg – Credit: Wikipedia

In a certain way Beaubourg is a “mix ” between the 3rd and the 4th quarter of Paris. It offers both a chilling and lively atmosphere at the same time, and you will enjoy a walk in the streets, especially if you like to discover Paris and all of Beaubourg’s recesses walking.

 

History

Beaubourg

Dancers in the streets of Beaubourg (1987) – Credit: Wikipedia

The district of Beaubourg met success with the creation in the 70s of the Modern Art museum of Paris, the Centre Pompidou (1977). Former French President Georges Pompidou decided its construction because he wanted the city of Paris to have a cultural center, in which all Parisian could have access to culture. Today, the Centre Pompidou is famous for its exhibitions of modern art, but it also offers a movie theatre, a small concert hall, a public library and even a restaurant on the roof (Le Georges) from where you will have a  wonderful view over Paris.

Why did Pompidou choose this area?  Because this area has a good location: the center of Paris, and it is also near 2 of the most dynamic areas of Paris: Les Halles and Le Marais. At the time, Les Halles was the biggest food market in Paris and le Marais was the gentry neighborhood, which became gradually a trendy area. Today, the evolution of both districts and the cultural influence of the Centre Pompidou have created a very enjoyable atmosphere in Beaubourg.

Activities in Beaubourg

Beaubourg

Centre Pompidou – Credit: ParisByM

There are so many things to do and discover in Beaubourg! Its particular location offers the tourists and the French people along a large choice of activities. The main attraction not to miss in Beaubourg is the Centre Pompidou. It is a museum that has gathered a huge art collection since the 1970s. A private tour of the Centre Pompidou is available if you wish to discover everything about its architecture and its history.

Book your tour of Centre Pompidou here.

Around Beaubourg there is the quarter Les Halles. Les Halles is a very good place if you want to enjoy leisure and cultural activities. There is a huge shopping complex, Le Forum des Halles, and a lot of theaters. Le Marais quarter is very nice as well. And more specially if you want to discover a few museums like Le Musée des Arts et Métiers (museum presenting scientific and industrial artworks and artifacts, including Foucault’s pendulum), or even more its large mansions such as the Hôtel de Sens ou the Hôtel de Sully. A great way to discover the area is to take a private Street Art Tour in Le Marais

Book your Street Art tour here

Who is it for?

Beaubourg

View of Beaubourg – Credit: ParisbyM

The different faces of this area turned it into one of the most disparate and enjoyable places in Paris. That means that it is such a diverse place that it ‘s likely to be appreciated by everyone. Young or older people, tourists and Parisians, Beaubourg will without a doubt meet with your expectations while travelling in Paris. And whether you want to go shopping, to discover museums or just to have a drink in a beautiful and original Parisian café, it will suit your needs in your exploration of the beautiful city of Paris.

How to get there

Beaubourg

The Rambuteau station – Credit: Wikipedia

The Beaubourg area is pretty wide as it combines two neighbourhoods. So there are several possibilities to go there. However, the easiest ways to get there are as follows:

Les Halles area: by metro, stop at the station Les Halles or Châtelet Les Halles (lines 1, 4, 7, 11 or 14).

Le Marais area: by metro you can stop at the station Hotel de Ville or Saint Paul (line 1) or Rambuteau (line 11).

Le Centre Pompidou: by metro stop at Rambuteau station (line 11) or Hotel de Ville (line 1 or 11). Several buses also pass by, including n° 72 which goes all the way along the Seine River from the West.

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