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Le Marais

Picture of a typical street in the heart of Le Marais Typical street in the heart of Le Marais

People coming to Paris, whether they’re tourists, students, interns or professionals, all ask the same first question: where should I stay? Paris has so many fantastic neighborhoods that it can become hard to pick one. This is why we chose to highlight one of our favorite areas in Paris: Le Marais. The Marais is an amazing neighborhood that brings together the old and the modern. Its ancient winding cobblestoned streets are filled with fun boutiques, great cafes, amazing galleries and so much more. The community also embraces beautiful architecture, making it a delight to stay in the Marais during your time in Paris. Read the entire story here…»

 

Today we are going to finish up our tour of a great Paris neighborhood – the Marais. This is the second of our two-part series on the fantastic neighborhood of the Marais in Paris.  Make sure to watch the first part of our Video Tour of Le Marais in Paris.

Video Tour of Le Marais in Paris, Part 2

Rue des Rosiers

The Marais used to be an important center of Jewish Paris and is still today to a certain degree. You can see the unique Agoudas Hakehilos synagogue designed by Hector Guimard at 10 rue Pavee, just off of  des Rosiers, which used to be the one of the main Jewish streets in Paris. While many of the traditional shops have been taken over by designer boutiques, there are still some shops selling Jewish specialties. You can pick up some tasty pastries at the various Jewish bakeries or grab a falafel at the famous l’As du Falafel (34 rue des Rosiers), home to the best falafel in the world!

Further down the street is Chez Marianne (2, Rue des Hospitalières-Saint-Gervais, on the corner at rue des Rosiers), a better option for a sit down meal. Here, patrons can make their own tasting menu of Eastern Mediterranean delicacies such as hummus, grilled eggplant and vine-leaf dolmas. The kitsch art adds to the charm of this restaurant. Read the entire story here…»

 

Today we are going to check out one of most historic (but also one of the coolest!) areas of Paris – the Marais. Refined 16th century mansions, peaceful gardens, Jewish delicatessens, ultra-trendy boutiques and the lively gay district show the great range of the Marais which has something for everyone!

Paris Neighborhood Video Tour: Le Marais – Part 1 (6:16)

History and Landmarks

The Marais, the French word for ‘marsh’, is located north of the Seine, sandwiched between Place de la Bastille, Place de la Republique and Les Halles. Its swamp lands were drained in the mid-1500s and the area was quickly bought up by aristocrats to build their elegant city mansions or hotels particuliers. The area was abandoned in the 18th century when the nobles started gravitating towards the west of the city.  The Marais would have seen the wrecking ball if it hadn’t been for a campaign led by the Minister of Culture, Andre Malraux, in the 1960s to save the area’s heritage. Today the Marais is one of the loveliest and trendiest areas of Paris. Read the entire story here…»

 

Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the Fall Paris and the Eiffel Tower in the Fall

Looking to experience the cutting edge of artistic expression?  Visit Paris this fall for the annual Autumn Festival, a world-renowned event showcasing the talents of the best artists from all across the globe. From mid-September through the end of the year, Paris hosts this gathering—now in its fortieth year—of avant-garde and modern artists in the fields of theater, dance, film, music and visual arts.

With more than 30 venues used throughout the city of Paris, taking in a sampling of the art available through the Autumn Festival will also give you an incredible tour of some of Paris’s most beautiful sites.  Explore such hidden architectural gems like Espace Oscar Niemeyer in the 19th arrondissement, home this fall to Raqs Media Collective’s light installation.  The building’s design is reminiscent of a flag flapping in the wind and is built with an undulating floor to follow the curves of the walls.  You will be mesmerized by both the artistry of using lights as a means to create universal meaning, as well as by this iconic building.

If theater is more to your taste, check out one of several plays put on at the Théâtre de la Ville at the Place du Châtelet in the 4th arrondissement.  This gorgeous Haussmann era structure was once home to plays produced by the immortal Sarah Bernhardt and the theater held her name for several decades.  You will feel the Divine Sarah’s presence as you take in any of Autumn Festival’s plays in the red and gold theater. Read the entire story here…»

 

Hotel de Sully in Places des Vosges Hotel de Sully in Places des Vosges

This area of Paris may be named Le Marais – “The Marsh,” but that simply does not do justice to this elegant and vibrant neighborhood.  Aristocrats founded this area and created some of the most beautiful architecture you will find anywhere in Paris.  In particular, a visit to La Place des Vosges, designed under King Henri IV in the early 17th century, can make you feel like nobility.  In the center of the square are beautiful stone fountains nestled in a beautifully kept lawn, which was once popular as a dueling ground.  These days, rather than honing your epee, you are more likely to while away an afternoon within the quiet walls of the Place by listening to the light murmur of the fountains and the hushed sound of footsteps within the arcades.  A light lunch at Ma Bourgogne, located at the northwest point of the square and considered to be one of the best cafés in Paris, will certainly help you forget your duel. Read the entire story here…»

 

Place des Vosges Place des Vosges

Formerly known as Place Royale, the Place des Vosges was built under the reign of King Henri IV and used to be a favorite spot for duels. It is Paris’ oldest square and widely thought to be the city’s most beautiful. With its street musicians and art galleries, it is now a popular weekend destination in the heart of the Marais.

The elegant Renaissance plaza is composed of symmetrical brick pavilions resting over vaulted stone arcades. In the center is a public garden with linden trees, benches and playgrounds. Parisians come here to nap in the sun or watch passersby from the arcades’ cafes. Victor Hugo lived here in the Hôtel de Rohan-Guéménée, which is now the free “Maison de Victor Hugo” museum. Another free museum in the area is the Musée Carnavalet, which is devoted to the history of the capital and has spectacular gardens. Read the entire story here…»

 

Benjamin Franklin Benjamin Franklin

Long before New York Habitat offered Americans an option to pricey Paris hotels and accommodations, much earlier than when Hemingway, Stein, and Fitzgerald frequented the old Shakespeare & Co. Bookshop in Paris, and well ahead of the hordes of U.S. tourists that now pack the Latin Quarter there was one man that started the American in Paris phenomenon: Benjamin Franklin.

Franklin was a Founding Father, inventor, charismatic diplomat and one of the most pivotal figures in the birth of America and conception of Franco-American relations. Franklin was an American in Paris before there was an independent American nation to speak of. A standout among the bevy of Paris entertainment choices this winter is Benjamin Franklin: An American in Paris:1776-1785 at the Carnavalet Museum. Of course, New York Habitat has dozens of Paris accommodations available for the duration of the historical exhibit.

Coinciding with what would be Franklin’s 300th birthday, the Carnavalet exhibit traces his diplomatic mission to Paris from 1776 to 1785 during the American Revolution. Located in the 3rd arrondissement and running until March 9, the exposition brings together 340 paintings, sculptures, objects and documents highlighting the role this historical monolith had in both the American and French revolutions. Central to the museum’s portrayal is the immense celebrity and personality that befell France with Franklin’s arrival and near decade long sejour. History buffs interested further in the Franklin’s French connection should pick up a copy of A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France and the Birth of America at one of Paris’ many English-language bookshops(bookstore blog link). The Carnavalet Museum is fittingly located in the Bastille quarter on rue de Sévigné, steps from Metro stations Saint Paul and Chemin Vert. Read the entire story here…»